Guitars...way off topic

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D Newton
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Guitars...way off topic

Post by D Newton » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:42 pm

One of my goals is to learn guitar. I played sax as a kid, but now turned 50 yrs old and looking to try new things..kids are older etc.

I know Martin guitars are terrific, but for a beginner may be abit extravagant. I don't want a cheap one becuase if it does not sound right, i may lose interest. Is there a good quality middle of the road guitar and how much should i expect to pay.

Thanks.
Doug
Regards, | Doug

Target2019
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Music?

Post by Target2019 » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:33 pm

What type of music do you want to play?

If you're going to play samba, or classics, then I'd say nylon strings on a classical will work.

All else, steel string.

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Cb
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Post by Cb » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:30 pm

If you want to try acoustic guitar you'll do just fine with a Korean made guitar like a Yamaha or a Takamine. If you get something a few steps up from the bottom, say $500-$600 new, you'll get a sturdy, decent-sounding, and very playable instrument.

I advise people to start out on electric guitar...they're:
- easier to play
- generally have a lower action
- and use lighter gage strings, resulting in less fingertip soreness
- and you can dial in a w-i-d-e range of sounds

I'd get a Mexican made Fender Stratocaster and a Roland Cube 60 amp with (((reverb))) and other effects built in.

Cb Image

Target2019
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Additional thoughts

Post by Target2019 » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:32 am

After I posted, a few things came to mind.

I'd start with a site like guitarcenter.com, and look at what's available in a given price range. I have a vintage acoustic Martin, but hardly play that. I have two Yamaha classical models (one has an internal pickup.) I'm more familiar with classical models.

For acoustic, I would try Taylor (US) and Yamaha (Japan). Those are two manufacturers with high quality standards, and there are plenty of models in that range.

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Murray Boyd
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Post by Murray Boyd » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:07 pm

Electrics are a lot more fun when you're starting out. Turn up the distortion just a tiny bit and they're pretty forgiving. But if you like acoustics get one of those. It doesn't really matter too much. Just play something comfortable. My first hand-me-down acoustic was like playing the fat end of baseball bat. The strings were so high off the neck (that's called "action") it was impossible to play a barre chord. After twenty years I'm still not strong enough to play it!

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DocHolliday
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Post by DocHolliday » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:05 pm

Playing electric is easier and more fun than acoustic. However, if you want to play acoustic, start with the acoustic.

Go to a guitar store such as GuitarCenter and try out a few guitars. Some will feel easier to play. I picked up a decent acoustic/electric Ibanez from GuitarCenter about 2 months ago for about $350. It will serve its purpose nicely as my first acoustic.

I would not go crazy and spend too much money to learn to play guitar. Reward yourself after a year of playing with a new, better guitar or with an electric if you bought an acoustic initially,or vice-versa.

Line 6 makes nice amps and most have lots of built in effects.

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Ted Valentine
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Re: Guitars...way off topic

Post by Ted Valentine » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:10 pm

D Newton wrote: I know Martin guitars are terrific, but for a beginner may be abit extravagant. I don't want a cheap one becuase if it does not sound right, i may lose interest. Is there a good quality middle of the road guitar and how much should i expect to pay.
A guy I used to play with was a Martin man. He convinced me to get a Martin when I wanted to upgrade my starter guitar. He used to tell me that owning a Martin was "free". Because of the quality, if you take care of it, it should hold its value. Some say they get better with age. Take it for what its worth.

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Cb
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Post by Cb » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:20 pm

Peter Egan (Road & Track and Cycle World columnist and garage band guitarist) says you must first learn to play well enough to earn the right to own a Martin, and Pete's generally right about this sort of thing.

Cb 8)

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greenspam
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yamaha guitars

Post by greenspam » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:06 pm

hey all,

just wanted to say, been playing for about 20 years or so, and i have gradually acquired 3 acoustics -- a 'standard' 6-string, a classical 6-string, and a 12 string. depending on the mood, or what i feel like playing, i would say i use them all about equally....

but, and this was completely unintentional, it turns out that all 3 are yamahas.... each time i went shopping for something new, i would play a bunch of guitars in the shop, and basically pick the one with the best sound, feel, look, etc for me. picked yamaha each time. of course, i must say i wasn't looking at any thousand dollar guitars (i am a diehard).

i have read elsewhere that the martins and gibsons aren't really worth the extra money, that the yamahas can sound/feel/look just about as good.... a much better 'bang for the buck'... especially if you are not out on tour, playing gigs professionally.

as far as service/warranties, the bridge on my 10-year old yamaha 12 string broke about a year ago, and i took it in to get repaired.... the guy told me, if you have the original receipt, yamaha will replace it for free... and i found the rcpt, they replaced it for free.... actually a substantial upgrade since they no longer made the model that had broken.

with respect to the comments on trying an electric first, i would tend to disagree; i want to hear the vibrations of the strings and the echo of the wood body, not a bunch of distortion and fake noise..... disclaimer: i also have a fender strat which i very rarely play for that reason.

one of my son's friends came over with an ibenez electric/acoustic, i thought it sounded lousy and felt flimsy.

finally, i like to put silk and steel strings on to improve the feel (easier on the fingers) and tone down the sound a bit. and i never use a pick. like to play mostly dylan, neil young, pink floyd, old stuff like that. nuthin' too difficult.

hope this helps in some way....
as always, | peace, | greenie.

D Newton
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Thanks.

Post by D Newton » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:52 pm

THanks for the replys...I tend to agree with cb, i may not worthy enough to play a Martin...but some day!!

DJN
Regards, | Doug

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Cb
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Re: yamaha guitars

Post by Cb » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:38 pm

greenspam wrote:...with respect to the comments on trying an electric first, i would tend to disagree; i want to hear the vibrations of the strings and the echo of the wood body, not a bunch of distortion and fake noise..... disclaimer: i also have a fender strat which i very rarely play for that reason.
Huh? I've got Ronnie Earl standing right here...let's see what he has to say about that:

http://gnobility.com/tunes/Ronnie_Earl-Georgia.mp3

Cb :lol:

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Dino
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Post by Dino » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:47 pm

DGN, is guitar playing entirely new to you? If so, I wouldn't recommend getting right into anything elaborate or expensive. What worked for me to keep me from getting discouraged was to start with a simple nylon string classical guitar. If you start with electric or steel strings you may give up in disgust before giving it a decent try. When you are ready to upgrade you can get the Martin or whatever.

Just my 2 cents.

Dino

Target2019
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Re: Thanks.

Post by Target2019 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:28 pm

D Newton wrote:THanks for the replys...I tend to agree with cb, i may not worthy enough to play a Martin...but some day!!
There are lower-end models, and of course used instruments for sale. My first guitar was a Martin. My father purchased it in the 50's, and never really learned to play. So we shared that. I passed it on to my son when he was old enough.

I don't think you can exclude or include a guitar because of its reputation. When I took serious lessons in my 30's, I found a nice Yamaha classical. At first my teacher was disappointed, but eventually he came to like the quality. For instance, it has an ebony fingerboard and most of the other wookds you'll find in a hand-made classical. The quality is beyond other factory guitars.

You may find something great for under $500.

Also, I wanted to mention that even a $100 guitar can last a long time. For instance, I bought one kid a guitar for about $70. She didn't take to playing, but my son and I have gotten lots of use from it as a beater.

I haven't seen that mentioned yet. If you play, you'll want to take the instrument to the beach maybe, or some other inclement location. Leave a vintage guitar in a car overnight? That's not acceptable, but ok to treat the beater that way.

LPSpecial
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Guitars - Cool!

Post by LPSpecial » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:21 pm

Hi Doug,

I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I agree playing an electric is easier, especially when first learning. My username LPSpecial is basically my guitar, a Gibson Les Paul Special. I waited a long time to be able to get it and I love playing it.

If you are really looking for an acoustic for a first guitar to learn with, go for it. On thing to keep in mind is to not get discouraged if you finger tips really start to hurt when practicing. This will pass after several weeks. Your finger tips will get calloused and toughen up. Most acoustics have strings that are fairly heavy and all though they provide a fuller, more pleasing sound, they are harder to press down and may hurt your finger tips more than an electric with lighter strings.

One type of acoustic guitar I have been looking at possibly getting is a Wasburn D10. You can get them at musicians friend online for about $260 which includes a hardshell case. (I tried to post a link, but the system wouldn't let me). I have not played this guitar but have heard only good things about it and it doesn't really cost a lot. It's worth taking a look.

All the best on your guitar journey.

LPSpecial :)

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Regal 56
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Post by Regal 56 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:41 am

I’m surprised and delighted to see this topic come up on the Bogleheads Forum. (I’m a guitar teacher.) Although you haven’t specified what style of music you’re interested in, I’m guessing you’re looking at learning to play steel string acoustic. Chances are you’ll be able to find something acceptable in a price range between $500-1000. Fender, Gibson, Guild, Martin, Taylor, Washburn, and Yamaha are safe choices. Buyng from Sam Ash or Guitar Center will probably suffice.

Some advice: have a good player go with you when you go to buy a guitar. If you’re a beginner, you won’t know enough to select a good guitar. Another bit of advice: at most music store chains, you can dicker on the price. The markup on guitars at most music stores is about 100%, so don’t be afraid to bargain. (Buy an electronic tuner while you're at it--you'll thank me later for suggesting this.) And one more bit of advice about Sam Ash: if anyone tries to sell you a Carlo Robelli, run away.

If you really want to do some research about guitars, the Harmony Central web site has a slew of user reviews. You can find their review section for acoustic guitars here:
http://reviews.harmony-central.com/revi ... tic+Guitar
(If you want a good laugh, look up the reviews for the First Act FG-130 Student Guitar.)

And you might be interested in a short article I wrote aimed at beginners:
http://www.pooretom.com/ToBeginners.html

One final bit of advice: find a good teacher. The guitar has a reputation for being an easy instrument to play. The truth is that it's easy to play badly, but hard to play well. A good teacher will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Good luck.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA

gkaplan
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Post by gkaplan » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:30 am

I prefer my air guitar.
Gordon

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Regal 56
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Post by Regal 56 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:09 pm

gkaplan wrote:I prefer my air guitar.
Well, it is easier to tune.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA

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WiseNLucky
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Post by WiseNLucky » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:07 am

Regal 56 wrote:I’m surprised and delighted to see this topic come up on the Bogleheads Forum. (I’m a guitar teacher.)
That was how I felt when dentistry came up!
One final bit of advice: find a good teacher. The guitar has a reputation for being an easy instrument to play. The truth is that it's easy to play badly, but hard to play well. A good teacher will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Good luck.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA
How does one find a good teacher?

Also, I have owned guitars for almost 40 years and was very active in several garage bands in my teens. Since then, my ability to buy the equipment I want has increased while my ability to play what I want has decreased. :D

I still look at my current guitar (I have a G&L Legacy - I had a Martin rosewood body acoustic but gave it away to someone who played wonderfully but couldn't afford a decent guitar) and want to start playing again. Do teachers like old rockers who probably learned wrong in the first place and want to reclaim some of the old glory?

I have my eye on a new Fender with electronic key adjustments and a fancy hollow-body Les Paul. Protect me from myself!
WiseNLucky

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Regal 56
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Post by Regal 56 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:46 am

WiseNLucky wrote:How does one find a good teacher?
It's not always easy. Here's an article on finding a teacher:
http://www.pooretom.com/ChoosingaGuitarTeacher.html

Although it's aimed at classical guitarists, much of it applies to any style.
Also, I have owned guitars for almost 40 years and was very active in several garage bands in my teens. Since then, my ability to buy the equipment I want has increased while my ability to play what I want has decreased. :D
A pity we can't buy skill. And no matter how much we pay for a guitar, it won't play itself. Seems unfair to me, but there it is.
Do teachers like old rockers who probably learned wrong in the first place and want to reclaim some of the old glory?
A good teacher wants students who practice and and do the best they can within the time they have to practice. And learning wrong seems to be a rite of passage for guitarists, so a good teacher won't be surprised by it.
I have my eye on a new Fender with electronic key adjustments and a fancy hollow-body Les Paul. Protect me from myself!
Stay the course with your current axe. Performance chasing after the latest gear is highly frowned upon in the Bogleheads Forum.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA

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Cb
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Post by Cb » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:06 pm

Regal 56 wrote:
I have my eye on a new Fender with electronic key adjustments and a fancy hollow-body Les Paul. Protect me from myself!
Stay the course with your current axe. Performance chasing after the latest gear is highly frowned upon in the Bogleheads Forum.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA
Tom, I'm presently overweighting blackface Fender amps...would this be a good time to rebalance into small Marshalls and/or Voxes?

Cb :cry:

D Newton
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guitars

Post by D Newton » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:43 pm

Thanks for the tips and advice. I appreciate it.

Doug
Regards, | Doug

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Regal 56
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Post by Regal 56 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:48 pm

Cb wrote:Tom, I'm presently overweighting blackface Fender amps...would this be a good time to rebalance into small Marshalls and/or Voxes?
They're all electronic amps, so you're talking the same asset class. You should diversify into acoustics, which have the advantage of lower ongoing fees because you don't need to pay for electricity. If you want to be a contrarian, try ukuleles--after underperforming for so long, they might be due for a bounce.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA

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