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Idunno

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Posts posted by Idunno


  1. 19 hours ago, redEL34 said:

    Aren’t guitar strings like new tubes for the most part? Like very few companies producing for multiple brands? Pink Slinky’s here most of the time. But like most things, I have a stash of strings here as if they cure Coronavirus, so I have several brands of electric, acoustic and bass strings. Not much difference between brands IMO. Pink Slinky’s are just cheap. 

    Yes. Mapes extrudes most of the music wire in use for the various brands. Some claim to extrude their own but it's usually from bulk wire produced by Mapes (the Steinway piano company's preferred string maker).

    https://www.mapeswire.com/mapes-music-wire-types/

    Their sets -

    https://www.mapesstrings.com/product/electric-guitar-strings/

    I buy straight from them for my acoustic (don't own an electric).

     

     

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  2. If I was to start today knowing what I know now, it would be to find the easiest playing guitar I could find. I might not be able to play but I do know that I can learn a few chord shapes and compare how hard they are to place/hold on various different guitar shapes and sizes. Solely engaging the head to sort things out, without involving the hands, is to say that the physiology of playing isn't considered at the outset. Forget about tone. A noob has to earn that part of the reward of learning to play so it can come later. A fine sounding guitar that I can't play isn't motivating. It's the veritable carrot dangling just beyond the horse's mouth and frustrating at best. If I can't play it, it isn't going to sound good. I'd get something that I can quickly adapt to that doesn't require psyching myself up to play (like a Yamaha FG230 12-string to learn Classical Gas on - ask me how I know).

    Once the guitar is sorted out the songs, like cats mentions above, should come next. They should be simple, basic melodies that get the hands fluid with chord changes. Three to four chord songs with a slower meter will feed the muse and stoke the self-motivation to try more difficult things. The less work on the fretting hand means the player can focus on the picking hand in real time.

    I've read >>>>> forum stories from players who use a plectrum exclusively and regret not having started out finger picking. Using an easy to play guitar and keeping to basic major/minor chord shapes in basic songs is the perfect scenario for learning to finger pick from the outset.

    My idea of an easy fretting guitar is a nylon string cross-over that has steel string dimensions. They're not the cheapest guitars on the wall but they will pay off faster than any steel string counterpart in terms of progress made. I bought one for my son to learn on. I won't say that it alone is the lynch pin for learning but there are certainly harder playing guitars out there and all of them have steel strings on them.


  3. Still on the look-out for a 12 fret guitar but most of them are the extended upper bout "false" 12 fret types where the overall length is the same as a 14 fret guitar. I'm looking for the type where the bridge is displaced back to the center of the lower bout and the neck is correspondingly shorter. I saw one that dates back to the early 1900's (Lyle) and the seller is asking $3800.00 for it. Some people's kids...


  4. Fact is, Japanese do not accent syllables after the first. Multi syllable words are pronounced without cadence, inflection or character. They speak with zero dynamics. Western languages are sing-songy by contrast. So, tok'-ah-min-eh is how it would be pronounced, with the final syllable almost like a ghost note. But, because they speak so quickly, the untrained ear probably would not discern the name when spoken in context. If pronounced alone aural recognition might have a chance. A little first-hand experience. 

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  5. Yep. Crawl, walk run, the sequence is fixed. Only the distance and baggage changes.

    Generalizing aside, what are you wanting to do with the guitar? Do you know yet? It might seem like another dumb question to match your own, but it's important. One can get really wordy here citing every conceivable stumble and trap we all negotiated going in, and still experience, but there's no sense going there just yet until we get to know what you want from playing a guitar.


  6. Well, there you go; hawking the various synth products - instead of instruments - and then feel stripped naked by the digital boyz when they take their toyz one-up on you. Can't have it both ways. The human mind is being supplanted by algorithms of itself by people who have chosen to cast off the raw experience of being human. Technology did that. Real musicianship is over.


  7. I use the Planet Waves NS and the Shubb capos. I keep a Shubb half capo pretty busy these days as well. I keep the NS capo on the 2nd fret of my steel string, full time, because I tune that one down a full step to take advantage of the extra real estate 2 frets up. Big fingertips, I need it despite a 1-3/4 nut width. I use a Shubb straight capo on the classical. My son bought one of those spring-loaded clamp types, hated it and stole one of my Shubbs so I'm down one. I bought the G7 but it felt weak. I gave it away years ago to JT, IIRC.


  8. Is there a microphone that records better than another at that proximity to the guitar? I know quality of microphones varies but at such close range I would think it to be very nuanced. That said, the arrangement/placement of the microphones is actually more important to my experience than most other aspects. I use a Shure SM58 on the guitar as well as a Zoom Hr recorder. The SM58 handles the job pretty well but being a home recording hack with little to gain (in every sense) over it by spending a lot more isn't something I'd do. Now, I do see some people placing two small diaphragm condenser microphones in an X-Y pattern in front of the guitar, and some use a single large diaphragm microphone (Studio-1, et al), achieving equal results (in my ear). I think the mods here are studio techs by trade and can lay it all out better than my novice experience can. I will say that the Zoom H4 recorder gives very fine results with its onboard X-Y mounted small diaphragm condenser microphones. Like the SM58, I place  it at the 12th fret, pointed towards the sound hole, and it never fails to faithfully capture my playing, such that is it.

     

    Let's be clear on one point, though. The quality of the sound starts with the quality of the guitar.

    • Like 1

  9. On 2/16/2020 at 10:41 AM, garthman said:

    Sure, Joe, back in the 70s there was very little about. And here in the UK there was even less. Martin, Gibson and Guild were there but way, way beyond our means. I worked all through the summer vacation from college in 1971 to save up for a steel string acoustic (I'd bought a classical two years earlier for £10 new). I walked into a good music store in London with £30 in my pocket and found there were just two guitars at that price: an Eko made in Italy and IIRC a Hohner. I bought the Eko and it served me well for many years. That £30 then would be worth £425 in today's money.

    Howard, my first steel string was a Yamaha FG230 12-string. I think the exchange rate between US and Pound Stirling at the time was about $2.90. That Yamaha with cardboard case cost me $135.00 (or £46), but I was a union laborer at that time knocking down a whopping $7.10/hour. My apartment rent was $235.00/month, I was single and could afford to lavish myself with a much more expensive guitar. But, my ignorance of guitars let me choose by ear and that Yamaha sounded great.

     


  10. You will evolve a practical (relative) sense of value, or you won't, depending upon how romantically involved you are with the whole of the acoustic guitar as an object and as an instrument for making music with. I suspect many are taken in by it as an object with an intrinsic value that eclipses any (mere) monetary valuation. In this sense money is an irrelevant method of valuation.

    If you do not have that sense of the guitar, and value it strictly upon it's benefit to making music, your evolved ears and hands will determine the value of a guitar, distinct from all others, and they cannot be influenced or persuaded by the builder's asking price.

    I see countless private builder's used guitars on the market and this tells me a couple things. People with means bought them and then decided to divest them. Why? Should I suggest that money alone did not provide them with the magical sound they were searching for. Or, should I suggest that money alone did not make them good players? Or, name your reason, they were bought and by some measure presented a less than satisfying experience to their buyers.

    Now, I've perused all of the private builder sites and have seen their products. They are beautiful examples of finely crafted woods brought together in the most aesthetically pleasing variety of ways. But, I'm guessing many of those guitar's appeal stops right there. I've played many, many of them in my short excursions around one day's reach and have not found any I would invest $1000.00 in, much less they're asking price.

    I did buy a guitar that wholly consumed me in 2007. I chose it over many other high-end boutique builder's guitar's. I found a shop in an off-beat town that carried many of these guitars. At the end of the visit I walked out with a guitar that I would have never, in a more rational moment, purchased. But, moreover, I was imbued with a sense of disappointment insomuch as a first hand acquired sense of mediocrity regarding the other boutique guitars I'd played. With lot's of forum-speak support heaping accolades onto those guitars I could only think such chatter was mostly from inexperienced people of means rather than evolved skills - ears and hands - who embraced the guitars as precious objects first, musical instruments second.

    Last word, the boomer generation is huge and has a lot of buying power. Throw a few guitar forums at hobbyists and watch a boutique market blossom from it. I suspect the reputation of the average private builder to be born of forum speak alone, driving demand, driving up prices and I expect it to all come crashing down when the boomers slip past their newly retired spending sprees. It's already starting if we glance at the used market. Bottom line, the boomers inflated the prices of guitars and that alone is economics 101, meaning, no, the guitars really are not worth their asking prices.

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  11. On 2/18/2020 at 7:06 AM, Phil O'Keefe said:

    What is the reason for angling that one? Or what do you hope it will accomplish vs. keeping it symmetrical with the others?  

    That piece will rest flat against the rib cage (rib rest). If you've ever played a long session, in the non-classical posture, you will have experienced the sharp edge of the guitar digging into your ribs at that area of the waist. This angled rest the OP has designed into that edge will relieve the player of that. At least that's the purpose I'm guessing it to be.

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  12. Jaded? Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am. I feel stuck in a turnstile with the same geriatric questions and answers competing for renewed relevance. It's like a meme unto itself. That said, I never was interested in the acoustic guitar as a topic of discussion so I suppose I'm off that grid. 


  13. On 2/14/2020 at 5:57 AM, garthman said:

    I've never cared for Martin guitars. I've played quite a few different models over the years and the thought that went through my head each time was: So what's all the fuss about?" To be sure they are generally well made, good quality instruments that play and sound OK but exactly the same thing can be said for guitars costing 1/4 of the price, spec for spec. And personally I'd much rather have four different guitars - each as good in every way - to keep me amused.

     

    PS. Never, ever base your longing for a guitar on what you hear in Youtube vids.

    In 73 there wasn't much else out there to compare. Gibson (a non-contender to this day) was the brand I asked myself what the fuss was all about. Compared to the sound of a Martin, I thought the entire Gibson line-up was meek. I was 18 and could hear a pin drop in the next room (with a carpeted floor). But, I've been told that's because I don't appreciate the Gibson sound, which is a defensive forum-coined term that suggests subjectivity without sacrificing a reputation for quality of sound (in the right ear). I've simply determined Gibson owners to have tin ears - which is also a permissible citing in subjectivity. Tit for tat.

    Then there was Guild, second to Martin, leaving the Gibson brand a very distant third but well appointed for store wall decorations. I played Cort Jumbos that made the Gibson J-200 sound like it's in the next room (also carpeted). 

    Of the (then) big three, Martin was clearly (clean ears) the only choice for quality of sound, Guild held its own and with the F-412/512 series 12-strings (I owned the F-412) it blew away all others, and Gibson was there for the people who liked bling on their shirts, fingers, belt buckles, boots, hat bands and guitars.

     


  14. I agree with that. I've tried the mahogany from guitars using it with back and sides to guitars using it everywhere. You do things like that when people rave about it enough to brainwash you into pursuing mahogany like it's an elixir of tone. Anyway, back to spruce over rosewood, that's my preference.

    The Martins I've owned are few. The models were D-35, D12-35, D-18, DM and OMV-16E. I bought one of those HPL concert size Martins I bashed into a nylon string cross-over for a friend to learn on but that was bought to experiment with so I don't count it. The only memorable one of those was the D-35. I liked its sound a lot. The last one flew the coup in 2005 and I haven't seriously considered the brand since then, or played one. If I was to get curious again it would be about the D-35. I liked it over the D-28 series. But, I prefer classical these days so that will probably not happen. 


  15. No more cats around the house but, yea, they competed for the elusive strings at changing time. Pet talk - I had a Cockateal that was very loyal, and very jealous of anyone or thing that it determined was a threat to its station in life as my buddy. I'd scratch its head and it would push into my fingers. When I played guitar (finger picking) it would fly to my right shoulder, climb down my arm, perch on my picking hand and nip at each finger as it plucked a string. Not sure, but I think it was jealous of me "scratching" something other than it. Its name was Pepe.

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  16. Played a bunch but best, within the brand itself, never occurred to me to sort out. Not sure I know anyone else who has, or anyone who has ever attempted to sort it out and state the outcome. But, then again, I don't know many players and those cats don't play Martins.


  17. I've never played either of them but have to give Yamaha points for making good guitars affordable. The AC3R (rosewood) and AC3M (mahogany) may have a slight difference in sound but I probably wouldn't be able to hear it. Like DeepEnd suggests, you'll have to either try them both or take your chances and flip a coin if you can't. My preference is rosewood vs mahogany, and tea vs coffee, for what it's worth.

     

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