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All-Star Beginner Gear

All-Star Beginner Gear

The best gear to get started on

We all start somewhere. But as musicians, the gear we start on makes a big difference. Whether you aspire to be a festival-rocking DJ or a worshiped drum virtuoso, it's crucial to start out with gear that will inspire you to go further and develop your talents.

We've put together a list of great gear to get started on, complete with quotes from happy owners. With so many affordable, feature-packed picks for any musician, you're sure to find some great starter gear for yourself or the young musician in your life!

Guitar: Squier Affinity Telecaster Special

"You won't believe how great this guitar sounds. The neck plays great, and that SOUND! Holy cow."
- Shane in Granbury, TX

"The guitar arrived on time, and was playable out of the box with only a tune. It sounds amazing, and the playability is awesome."
- Michael

"The pickups on this are really great-sounding for a guitar of this price and can handle any genre of music while the stock tuners do a great job of keeping this baby in tune. The C-shaped neck is fantastic to play on and there are no fret edges sticking out at all. The Butterscotch finish with the Black pickguard is beautiful to look at and gives off that retro 1950s vibe."
- Jeff in Woonsocket, RI

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Bass: Ibanez GSR100EX

"Since I have not played in ten years, I thought my fingers would be killing me the first week or so, but the neck is ideal with my small hands, so everything is turning out just fine. For under $200, this is a steal."
- Kenneth in Brooklyn, NY

"This bass is made really well! There are no loose knobs or jacks -- it's a really solid, reliable bass! This bass is tougher than a two-dollar steak."

"This is the most basic bass guitar you can imagine but it's made by Ibanez so it gets the job done. It plays great and feels good."

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Acoustic Guitar: Epiphone DR-100

"This is one of the best guitars you can get and man do you get the most bang for your buck. Incredible bright sound I actually prefer playing this one over my Fender."
- John in Waterford, NY

"This guitar is by far the guitar to have. My everyday choice. Sounds great, plays well, looks good. You can't beat this product for the price."
- Raymond in Auburn, ME

"The instrument has a great feel to it. It's a pleasure just to hold, but the sweet sounds it makes guarantee that you can't just hold it without playing it for very long."
- Leif in Jonesboro, AR

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Personal Keyboard: Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted Keyboard (61-Key)

"I spent a couple of weeks researching keyboards and prices before I decided on the Yamaha EZ-220 for our family "beginner" keyboard! It has touch sensitive keys, great sound and the light-up key lessons are great for quick sense memory learning. Made by Yamaha so it's top quality!"
- Cherie in McCloud, CA

"When you select one of 100 pre-loaded songs to play, the keyboard keys light up in the song's note order. When the keyboard is in the "Waiting" mode, the lit key waits for you to play it. Then the light moves on to the next note. The second great feature is the EZ-220 links to an Apple iPad and the Page Turner app which follows along with the song, providing sheet music for the Listen & Learn playlist."
- Tom in Durham, NC

"Sound quality is great, the wide variety of drum beats sound good, and it has accompaniment to add in synth and bass lines."
- Jeff in Providence, RI

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Portable Studio: Zoom R8

"I absolutely LOVE my Zoom R8! I was truly worried that it would overwhelm me and I wouldn't be able to figure it out but it was super easy to learn!"
- Alan in Florence, SC

"From the built-in effects to the writable drum loops, this tool has everything you need for recording great sounding songs."

"This unit has many functions I did not expect. Like punch in and out capabilities, stereo/mono switching, overdub, metronome. The built-in mikes sound great, better than I expected."
- Wayne in Stockbridge, MI
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Drum Set: Ludwig LC175 Accent Drive Complete Drum Kit

"I love the drums. These are NOT a starter drum set as the quality is way too high for that. I put a pillow in the bass drum as many of the YouTube drum video people say to do and it sounds great."
- William in Rochester, MN

"The drums and hardware exceeded my expectations in quality, playability, construction and looks."
- Chris in Westbrook, CT

"This was my first drum kit ever and I am very happy with it. This kit was priced right and sounds great, it is very well-made. If you are new to drumming then this kit is for you. Rock on my friends."
- Alfred in Stockbridge, GA

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Keyboard MIDI Controller: Akai MPK mini MKII

"Very simple and easy to use. Very small but powerful. Allows me to work on music at the office or in my bedroom, or just any place where I couldn't take a full-size keyboard or controller."
- Corey in Converse, TX

"I bought the Akai as something to use with the laptop and maybe take along on vacation. And for that purpose, it is perfect. It really is very small and light. It fits in a laptop bag."
- Jon in Kansas City, MO

"Just received this little guy and I love it! Using it for synth solos, organs and plan to use the pads for launching tracks."
- Jorge in Inglewood, CA

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Drum Machine: Alesis SR-16

"I was seriously surprised at how easy this machine is to use and the quality of the drum sounds. You can tell that these are REAL drum sounds and not computerized beats."
- Shawn in Palm Bay, FL

"This little machine has helped my songwriting tremendously. I just pick a pre-set beat and let that act as a prompt to start strumming and riffing new ideas."
- Richard in San Francisco, CA

"There is something magical about just hooking this up anywhere, padding out quick beats and fills, and launching into ideas anywhere, anytime when minus a drummer."
- Dave in Boston, MA

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Groove Box: Novation Circuit

"Well, curiosity got the best of me and I am happy to say that the Circuit meets and exceeds my expectations. The unit is very well made and allows me the chance to put together a small setup for the small events that I want to go to and set up quickly. This, a small synth setup and PA system makes quite a bit of great sound in a short time."

"Love this thing. Within ten minutes of plugging it in I was laying out great track ideas."
- Randall in Houston, TX

"Very easy to use right out of the box. Lots of usable sounds for sketching an idea, easy to update and portable. Just grab and, in a traffic jam, waiting's the limit."
- Bill in Barrington, NH

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Beginner's Guitar Gear Guide
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference. price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you. return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission. customer service »
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

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Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
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