Search for new games to share.
Syntax for writing comments.
Frequently asked questions.
Community rules and guidelines.
I've played guitar as a teenager... nothing fancy, just cowboy chords while camping during the summer break for a few years, to accompany a group of about 50 other kids that where singing around the camp fire.
Now, about 25 years later, guitars have caught my interest again and I've been thinking about getting back into playing - this time more serious though... I'd like to get into fingerstyle blues. So for the past month I've been debating if I should get myself a new guitar as a birthday gift and save up the money for it until then. Of course I'm aware that more money equals a better instrument but I can't afford anything expensive and have to follow my budget which would be quite tight (200€ the most, I'd even much prefer for it to be more like 100-150€) and I would try to avoid anything used from Ebay because I cannot afford spending that amount of money to end up with one that has a half broken or warped body/neck/headstock (whatever damage one could think of).
Anyways, I was wondering if there's any (experienced) guitar players here on Steamgifts who could recommend a specific brand/model of a cheap but still good (i.e. "affordable" - playing the blues doesn't need a high end instrument anyways) guitar surpassing the build quality one would expect for the money which I could check out online and eventually possibly order?
Also, I'm a lefty. And while I've always played right handed I'm wondering if things would be much different when playing with a guitar that's the other way around instead - you know, a lefty guitar. I don't remember it being difficult to learn (and I still remember how to play the major chords from back then) but besides one or two fingerstyle songs ('Stairway To Heaven' being one of them, 'Nothing Else Matters' another one... of course) I've never actually played something like fingerstyle blues which I assume to be quite a bit more difficult to learn finger-coordination-wise.
So, if there's some of you who are left handed as well... was it actually easier to (learn and) play with a lefty guitar instead?
I'd have to try and learn with what I can find online on YouTube since, well, I neither have the money for lessons nor do I have any family members or friends who can play and teach me (even though that is what I'd MUCH prefer over watching videos - any volunteers?). I've learnt it autodidactic as a teenager, so as long as I can find a good source I certainly wouldn't rule out being able to learn it sooner or later. Of course recommendations for that are welcome as well.
Comment has been collapsed.
I have no clue about guitars, so can't really help you, but have a bump!
Well, at least you left a comment and bumped before joining both giveaways... 🤷♂️
Your best bet is to go to a used guitar shop and spend time playing each one that is within your budget. The thing is I know many brands but it's better to go with what sounds good and also the sound you are looking for since they are all different.
Brand and look don't matter it's always about sound.
Look at Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar, if you saw it in a pawn shop you probably wouldn't want it, but man can that thing sing!
Just like EVH's guitars...
Visiting a guitar store is impossible right now and probably for at least several more weeks. I can listen to a whole lot of guitars online though at store's website or on YouTube to hear what they sound like (at least in stores recorded with standard settings, for the Youtube option I simply have to listen to as many as possible to get an idea).
Also, if I'd go for sound I had to go with e.g. a dreadnought - but that's just way too big. I had one as a teenager and definitely want something smaller this time. Currently I'm having an eye on Gretsch's Jim Dandy... it sounds nice and looks good on top.
@Eiion So much this. I had multiple experiences ordering a guitar online (new, not used), and every time I wished I just did it the "old way". Nothing beats feeling it your hands, hearing how it sounds, seeing what's wrong with it or what you don't like about it (if anything).
I think you should be able to find used Fender Stratocaster under 200
upd. seen your answer above, I personally still have this guitar, pretty solid
Sure... but, you know,... Covid. It might take months for walk in guitar stores to re-open again. So there's no way around online shopping for one.
Uhm... a Strat is not exactly a western guitar i.e. an acoustic steel string guitar. Neither is your Ibanez with that really nice quilt maple top - but it certainly looks good!
Oh, I guess I completely misunderstood the question then. Is 'western guitar' a known term?
edit. okay, I think I know where the confusion is coming from. In German 'Westerngitarre' is just an 'acoustic guitar' in English. you might want to update the title (unless i'm the only dummy not knowing it)
edit 2. after further research i guess I am the dummy, nvm written above :D
Yep - that's the category. For acoustic guitars the main categories are western and concert/classical. And besides those there's Ukuleles, bluegrass instruments and 'others' (for the more rare/specific instruments).
EDIT: Well, it might be a European term... so I'll update the post.
Funny thing is, I even played such a guitar for quite some years, but always deemed it just as 'acoustic' %)
Well, it's not wrong - just not as specific 😄
Guitars are not like computers were money decides the quality, its your sound preference that will decide that. You should just go to your closest shop and try out some guitars. Also if you tell them your budget and style the seller might be able to help directing you to your desired guitar.
As for the lefty I recommend keep playing on right handed guitars. My sister is a lefty and played on left handed and that made lots of problems with getting guitars, you might need a custom made and in general its a pain (and I cant play on any of her guitars :( ), and I have met lefty that play on right handed guitars and did just fine.
along side youtube are your friends for self study
As said in another reply: It might take months for walk in guitar stores to re-open again. So there's no way around online shopping for one.
Interesting point regarding guitars for lefties... but I guess those wouldn't be issues for me once I got one. But then again, I used to play with my right hand anyways. I'm just wondering if it would be easier. Maybe you can ask her if things became easier for her once she started using a left handed guitar - considering she probably started with a right handed one.
Thanks for the links - those website look quite interesting on the first glance! Are those sites free or are there any hidden costs?
EDIT: I see, both seem to be partially free with premium subscriptions on top of what's free. Again, thanks for those!
She never actually tried a right handed guitar. Well 1 more point I can add is that while I cant play properly on her guitar she cant play on most guitars. So if you find yourself in a place with a random guitar you can assume its right handed.
In the end I don't think it matters much to your progress. You are interested in a style that involves skills in both hand unlike me who mainly uses a pick. I can tell you even thought I am a right handed my left hand is much more agile then my right hand.
But if you decide to buy a left handed guitar know this, for some guitars it wont matter just changing the order of the strings, but on better guitars it might do harm for your guitar which will create a noise over time. I find it hard to explain in English how it happens and why but be warry of seller telling you just change the string order.
This link might explain it better and what you can do
She didn't? Oh wow... I've never hear of any lefties who where lucky enough to start with a lefty guitar from the start. Most of them start out with a regular one and switch over to one for left handed people at a later point.
You say "she cant play on most guitars" - are you saying she sucks at playing? ;-)
While I do most things with either hands, there's certain things that are just easier when done with one or the other. So I'm just curious if a guitar meant for left handed people would make a difference (to me - sure, only I would actually be able to find out).
Yeah, it's not only just as easy as to reverse the order of strings as you'd have to make (or buy) an opposite version of the nut and bridge as well. So it's might be someone one could try just to try things out but yeah... that's not a too good of an idea hardware wise.
Ah, the article you've linked even goes into those issues I see.
Regardless of my intention of her not being able to play right handed guitars which are a lot more common in my opinion she does suck at playing lol. At least relatively. That cause she stopped playin ages ago.
Anyway I don't think I have anything else to add on this subject good luck.
Alright, thanks for the input!
This is a very niche topic to expect people to contribute to before entering the giveaways. Unless of course you want a bunch of 'I don't know anything about guitars, but ty for the giveaways' comments which don't really help :D. Anyway, I'm not interested in the games, but good luck in finding the right model for you.
It might be very niche, indeed - the better for those interested in the games and spending some of their time on the topic.
Thank you! :-)
Not a pro here. I bought an oscar schmidt classical nylon guitar 15 years ago in your price range, which is still doing fine. Pretty sure they have steel string models. You'd better wait for the stores to open though and choose one by yourself.
I'm not sure but I don't think Oscar Schmidt guitars are being sold anymore...
My friend had an Ibanez with built in tuner and the sound was really good, not sure about the price. AEG5012 black model
Yeah, these little integrated pickups/equalizers/tuners can be quite nice though they make things unnecessary expensive for me as you pay quite the upcharge to have them. That guitar you've mentioned is a 12-string guitar - which is 6 more than I need ;-) But yeah, 12 strings guitar sound great.
I started off with a $400 Ibanez (at a friend's recommendation) >10 years ago and still play it today. That's a bit above your range, but Ibanez does offer lower-priced options. I can't speak to the lower end items, but the quality of my pick has been great.
Not sure if this link will work for you in the EU: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez/Beginner--Guitars.gc
Sure, I can open guitarcenter links - I just cannot buy there. (Or maybe I could - with paying twice the price after adding shipping cost and import tax.)
There's one Ibanez that I quite like - the Ibanez PN12E. It's just scratching on my absolute upper limit but since it's nowhere available over here it seems I guess that saves me from spending more than what the Gretsch Jim Dandy goes for 😅
That is a nice one to look at and at a pretty good price. I like the preamp/tuner as an option. But sorry you can't get it. :(
So far the Jim Dandy is my favorite - sounds nice as well from what I've heard. But yeah, a little preamp would be a nice to have - just in case.
What specific model? You do you, pick what you like, but I don't know that I care for the styling I'm seeing on these. XD
Huh? Are you asking which I meant that sounds nice? The Gretsch Jim Dandy I meant. The thing that's holding me back with that model is that a lot of the price goes into the brand name instead of the guitar itself so I'm wondering if something lesser known for the same price could be of better quality... which is why I'm trying to find out what people around here like. But sure, different guitars for different people ;-)
Yeah, I meant which variant/color of the JD... but I think I was off in lala land. Looking it up again, I don't see the same results I was looking at yesterday, so I was probably looking at some other model. :D
Ah, ok. Well, they make it in black, red and a 2-tone sunburst version which would be my choice. Those large fingerboard inlay dots are a bit off-putting but I guess that's something one gets used to rather quick - especially if everything looks better than almost all other guitars (to me).
I'm more of a classical/Stratocaster guitars type but if I had to pick an affordable acoustic, I'd go for a Fender CD-60S or a used Alhambra.
I own a classical Alhambra 3C both the build quality and the sound are amazing. Got it used for around €300 in mint condition.
Yeah, I had a dreadnought before and this time around I want something much smaller... a parlor or folk sized model. So that Fender model is not an option for me.
The only Alhambras I could find go for at least 1000€ - yeah... that's way out of my budget even used I'd assume (which would require lots of waiting searching and luck on top I guess).
I'm also looking for a guitar .. will probably get used one if good deal comes up.. There has been some, but those are bought pretty fast. I'm looking for Les Paul type guitar at the same price as you..
Just wanted to ask - what about amp ? that is going to set you back another 100 eur.. at least one that's worth it. Or are you looking at acoustic guitar ? I didn't read all the comments so sorry if you already answered that. As for acoustic I think for 100 eur you can definitely get a good quality guitar.
As far as I have looked at reviews for the budget friendly beginner guitars the ones at this price are pretty good for someone to learn on. And as others have said - it's more the style you want to play and sound you want to get out of it not the price, so I think that's good price point.
As the title says "steel string acoustic guitar" so no amp needed.
heh, don't know how I missed that one :D proves that sometimes you don't notice the thing thats right in front of your eyes
Sorry about earlier, Eiion. Anyway, did you know that Dick Dale and Albert King are also left handed? Their trick, which is astounding to be honest, was to play their guitars upside down. It's absolutely ridiculous but it also works amazingly once perfected, allowing for some special chord structures and a unique way of bending strings. Here's a quick interview with Dick Dale about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxPzQcQXnOE
I didn't know they were lefties but yes, playing upside down has been a thing for many decades as guitars for lefties had been extremely rare in the past (still somewhat are). It's not what I would want to do though as I wouldn't want to make things even more complicated (than just transforming "normal" guitar fingering technique to left but also upside down.
It looks pretty awesome though, you have to admit. Imagine someone telling you you were playing your guitar upside down, you look at him oddly, shrug, and then proceed to play decently 'the normal way.' Makes you look like a total champ.
It surely does... Ha, it's probably just as annoying as getting told I'm writing with the wrong hand. Had that happen in university where a professor refused to answer my question unless I'd write with my right hand instead of the left one 🤦♂️
...Yeah, people can be weirdly fixated on that for some reason. I tried a hand at being ambidextrous when I was in high school (right-handed, by the way) and it was so jarring when it came up.
Yep, that's how it goes when I try writing with my right hand :D
Quick! Swap between the two in rapid succession to confuse them!
I am not a bot but I have no idea of guitars.
That's what a bot would say, wouldn't it?
Hey fellow human, can select some random mountain pictures for me?
Only fire hydrants, traffic lights or chimneys, sorry.
A wild bump appears...Sorry I don't know much about guitars.
Gasp! Where did that come from 😮
Dont really know a lot about guitars
Well, one can't know something about everything...
I'm not a pro player but I'm playing for more than 15 years now and I have Fender CD-60 NAT guitar and I can recommend it.
It held up for that long? Now that's reassuring! I have to say, these CD-60s have a really pleasant ringing sound - but their dreadnought body is just too big for me. One guitar I had as a teenager was one of that body shape and now I'm more looking for something smaller of parlor/folk/0 size.
good luck finding a new guitar! I have no clue about them personally, but bump <3
then i think about cheap and good instruments its Yamaha brand . i have a classic nylon one C40 for about 5 years now.
Yamaha indeed builds some nice guitars - though from what I've seen all within my price range are dreadnaughts and I'm looking for smaller body shapes (steel string, not nylons).
smaller body shapes? Have you considered a Taylor Baby acoustic? the sound is incredible and its really easy to play with ebony fretboard and its also cheap because its technically "travel" sized. As long as you are diligent with putting distilled water into a 20 dollar guitar humidifier it should last you a long long time.
I also have a 200 dollar yamaha classical guitar that ive had for years without issues but it sounds like you arent looking at nylon string guitars
Actually I have - and I quite like it. The Taylor Mini as well. But they're twice and thrice my max budget, respectively, so neither of them is anywhere near to be an option.
Yeah, I've never liked nylon string guitars. I just highly dislike the way the nylons roll unter the finger of the strumming/picking hand and they've never been the right instrument for the type of music I was playing anyways.
Bump for help :)
Have a lefty bump 😄🤜
Start at the $300 USD mark. Take someone who plays with you, pick it up in person, and make sure the person who plays can confirm that the guitar has good "action" (the height of the strings above the fretboard, for the entire length of the fretboard). Cheap guitars will generally have bad action, and make playing a chore as a beginner. Too high, it will be very annoying and sometimes even painful to fret chords. Too low, the strings will constantly buzz against the fretboard instead of vibrating over it. The action of a guitar can be adjusted by a luthier, but if you can avoid that step at the start, it's probably better. imho, ymmv, etc.
There's several issues with your suggestions: 1, I'm in Euro-land and 200 is my absolute limit. 2, I know nobody who plays (besides myself). 3, buying a guitar in person is not possible over here during Corona times - shops are closed for at least several more weeks (rather months). I know about a guitars action and can adjust it myself but I agree, cheap(er) ones typically have bad action and it's a pain to play them... and I hate fret buzz with passion. But hence I'm trying to find the best I can get for the budget.
I dont know anything about guitars, but i would like to know why you have me in your blacklist
That's a good question - I have no idea why you've been on it. Typically I make a user note with ESGST but there is none for you.
One thing that's for sure is that you don't want to just go on amazon or ebay and just buy whatever cheap crap's on there (like brand-less or never-heard-of-brand). I bought both a 15€ and a 50€ guitars like this, and even though they sounds fine (or fine-ish) for the first couple of weeks, in the medium-to-long run you'll start to experience a variety of problems with them, the most common being that the mechanics on the head start to get loose/rusty for no good reason, or, worse, that the neck starts to bend inwards because of string traction...
So anyway, ,long story short, I would recommend sticking with a big or biggish brand, but buy their first-price model, you'll end up with a decent quality guitar that stands the test of time. I own a 3/4 Fender and a full size Takamine, both steel-string and both in perfect condition after (respectively) 6 and 15 years, and both cost me under 200€! Believe it or not, the Takamine sounds better (and it's quite easy to find in most guitar shops).
Oh yeah, definitely not! I'm aware of all the points you're mentioning - but thanks for bringing them up as they're good information for anyone interested but no experience at all.
All Takamines I could find over here are out of my price range and the Fenders which are in it I really didn't like from their looks (while they sounded nice).
Check out garage sales and facebook marketplace ect
I bought a cheap acoustic off there a couple years ago for 20 bucks. Nothing fancy but sounds good enough. I have an electric with a broken pickup, so haven't really plugged in for a long time and fell off of playing. Getting a cheap acoustic that I can just pick up and put down whenever is nice. Also with a smaller kid in the house I don't care if she messes with it.
One day I will buy myself a Gibson but for now I am really happy with what I have.
As said, I can't go to any such selling places right now or anytime soon as because of Covid and garage sales aren't a thing in my country to begin with. We have flea markets - but again, not during times like these.
Luckily I don't have kids (and my nephews are old enough already) to be afraid getting instruments broken 😅
Hey, just get yourself a replacement pickup to enjoy your guitar again - it's cheaper than a new guitar. And good luck with the Gibson 🤞
Tbh im not sure its broken or if some of the wiring went bad. It seems to lose contact at points.
Still wish you luck finding something, fingerpick playstyle is a lot of fun
Thanks - and good luck to you figuring out the issues with your guitar!
I'm not a professional guitar player but I played that instrument in lots of recordings and shows. I've been a professional bass player for almost 20 years, though.
The thing about prices/brands is that they vary a lot depending on geographical location. Not as much as things like food, but still. Recommending something specific is almost impossible.
The most important thing in an instrument when you are starting out (which, if you haven't played for 25 years is close to what you are doing) is that you find it comfortable. If it sounds great, then all the better; but the main thing is that the easier it is to play, the less frustrated you'll get. Frustration is what leads to stopping playing when starting out/beginning anew, so... it's very important. You don't want to fight your instrument while you are trying to use your hands in ways that do not seem possible at first.
Also, at least in my opinion: any instrument you buy, be it used or new, has to be properly calibrated, fixed, er... whatever the english word for it is by a profesional. Even the priciest instruments come with intonation issues, strings too high/low, things like that. If you ask me, I'd rather buy a lesser guitar and spend some of the money on calibration; especially if I'm buying something cheap because there will be issues without a doubt. It shouldn't be too expensive (although, again, it varies depending on where you live), but finding someone who works well can be difficult. Someone that's not good can even ruin the instrument...
I am left-handed by the way, but I play right-handed because my brain doesn't work as it should (it's a long story). Still, I played a lot with one of the best guitarists in my country who is and plays left-handed and he told me several times that playing that way (he started as right-handed) changed everything for him for the better. It's not the only one that I heard say that, either. So given the circumstances (getting back after so long) it seems like it might be worth trying. You'll probably have way better coordination at the very least. And since you are buying an acoustic guitar, well... depending on the shape of the guitar you might be able to just put the string backwards and use the guitar upside-down as long as you play sitting down.
As for learning, the biggest hurdle is almost always frustration ("this is impossible!!!! throws guitar"). So I'd recommend going for things that you find fun. Set objectives ("I want to play this song". "I want to play with other people". "I want to impress this girl". "I want to bother my neighboors", whatever works for you) and work towards them. Try to find the lessons that go in that direction. And if something seems too difficult... leave it for later. As time passes you'll find that things start happening naturally, and then you can go in any direction. The difficult thing is reaching that point. After that, the sky is the limit.
Oh, and try to play everyday. Ten minutes, seven hours, it doesn't matter. But being constant is, for most people, the key to being a profficient instrumentalist. It's better to play fifteen minutes a day than 12 hours straight once a week.
My very best wishes!!! Hope this helped and you have lots of fun.
Thanks! Hope it's helpful to the OP and anyone who reads it. I remember buying my first bass and... well, it's a very hard thing to do. Too many options!
It is 👍
Indeed! If money wasn't an issue... 😅
Ok, although I've said I haven't played in about 25 years... well, I've "played around" with an e-guitar about 5-6 years ago in Rocksmith. Though I wouldn't consider that "playing" in the short time that I've played the game. But yeah, I get what you're saying and I'm aware of most of it.
I've asked at the biggest online store for instruments in Europe and they'd charge 45€ for a basic guitar setup when ordering (or sending in) a guitar. So that's something I'm going to do myself - which isn't a problem, I've done it before. It just takes me longer to do than it would a professional who does it all day long.
You've got me curious - why does your brain not work as it should in regards of finger coordination? Sorry if I'm too curious.
That's indeed some really interesting information what you're telling me about that lefty guitarist. You know, I've never had any specific things for left handed people - not that there weren't any when I was a kid anyways - but for the last 10-20 years you always hear how much easier things are when using things specifically made for lefties. Hence me wondering if I'd actually benefit from it. I mean, gripping chords isn't too hard, it's the coordination of the fingers picking the strings where I remember struggling the longest to get it right. So who knows... maybe one day I get a chance to give it a try.
Good advice on the practicing part!
Anyways, I appreciate the detailed advice!
I'm sorry it took me this long to reply, but my life got pretty chaotic. Did you buy it? Hope so!
And now it may be too late, but... when I was talking about the guitar's "setup" (is that the right word?) I didn' meant anything even remotely basic. More like, er... rectifying? the guitar, polishing the frets, that kind of thing. Not the kind of thing one can do without the proper tools and training, especially on an acoustic guitar, with all the gluing and whatnot. I'm sorry about the confusion... my enlgish skills are very limited.
As for the brain thing, it's difficult to explain. I don't have an issue with finger coordination (or at least, not that I know of) although my coordination is shit. That may or may not be related, but who knows. No, my problem is a cognitive one. I cannot learn things like most people do -by repetition- and so, I cannot be taught. I do it in a very different way, which seems like a magic trick to most people watching me do things for the very first time... because I just do them. I do all the work in my head, then apply it all at once. I do use references, and I do study how other people do things; and, with most people being right handed, that meant I learned things as if I were too. But anything that's instinctual I do with my left hand. In fact, I developed my drumming by listening only and I play left handed, so...
One last thing: the "fingers picking the strings" part IS the hardest part -hence why using your strongest hand there means a world of difference. Not to me, as I'm not using my hands (I have no muscle memory) but to most people it does. So it's worth a try!
No problem, I hope you are well.
Got myself a little Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy, yes.
That's what I understood when you've mentioned setting up the guitar - though that's certainly not what they'd done for only 45€. But still, not an issue. A professional can surely do it quicker but it's nothing I can't do myself - it's not even needed though, the Jim Dandy already came setup perfectly fine from the factory.
Your last post was exactly my though process - maybe someday I'll get a lefty... Maybe I'll get a used one for a few bucks on Amazon sometime to pay around with it seeing how I like it.
Thanks for the advice.
For acoustic, my go-to has always been Yamahas. Pretty cheap and ig you get what you pay for but I go to summer camp and i don't want to ruin a good guitar there. One time the head completely snapped off the neck for no reason which was a pain to replace while I was at camp, but it was clearly a defective model.
I can't speak on blues because I only play electric now. I love my Stratocasters and they are my children. I'm taking one to college with me along with a bass guitar and a ukulele.
I think the biggest thing that I struggle with is just the idea of comparing myself to others and never feeling good enough. It's made me dread playing bc I constantly think "what's the point?". If you're feeling like that, stop playing. Seriously. Take a week off and help yourself love it again. I didn't do that and wouldn't play for like a year. You need to accept your skill level and not compare it to others.
Hope that helps ig.
fwiw, the head snapping off the neck "for no reason" may have been related to being a one piece with an angled neck, if that was the case for your guitar. The woodgrain direction means that style of neck is much weaker than a non-angled or two-piece neck. Gibson electrics are known to have this issue, but style prevails after all these years instead of practicality. :)
Ukes are great! :)
That would make sense. I just have not had any other issues with Yamahas. It was only that one that was so sensitive. But I do see what you're saying. Didn't know that about Gibsons though, I tend to stick with Fender.
Also, I agree, Ukes are awesome!
I'd assume it was just bad luck... From what I know Yamahas aren't prone to breaking necks and I don't thing they are even one piece necks/heads. Opposite of the widely known headstock breaking for Gibsons as godprobe mentioned. But as long as guitars have a volute and therefore more material at the critical point, that shouldn't be an issue.
I have a Uke as well... one 20€ set that came along with a little practicing book. A buddy gave it to me when he moved and didn't want it anymore. So far I haven't played it and while the hardware seems somewhat usable the strings look like black fishing line to me. Not sure what I'm going to do with that. Maybe I'll pass it on to my little nephews, trying to get them more interested in playing music.
Yeah, even the more affordable Yamahas are really good sounding for the money! Unfortunately they have nothing that's either in my budget or the size I want.
I guess that's the reason I gave up on it as well previously.
I am in a similar boat as you. I have a cheap electric guitar that I love -- Squier Bullet Mustang -- and would like to have an acoustic guitar in the same mode: cheap, decent sound, lean and lightweight.
At one point I was looking at the Yamaha APXT2, but not sure if that will be too small. The APX600 looks nice, though I believe considerably more expensive.
Oh, I've been looking at the APX T2 as well - the dark red burst looks quite nice and they also don't sound bad at all. With the pickup they have integrated they actually don't even sound like others with a piezo system. Instead they just sound even fuller like a big guitar. I like them. Unfortunately they're at least 30€ out of my max budget though. If money wouldn't be an issue, I'd be quite interested in the Yamaha TransAcoustic models! If you haven't come across them, yet, look them up on Youtube. The most affordable model over here start at around 600€ though. They have reverb and chorus integrated and a transducer uses the guitar body to generate that sound... it's magical!
I just went to a couple of stores yesterday, and the APXT2 is a bit small. I'm now looking more at "travel" guitars, which seem to be slightly larger, sitting between a normal full size and the 3/4 size. Some are branded as "little" size, as opposed to "mini". So far I have seen Cort, Smiger and Revival brands of a similar size.
Travel guitars shouldn't be bigger than the APXT2 - scale length typically is shorter or equal to that of the Yamaha and body size varies from smaller to a bigger. Did you listen to it amplified? It sounded like a full sized guitar when amplified to me which I quite liked (not like a typical piezo pick-up). Anyways, I liked them but if it's not for you it's not for you.
But those you mention still have a thicker (or generally a lot bigger) body, haven't they?
I think Travel is a broad category, but the stores I went to contrasted them with 3/4 size guitars. In any case, I compared in the store, and the ones I looked at were definitely larger than the APXT2. I like the thin body, but the dimensions otherwise are too small for my arm to rest comfortable on the body.
No, I didn't listen to the APXT2 amplified. The size was smaller than I want -- the body is definitely smaller than what I want, and I think the scale length is shorter as well -- and I'm looking at pure acoustic to keep the price down. Best not to get myself too excited about it. :)
Just looked up a couple of the guitars I looked at. Cort Luce series has a few body types that are undersized options that I liked.
Yeah, that's what they typically are wanting to sell you when an adult asks for a traveler guitar. If you actually look for traveler guitars you'll find some models (even some with full scale length, e.g. from the actual "Traveler Guitar" brand) that are specifically designed with smaller overall size in mind opposed to just being a 3/4 size guitar.
Anyways, if you want something small on which you can still rest your arm on... I'd suggest looking for Parlor, size "0", concerto or small tenor sized guitars. If small size is no criteria of interest to you but rather the fullest sound possible then of course a big dreadnought, grand auditorium (size "000") or jumbo guitars should be more your thing (though reaching around might get difficult with shorter arms).
Thanks. Yeah, I think those sizes you suggested make sense. Definitely not looking at the big ones. I'm not a big dude by any stretch, so dreadnoughts and jumbo guitars look like cellos to me.
Haha... well, you can still play them, it's not that bad (though for people under 1,65m it might be, I don't know. I played a dreadnought at 15/16 years old without any problems and am not that toll. Though I always felt like that one guy in a mariachi band that plays the Guitarrón with it being 😅
By the way, I just came across the Fender CP-60S Parlor - maybe that's a model you'll like. They sound good and there's two color options available - natural and sunburst (https://www.thomann.de/de/search_dir.html?sw=Fender+CP-60S). Being a Fender model I'm sure they are available somewhere wherever you live.
Thanks. I'm actually leaning towards one with a bevel. Design-wise, I'm loving this one: http://chords-haven.blogspot.com/2020/10/makana-amg361-hidden-gem.html
Just that the brand is an unknown, better known for ukeleles. So I'm not sure about sound or build quality ... and I'm paranoid about the longevity of no-name Chinese products. But I love the rounded edges and the beveled arm rest, the cut-away and the inlay around the hole. I'd probably change the nut and the tuner knobs to pearl for purely aesthetic reasons, to give it a little more color.
Otherwise, the Cort Luce Bevel looks quite nice ... just very plain in appearance. But build quality looks great and it sounds nice in YouTube reviews.
Are you possibly mixing up Makala with Makana for Ukuleles? That Makana AMG361 is a really nice and good sounding guitar - and pretty affordable for what you get I'd say. I could only find it from Singapore and converted the price - I've only ever seen this type of cutaway on much more expensive guitars.
To be fair, almost all "cheap" guitars are produced either in China or Indonesia... Having had negative experiences with a guitar produced in China which I had 3 models until I had one that was acceptable I can relate to the reservations one may have, when it comes to guitars built for cheap in China.
But if you look at e.g. the Fender PM-2 Standard which is "Crafted in China" and costs 535€ (RRP 689€) or B&G from Israel who have their guitars built in China as well and charge 1600€ for those models... It really all depends on how good the manufacturing company and quality control is and I wouldn't make a general judgement on these instruments based on where they are built.
Cort are Chinese guitars as well...
I lived and worked in China, so my thinking is very much along the lines of yours, that it is all about the QC, which the bigger brand will have. For the no-name brands, some are great but it is really impossible to assess.
I am definitely getting the companies mixed up! Just saw other guitars that look the same under the Traveler and Islander brands, so maybe there is one supplier in China making all of these! And they review well.
The guitar is beautiful. And I am very much a newbie, so it is good to hear you are saying the sound is pretty good. Definitely leaning in this direction.
I saw a similar
Many years back bought rims for a racing bicycle which I've imported from Bulgaria (if I recall correclty). They looked exactly like those from an Italian premium brand... turns out the Factory decided to cut out the middle man to make a bit more money and directly sold the rims (with minor changes to keep it legal) under their own brand name. So basically I got the same rims for a quarter of the price.
I wouldn't be surprised if a Chinese company is manufacturing guitars for other brands and is selling them under their own brand name. They might be of a little lesser quality (as naturally there's different requirements on QC) but chances are the guitar is just as good for a fraction of the price.
Well, I could only judge the sound by the videos that were part of the blog post that you've linked me and the audio recording wasn't too great, but I think it was good enough to hear that they certainly sounded good enough for a guitar of that price, not tinny or boxy and well rounded from high to low. And especially when you can get it in person, have the seller play it for you and you still like what you see and hear - I see no reason not to go with it.
I am fairly new to guitars but here is my hot take on the matter.
Playing wrong sided is no issue as long as you are fine with it, plenty of people do it.
However, just keep in mind that the reason we use our dominant hand as the strumming hand is because has better dexterity and rhythm. The strumming hand does a lot of precise movements in a rhythmic fashion and has further technical aspects such as muting, fingerstyle, pinch harmonics, alternate picking,etc. Strumming with the dominant hand means that you can focus on the fretting hand more, where your eyes should be at all times anyways.
It is fine to stay the way you are since with practice you will slowly overcome it but you can choose to retrain yourself if you wish to do so as well. It'll be hard at the beginning again since your hands will be doing alien tasks all over again but this time progress will be faster due to you knowing what to train. Just train/play consistently every day, and you'll be fine in both direction.
I am not all that experienced with acoustic guitars sadly, I only have a crammy archtop. Whatever acoustic guitar you buy, make sure it is properly set up and that it feels nice to you. Frets, neck relief, intonation and action. Since acoustic guitars can't be adjusted easily or do not have the option of adjusting other than the neck relief, you need to make sure it is in good condition when you buy it. I guess brands like Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez, Taylor, Takamine, Epiphone,etc, are trusted brands in this category but the prices and availability of brands depends a lot on your region. Don't toss away a guitar just because it is not a well known brand made in a well known country.
Also, while a cheap guitar nowadays is perfectly fine to practice and play on, don't expect it to last as long or feel as good as more proper budget guitars. Best to inspect the guitar in person to see if it feels right to you, bringing along a friend more knowledgeable in guitars might be a handy thing to do as well, since your friend can point out areas to look out for which you would've otherwise missed.
Blues is very much alive in the electric department too though. A budget Squire, Jackson, ESP, Epiphone or Ibanez amongst others are good starter guitars if you play to go on the electric route. Just keep in mind that different style of pick up configuration styles will change your tone. Oh and uh you need an amp, a cable and more expensive strings.
Acoustic and Electric guitars both produce hugely different sounds so make sure the sound you are looking for can be produced by the type of guitar you are buying. There are also semi-hollow bodies but they tend to be more expensive. Just check what type of guitar is used to make the songs you want to play.
Oh and uh the body shape and colour of a guitar does effect your playing, if you like the look of a guitar more, you are more likely to pick it up and to play it more enthusiastically so make sure to consult your eyes while buying as well.
Anyways, JustinGuitars's course (100% free) is something a lot of people recommend, including me. It might be boring but he wants you to learn HOW to play guitar, so in the long-run it's worth it. There's plenty of other online sources that help you kickstart your guitar playing but you should focus less on finding them and more on the actual playing.
Having a teacher is quite useful too, since that person can point out things and habits that you otherwise would be completely oblivious about. Though, not all teacher is good and sometimes you might not really connect with your teacher's style as well. Just because someone is good at guitars doesn't mean they are gonna be good at teaching.
If you know a few easy songs you like, you can watch tutorials online on how to play them, so that you are both learning and practicing, plus having fun playing songs you like. Oh and uh, from time to time revisit your older songs or lessons just to remind yourself that you are indeed improving and also just to polish your existing skills and arsenal further.
To keep it short: Thanks for your extensive contribution with lots of useful advice!