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Old 05-05-2012, 04:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Need help with acoustic guitar?

I'm looking for an acoustic guitar but since this will be my first ever guitar, I'm not entirely sure what to look for. What are some key features I should look for when I'm choosing this guitar?

(p.s I sing and my singing lessons place is connected to a music shop with a bunch of guitars in it, so are there any specific brands I should look for...or...?)

thanks
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The only real concerns that you need to be aware of when purchasing your first guitar is that it stays in tune and has a straight neck. Everything else is irrelevant.

Your first instrument is meant to learn how to play the instrument, it's not meant to last you forever and be your one and only. Besides, once you've learned the basics with a low quality learner instrument you'll be much better prepared to find yourself a quality instrument that will be able to properly accentuate your abilities.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You should get a guitar with really high action (distance from the strings to the fretboard) and some really thick strings. This will train your fingers as well as callous them up nicely.

You want a difficult instrument at first so that any decent guitar you get in the future will be simple to play. At least that's how I see it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Look down the neck, if you see bowing (neck's not straight), keep looking. Also make sure it's tuned, then play a low E, and play the high E at the 12th fret. If you hear any warble in the tuning, then the intonation is off. Also play EVERY note on each string going up the neck to check for fret buzz.

These are just general tips that I follow although one could go into greater depth, but I aint no expert, I just love to play.

I just helped a friend pick out a guitar for their son, although not his first guitar, but his first acoustic. I met up with him at GuitarCenter and played several but found this one to have the best sound, and intonation for the money. Not real sure on the electronics since I didn't plug it in, but Ibanez aint too bad as far as bang for buck goes.

Ibanez IBANEZ V70CETBS-B B STOCK V SER AE NO WARRANTY | GuitarCenter
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piotr_13 View Post
You should get a guitar with really high action (distance from the strings to the fretboard) and some really thick strings. This will train your fingers as well as callous them up nicely.

You want a difficult instrument at first so that any decent guitar you get in the future will be simple to play. At least that's how I see it.
No, thats stupid. All that will achieve is turning someone away from the instrument.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr_13 View Post
You should get a guitar with really high action (distance from the strings to the fretboard) and some really thick strings. This will train your fingers as well as callous them up nicely.

You want a difficult instrument at first so that any decent guitar you get in the future will be simple to play. At least that's how I see it.
No way, that's crazy advice. You want a guitar with low action. How thick the strings are is a personal preference - as you learn to play the guitar, you will know what size strings are best for you.

Any instrument becomes simpler to play only if you practice regularly. The worst thing you can do is make it hard to practice in the first place, which is why a high action guitar is a terrible idea.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No way, that's crazy advice. You want a guitar with low action. How thick the strings are is a personal preference - as you learn to play the guitar, you will know what size strings are best for you.

Any instrument becomes simpler to play only if you practice regularly. The worst thing you can do is make it hard to practice in the first place, which is why a high action guitar is a terrible idea.

Well, I rescind my comment, then. I started on a crappy guitar with god-awful action and thick strings. What works for me may not work for others. I was just thinking in terms of getting that early build of your finger muscles on a cheapy guitar so you could rock out on an expensive one.

Maybe I'm just crazy then
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No, thats stupid. All that will achieve is turning someone away from the instrument.
It didn't turn me away from it. If anything, it made me want to play more. Maybe I just dig the fact that pain means progress.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It didn't turn me away from it. If anything, it made me want to play more. Maybe I just dig the fact that pain means progress.
Good for you. Its still stupid advice.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It didn't turn me away from it. If anything, it made me want to play more. Maybe I just dig the fact that pain means progress.
Except that pain could also mean your wrists are seizing up and you're causing yourself all sorts of carpal tunnel problems. If you think that learning how to manhandle the strings on a super high action guitar is going to make you somehow more proficient on a properly setup low action guitar, you're setting yourself up for a harsh surprise.

It's one thing to challenge yourself by trying to learn a technically demanding piece right off the bat as your first tune (like Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix). It's a whole other thing to try learning to play on, what is essentially, a broken instrument.

The ONLY time you should be considering a really high action guitar is if you want to be all like Ben Harper and playing slide guitar exclusively. Otherwise you're just developing a bunch of bad habits to compensate for a bad instrument.

Again - the only concerns for a beginner guitar are - it stays in tune and it has a straight neck.
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