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DESPERATELY need help in choosing first acoustic guitar

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  • DESPERATELY need help in choosing first acoustic guitar

    Hey there!

    I'm in desperate need of choosing an acoustic guitar, but I'm not sure which one I should choose, you know.

    It wouldn't be an acoustic guitar, just one to play folk/country/acoustic rock, you know.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  • #2
    First off before all chime in with choices, how much is your budget? Are you willing to buy used? Do you have access to local stores to try the choices out? Do you have a friend that is a good acoustic player (electric in a pinch) that will help you through the process? Do you need a gig or hard case with that (one or other for sure, btw)? Even how big are you (dreads can be a bit much for some)? Do you want acoustic only, or acoustic electric? have you done any research on the net (IF not I suggest you do....)? Things like that. Lots of guys and gals would be glad to put in their two cents worth, but you need to provide a bit more info.
    I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
    Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

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    • #3
      Since you don't seem to know an acoustic guitar is a broad term that includes Folk Guitar and because you are asking others what to buy, my guess is you are a beginner.

      The first and most important thing is you need to do try out guitars to see if the neck fits your hand. This is especially important for a beginner because nothing else matters if you cant grip the thing right and play it properly. A bad fit can have long term effects and its best to get that right first so you can excel learning to play it right.

      Second you want to check and see if the instrument is well constructed and sounds good. Then decide on what you can afford within your budget and narrow down your choices. You could use that as a bench mark before you begin trying them out, but often times trying a few out of your cost range will give you knowledge when comparing lesser models.

      I don't suggest the used guitar route with acoustics either. People usually sell acoustics when they begin developing issues. The top bows, the bridge lifts up and neck warps making the instrument unplayable. Other then some neck adjustments, there's little that can be done to correct many of these issues and if you did attempt to have it fixes it would cost too much.
      Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-16-2014, 08:21 AM.

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      • #4
        Also, we can give you all sorts of advice, but much of it is personal taste.

        Go to a guitar store that has lots of acoustic guitars hanging on the walls. Take every one down. Don't look at the price tags just yet. Sit down and play them. Make notes, mental or otherwise, of the ones that really feel great and sound great. Whittle it down to a handful. Then start checking the tags. Hopefully you can afford one of them and it's not too hard on your wallet.
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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        • #5
          Maybe he doesn't yet play guitar. And you'd be surprised at how many decent guitar players there are who are reluctant to sit down and play in a store. I think it might have been someone here who said that he goes in at 10 o'clock on Monday morning because there are fewest customers then who can hear him.
          --
          "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
          Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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          • #6
            Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
            Also, we can give you all sorts of advice, but much of it is personal taste.

            Go to a guitar store that has lots of acoustic guitars hanging on the walls. Take every one down. Don't look at the price tags just yet. Sit down and play them. Make notes, mental or otherwise, of the ones that really feel great and sound great. Whittle it down to a handful. Then start checking the tags. Hopefully you can afford one of them and it's not too hard on your wallet.
            If you're not checking price tags, make sure you remove your belt and buckle or turn it around to the side. You REALLY don't want to scratch up a $4K guitar.


            In addition to all the advice so far proffered, let me add that it may well be smart to buy a 'starter' guitar that is affordable and sturdy.

            And, for such a guitar, despite the fact that most folks seem to want to jump straight to shimmery shiny, steel strung acoustics or electrics, a nice nylon-strung 'classical' type guitar can be a good starter.

            Such a guitar will tend to have a shorter neck scale (a little easier to reach), a somewhat broader neck (more room for fumbly fingers) and -- crucial -- nice, soft nylon and lightly metal-wrapped fiber strings that are MUCH easier on the tender, beginner finger tips.

            (Electric guitars are not that hard on fingertips as a rule, because the tension on the strings is lighter -- but that lighter tension means that strings tend to slip 'sideways' and notes get 'bent' easier. Bending notes -- on purpose -- is an important part of some styles but first you need to learn how to get a nice, solid, in-tune note without accidentally stretching the string sideways.)

            Once you've been playing every day (at least 5 days a week, a minimum of 15 minutes will keep most folks moving forward at the beginning -- but more time is helpful -- as long s you don't stress your hands -- it can take a while to get the tendons and such to stretch gracefully) for maybe 4-6 months or more, your fingertip callouses should be built-up and then you can start thinking about getting a steel-string acoustic or an electric. And, because you didn't overspend on your first, 'starter' guitar, you know have a nice, playable nylon string you can use for casual use, playing in the backyard, in the park or even at the beach. (Stuff you might not want to do with your groovy new 'keeper' guitar.)

            I know SOME folks really, really believe in buying the very best they can afford starting out.

            And if you know, positively, what you want and that you will have what it takes to bring yourself 'up' to the level of that 'best' guitar, then that's probably OK.

            But over the years I've known a lot of those folks who ended up with a killer guitar, an amazing camera, a world class bicycle, a breathtaking recording rig, and/or etc -- but who never really got where they were headed with any of them. (Ah, but that big screen TV entertainment center probably gets a heck of a workout.)
            Last edited by blue2blue; 06-16-2014, 12:57 PM.


            music and social stuff

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            • #7
              Yeah, I agree about buying something just workable to start out with.

              Part of what makes a guitar good are the factors that make a guitar good for anyone - solid construction, good basic materials, plays evenly and sounds good. But you can find hundreds of guitars from dozens of makers any day of the week that can offer basic quality at a more or less reasonable price. But what will make a guitar a particularly good fit for you personally, you can't know until you've played guitar for some time - years most likely.

              So I say just jump in and get a decent, inexpensive guitar. My quick guidelines -

              1. don't buy the very cheapest from even name brands like Martin or Yamaha or Taylor or Gibson or Fender, etc. The quality can be just awful.

              2. if you go to Guitar Center, you certainly might find a decent deal there BUT - just assume the salesperson is a lying bastard as a first principle. He/she might not be - it's possible - but do..not...trust...them. So take someone knowledgeable with you if you can. And don't fall for salesman tricks of the trade like "sale ends today" or "this is the last one you can get for this incredible price" and so on. And check every square molecule of the guitar over carefully - those floor models are very frequently dinged up or worse. Have them fetch or order a spanking new one once you make your choice.

              3. get a case and use it. Most newbies skip the case and the guitar suffers a lot for it. Yeah, it's a bit more money. When I say "a case" I don't mean one of those soft cases - get a hard case.

              4. don't fall in love with any guitar because of how it looks. You're not buying it to look at it. If you buy one and really play it and bond with it - you'll love it forever regardless of how it looks.

              best of luck - getting my first guitar some 40 years ago, I still recall the sheer joy of it, and how my grade-point average took a serious hit in favor of playing the guitar hours on end every day.

              nat whilk ii

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              • #8
                Heck, I'm a big fan of very cheap guitars and shoulder bags.

                But, for sure, for anything other than a beater, you want a good hard shell case. It's a good place to keep it and it will protect it from minor physical threats. (But a shoulder bag is great for taking the beach guitar to the beach or over to a pal's house to jam and such.)

                And if you're going to risk flying with it, seriously consider an airline-ready ATA-rated case, not a simple wooden one.

                (But, really, don't fly with guitars if you can avoid it. Nowadays, if they don't get broken, they disappear. Last time I flew, it was only my persistence -- I refused to leave without my guitar -- that got my guitar back in my hands. I was there for hours. They kept saying, Maybe it'll turn up. We'll give you a call. I kept saying, How about I give the police a call and we search your baggage area? After a few hours of this, whaddya know, my guitar mysteriously appeared, alone, on an unattended luggage cart that no one saw anyone push in. Funny how that works. Not that I'm cynical, or anything. Maybe a little.)

                Another extremely valuable necessity (if I was short on money, I'd get this before the case), a good, stable stand. The ones you really DON'T want are the ones they try to sell you or give you that look like this:

                NO:


                MAYBE: or maybe

                The reason I don't like stands with a 'U' shaped holder on the bottom is because the U-pieces typically turn/pivot in their socket and that can, in my unfortunate experience, easily dump a poorly placed guitar onto the floor or worse.

                With the simple A-frames, you do have to watch out you don't tip the instrument forward (I typically put them where no one will be coming up behind them). But you can get an a-frame with a neck-securing feature (as above right).

                You can get a cheap A-frame for as little as ten dollars online and probably around that in a guitar superstore. (Sometimes accessories are priced up, just about where they'd be if you were to buy online + shipping. They're not stupid.)
                Last edited by blue2blue; 06-16-2014, 06:39 PM.


                music and social stuff

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                • #9
                  For relatively inexpensive guitars, I like Yamaha, Washburn, and Seagull, in case that helps.

                  But definitely play a bunch of guitars and see what you like.
                  Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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