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Advice with buying a guitar?


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#1 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

So I'm buying my first guitar in the next week or so since I've been using a friend's spare, and I'm going home soon from college and I need to get my own. I have NO idea what I'm looking for :(

I've been researching a lot and I keep seeing that cheap guitars are "toys shaped like guitars". Is this true? I mean I know that a more expensive guitar will sound better, but do you have any recommendations on acoustic guitars that are cheap (200 and under) that still sound good and will help me practice and get better? I will surely get a better guitar down the road, but this is just to start off.

Are there any good brands and models you can think of that would suite me? Is buying a guitar online a bad idea? Or should I stick to buying a guitar in store, if so, I would definitely go to guitar center since there is one close to me.

Sorry for all of the questions! I really just don't want to make a bad choice! If I have to spend a little more than I will, just wanting any opinions! They will all be helpful!

#2 OFFLINE   Stu74

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

I have got a Yamaha f310 accoustic guitar which i bought brand new nearly a year ago.For £115 It included a stand,tuner,bag and spare strings.
Its the only accoustic i have ever owned so im not an expert all i can say is i love it.
I bought my yamaha guitar online without seeing it 1st which is something i wouldnt advise.Its definately best to check the guitar over and try it out 1st before you buy it.

#3 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:15 PM

Thanks for that advice!

#4 OFFLINE   karcey

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:35 PM

G'day Brandiee, Welcome to our community.

Some of the answers to the questions you have will naturally conflict. Here are a few thoughts.
The best guitar for you is one that you find easy to hold and play. It's a bit hard to check that out if you buy online. So it's fair to say a degree of luck is required when sourcing something from an Internet seller.
Why do the same brand, same model guitars feel different? Because they are. Differences in manufacture. You can love one and hate another, even more reason to get your hands on the guitar before you shell out your cash.
Learning for you will be in two stages. First there's learning to play. You need a comfortable guitar with a low action to make this stage of learning easy. Not so important about the tone at this point. Doesn't need to be expensive or have a name on the headstock. Learning to play gives you experience to make a considered opinion when you move on to your next guitar. Don't try to buy your ideal guitar now. You don't know what you'll be thinking in a couple of years.
The second stage is learning to play music. Now you need tone. There's no saying expensive guitars are infinitely better than cheaper ones, it's still your choice for what sounds best to your ears. But being able to play means you'll be hearing your music with experienced ears and believe me, that will be different.
Don't fall into the trap of expecting people to respect the brand of your guitar. For all those who love Fender, there's an equal number who don't want to own one. Same with Yamaha, same with Martin, same with all the rest. You're the only one who matters when you choose your guitar.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#5 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:39 PM

Wow thanks, that was really helpful! I will be going to guitarcenter sometime this week so I will definitely try out and play some guitars to see which ones are in my price range and feel comfortable to hold and play! I'm so excited!

#6 OFFLINE   carol m

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:22 AM

Well said Karcey, as always. Brandiee, you say you have a store you can go to, I would say that is the best way to go. Some people aren't so lucky and have to buy online, but if you don't have to do that, it's better to find you can try out first, one that feels comfortable and is easy to play - some will feel easier than others.

And don't feel intimidated by the sales people in the store, they probably are guitar freaks too, and will point out the pros and cons. However, don't be persuaded by their opinions if you disagree - you are buying the guitar, and you will be playing it, so your opinion is what counts.

Let us know how it goes.
One good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain - Bob Marley

#7 OFFLINE   mset3

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:06 AM

Brandiee2,

The Guitar Center store in my area has a wide selection of guitars to choose from. Once you find one you like ask them to set it up for you. It should part of the cost. Good luck with your choice. Let us know what you purchase.

Mike

#8 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Karcey,
Love your down to earth analogies and I agree.

I have some issues with the statement "easy to play" cause you ain't there yet. Perhaps it would be better described in another way.

If you know some easy chords like A, Am, C, D, Dm, E, Em, G and you feel little or no tension in your hand when making these chord shapes and get decent tone when strumming, then you have a pretty good chance at progressing further with that guitar.
And then you try some bar chords Like F, B etc. see how you do.

Good luck with your selection. You are the only person who will know.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#9 OFFLINE   Stu74

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:04 PM

It is difficult in the very beggining because from my experience holding any guitar felt strange and until i could play a little bit i didnt know which one to buy.
The fact you have been playing your friends guitar will atleast give you something to compare it with.
Good luck Brandiee

#10 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

Wow thanks for all of the tips and advice guys. Yea I've been playing for three months, so not long, but I know my basic chords, I don't have my bar chords down yet though. But I will definitely go in the shop to check them out to actually hold them and play a few songs I know to see if I like the sound and if I feel comfortable. I'll let you know all how it goes once I go! :)

#11 OFFLINE   aurora

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:49 PM

Just to stick my two cents in - I'm a beginner and I just bought a Yamaha FG700s and I love it. My first guitar was an L.H. Leland and it was just too hard to play, but I love the Yamaha. It's a $200 guitar but there are glowing reviews for it all over the web and it's definitely living up to the hype for me.

Whatever you buy, I wish you the best!
“If you play music for no other reason than actually just because you love it, the skills just kinda creep up on you.” ~ Nuno Bettencourt

#12 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

Wow tanks for that advice!! I will be looking for my guitar and hopefully making a purchase next Friday! I'm SO excited! :)

#13 OFFLINE   aurora

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Let us know how it goes! :)
“If you play music for no other reason than actually just because you love it, the skills just kinda creep up on you.” ~ Nuno Bettencourt

#14 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

I sure will!

#15 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:04 PM

Hey everybody! I thought I would let you all know that I got my first guitar yesterday!! So now I won't have to use someone else's anymore! It's a Fender and I LOVE it. It was in my price range, and it felt great to hold and it came out with a great sound as well for not being expensive. I'm so happy! I'm glad I went into the shop and got it instead of purchasing online! Thanks guys for all of your helpful tips :)

#16 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

Well congrats then on your new acquisition. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Good thing you were able to go to a store and have more to see. :yes:


Next download some recording software or your movie camera will do and have a ball.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#17 OFFLINE   Brandiee2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:09 PM

I definitely will, and I'm getting so much better with making a bm bar chord! Ha I'm so happy.





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