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Posted: 10/26/2006 1:01:20 PM EST
I have never played a guitar or any other instrument. However, I have air-guitared since I can remember. Despite being right-handed, I air-guitar left-handed. As natural to me as anything else.

Question #1: Should I go ahead and learn left-handed, or bite the bullet and learn right-handed?

Question #2: Can acoustic guitar be taught to oneself, or are lessons recommended?

Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.

Yes, I know I can buy one used, but since I don't have a clue about any of this, I'd rather stick to things I can look up and research online.

Thanks.

<--- Interested in learning to play.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:14:45 PM EST

> Question #1: Should I go ahead and learn left-handed, or bite the bullet and learn right-handed?

If you're not TOO strongly left-handed, I recommend you learn right-handed because greater than 90% of the available instruments in the world are right-hand instruments.

> Question #2: Can acoustic guitar be taught to oneself, or are lessons recommended?

Yes, indeed, it can be self-taught. However it will take longer than if you have lessons and you might (probably) pick up bad habits along the way that you will have to unlearn. At minimum, find some DVD lessons in the style you want to learn. Like from homespun.com/.

> Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.

This is easy. The asian-made instruments (Epiphone, Takamine, Yahama, Jasmine, etc) have really taken a step up in the last few years and are certainly "good enough to learn on". Stop in at your local acoustic instrument store and see what they have to offer. Have someone on the staff play them for you so you can hear what they sound like.

What style of acoustic music were you thinking about?
Finger picking (classical or travis folk style)
Strumming some songs
Flat picking?

Also, you might be able to find a good used instrument that could be easily resold if you decide you don't like it.

- CD

Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:19:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 1:21:20 PM EST by Zaphod]

Originally Posted By CamperDad:
What style of acoustic music were you thinking about?
Finger picking (classical or travis folk style)
Strumming some songs
Flat picking?


Well, I'd really like to to be able to work my way up in the acoustics and then shift over to electric. Since I truly know NOTHING about this, I suppose some favorites are in order to give you an idea:

- Wasted on the Way (Crosby, Still, and Nash)
- Murder (David Gilmour)
- Just about anything by Bob Seger
- Popa Loved Moma (Garth Brooks)

etc....

I'm afraid I have no idea what "flat picking" means.

ETA: Eventually, if I get good enough and can get on an electric, I'd like to be able to keep up with the likes of G&R, Boston, etc.

So I'll be an old man jamming to old tunes. There's gotta be SOME chick somewhere who will dig that.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:22:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:25:08 PM EST
Solid top?
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:29:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 1:30:33 PM EST by pol_pot_47]
I'm a (very) beginner guitarist, but maybe my two cents will be of some help.

I'm pretty much left handed, but I'm learning to play right handed. Just cause, no real reason. I'd have to go with what others have said that unless you're REALLY left handed, just go righty because there's more stuff out there for you.

I'm teaching myself the electric guitar and know lots of people that have as well, so there's no reason why acoustic can't be taught to yourself. It's slow goin and it's always good to get advice from someone who knows what they're doin, but you can do it.

I don't know too much about acoustics, but I got my electric Ibanez for about $350 OTD with a cable and really nice soft case (but no amp included, got one for free).

Check out About.com for their online free lessons. They were recommended to me by someone else I know that's been playin for a long time and are pretty easy to follow.

HTH
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:30:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I have never played a guitar or any other instrument. However, I have air-guitared since I can remember. Despite being right-handed, I air-guitar left-handed. As natural to me as anything else.

Question #1: Should I go ahead and learn left-handed, or bite the bullet and learn right-handed?

Right for reason stated above.

Question #2: Can acoustic guitar be taught to oneself, or are lessons recommended?

You're going to want a bit of insight. Mostly so you don't pick up bad habits like said above, but yes, If you end up enjoing it you will spend hours jsut having fun on the guitar. It may not be the best pratice but anytime you have it in your hand is good. when I 1st started I would spend hours just making noise because In was cheap entertainmet. After a few years I became pretty decent. You don;t have to play perfect, but the advice above was good. you dont want to learn too many bad habits as they are hard to get out of. If you have friends that play get together with them. Mostly jsut have fun. If you're haveing fun you'll stick with it and eventually get good.

Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.

Check out Ovation. they are nice and you can plug them it too

Yes, I know I can buy one used, but since I don't have a clue about any of this, I'd rather stick to things I can look up and research online.

Thanks.

<--- Interested in learning to play.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:35:39 PM EST
i cant really answer the 1st and 3rd, but both my dad and i have self taught ourselves the guitar. i just look for tabs and chords to songs i like on the internet, and learn from there.

for what its worth, we both play on Taylors
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:37:44 PM EST
Google guitar lessons. There are a lot of good lessons floating out there on the net. Do you read music? If not learn Tablature or tabs for short. Google Guitar tabs + the a song title you would like to learn to play. I always had lots more fun learning songs I liked back when I was a beguiner. Its kinda like you can see the fruits of your labor if you will. IM me if you have any questions.

Ants
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:38:09 PM EST
Off topic, but did you ever get your reel to reel tape deck fixed up?
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 1:47:59 PM EST
1. Learn to play right handed if you can.
2. Lessons from a good teacher are worth the $$ acoustic and electric are the same as far a learning (well the acoustic will strengthen your fingers more.)
3. Martin DX-1 is less than $500 and awesome.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:00:43 PM EST
1) right handed, see others' comments
2) yes AND yes
3) You should be able to get a pretty nice guitar for $500.00. My nicest instrument is a $600.00 Alvarez Acoustic Electric

Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:13:21 PM EST
Leave it to me to go against the grain...

1. If lefty feels more natural to you, why make things more difficult by going against your natural instincts?

2. I am almost entirely self-taught -- I was a bored drummer who picked it up during endless rehearsals -- and am quite competant. I don't read music or play awe-inspiring leads but I can entertain a crowd, jam with others and/or just keep myself amused for hours. Singing voice is shit, though, and that's a drag.

3. Check out THESE guys for exceptional service for leftarists.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:22:28 PM EST
1. Learn right-handed, if you can. For the reason given above. Everything is available for right-handers. Not so much for lefties.

2. Guitar can be self-taught. I am mostly self-taught but my band doesn't mind too much. Lessons do help if you can do it. If not, watch a lot of other guitarists and jam with anyone you can. Most will probably be happy to show you a thing or two.

3. Washburn and Yamaha make decent, cheap acoustics. I have heard that Parkwood (Guitar Center) makes a decent cheapy. In this price range, you are looking at laminate back and sides but solid tops. Solid wood is more musical and resonant. Laminate does not sound so good but is cheap and tough.

Electric will be easier for a new guitarist just starting out. This has to do with the strings being lighter. An acoustic is going to have heavier strings. It may not make a difference to you if you have a lot of calouses on your fingertips. I mention this because a lot of folks stop playing because their fingers hurt after a bit of playing. It just takes time to build up the calouses if you do not have them.

Just some thoughts.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:30:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:31:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Off topic, but did you ever get your reel to reel tape deck fixed up?


No. I still need to.

Heaven only knows where the contact information for the place is. Maybe I'll take care of that this weekend.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:32:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 2:33:50 PM EST by corwin1968]

Originally Posted By CYBIN:


Check out Ovation. they are nice and you can plug them it too



If you get an Ovation be sure and get a good guitar strap.

I don't play guitar or box but my natural instincts were to do both left-handed and I'm VERY right handed. I've fiddled with a guitar all my life and now do it as a righty but my boxing stance is still Southpaw.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:32:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By THX:
I don't read music or play awe-inspiring leads but I can entertain a crowd, jam with others and/or just keep myself amused for hours.


That's the goal.

As for a shitty voice, I only have the cats to be annoyed, and they don't care.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:51:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 2:57:59 PM EST by BaxterStockman]
Question #1: Should I go ahead and learn left-handed, or bite the bullet and learn right-handed?

Right-handed if at all possible. Especially if you are going to self-teach, to play left-handed will take 4x as long to translate the instructions in your book or DVD from right-handed playing. Also whatever habits you taught yourself air-guitaring probably suck. So start fresh with the other hand.

Question #2: Can acoustic guitar be taught to oneself, or are lessons recommended?

I've been playing for eight years, taught myself from books (look at Mel Bay books) and at my peak was probably as good or a little better than most casual guitarists (of course every male my age "plays" so it's not that hard to be better than average). That being said, if you don't know anyone with whom to hang out and 'jam', get lessons. The community is what helps the most if you teach yourself, since that's where you pick up new techniques and music that you otherwise wouldn't hear if you don't have a teacher.

Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.

DON'T spend $500 on your first guitar, especially if your goal is to play electric anyway. Also, DO NOT buy it from off the internet without having actually held a model like what you want. For example, someone mentioned Ovation. They sound great, but many models have this weird rounded-plastic back which, for me, makes it very difficult to hold the guitar in place while playing. You might not know how much it will bother you if you've never actually held one. Get someone who plays (even if just a little, they will know something about it) to go with you shopping/browsing. They can say things like "Don't buy First Act or a used Sears guitar, because they sound like shit and will break into pieces" (it's true) or "$450 is WAY too much to pay for a used Yamaha" (it is). Since you want to transition to electric, look for a guitar with a low action (the height of the strings off the fretboard) and string it with lights or medium lights. This will be close to the feel of an electric. OTOH, if you're crazy like me get a high action and string it with mediums or heavies to build up finger strength. YMMV.


ETA: Hah! All that yakking and I didn't recommend a guitar! My first was a Vantek, a cheap Korean pawn shop find. However, sounds beautiful and it's still my favorite. This is why you take a knowledgeable friend or coworker with you to the guitar shop/pawn shop.

Decent guitars:
low end: Yamaha, Epiphone, Takamine (very good)

Medium end: Alvarez, Fender, Washburn

High end (prob. more than $500 ): Martin, Taylor
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:28:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By BaxterStockman:
Also whatever habits you taught yourself air-guitaring probably suck.




Come on! You've never seen me doing "Juke Box Hero"!
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 8:55:07 PM EST
One advantage of learning lefty is the "mirror effect" of anyone playing right handed facing you.

And don't let anyone kid you about the scarcity of left-handed guitars... a friend of mine has over 30 (including 8 Gretsches) and she's only been playing a few years.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 3:54:13 AM EST
OY!




This left-hand, right-hand thing is really giving me the screaming fits. It's like suddenly being told to wipe your but with your other hand.

Of course, they don't make TP in left-hand/right-hand, either.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:01:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2006 4:04:07 AM EST by PBIR]
1. Play right handed, how you play air guitar doesn't mean anything bro.

2. Buy a chord encyclopedia. You need it to be written in tablature (that is kind of obvious but maybe not to a new guy) and you'll want it to indicate which fingers of your fret hand hold down which notes. This plus the scales will give you an excellent foundation. I've got Wolfsohn's "ultimate guitar chord user's guide".

3. Go to one of the nicer pawnshops in your town. Strum the acoustics hanging there, they will most likely have at least 10. Go with the one that sounds best to you. There are dozens of manufacturers out there but some names I recommend:

Fender, Yamaha, Ovation (although like someone else said the shape of these pretty much demands a strap to play b/c they like to slide off your leg), takamine, Alvarez, Washburn, Jackson, Gibson... like I said there are plenty of others but these are the ones I have played that could be found used in your price range.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:17:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.


If you're shopping for an acoustic guitar look for one with a solid top*. In other words, try to avoid buying plywood. What you're looking for is the grain structure that you see when you look at the thin dimension of the top when you look through the sound hole -- you're looking at the EDGE of the wood. The grain should run up and down -- perpendicular to top surface -- indicating that it solid wood. What you don't want to see is parralel lines running even with the top surface. On a cheap guitar you may not be able to tell because they paint the edge. But the price is probably a dead giveaway. You'll generally spend at least $400 for a solid top.

The reason you want a solid top is because a guitar built this way will improve and mellow with age. A plywood guitar will not. It's also just generally a good indication of quality. A solid top is MUCH more important than fancy inlays and other decorative stuff. In fact, given the choice you should probably opt for the plainest looking guitar at any given price point.

Also, hold off on electronics on an acoustic guitar. You can always add those later -- and likely get better equipment than what the factory would install. You want every dollar you spend to go toward good acoustic sound.

Seagull is one brand you often hear touted as a good affordable guitar with a solid top. My choice would be Larrivee. The lower end Larrivee guitars from Canada are VERY good. I once had a Larrivee OM-3 that I paid about $500 for. It was a wonderful guitar. Check ebay. Often you can find 03 series Larrivees in the $400-$500 range. I would seriously consider going for one of the smaller "0" or "L" bodies rather than the traditional D (or Dreadnaught) shape. Often the sound is more even across the strings with one of these. If you go to your local guitar store you'll likely find lots of Epiphones and Takimines but probably not Larrivees. They simply don't make enough of these to keep the big guitar stores and chains stocked. You'll have to go to more of a boutique store to find these. But, I'm telling you, they're worth the search. They're awesome guitars.

Another brand that is "interesting" and worth checking out is Garrison. These are solid wood guitars but the internal structure -- the bracing and the kerfing -- is a pre-manufactured plastic affair. Logically, this makes a lot of sense. The bracing doesn't vibrate so it doesn't matter that it's not wood. Plus, building the bracing takes a lot of labor time. Going with an interlocking manufactured system is a great idea -- in theory anyway. Garrison uses wood where it matters and applies technology where it makes sense. I've never owned one but I have played one and they sound pretty good. How they'll hold up might be a question though. Anyway, check them out if a local dealer carries them. They're in your price range. Still, given the choice, I'd go Larrivee.

* NOTE: Solid top does not refer to the whole surface of the top being made of one piece of wood. The top surface will likely have three or more noticeable panels. That's fine. Even the best guitars are made this way. Solid top just means they didn't use laminates or plywood.

Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:23:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:

* NOTE: Solid top does not refer to the whole surface of the top being made of one piece of wood. The top surface will likely have three or more noticeable panels. That's fine. Even the best guitars are made this way. Solid top just means they didn't use laminates or plywood.



Oh! Got it!

Hadn't made that connection in the posts above. Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:41:53 AM EST
One more reason for learning right handed: At some point you are going to pick up someone else's guitar, or they are going to pick up yours to jam. There is a 99% chance that they will be a righty.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:42:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:44:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
ETA: Eventually, if I get good enough and can get on an electric, I'd like to be able to keep up with the likes of G&R, Boston, etc. ]


If your goal is electric you might want to start with electric. In some ways electric is easier than acoustic. It's certainly easier on your fingers. Playing acoustic well is no small feat . . .
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:47:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
ETA: Eventually, if I get good enough and can get on an electric, I'd like to be able to keep up with the likes of G&R, Boston, etc. ]


If your goal is electric you might want to start with electric. In some ways electric is easier than acoustic. It's certainly easier on your fingers. Playing acoustic well is no small feat . . .


Starting on acoustic will make you a better electric player, starting on electric won't do much for your acoustic skills. Walk before you run.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:48:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:
One more reason for learning right handed: At some point you are going to pick up someone else's guitar, or they are going to pick up yours to jam. There is a 99% chance that they will be a righty.


That's the biggest reason why I've been conflicted. PRECISELY that.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:49:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:

Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
ETA: Eventually, if I get good enough and can get on an electric, I'd like to be able to keep up with the likes of G&R, Boston, etc. ]


If your goal is electric you might want to start with electric. In some ways electric is easier than acoustic. It's certainly easier on your fingers. Playing acoustic well is no small feat . . .


Starting on acoustic will make you a better electric player, starting on electric won't do much for your acoustic skills. Walk before you run.


I couldn't agree more. I started on a classical acoustic. When I finally got my first electric fretting notes was ridiculously easy by comparison.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:52:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Good suggestion here, don't try to be Jimmy Page overnight.


Aw, man! And here I was hoping to be as good as Slash afte three easy lessons!


No, I'm going to go ahead and start on an accoustic, and I guess I'll do it right-handed for the reasons given. I will definitely consider an accoustic electric.

Now I just have to find a decent guitar place here in Raleigh/Durham.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 4:58:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2006 4:59:01 AM EST by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:36:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2006 5:53:56 AM EST by Bladeswitcher]

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

I will definitely consider an accoustic electric.


I will repeat my advice to skip the acoustic/electric (unless you find a great deal). $500 isn't a lot to spend on an acoustic. I wouldn't waste a dime of that on crappy electronics (which is what you'll get on a $500 guitar). For $500 you can either have:

1.) a plywood top, Korean-made, acoustic with pretty inlays, gold hardware and cheap electronics -- essentially, a guitar that will lose value and you will want to replace when you get better, or
2.) a quallity but no-frills solid top acoustic, hand-made in Canada, that will sound great, improve with age and always have a place in your guitar stable.

For my money, the better choice is the solid, "boring" quality guitar. If you later want to electrify this latter guitar buy a L.R. Baggs Dual Source pickup system. They sound great -- much better than the electronics on that Korean guitar -- and doesn't require cutting holes in your guitar. But -- and this is important -- a decent pickup system like that or a quality Fishman unit will set you back $200 or more. What do you think they put on a $500 guitar?

Besides, if you want to play with the rockers, you can always mic your guitar. It will probably sound better that way anyway.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:46:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2006 5:46:51 AM EST by Bladeswitcher]
sorry, double tap
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:50:17 AM EST
Look at Taylor's Big Baby.

Their 100 and 200 series dreadnoughts are great as well, and should be around your price range for a quality instrument.

This is the one I play, but it costs a good bit more

Link Posted: 10/27/2006 5:57:02 AM EST
1. Play left handed if that's more comfortable, but if at all possible, learn to play right handed for the reasons mentioned.

2. If you can afford lessons, do it. It's critical to learn proper technique early on, otherwise you might self-learn bad technique, which can come back to bite you later.

3. You can buy on-line, but I recommend going down to the local music store and selecting from what they have in stock. Quality control with guitars is almost random, and two duplicate guitars can play entirely different. So, set a price range, tell the salesmen, and let him show you some guitars.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:15:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2006 6:15:58 AM EST by MissouriBob]
Right handed. Life will be easier in the long run.

Can self-teach. Also recommend homespun's website. Would also recommend finding a teacher an spending 30 minute to an hour with them a couple times a month. I still do after two years and it's very worthwhile. Nowaday's a lesson is cheaper than a box of .45 ACP.

Guitar's. Another vote for Seagull/Godin S Series for a QUALITY entry-level acoustic. Was my first guitar and I still play it everyday. Since have bought a Godin electic and very much want a Taylor 514ce acoustic electric. Those are progressively high dollar. Guitar disease is just as expensive and BRD.

Never played an intstrument in my life until 2 years ago. Still a beginner, but I love playing.


Go try some out at a decent guitar store. Have someone play them for you as well. One of them will hit your ear and you'll know. Check out how comfortable you are getting your fingers on the string on the neck. Some necks are wider than others and people have different size fingers. You need to be able to cleanly and firmly press the string down on the neck with interfering with the other strings.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:30:40 AM EST
I AM left handed and I play righty. Much more convenient. To each their own, I suppose.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:43:45 AM EST
Lots of good advice here (as well as some that's not exactly 'correct'). I've played pro and semi-pro for over 20 years, as well as teaching for many of them, Was a classical guitar performance major under Christopher Parkening in college as well. Have played and/or dabbled in all styles from classical, to jazz, to blues, to flamenco, to rock, to metal. S'all good...

I usually blow my wad and type a book's worth of advice on this subject, but my advice would be simply to find a guitar that "speaks" to you and lights your fire (acoustic or solid body electric) and grab a book or two. Then just pick your favorite CD's and start trying to learn the tunes. Learn by ear and/or tablature. But PRACTICE AT LEAST 1/2-1 HOUR EVERY DAY. THAT is the ONLY way you'll ever be any good. You HAVE to do the time. Doesn't matter how old you are. It's all about your desire. If you want it bad enough, you'll go get it. And the best teachers are your guitar heros. I spent the 80's wearing-out tape cassettes and the play-rewind buttons on the deck. One note at a time, I learned my favorite songs. The more you do it, the better and faster you will be able to learn by ear. Almost all of the greatest guitar "gods" learned from their heros.

Just go get a guitar and start playing. Don't get distracted by GEAR FEVER. I know "players" who were always going to be better if they could just get that next high-dollar Les Paul or whatever. The good players can make a POS sound like a collector's peice. Whereas, a not-so-good player can pickup a $4,000 Paul Reed Smith guitar and plug it into a $3,000 Bogner amp and still sound like a beginner. It's all about YOU. Just do it man!!!
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:47:27 AM EST
I saw a show once with about 500 people in attendence. The guy opening was a solo acoustic guy who actually had some decent chops. But his guitar was giving him problems, going out of tune all the time etc.. He bombed and was heckled constantly by the crowd. If he had played right-handed he could have called any number of friends to borrow their guitar for the performance. Since he was left handed he took the stage with shoddy equipment. I say go right-handed.

Also, get a guitar playing buddy, buy him a case of beer and hit the pawn shops together. Have him look the guitars over, and give his opinion on the action, if the neck is warped, sound, feel, etc.. There are lots of guitarists out there so odds are unless you are a real anti-social type you have at least one friend who plays and is pretty good, or at least good enough to go shopping with you.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:57:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Red_Label:

But PRACTICE AT LEAST 1/2-1 HOUR EVERY DAY. THAT is the ONLY way you'll ever be any good. You HAVE to do the time. Doesn't matter how old you are. It's all about your desire. If you want it bad enough, you'll go get it . . . .


Practice? So, THAT's what I'm missing! I knew there had to be more to it . . .



Just go get a guitar and start playing. Don't get distracted by GEAR FEVER. I know "players" who were always going to be better if they could just get that next high-dollar Les Paul or whatever. The good players can make a POS sound like a collector's peice. Whereas, a not-so-good player can pickup a $4,000 Paul Reed Smith guitar and plug it into a $3,000 Bogner amp and still sound like a beginner. It's all about YOU. Just do it man!!!


Truer words were never typed . . .
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:57:31 AM EST
I don't see why all the fuss about left handed guitars.

Your guitars will be like your rifles. You WILL amass more than you need. I've got my BC Rich, my Yamaha and my Peavey and they all serve a purpose. But if one goes down the other will work fine.

Point I'm trying to make is that there is a good chance you'll collect enough equipment that you won't need to borrow somebody elses


If you like playing left handed PLAY LEFT HANDED, you'll play the best with the style you feel the most comfortable playing!
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 6:57:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Guitar Center Durham
1720 Guess Rd
Durham, North Carolina 27701

Phone: 919-286-5600
Fax: 919-286-5607


Damn, brother!

That's right down the road from here!

Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:02:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I will repeat my advice to skip the acoustic/electric. For $500 you can either have:

1.) a plywood top, Korean-made, acoustic with pretty inlays, gold hardware and cheap electronics -- essentially, a guitar that will lose value and you will want to replace when you get better, or
2.) a quallity but no-frills solid top acoustic, hand-made in Canada, that will sound great, improve with age and always have a place in your guitar stable.


(Snipped for clarity)

I'm going to take that advice, too, Blade. Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:10:41 AM EST
Ibanez Acoustic Lefty

Ibanez Acoustic/Electric Lefty

I'm partial to Ibanez for starter stuff myself, but this is just a couple things I found while searching. YMMV.


My advice should not be taken as gospel, as I am a 19 year old right handed bass player. But it's out there anyway.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:14:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.


If you're shopping for an acoustic guitar look for one with a solid top*. In other words, try to avoid buying plywood. What you're looking for is the grain structure that you see when you look at the thin dimension of the top when you look through the sound hole -- you're looking at the EDGE of the wood. The grain should run up and down -- perpendicular to top surface -- indicating that it solid wood. What you don't want to see is parralel lines running even with the top surface. On a cheap guitar you may not be able to tell because they paint the edge. But the price is probably a dead giveaway. You'll generally spend at least $400 for a solid top.

The reason you want a solid top is because a guitar built this way will improve and mellow with age. A plywood guitar will not. It's also just generally a good indication of quality. A solid top is MUCH more important than fancy inlays and other decorative stuff. In fact, given the choice you should probably opt for the plainest looking guitar at any given price point.

Also, hold off on electronics on an acoustic guitar. You can always add those later -- and likely get better equipment than what the factory would install. You want every dollar you spend to go toward good acoustic sound.

Seagull is one brand you often hear touted as a good affordable guitar with a solid top. My choice would be Larrivee. The lower end Larrivee guitars from Canada are VERY good. I once had a Larrivee OM-3 that I paid about $500 for. It was a wonderful guitar. Check ebay. Often you can find 03 series Larrivees in the $400-$500 range. I would seriously consider going for one of the smaller "0" or "L" bodies rather than the traditional D (or Dreadnaught) shape. Often the sound is more even across the strings with one of these. If you go to your local guitar store you'll likely find lots of Epiphones and Takimines but probably not Larrivees. They simply don't make enough of these to keep the big guitar stores and chains stocked. You'll have to go to more of a boutique store to find these. But, I'm telling you, they're worth the search. They're awesome guitars.

Another brand that is "interesting" and worth checking out is Garrison. These are solid wood guitars but the internal structure -- the bracing and the kerfing -- is a pre-manufactured plastic affair. Logically, this makes a lot of sense. The bracing doesn't vibrate so it doesn't matter that it's not wood. Plus, building the bracing takes a lot of labor time. Going with an interlocking manufactured system is a great idea -- in theory anyway. Garrison uses wood where it matters and applies technology where it makes sense. I've never owned one but I have played one and they sound pretty good. How they'll hold up might be a question though. Anyway, check them out if a local dealer carries them. They're in your price range. Still, given the choice, I'd go Larrivee.

* NOTE: Solid top does not refer to the whole surface of the top being made of one piece of wood. The top surface will likely have three or more noticeable panels. That's fine. Even the best guitars are made this way. Solid top just means they didn't use laminates or plywood.



All true...
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:22:57 AM EST
damn, i've been thinking about this too.

great info.

txl
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:27:00 AM EST
Do not under any circumstances buy at GC as a newbie;you will get ate alive!But do go there for hands on playing.Learn right handed.Find a good teacher to avoid bad habits and focus on proper technique,not learning songs;once your mechanics are sound you can dump the teacher.You can trust Daves Guitars in Wisconsin for mail order,even used.Dave Rogers is primo.Used to have a bunch of Seagulls also.Get your stuff together on acoustic first;starting on electric can make you sloppy and susceptible to cheap effects crap. Check out Blueridge guitars also.Best wishes!
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:42:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:
Also, get a guitar playing buddy, buy him a case of beer and hit the pawn shops together. Have him look the guitars over, and give his opinion on the action, if the neck is warped, sound, feel, etc. . . .


This is a pretty sound idea. Potentially, you can do a lot better buying used but if you don't know what you're looking for you can get burned pretty easily.

I once found a Taylor 300 series dreadnaught at a pawn shop for $175. Another time I bought a nice used Alvarez Yairi for $185. Another built-by-Yairi-but-pre-Yairi-brand Alvarez cost $100. All of these were solid top guitars worth MUCH more than I paid for them.

Deals are out there but you have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a prince. Still, you occasionally find decent used guitars on pawn shop racks at "fair" prices. If a fella looked long enough he could probably find a Yairi or a mid-level Guild in the $400-$500 range. I know where there's a nice used Yairi for $500 right now.

Speaking of Guilds, the older ones are great guitars (the new ones may be too, I just don't know). A D-35 or D-40 in the $500 range would be a great deal -- and often doable. They have a new DAG series that's made in China. I don't know much about them but that might be an option.
Link Posted: 10/27/2006 7:49:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Question #1: Should I go ahead and learn left-handed, or bite the bullet and learn right-handed?

Question #2: Can acoustic guitar be taught to oneself, or are lessons recommended?

Question #3: Can you recommend a guitar to buy that will be good enough to learn on, but not bust the bank? I want a good one, but it doesn't have to be a Rolls Royce. Figure a maximum price of $500 at the top end.

1. Buy a right-handed guitar.
2. You can teach yourself but I would recommend a teacher because you have no musical background. Go to a local music store and ask about beginner guitar lessons.
3. I would recommend not spending more than $350 on the guitar. Go to a music store, not Wal*Mart or Sears or Best Buy. You can also buy online at www.musiciansfriend.com. I only recommend them because I have bought from them but there are others.

Guitar playing is fun. Good luck.
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