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Oldbutnew

first guitar

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This is my first post so go easy on me. After reading some books and browsing through your excellent forums I finally visited two guitar shops today to get the feel of some acoustic guitars. I still have a couple more shops to visit in other towns but I would very much appreciate your views on three guitars I have seen that are in my price range of up to £150.

The Washburn D10-S £100

The Fender CD140 S £155

The Yamaha F370 £120

All these guitars have solid spruce tops which I have read is preferred to laminated, though I know at this price range some compromise must be made somewhere. At the moment I am relying on the shop staff to demonstrate the guitars sound to me as I cannot play yet myself.I must say that I thought the Fender and Yamaha had a richer tone than the Washburn, but I would love your views please.

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Personal choice, anything but the Fender. They make great electrics, but the acoustics seem to lack something. The D10 is a nice guitar, I have two friends playing them, and the Yamaha would probably last you a life time.

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G'day Oldbutnew, Welcome to the forum.

Here's one man's thoughts for you to consider.

The short answer to your question is "It doesn't matter."

The important factor when choosing a guitar is that you like the feel of it. For the most part a solid top will sound different to a laminated because the top vibrates more freely. It can be likened to the presence or loudness button on your stereo. (I wonder if those buttons still exist.)

But having a guitar that sounds like an angel's voice isn't going to help you learn if the guitar doesn't fit your body. Continue your research by holding as many guitars as you possibly can. After a while you'll notice there are differences in weight and shape, size and neck. The thickness of the body also varies. These differences are far more important to a beginner than small variations in tone.

Are you sure that you don't want a nylon string guitar?

Don't worry about the brand, and don't believe that the extra dollars gets you something which will make learning easier. Marketing doesn't work like that.

If you buy from a reputable music shop you should get something reasonable. The three brands that you mention are well known and shouldn't give you any problems.

Keep in touch.

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Thanks for your very helpful replies I am visiting another shop today and may report back later.

I understand what you are saying about price but it is hard not to think if you pay a bit more it should be made better or better components are used. I suppose though in this price range the margins will be small.

Please keep your replies coming in, it is helpful and appreciated.

Sorry forgot to sign out last time. Dave.

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I'd like the Yamaha as I have one and they're reliable and mine sounds ok to me. The Washburns have some good reviews. When you visit the shop today Dave, have a mess around with all the ones there in your price range, it's good to get the staff to play for you but it's also good to sit down yourself and have a strum and a pick just to get a feel for it, you don't need to be able to play just strum down and pluck a few. I agree with Karcey, sort of go for the one that talks to you and feels comfortable in your hands. Best of luck with your shopping trip.

Cheers

Chris

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I agree, the feel has got to be there. If it is, I check the neck for its flatness. (No bow or warpness) I also check the frets to see that they don't extend the width of the neck. I also see about the height of the strings. If it seems ok ,then I have the salesman play it and then it is my turn. If it has that magic, I ... :smilinguitar:

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I am a firm Yamaha convert as far as quality for price goes but I have to agree with karcey that feel has a lot to do with what a person will like . the size of your fingers , the action along with the overall size of the guitar in relation to your body size. all of this will determine how much you may practice and it takes practice to get better (thats why I'm not very good) I always recommend spanish guitars Or nylon strings to a beginner if I had done that 40 yrs ago I might be able to play today.

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a slight concave bow is is necessary to prevent string buzz if this i but the closer the strings are to the fretboaed the easier it is to press the stings and get a clear tone .since thius is your first it would not be a bad idea to take a friend that plays if you can to check out the action plus you get to hear how it sounds from an audiences perspective . it can be vastly different .

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Hi again to you all and thanks for your words of wisdom and advice.

I am sorry to say I feel that I let you all down in some respects, although I am very happy with my purchase, I may have gone for value for money at the expense of quality.

After visiting six different shops over as many days and trying various makes and sizes I have now purchased a Westfield JBEA35 which I felt comfortable with and loved its sound. It also has features that I hope to benefit from in the future.[if I ever get that good].

I know it would not be the choice of most of you and I did try a wider neck nylon string Spanish guitar, but it is not usually used to play the type of music I want to eventually play, which means I would have to change to a steel stringed at some point and train my fingers to cope with the strings closer together.

My thoughts while in the shops remind me of a quote I read recently

"The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot. And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either. So what I'm left with is the memory of having learned something very wise that I can't quite remember." -- George Carlin

One thing I found interesting was that most salesmen in the shops I visited were just that, friendly but still salesmen, with the exception of one shop I found that I must tell you about.

It was situated on the outskirts of a town down a side street that was made up of very old small terraced houses. One end house had been converted into a small shop many years earlier; it had seen better days and was showing signs of neglect. I nearly decided not to enter it looked like it had shut down years ago.

What this shop lacked in appearance was more than made up for by the owner who reminded me a little of you Karcey, in his looks and his philosophy. After watching me trying to extract a cord out of the guitar I had chosen he explained that I may be better off with a wider neck Spanish guitar with nylon strings due to my 61 year old fingers that have spent a lifetime working in engineering assembly work. He explained it would be a lot cheaper for me especially if things did not work out, but if I wanted another more expensive one he would of course provide it. This guy provides the local school with guitars and gives lessons too.

It was quite an experience but now the hard part begins, after just a week of strumming I think it will be a mixture of pleasure and pain. [now, where is that bottle of surgical spirits]

Thanks to you all again and I may start a new topic for some tips on learning to play. I will try to pay attention next time, but remember “there is no fool like an old fool”.

Dave

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Welcome to the "Old Fools Club". I've been a member for as long as I can remember.

Your feedback is good reading. In my opinion you've just given yourself the best possible chance of success by purchasing your own choice of guitar, rather than being swayed by what other superstars are playing.

The bad news, of course, is that this is only the first, and sometime soon you'll feel the need to own a second, and then a third and so on.

If you intend not to get lessons, then visit here often. There's heaps of lesson material here and so many members who can answer your questions to help you along the way.

Keep in touch.

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karcey pretty much sums it up you have a guitar that you chose and you are happy with . if you stay with it you will probably do like some of the rest of us and start looking for your personal holy grail of guitars .and price is not always a factor .I have a cousin with a $2500 Taylor a very nice guitar and I am not sure that I would trade my $100 Yamaha I picked up in a pawn shop, but every time I pass a guitar I have to try it out .when my daughter asked ,a few days ago,just how many more guitars I needed .I replied just one more.

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I'm not an expert, but I did recently just buy my first guitar and am exceptionally happy with my purchase.

I did a ton of research before purchasing, and tried just about every guitar in Houston, even the super duper expensive ones. I had found some that sounded "okay" to me, but I hadn't fallen in love with any of them and was beginning to wonder if what people were telling me, that I didn't have to be in love with it, was right... it's not right! As soon as I picked up the guitar I ended up buying, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for and I knew why the others just didn't catch me like it did. Out of almost every guitar in Houston, it was a Taylor GS Mini (a new model) that stole my uh, ears.

Even compared to the $2000 Martins (and Taylors) I still liked this one more. One thing I learned on that final day of shopping is that each guitar really will have a different sound, even of the same model and wood style/type. So you could find a guitar for $150 and it be the EXACT sound you're looking for, but the same model but different specific guitar will sound like a tissue box with rubber bands.

For me the sure-sign was that I actually started playing it as soon as I picked it up. Not just doing chords but actually PLAYING it. Also, despite being a pretty efficient online buyer, buying a guitar online, or even trying to look at different models, is sort of pointless. The sound you will find on youtube videos and such will not be an accurate display of what you hear when you pick the guitar up.

Good luck!

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Hello from one of the member's who unfortunately doesn't get to post as much as I would like to.

I had hoped to retire recently, but they have talked me into staying just a year, or 2 or 3 more...hmmm.

I haven't played consistently for over 35yrs, but approximately a year ago, I purchased a second-hand

guitar. As I've gotta older, and hopefully wiser (that's debatable if you ask my wife), I've changed

from a Fender Strat and picked up an Ibanez Artcore hollowbody. I was impressed with the mellowness of

its sound and the variety of tones I could play.

I've gotten together with some friends recently, mostly to jam, play leisurely, for the total

enjoyment of the music. Somehow, my tastes have changed!! No longer the heavy metal zings of metal

notes, but the soothing, melodic strums of harmony! And yes, the chords have NOT changed over those years.

"A" chord is still the 3 fingers and so on.

As for the name OldbutNew....I agree wholehearted..I'm not into doing music for profit, simply as

pastime and for pleasure, mine and anyone with ears!

Good luck in the adventure,

Zeke (Paul)

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