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(@lemminkake)
New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Firstly, forgive my ignorance for I am not knowledged at all when it comes to guitars.

I am a super-beginner at playing guitars and I'm considering buying a guitar for myself. I did some research before going shopping and pretty much everywhere I went, people recommended acoustic guitars rather than classic guitars, because it sounds way better even though it would hurt a bit while playing. I also read that solid wood top is better than laminate top and i shouldn't get laminate top because it would crack easily and cause problems later on.

So I went and visited a music store. I told him I wanted an acoustic guitar and he showed me one. He said it was on sale, cost $110 USD. He said it was not laminate top. I felt it and yea it was slightly harder than laminate but it didn't feel like a solid top either... I made him play it a little and I thought it sounded pretty good. I don't know what brand it was (I don't think a "brand" would be this cheap :S) but he did tell me it was made and from China. I am not too sure about this, to be honest I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to shopping for something I have zero knowledge on..:S

I then went to another store and he showed me a solid wood top Yamaha acoustic guitar for $250, and told me it was not possible to find an acoustic guitar with solid wood top for lower than $250.

Then I went to the last store and these guys told me they were professionals and told me to buy a classical guitar because I was a beginner and it would be impossible for a beginner to play an acoustic guitar. They said it would take years of experience to play an acoustic guitar. Then they showed me a classical guitar with solid wood top for $155. So I guess here are my questions:

1. Is it really impossible for a beginner to learn on an acoustic guitar?
2. So what type of guitar should I start with, classical or acoustic?
3. This one is a bit hard, but which one do you think I should buy? I thought the first one was too 'cheap' to be true, maybe there was something wrong with it. I thought the second one was a bit expensive (yes you might think I'm a bit weird but I'm saving up for a PS3 :D), and i thought the third one wasn't that bad but the fact that the guys told me to forget about acoustic guitars pissed me off a little...

4. Ok I know this might be a very dumb question, but do laminate top guitars come varnished? And is there a way to tell the difference between laminate and solid wood? I kinda know the difference, laminate is supposed to be VERY thin almost like paper but I expected solid wood ones to be pretty heavy. All the guitars that were shown to me as solid wood tops were pretty light and thinner than I expected :S

I will VERY appreciate ANY opinions, thanks! And please guys, go easy on me!


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

I'm gonna leave guitar-prices and suggestions to some americans, since I'm from the Uk so my mental price-list is going to be innacurate.

But, as for learning to play guitar....you can learn on a steel string acoustic, a classical guitar, or even electric guitar, it really makes no difference. Nylon strings are easier on the fingers when you're beginning, but many people who get a nylon strung guitar give up out of boredom because it never sounds like the guitar sounds that brought them to the instrument in the first place. I'd suggest you choose the type of guitar based on the music you listen and the sounds you like.......e.g. if you really like the sounds of Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan, etc, on guitar, get a steel string acoustic. If you really lke people who play classical guitars, like Stepan Rak, get a classical guitar.

For what its worth, I learned to play guitar on a steel string acoustic that was so cheap it had actually been rescued off the back of a skip. And the neck was as thick as a tree trunk. Years later, I can quite comfortable play electric, steel string, and nylon string guitars.

someone will be along soon to post about prices. hope this helps.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2823
 

welcome to the world of guitars. First, relax.. it will all be okay. Its great that you are taking the time to shop around but likely this will not be the last guitar you ever buy.

A good guitar really doesnt have a price. Meaning, you can find some great guitars for really cheap and some really bad (feeling) guitars for more money. In general, that is. My first was a cheepy for about 100 bucks. It was an acoustic, solid top, and it plays pretty nicely. The frets are a little sharp around the edges but it did a fantastic job for me.

You can absolutely learn on an electric, acoustic, or classical. That more depends on the style of music you are wanting to play and your budget. The most important thing in the beginning is getting a guitar in your hands so you can start playing.

None of them are going to sound great in your hands at first. It takes some time to build up the skills you need to play guitar. But, if the sales guy at the shop can make it sound nice then in time you can too.

Hope some of this helps and good luck
Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


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(@crkt246)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 596
 

Its not imposable to lean on an acoustic if I can do it you can to. A Classical has a wide neck get a steel string.
Also laminate is'int that bad I have played some solid wood guitars and they felt cheap to me but I've been told that they dont feel as derable as the laminate.


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(@fredramsey)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 128
 

I've had good luck with this:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Squier-by-Fender-SA100-Guitar-Acoustic-Pack-513884-i1175258.gc

Acoustic vs. electric? Well, if you learn to play acoustic, playing an electric will seem like heaven 8)

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.


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(@twsteffen)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 15
 

Hey Lemmin,

As a relative newbie myself here would be my advice. Get a starter kit that includes everything you need. Guitar, spare strings, picks, tuner etc. You can pick one up for about $150 or so. It really isn't a huge deal which one you get imo, because it is only a starter set and meant to see if you will actually like playing. I went with a Yamaha starter, and it has been great so far. I can tell that it is going to be replaced soon, but I'm definitely glad I bought it. Plus it'll serve as the perfect beater guitar in the future. Tons of people buy a guitar play it for a little while and give up, including me, but luckily I picked mine backup. I think it would suck to spend a decent chunk of change on an all wood guitar only to realize you want to play something else, or guitar isn't for you. However, once you realize you are addicted and are going to make it a habit, then you can worry about buying a solid wood guitar. By that time you'll have enough knowledge to actually go and play some songs, and pick the guitar you like the best.

cheers


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 Rune
(@rune)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 69
 

I can't believe a music store employee told you it's impossible to learn on an acoustic guitar. That's just shady! As others have said, learn on an instrument that fits your musical tastes. The good thing about an acoustic is you don't need an amp. The bad thing about an acoustic is, you don't have an amp. ;D

Seriously though, I'm learning on an electric. But my girlfriend bought a 12 string acoustic, so I play around on that too (strung as a 6 string at the moment). Because it's a 12 string it's got a huge neck, but I don't have too hard a time fretting it.

Spend as much as you're comfortable with. If you're not sure you want to stick with it, get a $100 acoustic and try it out for a while. If you have it in your head that you want to stick with it no matter what, go for a $250 or more. You'll want to upgrade later on no matter what if you stick with it ;). We call that GAS around here. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome I think)

You could spend that $250 on an electric guitar & amp combo as well. It's all up to what style of music you like.

The bottom line is, no matter which type of guitar you pick up, it's going to take a lot of time and determination to build your skills. It'd be wise to get what interests you so that sticking with it is that much easier. :)

It's a dry heat!


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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1226
 

Welcome to GN, lemminkake!
I'd advise starting on a steel string acoustic. This '1. Is it really impossible for a beginner to learn on an acoustic guitar?' is complete hooey. GN has 15,000 plus members and I'd bet an overwhelming majority started on some sort of modest acoustic.
In your price range, I'd be inclined to shop for a used guitar. And budget for some sort of padded gig bag or hard case if you do go the acoustic route. You're going to want to take that guitar with you everywhere!
I did a quick search on my local craigslist for 'yamaha acoustic' and got listings for 8 yamaha acoustics under 200 and averaging about 140 (4 with some sort of case) over the past month
:)

Don


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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

IMHO... it's best to learn on an acoustic (whether it's a steel string or a classical nylon string, doesn't matter). My reasoning is this....

If you start on an acoustic you have to really pay attention to what you're doing. You have to strum and fret the strings just right. Hammer ons and pull offs and bends are more difficult on an acoustic, therefore, you become more adept at doing them correctly. It's too easy to "fake it" on an electric (especially in the beginning stages of learning), so it's easier to develop bad habits that will have to be unlearned at some point in time if you want to progress in your playing. It's much easier to learn the correct way than to unlearn the wrong way.

Some people are going to totally disagree with me on this, but, from my own experience and from watching others experiences, it's best to learn on an acoustic. IMHO! :D

Plus, there's the money thing if learning the correct way doesn't appeal to you. All you need with an acoustic guitar are strings and picks (sometimes not even picks). For electric you've got to have an amp, cords, probably a stomp box or two, which all adds up to a pretty good dent in the pocket. Don't get me wrong, though. I play both acoustic and electric, 6 string and 12 string with all the appropriate amps, etc.... Each has it's own, different value to me. (I DID learn on an acoustic, though!)

But, like I said, it's all just In My Humble Opinion!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

I agree with EB above, start with an acoustic steel string.
it will force you to learn to fret cleanly, and will build finger strength more quickly as well
Welcome to GN.

#4491....


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(@henrik)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 45
 

I agree with the two above posts but at the same time it's a lot of joy to be able to pick up the electric guitar and turn on the dist and it just sounds great, even my friends who don't play guitar likes it :) Personally i mostly use my acoustic since I find it more enjoyable and if I had to choose just one guitar it would be my acoustic but it's a matter of choice.

Good luck with your future guitar playing!!


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(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029
 

Yup, what they said.

Here's a link to some Starter/Value Packs at Musician's Friend. I'm not advocating you buy from them, but it'll give you a good idea of what's on the market.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/value-package-acoustic-guitars?N=100001+306252

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

What kind do you WANT? I mean really, really, really want.

Learning the guitar is really hard- no matter what kind you choose. In my (limited) experience, I wouldn't say that any one kind is harder. They're all as hard as hell, imo.

But you can handle how hard it is if you really love it! So my advice goes with Scrybe- get the one that goes with the music that you love, and will eventually play.

That said- get one NOW. You've been looking long enough- go to shops, try them, and get the one that calls you most. And start playing.

As another poster pointed out- it's your first guitar. If you decide you really want to play, it's not gonna be the last. I bought one, just thinking of a way to pass a little time...now have an electric and an acoustic, and am saving to move up to the next one!It's not "one chance only." some people on this board NEVER stop buying guitars.

Rock on,

Ande


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(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 108
 

What kind do you WANT? I mean really, really, really want.

This is my school of thought too. Who are you listening to? Who do you most want to sound like most of the time and what are they playing? That is your start point for type IMO.

Learning the guitar is really hard- no matter what kind you choose. In my (limited) experience, I wouldn't say that any one kind is harder. They're all as hard as hell, imo.

But you can handle how hard it is if you really love it! So my advice goes with Scrybe- get the one that goes with the music that you love, and will eventually play.

That said- get one NOW. You've been looking long enough- go to shops, try them, and get the one that calls you most. And start playing.

Have you played any instrument before? At this point you may not be ready to accept the amount of time necessary to make a pleasing sound to your ears. Many a beginner drops out because they never reach that comfortable self evaluated level. I think that is more the the rite of passage then fingertip pain of the first few weeks. The reason so many "first" guitars are bought and then never played after that first few weeks. No need to drop a bunch of cash until you pass this stage.

I'm one for starter packs for the "first", competetive pressure and a need to protect the brand name have made those guitars better and better. You might shop for the best, bring a player friend to try one out for you but you won't get the sound out of the guitar that he did. Although he may choose a lifetime instrument, the first in a starter pack also has its lifetime uses. One thing I found out by trying the feel first was even though I'm a 6 footer the full sized acoustic guitar felt to big for me so I settled for a thinner acoustic/electric.

As another poster pointed out- it's your first guitar. If you decide you really want to play, it's not gonna be the last. I bought one, just thinking of a way to pass a little time...now have an electric and an acoustic, and am saving to move up to the next one!It's not "one chance only." some people on this board NEVER stop buying guitars.

Rock on,

Ande
I'm trying to convince the wife its time for me to upgrade from my first right now. The tax stimulus package may find its end pocket being a Korean manufactor of guitars. Its a especially tough sell because right now I'm playing bass and not guitar at church.


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

Very true, if you do stick with playin guitar, this wont be the last one you buy.

Actually, I still the first electric guitar I ever owned. I've got better electric's now, but that one I've taken apart and am putting back together. I've got one of my first acoustics still, too. Same thing there. They're not the best guitars in my collection, but through them I'm learning how my better guitars work, without the worry of messing up the more expensive ones by screwing up any repairs/modifications I try to do. IMO, every guitarist should have at least one cheapo guitar, lol.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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