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5hfifty

Should I use this as a first guitar? (Morena)

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5hfifty    0

I've not even begun playing yet, but have been wanting to for a while and I've saved up a little money. Then I found out yesterday my grandmother has had "a guitar" (all the info I got at the time) in her cupboard for who knows how long.

I went to pick it up today and to my surprise it was a small acoustic guitar, and the label on the inside said:

Morena

NewStyle No.9

I know nearly nothing about sorts of guitars, but it sounds Spanish, and It belonged to a sister of my mothers, so it's over 40 years old. It also has steel strings. Here's a photo:

guitar.jpg

It's in pretty good condition and the strings seem fine.

My question is, should I stick with this guitar, or start with a larger, nylon stringed one? I have pretty limited funds, so I'm stuck. It's not what I was expecting, but perhaps I could get used to it? Heh

Thanks for any replies! :)

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mattz196    15

Hi Fhfifty and welcome with a family history like that it sounds like a cool guitar to learn on, strung with steel does seem a little strange though, lots of very clever people here, someone I'm sure will know it and advise you correctly.

Cheers Matt

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wjp01908    0

If you like the sound of it, and it feels good to play there is no reason not to start out on it. No need to get a nylon strung guitar unless of course you specifically want to learn classical guitar and like the sound that nylon strings give.

Chances are that this guitar is designed to use steel strings as I`m pretty certain it would have self destructed by now if it was made for nylons - string tension is much higher with steel strings and will pull an unsuitable guitar apart.

Will

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chorizo    0

Hi 5hfifty

My view is, assuming the steel strings are ok to use (I'm sure someone here will be able to advise on that), if you find it comfortable to use and you're happy with the sounds it makes, plus with the history. I don't see why you shouldn't use it. I think it's a nice looking guitar. Very portable too.

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737blues    0

I think Morena might just be the name of a dance or song, maybe in Spanish? Something like that. Can't really identify your particular guitar but you might like to have a look at this link anyway. Is it an Artista 'Morena' or is the brand actually called Morena. Whatever it is, it was certainly designed to use nylon strings, of that I'm sure. Why don't you take it to a reputable dealer and get it looked at with a view to having the strings renewed, (not a very big investment) and it's playing condition appraised?

http://www.activemusician.com/item--MC.MORENA

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5hfifty    0

Thanks for the fast replies everyone!

The label says "Morena Musical Instruments Co. LTD" and there is no date. A Google search shows only one result - a non-exsistant ebay auction for a "vintage guitar" by the same company, heh. :)

It was made to use nylon strings? That's strange, I wonder why it was changed? I'm still wondering wether to search for another, forgive my ignorance, "normal" acoustic guitar. This one sounds fine, but I'm having a lot of trouble getting my fingers where they're meant to be and wonder if it's because it's so small.

Oh and I've started learning chords and my fingers feel like they're on fire. :P Feels good when I can play a chord and it sounds like the recording on the site, though

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737blues    0

Oh, well! Worth a try. I was hoping you might have found a 'closet gem'. The flat, wide profile of the fingerboard and the style of the tuning pegs is what makes me believe it was meant for nylon strings. Usually, the style of bridge saddle would be a pretty good indication too, as classical strings are 'tied' on at the bridge and guitars designed for steel strings have a peg-pin arrangement. Who knows what you've got? So long as your happy for the time being, save your money until you get to know what you want. Fingers on fire is good, (Up to a point anyway) means you've been practising. :winkthumb:

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Andy S    9
Oh, well! Worth a try. I was hoping you might have found a 'closet gem'. The flat, wide profile of the fingerboard and the style of the tuning pegs is what makes me believe it was meant for nylon strings. Usually, the style of bridge saddle would be a pretty good indication too, as classical strings are 'tied' on at the bridge and guitars designed for steel strings have a peg-pin arrangement. Who knows what you've got? So long as your happy for the time being, save your money until you get to know what you want. Fingers on fire is good, (Up to a point anyway) means you've been practising. :winkthumb:

I had a Framus acoustic decades ago that I started learning on. It had the same type of tuning pegs/headstock. The bridge/tailpiece was similar to an Ovation. No pegs to push into holes, but small holes drilled through the tailpiece and the strings went through them and over the bridge. So, this was probably designed for steel strings.

If it has been sitting in a closet for all those years, you may want to get new strings. I'm sure it would sound better and probably feel better on your fingers.

However, the more I look at the picture, it looks like a guitar made back , perhaps in the early 50s, when a lot of companies were making guitars due to the demand that seemed to have sprung up from GIs getting out of the service. (Something I just read about recently) Some of these companies had very little knowledge of how a guitar should be made properly , or just playable for that matter. This may be a good antique.

I would try to find a good Guitar/stringed instrument shop that has a qualified person on staff to look at it and evaluate it. They would be able to tell you if it is a good, playable guitar, or if it was one of the previously mentioned circa 50s guitars.

When I first started, my Uncle gave me a guitar he got when he was in the service in 1948. "Thanks Unc!", and then I went and struggled trying to play chords and was miserable since the strings were so high off the neck. That was when a friend let me use his Framus. Night & Day difference.

So, just my opinon. If it is worth saving and can be made playable, great. If it isn't, it cost you nothing. Just save a bit more and get a nice starter guitar. Now a days there are many choices at a good price range.

Hope things work out.

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Doug    12

I agree with 737blues - I think it should have nylon strings as well. What is the action like? How high are the strings off of the 12th fret? And if they're relatively high, how high is the saddle above the slot that it sits in? Generally the problem with an older guitar like this is that the action has become too high. It can be lowered easily by adjusting the saddle height but there's usually not a lot of adjustent room there. Nylon string guitars tend not to have a truss rod in their neck so further neck adjustments are difficult.

Looks like a really fun guitar - I love the pick guard.

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scotty_b    16

I have seen many guitars like that come across my path when people bring them in for lessons or repairs.

They are actually made to have steel strings - even though they look like they should have nylons.

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nostraits    0

My wife had a similar looking guitar to that, and I wondered about the steel strings. I wanted to learn to play a guitar so I tried with this one. The problem was that the neck was narrow across the fretboard making the spacing small, but the neck was also very thick front to back. I took it to my local shop….one assistant said it was made for nylon strings, but the other said because of the neck it was definitely made for steel.

I bought a new guitar and left the old one for their charity scheme.

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5hfifty    0

I took it to a guitar place near my work (www.guitarcentre.net.au) and they loved it, they said to get it framed haha :D Anyway they tuned it and all for me, and said it should be fine to learn the basics on.

I've also decided on what to get for my first electric when I do: http://www.guitarcentre.net.au/cgi-bin/mall.pl?category=Guitars%2FElectric&format=detail&page=list&from=3&pid=49039&domain=guitarcent

It looks like a good deal, and they set up the guitar for you before they give it to you. Someone else was in the store who got the same deal a few months ago and he says it's great so far. :)

Thank you guys for all the info and advice, I feel bad for all those people who didn't have access to this place when learning!

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bee-flat    0

Well, I gotta admit I feel alittle uncomfortable seeing this bridge and knowing there are steels on it. Looks exactly as the nylon-type. I would just feel bad hadn't I said this. But if they did not protest in the guitarshop I may just talk rubbish...:)

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raffan    0

Hi all, I thought you might be interested in this Morena "New Style No.15". I picked it up in a second hand shop here in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago. I plan to put some nylons on it and see how it sounds.

3390.attach

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Doug    12

these have got to be the coolest looking guitars. What is the pick-guard made of? It looks like the same material as the inlay in the frets.

Is there a truss-rod in the neck? Is the binding made of wood?

By the way, the previous discussion tended towards steel strings as the right choice for this guitar but it looks from the pic that it was strung with nylon. I'd stick with nylon at the beginning - if the guitar looks robust you may want to try light guage steels later.

Once you refurbish it, let us know how it plays/sounds - post a clip.

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raffan    0

Thanks D-Dawn and Doug! The inlay sems to be plastic pretending to be "Mother of Pearl". Although they're the same pattern, the frets are blue and the pick-guard green! It doesn't have a truss-rod and I'm not sure what you mean by binding Doug. I suspect that the bridge has been painted white and should be natural timber. Although it's a bit rough, I agree it is pretty cool and worth adding to my modest collection as it only cost me $20! I hope to get the chance to buy some strings soon.

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gfxim    0

This is 2008 and is a Up-From-Down-Under update.

Bit surprised on some of the misinformation on the Morena - poor little buggar.

I've just picked up a Morena New Style 22 from my sister. It is very similar to Raffan's #9. Big sister says her husband found it at the tip in the 1960's. I've put new strings on & a "new" "bridge" (read knitting needle) & cleaned it up.

Now I'm a real Yairi (Kuzo & Sada) freak but am more than a little bit surprised with the Morena punch & tonal qualities.

It is definitely designed for steel string (look at the floating tail piece), solid top (maybe cedar) and ....low & behold - look closely at the head stock. Me thinks you will see a small block of wood inserted between the tuners for strings 6 & 1. I think that maybe taking the block (which is really a plug) out will reveal a truss rod of some sort - maybe.

Interesting....

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reptile71    0

I'm new here (I'm from Holland) and the only reason I found this forum is because I was looking for info on the Morena guitar. I just bought the exact same as the one on the picture above, the Morena New Style No. 15. Well, I still have to pick it up, so didn't see and hear it yet, but I'm very curious. What surprises me is that I cannot find anything about this guitar on the whole internet. Only here! And here is not so much info. Where does it come from, which period, is it any interesting for collectors?

Is there anybody out there who can tell a little more about the brand Morena, and maybe about the specific type? It is from the 60's or 70's right? I hope for some answers!

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