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Guitar consultation
Old 12-28-2009, 12:59 AM   #1
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Guitar consultation

I have been thinking about buying a cheap guitar lately, and the thread on musical instruments reminded me that there are quite a few guitar aficionados on this board. All I want is a cheap acoustic guitar, just to try it out for a couple of months and see if it's something I want to do. I plan on taking some community education classes in the spring for it.

I found some on eBay/Amazon and was wondering if anyone could give some advice.

For example, the one on eBay is only $20. Why is it so cheap? Can it be even played on pitch? Is it for kids? All I am looking for is something simple but I am worried that it's too cheap?


http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-HANDMADE-NATURAL-Acoustic-Guitar-Stand-Extras_W0QQitemZ250554691538QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?has



I also included links to a couple others that I'm looking at, but they are a little more expensive, and I can't figure out what differences there are. My intention is to stay below $100, and the cheaper the better, as long as it makes semi-decent sound just for trying it out.

Other recommendations are of course appreciated!

======

Amazon.com: Jasmine by Takamine S34C NEX Cutaway Acoustic Guitar: Musical Instruments

http://www.amazon.com/Full-Acoustic-Guitar-Carrying-Accessories/dp/B000EWYBR2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:53 AM   #2
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Don't buy the $20 guitar.......

If you can't beg or borrow an instrument to try for a few months, find someone who already plays and have them help you find something decent on the used market. You'll probably need to spend $100 - $200 to find something good enough that it won't have annoying characteristics making it difficult to learn to play.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:19 AM   #3
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Ditto youbet. You will just frustrate yourself.

You would be better off buying a used guitar that originally sold in the $400 range (today's $). This is a bit of a quasi-religious discussion in terms of preference for the instrument brand and even the model. Seagull has a decent guitar for the money.


Here is my advice in general (30+ year experience): Buy the best guitar (talking acoustic here) you can stomach to afford. It must be playable otherwise you will give up quickly because it will be more difficult (than if you had a decent instrument). If you know that you are going to play and not give up (not sure if you can know that at this stage)... buy something in the range of $1k+ and let if become your lifetime instrument (of course you will probably buy others). I like Larrivee, Taylor, Martin, or Gibson (all production guitars). You can find some of them for around $1k +/-. The reason for the advice is if it sticks, you will probably wind up upgrading several times and spend more than if you just bought what you wanted in the first place. Also.... try to get a solid spruce top (not a laminate). For that matter try to avoid laminate in the body all together if you can (sounds better). One other thought. If you buy a decent used instrument (new or used for around $1k) and keep it in good shape, you can probably sell it if you give up and get most of your money back.

It is all about play ability for the instrument. For you... it is up to how much you practice.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:48 AM   #4
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You would be better off buying a used guitar that originally sold in the $400 range (today's $). This is a bit of a quasi-religious discussion in terms of preference for the instrument brand and even the model. Seagull has a decent guitar for the money.
I purchased a Seagull a year ago and am quite pleased with the quality vs. price (yes, it was $400)...
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:48 AM   #5
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Excellent advice from Chinaco. One other comment and this is just a personal pet peeve. I would never buy a guitar without playing it or checking the condition of the instrument, especially the straightness of the neck on a guitar as well as the action (distance of the strings in relation to the fretboard). There are plenty of good used instruments on craigs list that the owners will let you try out, if they are serious about selling. I would suggest taking some lessons at a local music store or from a guitar instructor in your area, they could also prove invaluable in picking an instrument within your price range. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:35 AM   #6
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If you buy a 20 dollar guitar please don't register for my guitar classes . Really crumby instruments can be almost impossible to tune and play no matter your skill level. Good advice from the previous posters.....

If you are buying a new guitar you will need about 200.00 for a playable entry level guitar. I also would see about borrowing one if possible to determine your true interest level. Then if you think this is going to be a lasting hobby, spend a little more for a really playable intermediate instrument.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:47 AM   #7
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I used to play when I was younger and borrowed an Ovation from a friend to see if I wanted to take it up again. Borrowing a decent guitar is so much better than getting a crappy guitar.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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... please don't register for my guitar classes .
I KNEW there are some serious musicians here on board.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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I KNEW there are some serious musicians here on board.
NW: I thought as much.

I humbly disagree with those who advise a possible beginner to spend 1000 bucks on a guitar. It seems too much for somebody who isnīt sure if heīll like it ....and I doubt he would appreciate -being a beginner- the quality of the guitars as regards to their price.
I vote for half that amount of money. In any case nothing cheaper than 300 bucks.
Vicente dixit
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicente solano View Post
NW: I thought as much.

I humbly disagree with those who advise a possible beginner to spend 1000 bucks on a guitar. It seems too much for somebody who isnīt sure if heīll like it ....and I doubt he would appreciate -being a beginner- the quality of the guitars as regards to their price.
I vote for half that amount of money. In any case nothing cheaper than 300 bucks.
Vicente dixit

I have to disagree totally on this one. If you buy a cheap guitar as a beginner, your fingers will hurt, you won't be able to press the strings down and get a decent sound, probably won't be able to tune it, and you'll likely give up and quit. I agree with the others, see if you can find someone to lend you a decent guitar for a while. But even if you have to buy one and spend a few hundred bucks, you can resell it if you don't follow through and recoup most of your money. This is one of the instances where "penny wise, pound foolish" truly applies.

Edit: Sorry, I thought you were disagreeing with buying a $100+ guitar. I dropped a zero from your message. $200-$300 should get you a decent beginner guitar.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:33 PM   #11
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harley: Far from me to argue with you. I can tell that your are an experienced player. I am a beginner, but been palying on and off most of my life. And bought several gyuitars, Epyphone and Yamaha among others. I never found a guitar soft due to its high price. Moreover some of the toughest ones were quite pricey.
And here in Spain 500 bucks is some money to pay for a guitar...
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:33 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice! I am going to see if I can borrow one from a friend. This way it gives me some exposure to a semi-decent guitar without committng a lot of money, and i will also have an idea of what I will be looking for when I actually go shopping for one later.

Janet, you never know - I might be a student of yours but neither of us knows...
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:59 PM   #13
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Janet, you never know - I might be a student of yours but neither of us knows...

If you are...
Be on time for class
Practice 15 mins a day - everyday (more, once you pass the sore fingers stage)
Change your strings quarterly
Attend live music events
Bring dark chocolate to class to share

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Old 12-28-2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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You should be able to find a decent used acoustic or electric guitar in the $300-$500 range. Don't know what kind of music you are into but Fender Squires are decent for learning and really cheap. A good used amp can be had as well for less than $200.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:40 PM   #15
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The kind of guitar music I'm interested in is 1960s & 1970s rock, like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Judy Collins.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #16
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Find yourself a Taylor Big Baby for about $300 and strum away.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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Wow, what a timely thread for me too! I used to have/play an acoustic guitar when I was a teenager and really enjoyed it. Probably been to local music stores 6 times in the past 3 years with the intent to buy one, but I walk out empty handed every time. Part of it was I thought I wanted an Ovation (just cause it's different), but they never sounded as good for the money to other brands IMO.

I am concerned that I just won't have enough finger dexterity at 55 YO and/or that I will drive DW crazy practicing/playing the same songs over and over. She says go for it, but I think she'd live to regret it. I think part of my motivation when I was younger was the opposite sex too, not part of the program anymore.

This thread has me thinking about it again though...
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:52 PM   #18
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Acoustic guitar is a great instrument for semi-serious musicians. There's no need to learn to "read" music, unless you really want to. AGs are portable, meaning you can take one camping, to the beach, or to a party. Hard to do that with a piano, for example. And with a relative minimum of practice, and talent, you can be a "player". Granted, you'll never get any better than your willingness to practice...

As for beginner guitars, it would be hard to go wrong with a Yamaha in the $300+ range.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #19
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get something w/ an adjustable truss rod too if you can manage it
like the aforementioned taylor big baby.. this makes it easier to keep the
guitar in good playable condition...
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #20
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I always loved the guitar, when I was a teenager my parents didn't have a lot of money therefore they bought me a new guitar for $60.00. I hated playing it since it was difficult to slde my fingers up and down and the strings made it difficult to not only keep it in tune but rusted quickly. I finally bought the guitar of my dreams, (Gibson) and it was like night and day.
I tend to agree in that you should try to find a good used guitar that you enjoy playing and go from there.
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