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Old 11-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Picking a new Guitar

I'm getting an acoustic guitar. I'm an inexperienced player. I go to the stores with the goal of picking a guitar and eventually buying it. However, I see people mention on forums, and in stores, experimenting with the guitar (i.e. talking about woods/tone, people play a bunch of different riffs and styles on a guitar that catches their attention in the store).

What should I play when determining whether or not I like the sound? Is there a rule about what to play to determine if it's right for me? Honestly, I'm more concerned about the size of the guitar; I want it to be comfortable on my leg and with arm over the top of it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caps14 View Post
Honestly, I'm more concerned about the size of the guitar; I want it to be comfortable on my leg and with arm over the top of it.
If that's what you are more concerned about then try them on for size when you go into the store.

I'm going to be doing the same soon. I need a new acoustic.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Really depends on your style of playing, what kind of music are you interested in jamming on?

If you're an inexperienced guitarist maybe pick up a nice little 100$ acoustic Yamaha as a beater guitar to learn on.

-as for size I'm pretty sure that the beginner model Yamahas are 3/4 the size of a traditional guitar. So it will be a little easier to handle
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Try stuff on various parts of the guitar. High frets, low frets, chords, picking, finger picking etc
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Figure out what your budget is and look on websites like Musiciansfriend or GuitarCenter (or equivalent) to see what people are saying about the guitars in your price range. That gives you an idea of what guitars to check out and what to expect out of it, then go to the store and give them a try. If you have a friend who plays, bring them along as they can show you some chords or some basic fingerpicking riffs to help you determine if you like the sound of the guitar. If you don't have anyone, someone on the sales staff should be able to help. From there decide which one sounds and feels the best.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In my experience any guitar can play any kind of music, especially with acoustics. Willie Nelson played country music on a Classical guitar. It's all about comfort- that's the best thing you can shoot for. Tonewood is a flat out myth when it comes to electrics. Acoustics, I've heard mixed things but mine has a graphite back and plastic top. I couldn't tell it apart from another acoustic with the same set of strings. You're ALWAYS better off just practicing instead of getting sucked up into all the hype and salesmanship and thinking you need a different guitar for every kind of music. How you play is always more important than what you play it with.

My first acoustic was a Martin mini. I traded it for the one I have now because I thought I needed to upgrade and I wish I hadn't. It was a short scale guitar, which was perfect for me and a nice fat neck. If you're a big person and you've got long, thin fingers a full scale might be better. Classical guitars, with the nylon strings are easier to learn on, too.

Last edited by GuD; 11-12-2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I've been looking online and went to my local music store and found three acoustic guitars I liked. I played them and have pretty much settled on a Seagull guitar.

In reference to someone else's reply, what is a "short scale" guitar?
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've never played a Seagull but I've heard they're a great value.

The scale of a guitar is the distance between the nut and the bridge. This goes for other stringed instruments such as Violins or Basses, too. The bridge is where your strings first pass through when you're stringing an instrument and the nut is that little slotted thing that the strings sit in before being wound in tuners. I'm sure there's a better way to put it but I'm lazy so here's a diagram if you need reference:



Right, so to put it more simply the scale is basically the length of the part of the instrument you play on. Standards are 25.5in (Most Fenders and fender-styled guitars as well as acoustics) and 24.75in (typical on Gibsons and Gretches). My martin mini was 23in. A shorter scale means notes are closer together, which if you have small fingers makes it easier to do complicated chords. Smaller scales for bigger-handed people can be tricky because then they might feel a little cramped. More often than not anyone can adjust to playing any scale of an instrument, I just learned to prefer smaller ones. My friend is 5'2 and she plays a full-scale bass with no problems.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WhateverDude View Post
A shorter scale means notes are closer together, which if you have small fingers makes it easier to do complicated chords. Smaller scales for bigger-handed people can be tricky because then they might feel a little cramped.
Thanks, that might be something else for me to look in to since I do have smaller hands than all my friends. Although, I have been playing a Fender Blacktop Telecaster for a year now with no problems making chords.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a Seagull. I keep it in Spanish tuning for using a glass slide.
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