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JanVigne last won the day on October 28

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About JanVigne

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  1. Which exam board?

    I'm only familiar with the British exams by way of reading a few guitar oriented magazines published in your country. I would think you could get a better idea of which organization is the best suited to your needs by going online and looking at their lessons and, if any are supplied, their sample exam questions. Other than that, for the hobbyist player, I doubt there is enough difference between the three groups to make any real difference in your skills. My understanding is the exams are simply quality control issues related to getting what you paid for from any organization claiming to be a school.
  2. HELP

    All three models are very good "student level" guitars. Though the Yamaha FG830 is simply a dressed up version of their FG800 and there will be no difference in the sound quality or playability of the lower priced Yamaha. Yamaha has largely dominated the student level guitar market for several decades due to the generally high quality of their product for the dollar spent and the amount of guitar you get for your money. The previous generation Yamaha, the FG700 sold in vast quantities, as have all of the FG's over the years. Since Yamaha FG series guitars tend to occupy the "student level" they are seldom a last guitar purchase. This means you can buy a pre-owned FG series guitar for about 1/2 or less the price of the current models. And there are plenty to choose from on any large instrument retailer's site. As a student, you will not recognize any significant difference between a new and a pre-owned Yamaha FG since the formula for keeping this guitar in the $200 street price market was refined long ago and has had little variation over the years. Buying used may get you a guitar with a solid spruce top that has had some time to break in which will provide slightly better sound quality and you might even find someone selling a pre-owned FG with a case thrown in. You won't go wrong with a Yamaha FG but you may be spending money you don't need to spend to buy a new guitar. I have found Fender to be a highly competitive line against Yamaha in the last few years. They have stepped up their production methods and the quality control of their models built overseas. Their customer support is US based and more accessible than Yamaha's. I would say Fender today is easily the equal to the Yamaha in quality - if not slightly superior - and should be considered a very safe choice for a student. The Fender "house sound" is more neutral IMO than the "brighter" and slightly cool sounding Yamaha. It isn't as loud as the FG800 but I have yet to find anything in the $200 price range that beats the Yamaha in volume alone. Both necks are described in rather similar terms and both will suit a student well though my personal preference is for the Fender neck profile. I would strongly recommend the Fender to a student. The Ibanez is another contender though, like Fender, they are better known for their electric guitars. The AW54 will stand out due to its solid mahogany top vs the more typical spruce on the Yamaha and the Fender. The Ibanez is a good value guitar for a student though it too will not be your only acoustic if you decide to pursue the guitar beyond the student level. Both the Ibanez and the Fender should be available as a pre-owned guitar though they are probably not available in the quantities of the Yamaha. You might also want to consider Alavarez, Gretsch and the guitars coming from the Godin factories which include Simon and Patrick, Art and Lutherie and Seagull. These lines are most typically sold through smaller local retailers vs the big box sellers of Yamaha, Fender and Ibanez. You should find more personal service and better answers to any questions at your local music store though they will not be able to show as many guitars as the less personal big box. Keep in mind, due to their point of origin and the manufacturer's desire to fill many price points, the vast majority of student level guitars in a big box will be, like the FG830 vs the FG800, simply more highly decorated variations on the same guitar. Smaller local retailers will select representative models they feel best suit their clientele and will typically order any guitar they don't stock from any of their lines. Local retailers will try to meet the big box prices though you should cut them some slack IMO if they've provided higher levels of service. After the sale assistance is to be considered in the selling price and the big boxes remain big boxes after you've made your purchase. Good and bad sales staff exist at both large and small retailers though and you should take any individual sales person as a one on one relationship. Alvarez is a line I would highly recommend to any prospective buyer as their sound and their build quality has always been top notch for their cost. Gretsch is IMO building some very high value guitars in this price range. Check out their parlor and "00" sized guitars. Smaller in over all size, these models are similar to guitars from 100 years ago and IMO more comfortable to play than the ubiquitous dreadnaught size such as the Yamaha. Smaller bodied guitars are better suited to playing while seated than is a dreadnaught and many smaller bodied guitars will also have a shorter "scale length" which will be slightly more comfortable for the student due to the inherently lower string tension of the short scale length. You will give up some volume with the smaller body and a bit of thump but the sound of many parlors and 00's will be more midrange focused with less boom and more single note tones. Smaller bodies also exist in "travel size" guitars from Martin and Taylor. Do not consider a smaller body guitar to be a toy, they are high quality musical instruments when they come from a high quality manufacturer who is putting their name on a product they intend to stand behind. Godin is a North American company and, therefore, stands out as being the only guitar lines in this price range not built either in Asia or Mexico. Godin is a rather big company as far as North American guitar manufacturers go and the basic quality of their guitars is seen in each line they represent. The differences between, say, a Simon and Patrick and a Seagull are less numerous than are the similarities. Seagull, built either in the NorthWestern portions of the US or in Canada has become a very well known and well liked line of guitars and, as with the Yamahas, there are a good many Seagulls on the pre-owned market. Like the Ibanez, the Seagull has a less typical cedar top vs the spruce found on most student level guitars in this price range. So expect a different, though no less high quality, sound from the Godin guitars. Buy a digital tuner with your new guitar and get in the habit of checking the guitar's tuning every time you pick up the guitar and before you hit the first note.
  3. Need to Guide Learning Basic guitar

    My first response would be, find a good instructor and do not become a self taught student who lacks the knowledge to know what to learn next. Ignore the people who claim to have known how to play until an instructor messed them up. Structured learning, first laying a solid foundation and then building up from that foundation, works and most self taught students lack that basic structural foundation. Most self taught students do not know what a foundation in guitar is. Searching around rather than building upon wastes resources and time. A successful lesson plan is built upon giving the student more complex data, and more difficult material, after the student has shown proficiency with simpler material at every point along the path. Stopping and hitting pause for a while to make sure the student truly grasps a concept or a technique is common with this sort of plan. At that point, when the instructor is certain the student has the material under their belt, a good plan will provide higher levels of information which build upon what has been taught, and hopefully learned, in previous lessons. Most self taught students don't know what they don't know or what they really should know and they waste too much time chasing down things that are not structured in a lesson plan sense of not getting over your skis. A well structured lesson plan which looks forward and down the road keeps the student motivated and learning at the most successful rate for that student. A good to excellent instructor develops a relationship with the student and locates the keys to constantly motivating the student through the more frustrating passages of learning where the student's progress naturally slows with more difficult and more complex material. All the rest simply wastes valuable time. That said, finding a really good instructor is about as easy as finding a four leaf clover in the desert at midnight. Yet, students need and should have a more experienced instructor to watch them play and make corrections to the basics which many students on their own will not get right. If you learn your mechanics incorrectly, then you will develop habits which are more difficult to correct. If you are not put in the position where you are expected to produce or waste money, you will learn just what sort of student of guitar you will be. If you hated structured learning in school, what makes you think you can constantly motivate yourself to do the work required to really learn how to play an instrument? Saying you "play by ear" is a viable plan for only a very small % of students. More often than not it simply means you are not willing to put in the time and effort to buckle down and learn. The routine of an instructor seeing and hearing you play and then commenting on your performance is very important to newbies IMO. And, despite all that, I disagree with how most guitar instructors, face to face or on line, go about the basics of teaching someone how enjoy learning and playing the guitar. The tutorials on this site are quite informative. They may not tweak your whistle as every individual can require a certain type of instructor to talk to them in the specific words that mean the most to each individual student. But what you will find here is as good and as complete as any other on line guitar instruction I have come across and far better than most. No one is trying to be the "cool teacher" here who never really teaches, you get what you need in these lessons. No one is teaching in dribs and drabs that never really go anywhere here. You will, if you pay attention and do the hard work required, learn something here. If you want to try another on line instructor, I would suggest justinguitar.com Take the course from the beginning to the end and do not jump around or chase the next bright, shiny thing.
  4. Melodies & Chords

    Just read my first response to the op and to this, "The mechanics of how to play melodies along with chords varies with how you strum the strings of your guitar. If you use a pick, you might play melody notes by not hitting certain strings, muting strings with your finger(s) or by dropping an unused fretting hand finger onto a string used in the chord shape", I would add, you may also play melody notes with chords by playing chord inversions. That would typically mean playing up the neck though, so not a technique for newbies in most cases.
  5. Hi!

    Welcome, in addition to extra light gauge strings, many manufacturers have begun making strings more flexible. Core materials are designed to be less cheese grater like and more student friendly.
  6. My Name is Chad Garber

    Welcome. What sort of lessons are you planning?
  7. Hello everyone

    Questions we don't mind. It's the answers that bother us. Welcome.
  8. beautiful strap

    While I have purchased other straps over the years, I still have the original strap I put on my guitar back in 1968. Is there a market for "vintage guitar straps"? I can't imagine there's not. People will collect "vintage" bricks as far as I can see.
  9. Halifax, Nova Scotia

  10. Hi

    Welcome. What's your best tip you can share after four weeks playing guitar?
  11. Hello

  12. Help me figure out the chords of this song

    https://www.justinguitar.com/en/ET-000-EarTraining.php https://www.justinguitar.com/en/TR-000-Transcribing.php
  13. I got a stray but

    How are you tuning your guitar? What reference devices (electronic tuner, piano, another guitar, etc) are you using to check your tuning?
  14. Hal Leonard Guitar method

    I was given the Hal Leonard books as a lesson plan back in the late '60's. I had been through about 2/3 of the first Mel Bay book with another instructor prior to making the change to an instructor who was a friend of my father. I spent the first year or so of Leonard learning most of what I had been taught in the Bay books in about four months. If you need to progress slowly on the guitar, Leonard will suit your needs. If you grasp the basic concepts of playing guitar (some players simply "get" the guitar faster than others), Bay will move you further, faster and, IMO, with more complete knowledge of why you are playing the next exercise and song. That said, I do believe Mel Bay is one reason so many student players gave up their guitar after a few lessons. On the other hand, Mel Bay is also responsbile for some of the finest guitarists of the last 60 years. Both lesson plans are decades old and have really only been updated with new songs and a fresh look. Teaching each individual student how to play the guitar has changed a bit since the '50's, or so I would like to think. I honestly wouldn't tackle either course as a self teaching method. Both were designed for use by an instructor who can sit beside a student and observe just what the student has learned and how they are taking in information. The instructor's job with either plan is to guide the student by way of the instructor's knowledge and experience. Taking the lessons on your own, and lacking that feedback from a more experienced player, means you will miss a good 1/3 of what should be taught that is not on the page.
  15. Hi, I need advice!

    You're doing quite well, keep at this.