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Bought my 1st guitar today - was I suckered into buying...

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andyd1
(@andyd1)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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all this stuff?

humidifier - i ask because my nephew has my father's old acoustic guitar that has to be older than me (30+ years) and it seems fine to me

Extra strings - one pack I can understand but what are the chances that I'll need 2 boxes of replacements? I don't think I need both.

I would need stuff to clean the strings though right?


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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A humidifier can be helpful with a solid top guitar under very dry conditions. It has to be used properly. I quit using them several years ago and have had no problems. Many people insist they're essential, but I think they've been overdone. It's possible to harm a guitar with overhumdification as well as with drying.

Extra strings are great. You'll use them eventually. You need to learn how to change your own. A clean cloth is the main thing you need for cleaning strings. I rub mine down with olive oil when they're new and wipe it back off. I think it makes them last longer. There are commercial products that do much the same thing. Most people don't use anything on their strings.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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andyd1
(@andyd1)
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Thanks for the comments Ricochet! I actually didn't get a solid top humidifier. At first the guy selling the guitar to me said it's a good idea to get a humidifier if I'm buying a solid top guitar but then I thought something was fishy when he still said I should get it afterward. I may just return that an the extra box of strings. I don't mind having one but two seemed a bit much

Hope you don't mind that I change the subject but seeing that solid top was mentioned :)

I went with Yamaha I saw on Guitar Center that got pretty good user reviews and everyone mentioned that it was great for a starter guitar. The guy was trying to convince me to go with a solid top guitar and said I would be better off with one even if I'm a beginner. Do you think that's the case? I don't mind if I have to spend another $100 (I spent $150 on a Yamaha F335) to get something that I can learn a little easier on but I don't want to go by what the guy was saying since it sounded like he was just trying to up sell me on everything


   
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JoeHempel
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Welcome!

For the most part I found that the big box stores (Guitar Center, Sam Ash) all work only on commission so I would expect they up sell me. Yamaha makes good products even at the beginner level in my opinion so you should be good with what you have.

On the other hand, if you can find a sales guy in there that you think is good (It took a bit, but I found one at Sam Ash) they will generally steer you in the right direction, I had my guy tell me that a cheaper guitar was better than what I was looking at for what I would be using it for.

Oh, and keep the extra box of strings don't return them, you'll use them. If you practice a bit every day you'll change them like every 3 months.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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Ricochet
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If your guitar's decently playable, don't get in a rush to upgrade it. "Tone's in the fingers" is a popular saying that's largely true. You'll get a lot better sounding as you learn what you're doing. When you're ready for a "better" guitar, you'll have a better idea of what music you like, what sort of gear works well for it, and WHY you like one guitar more than another for what you want to do. Then, get whatever you want. But an inexpensive guitar can take you a long way, as long as it doesn't have serious playability flaws like a too-high action. Yamahas are good guitars, and I don't think you'll ever want to get rid of that one. You may want to add others eventually.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Moresco
(@moresco)
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Well I went without a humidifier in my acoustic, and I'd say that was probably a mistake on my part. It seems creakier than it ever was in the past, and it just generally seems dry and unhappy. It doesn't sound bad mind you, but the creaking can be heard on the recordings when it's just the guitar - alas, I do many takes over because of sudden pops and clicks from the guitar.

Hmm, as for the extra strings, you'll always need strings. But I did know a guy who owned a guitar for five years and never changed his strings once. Hopefully you won't be that guy, obviously he didn't play it much. If I could afford it, I'd get a set of new strings everyday, but I play my guitar for 5-8 hours a day usually.

-Brent
theRedPress


   
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Ricochet
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Gibson used to have (may still) a page on their site about humidity. Basically said to add humidity when the top sank and the action height went down, and don't overhumidify it lest the top bulge out and raise the action too high.

A guy here bought a new high end Taylor and kept the humidifier in it year round. After a few months he brought it back with the finish peeling and glue joints separating. A lot harder to fix than any crack from drying.

If you think the guitar's dried out, put the humidifier in for a while and see if it helps.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
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Andy, congrats on that new guitar and welcome to GN!

No new info. Just a comment. I use a cloth for cleaning the strings and the neck after I play the guitar. I bought a special cloth but you can use a normal one but it doesn't leave... sorry, I don't know the exact word, "ball of fluff"? I mean part of the cloth in the strings or other parts of your guitar.

And send us some pictures!


   
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clideguitar
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A guy here bought a new high end Taylor and kept the humidifier in it year round. After a few months he brought it back with the finish peeling and glue joints separating. A lot harder to fix than any crack from drying.

I keep hearing conflicting opinions about humidifiers? When I bought my Taylor, they had a booklet all about it, so, It seemed important.

Except maybe for spring, I use the humidifier year round (in my high end Taylor!). I forget the name brand but it looks like a hose with holes in it. Usually, the humidity is around 25 to 30% in winter and summer. (The humidity should be 40 to 50% for the guitar).

It seems to work fine? I'll get the guitar out of the case and it's almost in perfect tune as when I put it in. I only re-humidify about every 2 weeks (or, when the humidifier is dry {stiff}).

So, what's your opinion? Drop the humidifier and leave it in a hardshell case as much as possible? I live on the east coast near Philadelphia. Bob Jessie


   
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TwistedLefty
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Guitars are comfortable at the same levels of humidity we are (40-50%)

if you are feeling your skin is dry then chances are your guitar feels the same. less so if kept in a well sealed case.
i use the wick type ones in the winter when the furnace is constantly drying the air out, never had a problem yet. moderation and attention to your situation are the key.

i bought a couple of battery operated humidity monitors at wally world for around 7$ each and when i see the humidity in the house drop below 35%, i turn up the house humidifier and wet the wicks.

#4491....


   
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bloos66
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No new info. Just a comment. I use a cloth for cleaning the strings and the neck after I play the guitar. I bought a special cloth but you can use a normal one but it doesn't leave... sorry, I don't know the exact word, "ball of fluff"? I mean part of the cloth in the strings or other parts of your guitar.

lol ... I did the same, bought a special cloth to clean the strings, and how I have fluff everywhere on the strings. Should have stuck with the tea towel!


   
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mmoncur
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It seems like some people have horror stories about humidity destroying guitars, while others say it doesn't really seem to matter at all. My theory is that it depends greatly on where you live.

Here in Utah the humidity's 20% outside in the summer, more like 60% inside when we're running the swamp cooler. In the winter it's about 30% outside and as low as 15% inside, because central heating dries the air.

Needless to say I'm a bit obsessive about humidifying my solid-top acoustic, although I leave my electric guitars out and they don't seem to mind too much.

If you live in southern CA you can probably ignore all humidity advice, and if you live in the deep south you probably need to deal with the opposite problem - too much humidity, mold, etc.


   
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andyd1
(@andyd1)
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Thanks for all the comments guys! Sorry for the late reply but I actually have been pretty busy at work.

Looks like the humidifier issue on whether to use is pretty much split. I'm still debating on this one but the thing didn't cost much so I may just keep. I'll just be extra careful when I use it.

And I'll take the advice on keeping the extra strings :)

Also, thanks for the comments on the guitar. I was about to go tomorrow to exchange for a something a little more expensive and with a solid top but you guys really think I should stick with what I have? I did my tax returns and I'm getting a nice enough return that I feel like I can spend a little more than intending. I also feel like there's something wrong if I spent a little more on accessories than I did on my guitar.

And Nuno, here is a pic of my guitar :) I'm digging the black (and if I get something else it'll probably black still)


   
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JoeHempel
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You guitar looks great! I also love the black, my Ibanez classical/electric is black.

Like you I'm still debating on using humidifiers, I've got 2 of the little $15 spray water on the sponge one for my two guitars.

You should maybe buy a method book for learning if you don't want to take lessons, or just save your tax return and buy a stand or something like that, maybe have a good setup done on it at your guitar shop.

Of course here is also a great option to learn guitar, and it's free!! :D

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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DennisF6
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I've only played a Yamaha F335 for a few minutes at a Guitar Center but it seems like a very decent guitar to me. I've also read many good comments on it.

It does have a laminate top. The negative on laminates is that the sound, all other things equal, will not be quite as good as a solid top. Although as a beginner I don't think the difference will be very noticeable for a long time. If you wait until you have more experience to upgrade to a better guitar, you will have a much better idea what is the best fit for you than you do now.

The positive on laminates, besides a lower cost, is that they are a little more rugged. So, I don't think you'll really need a humidifier for this guitar. (I am certainly not an expert on this, so GuitarNoise experts please correct me if I am wrong!)

So, is this advice too late? Did you already upgrade? :)

I want to play guitar very badly -
and I do!


   
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