CYCLINGFORUM.COM - Where Cyclists Talk Tech --- Return To Home

 

    Register FAQ'sSearchProfileLog In / Log Out

 

****

cyclingforum.com ****

HOMECLUBS | SPONSORS | FEATURESPHOTO GALLERYTTF DONORS | SHOP FOR GEAR

Return to CyclingForum Home Page CYCLING TECH TALK FORUM
          View posts since last visit

OT - Acoustic/Electric Guitar
 Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Author Thread Post new topic Reply to topic
Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/7/12 1:49 PM

@Wheels

Yep, it's exactly like buying a bike. Listen to the advice, and find one that fits.

Be careful, though, as the brands you named *may* be priced at or above the upper end of your range.

Also--I would caution you against purchasing any acoustic instrument mail-order (or buying a boxed unit after trying one in the showroom). Wooden acoustics in particular can vary a lot, because one piece of wood is not exactly like another. This is less true (IME) for laminated wood guitars and guitars like Ovation (and increasing numbers of others) that use manufactured materials for the back and sides, but still.

Buy the one you've played.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/7/12 2:33 PM

Comment on laminated VS solid woods.

As far as the woods are on an acoustic guitar, and the fact that in inside is not finished, and not sealed at all in most builds, etc....

...if you are going to drag it out to picnics and camping etc., best to have laminated including the top.

Also laminated easier to control amplified I can attest. And jumbos amplified can be a total struggle.

Thus dread for live, and jumbos for non amplified yadi yada. How many of us have one bike I'd ask? :)

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/7/12 3:27 PM

Good point.

Yamaha makes inexpensive laminated guitars that are pretty good (they used to be THE starter guitar for people who actually wanted to play). But I would argue this is another good reason to consider an Ovation.

Alternatively, lots of companies are now making "camping" guitars--there's a tiny Martin out there that I occasionally think about, but the three I have really are all I need.

My next big challenge is that next August, I will be flying to my oldest son's wedding, and he wants me to play there. So the question will be whether I risk my little Martin on the flight, or...

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/7/12 3:34 PM

"whether I risk my little Martin on the flight"

I'd be most concerned that some tool at the gate decides it has ebony on it anywhere [regardless of if it do or don't] and confiscate it.

My 84 Les Paul has an Ebony Fretboard, and I just won't take the risk of the legal expense to get it back when this activity occurs at the airport. Not to mention it being out of my possession for an extended period.

YMMV

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/7/12 3:39 PM

Another good point.

No ebony on that guitar, luckily for me, but that's an excellent point. And there *is* Rosewood, though it's all straight-grained. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to pick up a small Yamaha...!

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/8/12 10:47 AM

Some other thoughts:

[copy/excerpts of emails]

There is also radius of the fret board to contend with, flatter perhaps more conducive to finger picking, 14-20" IME.

Nut width is something to mention in this context. For me, 42-3mm is fine, and I got huge hands. Even a 3mm step down makes a big difference to me, and I won't have it. I had one 45mm and even with my big hands it was too much.

Fret height is also a consideration. I like taller narrower frets, most acoustics have lower narrower frets FYI. But I bend notes even on the acoustic, and also pull offs [or hammer ons and offs] ;) [look that up] are easier with taller frets. [Think Zeppelin Over the hills]

-----
> Advice on whether to a get a cutaway?

If you think you will being playing above the 10-12th fret eventually, yes. I have both and hardly play
up high except harmonics maybe.

-----
like anything else new to spend $ on, you make a choice unfortunately not having the understanding to make the choice. So high resale on eBays sold auctions may be a good way to judge what to buy of your choices with a re-coupe / selling in mind should you wind up going in a different direction down the road. [king of the run on sentence]

-----
Also I suggest some Elixer coated strings. Not as bright when new, but not as dull for a longer time after, A new dread is going to be very bright, so the coated strings can curb that too. And you will be changing stings a lot less with the coated variety. Light ga. string and/or tuning down a full step to help the fingers which need to get accustomed to the pressures involved, good idea for a newbee.


Shoulda just kept it in thread. LOL


And I will ad, the neck shape and taper etc etc. ;)

Slim necks are popular enough. IMO and preference a thick neck allow better tone. Easy for me to say when I can get my hand around a 1" think neck where as most could not even play one, But that is the extreme for me. ;)

------------------------
Look at the Paws on this Guy, 'Redd Volkaert' on an old skinny thin neck Fender and you wonder how he can play it like that. ;)

Nice little country swing diddle, and Cindy Cash Dollar on Steel is hard not to give the major nod too either...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY8AFtlAykA

 Reply to topic    

ChrisI
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 31
Location: NJ

12/9/12 4:59 PM

Seagull

I was in the same position as you. I did a lot of research and ended up with a Seagull. I'd never heard of the brand before but the name kept popping up in guitar forums as a really great bang for the buck. Made in Canada. I really like it. I also got the Gibson DVD guitar course...It's hard to believe,but, at 54 I''m actually learning to play guitar!

http://www.seagullguitars.com/intro.html

The model I chose:

http://www.seagullguitars.com/seagull_s6_original_slim.html

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Wheels
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1153
Location: Needham, MA

12/9/12 6:14 PM

I finger picked it

So the wife got me the B-Day/Christmas present one day early. I picked up a Seagull Maritime SWS CW Q. It's a model specifically made for Guitar Center, so you won't find it in the Seagull catalog. Solid Spruce top solid mahogany back and sides. It was between two models and wife liked this one best.

Thanks all, especially Bob/Sparky for some very excellent advice thru-out the process.

Wheels

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/9/12 7:14 PM

Congrats!

They make a nice instrument--play and enjoy.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/9/12 9:23 PM

Good, now go make some blisters... ;)

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/10/12 6:47 AM

@Sparky

What a callous remark!

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/10/12 10:20 AM

On that note:

A tip from Eric Clapton supposedly: rub your fingertips with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol three (3) times a day for a week or two for a beginner or someone who hasn't played for a while. This will dry out the skin and help calluses build very quickly. I tried this after not playing for about a year and it worked for me.

*Read on the internets, so it must be true.

----
You can also tune down a full step, Tune your E to a B, A to a G and all other strings correspondingly. And also use nickle electric strings of light ga. as a beginner. {9-42 ga for example}

Might want to hold off on the .12-58 ga set for a while...

Also 1/2 wound and flat wounds can be a lot easier on the tips. Albeit more dull tonally for an acoustic.

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/10/12 10:48 AM

Tuning Down

That's E -> D. E->B would be another thing entirely...


A lot of people like the "looser," lower sound you get with this tuning, and it's easy to slap a capo on the second fret to get to "standard" tuning.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/10/12 11:54 AM

Yes, Low E to D, and A to G etc etc.

Brain Fart. Tinkering with a Nashville tuned acoustic must have confused my brain [more]

And all this guitar talk got me out to GC yesterday I bought some flat and 1/2 rounds.

Bought a Fender 210 brown old cabinet on sale for $99.00 [used] to park under my 63 Brown Pro in a head cab. ;)

 Reply to topic    

Wheels
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1153
Location: Needham, MA

12/12/12 9:35 AM

Selling the guitar that I just bought

not really, but my FiretrUCKING left hand and fingers are killing me! My index, middle, and ring fingertips all feel like they are being stuck with pins and my whole hand aches from trying to bend in ways I don't think it was designed bend. God and this was only after a half hour. But, I started getting the C to Am chord placement and transitions without looking!

First REAL lesson is Jan 7.

Wheels

 Reply to topic    

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 9:42 AM

Tune it down, also try to relax or you arm is going to feel like it is falling off too.

Carry a tennis ball in the car for hand exercises is a good option as well.

And try not to do it all in one day, week etc. ;)

Unless you are trying to play Stairway to Heaven before the Mayan Prophecy comes to fruition or something... Not withstanding the Mayan lack of leap year adjusting et al. ;)


Last edited by Sparky on 12/12/12 9:46 AM; edited 1 time in total

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/12/12 9:43 AM

Play through the pain...

What kind of strings do you have on the guitar? I'd start with light or extra-light, but it's up to you (the guitar--assuming it's dreadnaught-size--prolly came with mediums).

You'll know you're playing enough when, sitting idly reading a book, you find yourself gnawing at the thick new skin forming on your left-hand digits. :-)

Other hints...

Keep you left-hand nails *very* short--at least for me, I find that makes hitting the notes dead-on from the top easier.

You can also get one of those hand-strengthening devices with four separate buttons, and use that to build strength in the fingers when you're away from the guitar--since there are no strings, it's a little less punishing.

Now, the big question--are you learning from a book of music you like, or are you using the Mel Bay method?

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Wheels
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1153
Location: Needham, MA

12/12/12 10:15 AM

"Lessons" and Guitar Set-Up

As far as "lessons", right now I am just going on-line and printing chord finger charts and playing them. I'll play one chord a few minutes, pull my hand away and then try to place the fingers correct without looking. Once I have mastered that, then I learn new one and repeat the process. At the end of the night, I try to link all the new chords together in a random link chain. Last night it was C and Am, So it was something like C-C-Am-C-Am-Am-C-Am-C-Am-Am- etc. without looking at both strumming hand and neck hand.

The strings on the guitar (came with the guitar) are:


SEAGULL 6 STRING ACOUSTICS - A6 LT :
‘PHOSPHOR BRONZE ‘ LIGHT
.012,.016,.024,.032,.042,.053

Wheels

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/12/12 10:39 AM

OK

My thought, if you're not going to work on reading music--but rather on learning chords--is to buy a book that is loaded with songs you know and love. In my case, it was a huge volume of Bob Dylan songs (and the songbook for Neil Young's Decade ). These had chord diagrams for each song, each chord then called out by name.

You used to be able (probably still are) to get "Songs by ____ Made Easy for Guitar," and I would tend NOT to recommend those, unless your sole goal is strumming in 4/4 time and campfire singing.

If the single-artist volumes are too restrictive, you can probably still find "101 Greatest Hits of the [insert decade here]" fakebooks. These can be an absolute blast.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Tom Phillips
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 937
Location: Humboldt, CA

12/12/12 10:58 AM

What Andy said

Andy has some really good advice - what you are doing is pretty much how I learned, and I considered it a fun process. Be warned that Mr. Young is a much better guitarist than people give him credit for... He can do a lot with a couple of chord shapes.

I started with "Pancho and Lefty" and "Wagon Wheel". Daughter still asks me to play Wagon Wheel while she goes to sleep. I can do that til the day I die.

Greg Brown is another guy that is hard to imitate. Yeah, I can play the chords, there are usually only a few, but he has some mojo going on that I just can't duplicate...

Have fun, congratulations, and again, make sure that guitar is set up. Your fingers will thank you.

 Reply to topic    

daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3307
Location: Springfield

12/12/12 11:07 AM

Don't Play Through the Pain

You're trying to do something you've never done before. It's a not natural position, it's dynamic and it involves straining. AVOID INJURY, ease into it. Half hour is too much? Try 10 minutes. Spend the other 20 studying music, ever heard of the circle of fifths or a I - V chord progression (Love Me Do - two chord rock n' roll!) There's a lot to learn that doesn't involve muscle memory, tendonitis or worse. Imagine not being able to grip the handlebars.

Also, figure out some scales. It's a little less stressful learning individual fingers. Eventually you'll be able to use them for a warmup. Oh yeah, Warm Up First!

When I started with the piano my left "chords" hand developed some numbness in my pinky. That's when I stopped wearing a watch! The numbness went away.

Ask for one of these for Christmas (or whatever holiday you observe this month.) They work on you grip but they also heal.

Do the Eric Clapton alcohol trick too. There are even fingertip exercizers with string-like tips that help build callouses.

This thing, the Chord Wheel is a good tool to use in the 20 minutes you're studying music while you're not playing the guitar.

Dig it.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 11:08 AM

Agree also,

There are a lot of simple songs great to get accustomed to chord changes.

Simple old examples:

Gloria, Van Morrison
Heart of Gold, Neil Young
Satisfaction, Stones
Tangerine, Zep
Where for the children play, Cat Stevens

Newer things might include stuff like closing time, Semisonic


Search Youtube "simple acoustic guitar songs for beginners"

Also, learn to use your fretting pinky finger early so yo do not have to undo the habit of not using later...

 Reply to topic    

Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3226
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/12/12 11:43 AM

USE that Pinky!

And don't forget what great songs can be played with minimal changes--"All Along the Watchtower" is written as a 2-chord song, though Mr. Hendrix added a third chord (I'm pretty sure).

A great song for learning acoustic runs in a little while is Neil's "Hey, Hey, My, My (Out of the Blue and into the Black)." Actually, if you're a fan of Neil Young, most of his songs make for good learning.

Also, most of Tom Petty's stuff is pretty straightforward.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that simple music is bad. Pachelbel's Canon is essentially 4 chords and a couple of fills.

 Reply to topic     Send e-mail

Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17947
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 11:46 AM

"Pachelbel's Canon is essentially 4 chords and a couple of fills."


Couple million on some versions...


"Don't let anyone ever tell you that simple music is bad."

Rolling and Tumblin Baby.

Suggestion, cause we all have the melody of so many x-mas songs engrained into our grey matter. Learn some of those, and even just single note pick the melody of the lyrics when your chording activities gets your hands crampy. Strings are easiest to press in the middle of the scale, ie single note in the 7th to 12th fret range, [unless action is way high of course. ;).

Get thee a capo, and tune down, This way when you want to play with/to a song at pitch without retuning, you just pop it on. Not to mention I doubt your nut is cut optimally, thus using a capo will make low chording a little bit easier as well. The capo @ the 2nd fret would put your git back to pitch if/when tuned a step low. And the fret becomes the nut with the use of the capo. Any finger pressures caused by a nut cut high [even a little] is eliminated and playing/chording likely to be a bit easier.

I again recommend some 11-56 strings, and tune down. Or maybe 10-50-2 or similar.

 Reply to topic    

dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6453
Location: Maine

12/12/12 1:02 PM

OT: Learn to play like Neil

No guitarist here, but a funny story (to me anyway). I've been listening to "Psychedelic Pill" in my car. The other day I pulled out to pass, and heard a horn blast that seemed right outside my door. I jerked the car back, thinking I'd missed the blind spot. No car there. Shortly thereafter it happened again? WTF? Then I realized the "horn" was a blast of fuzztone guitar...

Good luck Wheels, I made a lame attempt years ago and totally sucked.

 Reply to topic    


Return to CyclingForum Home Page CYCLING TECH TALK FORUM
           View New Threads Since My Last Visit VIEW THREADS SINCE MY LAST VISIT
           Start a New Thread

 Display posts from previous:   


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next  
Last Thread | Next Thread  >  

  
  

 


If you enjoy this site, please consider pledging your support

cyclingforum.com - where cyclists talk tech
Cycling TTF Rides Throughout The World

Cyclingforum is powered by SYNCRONICITY.NET in Denver, Colorado -

Powered by phpBB: Copyright 2006 phpBB Group | Custom phpCF Template by Syncronicity