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  • Questions about guitar brands/ info. for someone who's not yet strummed a guitar...

    Hello, Everyone.

    For 10 years, I'd thought about learning to play the guitar. I've no false illusions about becoming a rock star and don't know if learning the guitar ultimately would agree with me; I'd need to try it in order to find out. That all said, I have several questions.

    1) What brand(s)/type(s) of guitar would make for a good, but inexpensive ($150 or less) starter? (NOTE: I'm just shy of 5', 3", so I don't have super-long arms that could reach around a big-bodied guitar.)

    2) Could you recommend an instructional website that helps beginning players who want to go the self-taught route?

    3) If there's anything else that I should know/consider before considering the purchase of a first guitar?

     

    Thank you,

    Jenk17


  • #2

    I have a friend who started on a cheap Yamaha nylon string just to get a feel and the other day I took him shopping for his first steel string.

    Original Music here on BandCamp
    http://gilsmusic.bandcamp.com

    Comment


    • EdBega
      EdBega commented
      Editing a comment

      ...


    • Pine Apple Slim
      Pine Apple Slim commented
      Editing a comment

      We really need a stock answer of sticky for this. 

      1) What brand(s)/type(s) of guitar would make for a good, but inexpensive ($150 or less) starter? (NOTE: I'm just shy of 5', 3", so I don't have super-long arms that could reach around a big-bodied guitar.)

      There are many decent brands of starter guitars out there. So I wouldnt worry too much about brand, esp at this price level. But some I can reccomend in the under $200 range are:
      Yamaha
      Ibanez
      Washburn
      Alvarez
      Recording King
      Fender

      What I would worry about:
      1. Size body, if thats a concern to you. Smaller bodied guitars are often labeled as "Folk or Parlor sized", or after the Martin system, "OM", "00", or "000" size.
      2. Ease of playability, or "set-up". Most off the shelf guitars are just "OK". 

      3) Could you recommend an instructional website that helps beginning players who want to go the self-taught route?

      http://www.justinguitar.com/
      Well structured lessons for all skill levels from beginner on up.

      3)If there's anything else that I should know/consider before considering the purchase of a first guitar?

      Do you know someone who plays well and for a long time? If you can get a player to go with you to help select the guitar, or better yet evaluate used ones, you can likely come up with a very nice choice.

      If not, then I recc just ordering one of these online:

      Its hard to go wrong with a Yamaha. 
      http://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMFS700S


      Dont forget, IMO you'll need most of all

      1. an electronic tuner. $15-$30 clip-on tyle is fine.
      also
      Gig Bag
      picks
      capo

       

      EDIT:

      lol, great minds think alike Ed. FS700 and Justin. Sounds about right.

       


    • Jenk17
      Jenk17 commented
      Editing a comment

      g6120 wrote:

      I have a friend who started on a cheap Yamaha nylon string just to get a feel and the other day I took him shopping for his first steel string.



      On another site, I've read that Yamaha, Seagull and the Jasmine line by Takamine all make really decent guitars for beginners. Any thoughts/opinions about Seagull and/or Jasmine?

       

      Someone else mentioned that nylong strings are easier on the fingers. For this reason, is it a good idea--if not a necessity--for a beginner to start with a nylon string? Is there any other reason why it's better for beginners over a steel string?

       

      I'd be willing to go as high as $250 for a starter guitar, though I'd prefer to not exceed that amount for both the guitar and all necessary gear for it. Again, I don't know if it's something I'd stick with long term. But who knows? I may surprise myself and wind up loving the process of learning to play the guitar.


  • #3

    >>I don't have super-long arms that could reach around a big-bodied guitar

    If I'm not mistaken, there are parlor size guitars (38") to full size guitars (41")  or smaller student size guitars. Best Buy sells the parlor size Meastro brand for about $60. But, I recommend to start with a Yamaha Guitalele or a Cordoba Guilele, both are around $100 each. They are as small as a ukelele but the neck, fingering is 100% guitar. Keep them undented, you can sell them for a good price when not wanting them anymore. But I think either brand is for keeps because of the small size, the neck is big enough so your fingers don't fumble. They're playable anywhere, in a tight bathroom or in a Mini Cooper or at large family party. The Yamaha Guitalele's neck is better IMO an it's in tune better than the Cordoba. Both come with nylon strings so your finger tips don't get hurt. Once you master the fingering, moving to a bigger guitar is just a breeze because for guitar, you play one acoustic, you can play all except classical guitar. If you start with classical guitar, you can really play all.

    There are instructional DVD for guitar, buy a few. It's best if you can have some experienced player to guide you in the beginning. Youtube has plenty guitar lessons, too. Search for them.

    Comment


    • onegig
      onegig commented
      Editing a comment

      One other thing. Guitars are like friends and girlfriends of your choosing. You live, you play with "friends". Over the course of life, you will have many friends, but only a few good friends, and be married to one woman holding her close to your heart.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOtexPSh1-A

       


    • onegig
      onegig commented
      Editing a comment

      1. The OP may be a prodigy, late start but will excel like a pro. I've been playing for years but I'm no prodigy so I stayed playing in my garage. People don't know until they try.

      2. About buying the first guitar. I'd buy a good looking guitar because when it's not played anymore, it works nicely as a decor that says "been there, tried that..."


  • #4

    BTW, I want to thank everyone who's responded to this thread, thus far and beyond. I very much appreciate your willingness to help someone in my (

    Comment


    • #5
      Good advice, knock. I couldn't have said it better. You saved my fat fingers a lot of swiping on my phone and dealing with autocorrect. I gave you a kudo.
      Cornelius Clodhopper

      Comment


      • #6

        For a biginner, I would suggest you go to a music store and see what fits you best. A small neck and "parlor guitar" size is easier to play than a dreadnaught size guitar witha thick/fat neck. My other concern is you need to build up hand stength, and thick strings are much harder to hold down than skinny strings. 

        Other than that. I would suggest you check the guitar for intonation (look it up onlne) there are plenty of instructions and videos available to teach you this. Use an electronic tuner ($10 or so) to check the intonation.

        A brand name guitar with bad intonation will inherantly sound worse than an off brand which is well built. There are millions of guitars out there, you can easily find one in your price range. Good luck.

        Comment


        • knockwood
          knockwood commented
          Editing a comment

          The issue I have with the suggestions to go to a music shop in person rather than buy online to "see what is most comfortable to you," or words to that effect, is that the OP does not yet play guitar. How will she know what is most comfortable if she is not yet at a stage where making a chord is part of her skill set? I honestly do not get why anyone thinks this makes sense. It's like someone telling me to "go try out" saxophones to see which is most comfortable to play, when I have never played one before in my life. How on earth could I know that unless I know, at least minutely, HOW to play?

          Taking a friend who is an experienced player to a store with you is one thing. Yet you will still get slapped with a tax expense, at the end of the day, and you are relegated to what they happen to have in stock that is within your price range.

          IMHO, spare yourself the tax expense. Spare yourself the risk of dealing with salespeople who either have no idea what they're talking about or are trying to take advantage of your lack of experience. Go with one of the good guitar recommendations you've received on this forum already, buy a guitar online, start practicing. Knowing what the "ideal" instrument is for you will require a little bit of experience. This is exactly why people buy "starter" guitars. Very low risk.



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