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Buy Another Guitar?

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Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I got a cheap acoustic 6 string for Christmas and have been following Hal Leonard's Guitar Method since. I can play a few chords (not well) and I find I get the most enjoyment from playing the melodies than playing chords and strumming, so I was thinking that perhaps I might want to try classical guitar. I've done some research and it seems that I can find a fairly decent classical with a solid cedar top for $350 or so. Now this might not seem like a lot of money to some of you, but to me, it's a significant investment.

I'm trying to decide if it is silly at this early stage in my playing to buy another guitar or if I should just keep plugging along with the one I've got and see how that goes. I really am enjoying it, but find I'm more and more curious about the nylon strings and finger picking with a classical model.

I decided to learn for my own artistic expression and don't really have any lofty goals of playing in front of an audience or anything.

I realize it's my decision, but I was wondering if some of you might have some words of wisdom on this or share how you started and what made you decide what type of guitar you wanted to play.

Thanks, in advance, for sharing.

aka Carolyn

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down."
~Virgil Thomson

Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 71

Well personally I think you should get it.

Depends what motivates you. I got a decent electric guitar a few times because I spent alot on it I've picked it up when otherwise I probably wouldn't have done.

I don't see it ever happening but if I gave up I could sell it and get at least half what I payed for it. So in your case the maximum it would probably cost you is 175 rather than 350 if you eventually decide to quit.

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1206

I've been told you should get the best guitar you can afford. Reason for that is that poor quality guitars can make a beginning player frustrated. A better intrument will sound better, hold its tune, and be easier to play.

You could get a decent classical guitar for $350 that will sound good, so I say go for it!

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"

Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 336

Whatever makes you want to play more instead of less.

I might suggest, if you have not done so already, that you go to a music store or several stores and spend sometime playing a classical, and while you are there, some other acoustics too... you might be surprised what you end up with.

E doesn't = MC2, E = Fb

Music "Theory"? "It's not just a theory, it's the way it is!"

Jonny T.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

I am going to break with popular opinion and say hold off a bit.
Learn at least a few good fingerpicking tunes (not neccesarily the whole song but enough to get a feel)
Then go to a music store and try out BOTH classical and quality steel string guitars.
You may find that you like playing fingerstyle songs better on the steel string.

Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 126

Before shelling out the bucks for the classical, you might consider investing in a few classical guitar lessons. Just see if it's really what you want you want to learn.

"My ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult, and he's not allowed to talk to me." --Dar Williams

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 339

Olive has a very good point. On the topic of a second gutar, a quality product will play better. I can tell the difference between both of mine and most noteably between the cheep Squire I got my 9 yr old over my Ibanez let along my Carvin.

Take some advice from an old impulsive buyer. Try before you buy, think things through with where you want to go, get the best you can afford. As mentioned you can always get 50% back and better if you work on consignment through a local guitar dealer. Get something you will enjoy playing above all. Best of luck!

John M

Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 16

I might wait a bit. It is hard to pick a good guitar for yourself before you have any technique built up. I only say this because I own a $400 classical :? and a $700 steel-string :? , both of wich I might not purchase if I could do it over again. Basicly I had some cash and jumped the gun :oops: twice. That's me though. Whatever you do, keep playing and enjoying the learning process :)

Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 31

I like the advice to play a little more and try out some finger picking. You can get a classical style sound on your steel string along with alot of other styles. I had been playing a few months a came across a classical guitar at a condo I stayed at. I figured, "this'll be fun"....... :shock: as I realised the guitar's flat fret board was enough different that it was much harder to play than I thought it would be.

I may still get a classical guitar down the road but not in a big rush as a lot can be done on my steel string acoustic (I'm learning a Paganinni piece for technical practice now).

You may find that trading in your guitar and throwing in those extra bucks will get you a really good sounding/playing guitar that will be very versatile for you.

Good luck.


Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 418

I would say learn to play one guitar reasonably before you buy another. Especially at such an early stage. You could set yourself some goals and when you reach them, reward yourself with the new guitar.
I learnt to play on a falling-apart acoustic which was ridiculously hard to play and was permanently out of tune. I must have sounded like crap. I didn't realise it at the time, but learning on that made me a much better player in the long run. No-one ever said guitar was easy. So don't "give up" on playing those chords just because you still find them hard after two months.

Also as another point I would only recommend a classical guitar to someone who is genuinely interested in classical or 'serious' (i.e. proper musical notation & composers with fancy European names) music. When you try to use one for mainstream music it just sounds wrong.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

If you're just starting out, and on a budget, you don't really need a 'good' guitar - you need a playable one.

There's a difference in sound between my guitars and those of my students, sure. With a few exceptions at each end, my students play budget guitars, in the $150-300 range. Of those who use classical guitars in that range, one is borderline (and he's pushing - maybe breaking - the low end of that price range); the others have instruments that will suit them for a few years.

Solid tops give you better tone than laminated ones, all other things being equal. As a beginner, you've got far more serious things affecting your tone - finger placement, hand position, picking motion... and playing classical is going to add a few more as you get into various finger attacks. So the solid top will give you a better sound if a skilled guitarist plays it; you probably won't notice the difference very much if a beginner plays it.

If you think your finances will not be in any better position two to five years from now, stretch now and get the one you'll be ready for then. If not, save the money, and get one that's playable but less expensively constructed.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL