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First Guitar

Old 05-02-2007, 07:50 AM
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Default First Guitar

I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar and have talked my wife into getting me one for Fathers Day...I want to start with a 6 String Acoustic - - due to time constraints - I am planning to learn via DVD's - I just don't have the time for personal lessons - I just want to learn some songs to play around the campfire and maybe at holiday time - I have watched Esteban's infomercial and they look very interesting and something I would like to look into further - (any experiences please share) - if anybody has some experiences or recommendations - any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:58 AM
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Do NOT buy the Esteban guitar. Two friends of mine have and it does not stay in tune. You can actually see all the negative opinions online in forums and on Epinions.

As a guitarist who owns 7 guitars, and has owned countless others in all price ranges, I would advise you to spend about $200 on a Takamine G320 Dreadnought guitar, which is a pleasant beginner. As a general rule, nearly all beginner acoustics are now made in Korea or China, and most are horrible; it ain't like it used to be. I think the Takamine is an exception. I think the above guitar can last you a few years, so that if you really take to the instrument, you can upgrade to some nice American made Gibsons or Martins. I like and have a Martin D15, and also like the D16.

You will need to try out many acoustics once you get to the intermediate level, as by then you will know what width neck fits your hands, what action you like, etc.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:44 AM
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I'm a beginner and recently bought this guitar. I did a lot of research and saw this one recommended over and over again as a first guitar.

http://www.music123.com/Takamine-GS3...r-i29851.music

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Old 05-02-2007, 11:40 AM
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My first was a very old Gibson steel string when I first picked one up in 1968. that went good bye for an Aria Diamond (electric) till 1976 and I stopped playing. My mother sold it at a yard sale when I moved out of the house. I now have my dad's classical M.G. Contreras that was hand made in Madrid Spain back in at least the early 70's if not older. Not a scratch anywhere on it.

I miss hearing him play and he would play for hours. Mom still has some of the old reel to reels of him playing. Someday I should pick it back up. Not too sure I can play with my fingers and a pick would ruin the sound of it IMO.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:47 AM
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badad, I learned to play over the internet. check out wholenote.com. there was another site that I used to use that had thousands of songs on it but they got into same legal issues as napster did and shut it down. What kind of songs do you want to play and maybe I can help you out?
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:53 AM
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^^^ What Sal and bwh said. When I get home tonight I'll look thru my beginner material and see what I started out on.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the great responses!! Please keep them coming - I am looking to basically play some classic rock - CSNY, Buffett, Stones, etc.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:11 PM
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I too own a number of guitars including acoustic, acoustic-electric, six- and twelve string models, steel- and nylon-stringed, and my suggestion? Shop for a decent 'used' one at your local pawn shops or on E-Bay. You're likely to save some money, and often times, it'll be a better seasoned, better sounding instrument than a 'new' one made somewhere in China or Korea. It's likely to cost a bit more on average, but try to stay with the mainstream manufacturers like Martin, Taylor, Gibson and Takamine, and stay away from Fender (and the like). Junk!
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:13 PM
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I would strongly recommend looking at the lower end Ovation Guitars, like the Ovation Celebrity models. They are not traditional all wood flat back guitars, they have a wooden topside mounted on a plastic roundback. This decreases the overall cost, but they still sound pretty good and are very good for a beginner. The other nice thing is the necks are almost closer to an electric--narrower, lower action and very, very easy to play. The biggest problem with very low end all wood guitars is they cut corners on tuners and other aspects of construction which result in high action (space between strings and the fretboard) and they are very tough to keep in tune. I have had an Ovation for almost 20 years and it's aged really well, maintains its action and stays in tune. It has been a starter guitar for a lot of my friends. There is no denying that you DO lose tone in terms of the lower end comapred to a nice all wood dreadnaught, but you can always upgrade later if you stick with it....

My two cents.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:29 PM
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I understand you may be on a budget, but, spend a little extra and get a mid range brand. I have seen too many start out with a cheaply built guitar and get discouraged very quickly because it is too hard to play. Remember, the closer the strings are to the fret board, the easier to play. I have a Fender 6 string and love it. Go to Guitar Guru.com. You can download digital sheet music and learn where to put your fingers and how to strum each song without having to know how to read sheet music. I have been playing the guitar since 1963 and play almost every day. Good luck, Doc of the Bay
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:47 PM
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This almost motivates me enough to take lessons...just need to fit them into my day. Time management is needed here!

--JK
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:53 PM
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My next guitar:

Gibson J45 Vine:



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Old 05-02-2007, 02:15 PM
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Just my opinion, but if you don't know what you are looking at, going to a reputable dealer, and telling him you want a decent playing beginner's guitar is the way to go. I've got a Seagull I use around the camp fire (Martin stays in the case). It fingers nice and won't break the bank. I also won't cry it some fool steps on it. Lots of entry level pieces out there, and a few of them play and sound decent. A good guitar shop has an interrest in your sucess. You'll go back to him for Mr Taylor, Gibson, Martin etc...Or you could just go to the Gibson Showcase in Nashville with plastic in hand and just go friggin NUTZ
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: First Guitar

I second the recommendation for the Takamine. You can also find good deals on closeout units at musiciansfriend.com

You will want to spend enough to get a unit with easy action. The bottom end priced units will be hard on your fingers as you will have to press like hell to make the chords. The ovation celebrity line is also a good beginner unit. Whatever you do -- NEVER sell ANY guitar you acquire. I regret letting go of several, among them a 1972 Les Paul custom tobacco sunburst. Nothing special in terms of collectibility, but that particular guitar was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo smooth to play, and simply could not be pounded out of tune.


Big Al
twang
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: First Guitar

parkersal - 5/2/2007 12:53 PM

My next guitar:

Gibson J45 Vine:





Big Al
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:57 PM
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jeff - 5/2/2007 8:13 AM I would strongly recommend looking at the lower end Ovation Guitars, like the Ovation Celebrity models. They are not traditional all wood flat back guitars, they have a wooden topside mounted on a plastic roundback. I have had an Ovation for almost 20 years and it's aged really well, maintains its action and stays in tune.
I've liked the look and sound of some Ovation models over the years, and a few of my all-time favoriteplayers have used Ovations with great success (i.e., Cat Stevens, Eddie Rabbit, etc.), but personally, I've found them a bit awkward to play due to the round back. They tend to slip away from me on my lap unless you're using a strap. But they can indeed sound quite nice. I've got a 1988 pearl white 12-string acoustic-electric 'Legend' that's just awesome! Heavy, but awesome!Personally, I play alot of drop-key (i.e., Hawaiian slack key) tuning, so I prefer steel strings and thesomewhat longer scale (28&quot of a baritone jumbo or comparable, but actually, my all-time favorite guitar is a small bodied Spanish-made classical (i.e., nylon) guitar. Short scale, warm sounding, an absolutely unbelievable guitar at about $1500.00 retail. Its got a beautifully bright (bleached white) Engelmann spruce top with drop-dead gorgeous East Indian Rosewood sides and back, and no electronics, but warmth, tone, and resonance (sustain) to die for!Totally different than steel! When you play this thing in the dark, bra straps start popping everywhere! Bah-haaaa!
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:09 PM
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Thank you all for the responses - I think my first route will be to go to the local music shop and see what they have to offer - I would rather support a small music shop - than over the internet or some wharehouse - I will go in armed and ready like never before thanks to y'all!! Time constraints being what they are - as I stated before - I am planning on learning via DVD and/or the internet - any more websites or DVD collections would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks and keep the suggestions coming - I would say that my budget for a guitar is somewhere in the $500 and under range - so the more spcific with the models the better - and thanks again!!
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:12 PM
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You can probably get into one of the lower end Martins for that budget. Look at the d-15 d-16 and my favorite beginner guitar ever the Martin D2-r
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:15 PM
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Lots of good information from above replys, I have also been playing guitar for about forty years. My advise is, if you know anyone that has been playing for awhile and is willing to go with you to pick out you first guitar it will be a great help. When I bought my first guitar my boss where I worked went with me. He was great on guitar and knew what to look for. It's like mentioned above get a good guitar with a good tone and easy to play. There are lots of good used guitars out there, I have 13 guitars now and the one I use in our band is one I bought used, it's easy on the fingers and sounds the best.
Don't buy a guitar just because it has a name such as Gibson, Martin, Fender or etc. Buy one you can hold and play or let someone else play and let you hear the tone and ease of playing. There are so many things that can be wrong with a guitar new or used that you wont know unless you know what to look for.
I don't claim to be an expert on guitar, far from it. Now my son is a different story, he plays lead guitar in our band. And when I introduce the band members,

I say: This is my son on lead guitar I started teaching him how to play when he was four, and then he started teaching me how to play when he was six. (Oh! to be young again)

What every you decide to get, just hang in there. Lots of good picking to ya!!
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:13 AM
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LuckyLaRue - 5/2/2007 11:15 PM

Lots of good information from above replys, I have also been playing guitar for about forty years. My advise is, if you know anyone that has been playing for awhile and is willing to go with you to pick out you first guitar it will be a great help. When I bought my first guitar my boss where I worked went with me. He was great on guitar and knew what to look for. It's like mentioned above get a good guitar with a good tone and easy to play. There are lots of good used guitars out there, I have 13 guitars now and the one I use in our band is one I bought used, it's easy on the fingers and sounds the best.
Don't buy a guitar just because it has a name such as Gibson, Martin, Fender or etc. Buy one you can hold and play or let someone else play and let you hear the tone and ease of playing. There are so many things that can be wrong with a guitar new or used that you wont know unless you know what to look for.
I don't claim to be an expert on guitar, far from it. Now my son is a different story, he plays lead guitar in our band. And when I introduce the band members,

I say: This is my son on lead guitar I started teaching him how to play when he was four, and then he started teaching me how to play when he was six. (Oh! to be young again)

What every you decide to get, just hang in there. Lots of good picking to ya!!
Good stuff.......

Some specifics: The Martin D15 and D16 will run around $900. Maybe he DX1or the DXM will be in your range. I would also check out the Epiphone Dove (knockoff of the Gibson Dove) for $300ish. The Taylor 110 is $600 but worth a look. The best value in the whole group is the above forementioned Takamine g340.





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