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  1. #1
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    OT: Any guitar players out there?

    Thinking of getting an acoustic guitar, maybe taking some lessons. How much would a decent guitar be? Not top of the line, but not a hunk of junk either. I just want to learn to play it, as a hobby, maybe get some chicks

    Where would one buy a guitar anyway? Where is a good place to look?

    Any advice on lessons?

  2. #2
    WWYD?
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    First bit of advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Thinking of getting an acoustic guitar, maybe taking some lessons. How much would a decent guitar be? Not top of the line, but not a hunk of junk either. I just want to learn to play it, as a hobby, maybe get some chicks

    Where would one buy a guitar anyway? Where is a good place to look?

    Any advice on lessons?
    Get a Takamine or Yamaha or Epiphone "solid"-top guitar. A non-laminated solid spruce or koa wood top will give the best sound. Then spend as much time as you can practicing, you may not like it at first but after a few months it gets better and better. Good luck. And really work keeping in tune and pitch. I like to play to cds.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb
    Get a Takamine or Yamaha or Epiphone "solid"-top guitar.
    I'm real happy with my Takamine. Guild makes a great sounding acoustic, also.

    As far as lessons, look for someone who offers a structured program and teaches you some basic theory. I took lessons way back in high school and learned to play a lot of riffs and licks but didn't know much about the instrument. I played pretty regularly for 5 years or so. I only played intermittently for about 10 years and just started taking lessons again in August. I am now better than I ever was. The knowledge of relationships between scales and chords and knowing the notes on the fretboard instead of playing from tab makes a huge difference.
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  4. #4
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    Lets start towards the end of your questions.

    Buy your guitar from a music store and inquire there about lessons. You might also find someone advertising in the paper or on campus who gives lessons also.

    For around $200 USD you can pick up a decent instrument. I just bought my son a Washburn for that price. He is a tremendous player but wanted something cheap to knock around while going to university in Montreal. At 15, his band openned for Richie Havens but he is not pursuring music as a career. For the price I quoted, it was a toss up between the Washburn and an Epiphone and I liked the sound of the Washburn better (I've played for 40 years). I played about 20 guitars before deciding but had no trouble eliminating all but the last two.

    Don't be afraid to ask for help at the store. Since you can't play yet, its going to be difficult to tell if you like the sound. Even at this price range, different instruments will have a different sound. Have the sales person play some for you and decide which sounds best to you.

    When you look at new guitars, you should know that music stores usually discount 30% to 35% off list price. They will probably list both prices. Make sure the store includes at least one free setup after you purchase (i.e. they replace the strings which you pay for, tune it up and make any adjustments needed. They will know what to look for but you, as a beginner probably will not.)

    Consider a used guitar. Music stores will carry them.

    Practice. Your fingers will hurt like Hell at first but you have to work your way through it.

    Finally, the last known guitar player to "get some chicks" because he played guitar actually died before I played my first note. Sad but true....

    Have fun and good luck.

  5. #5
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    I agree with all the postings above.

    I've played for 20+ years and can say that some real bargains can be had for used guitars. That is how I got my early 70's era Yamaha 6 and 12 strings. Then I picked up a cheap Charvel for banging around on when traveling. The Charvel can't hold a candle to the either of the Yamahas, but is pretty okay standing on it's own.
    I would go around and listen to several styles of music being played, not the brand of guitar being played and see which ones sound pleasant to your ear. A good place to do this is a high traffic music store. There will be a steady stream of people coming to play/test instruments. What to listen for is kinda tricky to pin down to one or a couple of things. The basics are a full even sound when a fingered cord is played. If the highs, mids or lows sound extraordinarily prominent, it would be wise to move on to the next guitar. Some would say a predominance of certain frequencies can be desirable for some kinds of music or simply personal preference. Those are the people that already know what they are looking for. It's advisable to start with a balanced sound then decide for yourself what other things you would like in your next guitar (and there will be more, just like bikes, they multiply-I have 14).
    Besides, you can always learn to emphazise certain notes in a chord or passage to make those frequencies stand out. Once you learn to do that, you become more versatile as a musician and you aren't dependent on the instrument for your sound. A lot of famous guitarists can always be identified by their playing style no matter what instrument they play.
    Just some stuff to think about.
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  6. #6
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    I also agree with pretty much everything that's been said. You can actually get a great-playing acoustic guitar for not that much money that will grow with you as you become a better player.

    The brands mentioned are a good place to start looking. Takamine in particular makes some good guitars for not much dough. Some additional thoughts...

    - The $500 - $800 price point (as opposed to $200) is more likely to get you a guitar that sounds good and will last.

    - I, for one, was kind of shocked how good the "cheap-o" Martin sounds and feels. It's not real wood, but I think it's a real bargain. I liked it. It was fun to play and sounded lively.

    - Among more affordable guitars, sometimes manufacturers throw in little stylistic touches to make a guitar seem better than it is. Gaudy inlays, odd-shaped pick guards, etc. You don't want to pay for that stuff. Think classic, no frills, solid player's guitar.

    The next couple are more applicable if you already know how to play a bit (I don't know if you do):

    - If you do decide you like a particular model, if at all possible try to play the actual instrument you're going to buy. EVERY guitar is different. Guitars that are the same model, same year, can be surprisingly different.

    - Demo a guitar for as long as possible. Politely ask the sales guy to leave you alone for a while. They have a habit of hovering over you so you can't concentrate.

    - Think about the size of the guitar. Are you a big person with big hands? Is there a banjo player in your band that you have to be heard over? Then maybe a big loud dreadnaught sized guitar is the thing. Or does your right arm feel sort of uncomfortable reaching over a big guitar?

    Oh, and if you wanna get chicks, start with some Oasis, Beatles, and Matchbox 20. Then when you're ready, tackle some Dave Matthews (difficult) and -- if you really wanna knock their socks off -- bust out the John Meyer.

    Happy pickin'!
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  7. #7
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    Ibanez Artstar.....Some of the best sounding acoustic guitars in their price range, also possibly seagul, ovations(if your into them), takamine are fairly reputable as well.....I love my Artstar...

  8. #8
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    you ought to look into borrowing a guitar for a month or two. the odds are good that you know someone who has one sitting around, or plays and has an extra to let you borrow. that way you can familiarize yourself with a few chords, and get a feel for a guitar, itself. it'll give you something to compare to, when looking for something of your own.

    i have two acoustics, both bought through the trading post. $100 for an alvarez rd-20, and i think around $240 or $220 for a seagull s6. both hadn't really been played, and came with gig bags. actually, i started a similiar thread back in january or so. do a search for acoustic, and it should come up.
    .....chicks dig fenders.....

  9. #9
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    I've got a Johnson acustic/electric that I enjoy very much. I've also got a '69 Fender Telecaster Slimline that I plug into various noise making devices when I want to entertain myself.

    I payed for neither of them. The Johnson is borrowed, but I understand it to be ~$200 new. It plays easy and has a nice tone. The Telecaster was left in my apartment when I moved in. Score!

  10. #10
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    "Any guitar players out there?"

    My estimate is that 20% of all people with functioning hands are guitar players. Getting a solid spruce top if you can find one in your budget is well worth it.

  11. #11
    Jet
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    I have a related question....

    I have read in countless interviews with guitar players that they learned to play by 'slowing down albums and figuring out the chords'. Most notably- Eddie VanHalen.
    Now, I have always wanted to be a guitarist-I just wound up playing drums instead. How the heck does one actually learn to do this if they have no idea how to play guitar? I realize that you can get ideas of what finger position should look like from photos. I just can't imagine, being a musician myself, that you can actually 'learn' to play guitar this way.

    BTW- I never did have an actual lesson playing a drum kit. I did, however; march Drum Corps for sveral years. This gave me a basic idea of the relationship between hand/foot coordination.

  12. #12
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    IMO--you have to take lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Jet
    I have a related question....

    I have read in countless interviews with guitar players that they learned to play by 'slowing down albums and figuring out the chords'. Most notably- Eddie VanHalen.
    Now, I have always wanted to be a guitarist-I just wound up playing drums instead. How the heck does one actually learn to do this if they have no idea how to play guitar? I realize that you can get ideas of what finger position should look like from photos. I just can't imagine, being a musician myself, that you can actually 'learn' to play guitar this way.

    BTW- I never did have an actual lesson playing a drum kit. I did, however; march Drum Corps for sveral years. This gave me a basic idea of the relationship between hand/foot coordination.
    I started with the books and standard chords and taught myself the usual folkie songs on guitar and mandolin. What was my "aha!" moment was during a real guitar lesson with a classically trained teacher he taught me chord structure and simple tips on building the "three-finger chord". It is just so much easier to learn from a good teacher-- even limited amount of lessons because they can see what you are doing wrong right away.

    When playing to CDs, I listen for the pitch and build my chord from the root tone and then add thirds, fifths, augments, etc. Most rock music is extremely easy to pick up and jam on if you know the fundamentals of blues and scales.

  13. #13
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb
    Get a Takamine or Yamaha or Epiphone "solid"-top guitar. A non-laminated solid spruce or koa wood top will give the best sound. Then spend as much time as you can practicing, you may not like it at first but after a few months it gets better and better. Good luck. And really work keeping in tune and pitch. I like to play to cds.
    great brands mentioned but I would buy a cheapie first...practice a lot and if you still love playing, then and only then will I purchase a high end guitar...no need to have an expensive guitar collecting dust
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  14. #14
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    Get a friend who plays to go to a store with you, and just play around on a bunch of guitars. Figure out what feels right and sounds right to you, it's all very very subjective, even more than bikes are. Expect to spend maybe $300-500 for a decent entry level acoustic. Don't worry about the brand names, just go by how it sounds and feels in your hands.

  15. #15
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    This thread needs some pics

    here's just a few of my guitars. the epiphone is probably my favorite. once i get back on my feet again i'm gonna pick up a few more epiphones, i love the way they play and feel. i'll post up my hamer after i finish putting the checker board on it.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dansjustchillin
    here's just a few of my guitars. the epiphone is probably my favorite. once i get back on my feet again i'm gonna pick up a few more epiphones, i love the way they play and feel. i'll post up my hamer after i finish putting the checker board on it.

    are you british?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinarider
    are you british?
    actually i'm scottish.
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