Mudcat Café message #84636 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11225   Message #84636
Posted By: Easy Rider
07-Jun-99 - 01:25 PM
Thread Name: Learning to play guitar
Subject: RE: Learning to play guitar
What kind of guitar to buy? The best you can afford.

Good guitars are expensive, but I don't think they are really THAT expensive, and I'll tell you a story why.

In 1964, when I was sixteen years old, I wanted to buy a good guitar (a Gibson J-50), so I asked my father for the $155.00, and he said 'No' because he thought it would be a waste of money if I lost interest and stopped playing. 'No, Dad.' I said. 'A good guitar gets better as it ages, and it goes up in value too. I could always sell it and get my money back. Also, a good guitar is easy to play and sounds good to you, so you want to play it more and you WILL play it more'. I didn't convince him, so I spent my own money, my life savings and bought the guitar myself.

That was thirty-six years ago, and I still have my Old Lady Gibson today. She's brought me uncountable hours of playing pleasure, and I've long since forgotten that I spent my life savings on her. By the way, I had her appraised honestly for nearly $1800, just recently. As far as being expensive goes, It took me a year to save the $155, in 1964, but I could save the $1800, I would need today in perhaps one twentieth the time. The same guitar is cheaper today!

Play a lot of good guitars in all the stores you can find, and when you find the ONE that really sounds and feels 'right' buy it. You won't be sorry thirty-six years from now.

The difference between a 00 size guitar and a dreadnought is not the neck length but the string scale (length). Dreadnoughts and orchestra models (OMs) all have a 25.4" string scale, while many smaller guitars, like the Martin 000-28 or the 00 models have a 24.9" string scale. A baby Taylor has a 22" string scale. The shorter the scale, the softer the action and the closr the frets are to each other, making stretches easier.

Another factor, for small hands is the fingerboard width. Dreadnoughts and most smaller guitars have a 1 11/16" width at the nut, while the OM models are 1 3/4" wide. I have big hands, so I like the wider fingerboard, but you might find a narrower one easier to play.