Some guitar / guitars & amp / speaker buying advice?

Asked: Some guitar / guitars & amp / speaker buying advice?

I really want to start playing guitar again. About 20 years ago, my Dad bought me a used 12 string Martin Sigma acoustic guitar. It's not what I would have chosen, but I tried to work with it, unsuccessfully. It had a fret buzz and it was difficult to work with 6 strings, let alone 12 strings. It had a wide neck, so I really had to contort to be able to play many chords. I also had a lot of pain in my left hand while playing, probably from having to squeeze so hard to get all the strings down and hold the chords. I don't mind the finger tip pain, as I know they toughen up and get callouses. My fingers aren't long and skinny or short and fat. They are med-large sized hands, with medium length fingers. I'm a male – 5' 9", 180#.This is the type of music I like – Favorites are Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, Dave Matthews, and Steely Dan. After that, I also like many artists like Tool, REM, Talking Heads, Jackson Browne, Styx, Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, Fleetwood Mac, John Mellencamp and I really like the sound of Spanish/Flamenco style guitar. Here's what I'm looking to do. I just want to play for pleasure and possibly perform or post songs I've played on youtube. So I'm looking for: A) for sure an amp and/or device(s) to get lots of different sounds out of an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar with pickups. I'd like to be able to play Pink Floyd songs like "Mother" and go from simple rhythm chords to an awesome guitar solo at the press of a peddle or a flip of a switch. I'm technically competent, so something like a digital device between an electric guitar and an amp/speaker would sound to me like what I'd be looking for, or other ideas?. B) The electric guitar itself – I'd like something which I don't have to get all contorted to play, so a thinner neck which I could hang from a shoulder sling and play comfortably would be great. Specific models or styles would be appreciated. I don't know if they categorize guitars as far as neck width, circumference etc, but ease of playability is what I'm looking for. C) I'd also like an acoustic guitar which I can bring anywhere to play with or without my extra equipment. A nice 6 string with a reasonable width neck and possibly a pickup or 2 would be nice if I wanted to plug it in. Something along the lines of what Dave Matthews uses, He plays mostly rhythm with a jazzy style. As for strings, he sounds like he uses possibly all vinyl strings or a combo or wire and vinyl, so any thoughts about good strings for a beginner with some experience would be great. I do like the Spanish/Flamenco style, which I believe uses vinyl strings, but correct me if I'm wrong. Last question-any good online sites for learning guitar, preferably free sites? When I took up playing tennis, I found all sorts of sites with technical/strategy advice. Something like that for guitar would be great, and save a lot of cash on lessons. Any youtube sites, other sites? Any other advice to get me back into it with less frustration this time would help me stick with it more if I can eliminate the physical issues which frustrated me previously. As for shopping, I'll probably start on Craigslist looking for good deals on equipment which I will know will be desirable hopefully after reading some good answers here. Thanks for your time and advice!


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