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Buying a guitar


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#1 of 64 JamieD

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Posted August 27 2003 - 02:46 AM

Hi all. So I want to try the guitar again.. I started to learn on a borrowed accoustic back in the day, but didn't have the time.

However I really want to learn, so I'm thinking about picking one up. The issue is accoustic or electric. I'm thinking about electric just from the ease of getting results, but I'm concerned about how all the budget electrics seem to be far more defective than budget acoustics.. any thoughts?
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#2 of 64 Philip Hamm

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Posted August 27 2003 - 04:58 AM

Personally I think you're much better off learning on acoustic.
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#3 of 64 Dave_Brown

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Posted August 27 2003 - 05:03 AM

I agree, learn on acoustic. Once on that everything else will be so much easier. Back when I started it was on an old fender acoustic that could almost have my fingers bleeding by the end. But I was told "boy, you learn to play on THAT and you can play on anything!"

#4 of 64 WadeB

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Posted August 27 2003 - 05:08 AM

I’d second the vote for acoustic. You are right, you’ll likely get quicker results with an electric, but learning on an acoustic will make the switch to electric easier in the long run. I didn’t touch an electric until I had been playing for about a year. When I did, it was almost funny how much easier the action on the electric seemed.

IMHO learning on an acoustic will give you stronger hands and make you watch your tone more closely. Of course if you just wanna rock . . .

But I would be wary of some of those cheapo Asian electrics. Also, buying used is a good option for a learning instrument.

#5 of 64 Chris Baucom

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:54 AM

Jamie,

Go acoustic to start IMHO. A much more versatile instrument and a better exercise to improve your dexterity. Most electric songs sound great on an acoustic, but visa-versa doesn't always apply.

I know you didn't ask about lessons, but don't be afraid to take them if you can afford it. They are well worth it (from a good teacher, of course) and will get you some fundamentals that are key to later growth. While we all want to be able to play the "cool stuff", remember there is absolutely nothing wrong with learning to play the basics as well. My teacher as a kid made me play "Red River Valley" till I couldn't stand it anymore. I may not play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for my buddies, but my kids love it!

Good luck!!

#6 of 64 chris_everett

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:10 AM

I'm going to disagree. Electric's are easier on the hands to play, and when your starting out, that can make the difference between practicing or not. I became very frustrated trying to learn on an accoustic. That being said, I have fairly small hands, and that makes a differance. Plus, there just more fun! Get a POD and plug it into your HT system. Lots of fun.
Regardless, I would not buy a cheap anything. And I agree about the lessons.
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#7 of 64 Philip_T

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:31 AM

Another vote for the acoustic. Just like learning to drive, you don't start off learning in a high performance sports car (well, most people don't). Additionally, while your learning on an acoustic, it will give you time to save money and research for the electric that would work best for you. When you make the transition from acoustic to electric, your fingers will be more powerful and dexterous and you will appreciate the instrument even more. Good luck and remember to stick with it as it can be easy to get frustrated and give up. Posted Image

#8 of 64 JohnE

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Posted August 27 2003 - 05:28 PM

I'd say learn on whatever feels best to you. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Just make sure the guitar feels good, and have whatever you get setup for for you by a pro. Nothing worse or more frustrating for a beginner than trying to learn on a guitar that won't stay in tune or has lousy action. Good luck and stick with it.

#9 of 64 JamieD

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Posted August 27 2003 - 11:58 PM

Thanks guys.

I definitely can't afford lessons, which is a shame..

However, I think you all make good points, and I'm pretty sure I'll go with acoustic. Now I'll just take a close look at funds and figure out what I can afford and when. Should be fun..

I'm definitely looking forward to picking this up again. Thanks again.

Now, if anyone has any good learning sites.... *L*
About.com has a decent guitar section, from what I've seen.
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#10 of 64 Dave Morton

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Posted August 28 2003 - 01:19 AM

guitarnoise.com is pretty good for learning some of the basics. They have a pretty good community over there.

I'd second the acoustic. Even if you got an electric, you'd have to spring for an amp which is another couple of hundred bucks. Check out some good used ones.
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#11 of 64 Philip Hamm

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Posted August 28 2003 - 01:24 AM

www.rondomusic.com is a great place IMO to get a good quality instrument for a very low price. Their Essex (SX) and Agile models offer a lot of bang for the buck. The people on the bass list I read have a lot of respect for them.
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#12 of 64 JonZ

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Posted August 28 2003 - 01:35 AM

Acoustic.

I dont even pick up my electric anymore.

#13 of 64 Carlo Medina

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Posted August 28 2003 - 04:26 AM

I went from cheap electric to good acoustic. I definitely agree that if you learn on acoustic, the transition to electric will be easy (kind of like going from ice skates to rollerblades vs. the other way around).

However chris_everett brings up a great point, it will be harder going initially on acoustic, which may dishearten you from practicing/playing. I remember being amazed at how quickly I could learn basic stuff on my electric and that drove me to want to get better, and then ultimately go acoustic.

That said, I've owned my Lakewood M32 now for a year and haven't plugged in the electric since. It was a much harder transition to go from electric to acoustic, but it was a rewarding change especially when you learn the nuances of making an acoustic vary its sound (palm muting, right hand technique, fingerpicking, etc.).

One thing you might find worth it:

Get your acoustic professionally set up by a luthier

This should run between $40-$60 and it's like ISF calibration. Find a good, trusted, reputable luthier to do it. What s/he will do is lower (or raise, but most likely lower) the action, sand the saddle or nut if needed, set the bridge pins, check intonation, etc. I originally had a Martin 000C-16GTE (which I returned because I found out it was used but sold to me as new) that came to me sounding and playing fine, but after the luthier did his work ($40) it played much easier because the action was lowered, and actually sounded better!

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#14 of 64 JamieD

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Posted August 28 2003 - 05:08 AM

I will definitely check that out, as well as checking into financing options.
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#15 of 64 JonZ

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Posted August 28 2003 - 08:04 AM

My brother is pretty poor and wanted a acoustic guitar and picked up a Taylor.

I played it and liked it alot!!! Im pretty sure he got it for $269

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#16 of 64 Tim Hoover

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Posted August 28 2003 - 11:33 AM

Also, you may want to look into Seagull guitars for some very high-quality, affordable instruments. My Seagull S6+ Spruce was only recently supplanted by a Taylor 414ce, and the Taylor cost seven times as much!

Mu buddy owns a guitar store, so I've had the chance to play lots of instruments. Seagull is, IMO, the best bang for the buck out there...
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#17 of 64 Philip Hamm

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Posted August 29 2003 - 12:46 AM

I love my Seagull guitar.
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#18 of 64 Chris Baucom

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Posted August 29 2003 - 12:56 AM

I second the opinions on the Seagull. A friend of mine who wanted to learn how to play asked me to go guitar shopping with him with the specific intention of finding a reasonably priced, but not cheap, acoustic to learn on. We settled on the Seagull. Good value.

#19 of 64 JamieD

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Posted August 29 2003 - 02:14 AM

Interestingly, I went into a local store yesterday, and the fellow there (who plays a lot around town) spoke against starting acoustic. What he said made sense.. Electric will force you to learn to play "quicker" and you have to be spot on with your strings when you play chords (i.e. pulling a string downwards while playing will not work).. But I'm still thinking acoustic.

The odessey continues. *L* More visits around tomorrow.
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#20 of 64 Randy Tennison

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Posted August 29 2003 - 02:27 AM

Alot has been written about the transition from acoustic to electric, but not the other way around.

If you have learned on an electric, playing an acoustic will involve an extreme changeover. The strings are normally further apart, higher of the neck, and are larger in diameter (exceptions do exist). Having played electric for alot of years, picking up an acoustic takes me several minutes to get used to.

I would highly recommend learning acoustic and then going to electric, if you really want to learn to play. It's like learning on a piano or a "keyboard". The keyboard often doesn't have weighted keys or touch sensitivity (on the cheaper models parents like to start out with), so, there is an immediate hurdle when switching to a real piano.

Guitars are a personal thing, like cars. What one person loves, others may hate. So, go to several music stores, play with different models and manufacturers. You'll discover one you love.
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