Guitar Enthusiasts

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Bowser, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,522
    I mainly have guitars but I also have a banjo that I'm just learning to play bluegrass style (thumb and finger picks). It's not easy but I don't find it any harder than claw hammer style (which I don't know) and I like the way it sounds better.

    If anyone cares to list some of their guitars, I always find that interesting as well. I have a Fender Telecaster, a PRS SE Santana model, a Godin Kingpin II (hollowbody electric with humbuckers, in my case) and a Godin Multiac which is a solid body nylon string electric with piezo pickups.
     
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  3. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    My wife plays guitar, entirely self taught and mostly as a fun thing to play around with. I was contemplating getting her one of these for Christmas:

    fretzealot.com

    Looks interesting.
     
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  5. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    List guitars...
    Acoustic - Taylor CE614, Seagull & Ovation
    Electric - Fender: Telecaster & Jazz Master, Gibson: ES135 & SG (Pete Townshend model)

    If I had to get rid of all but one - I would probably keep the Taylor. Although I have grown quite fond of the Telecaster.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I have always wondered how Pat Metheny gets his haunting soaring sounds.
    The Pat Metheny Group - Minuano;


    and if you continue listening the second clip The Pat Metheny Group - So It May Secretly Begin (Still Life Talking, 1987) ;

    in fact the entire album : (Still Life Talking, 1987) is astoundingly beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,436
    Phil Heywood - the "best sound" player I linked youtube above - is playing a Taylor, has for years. He owns a couple of others - including a cedar top Guild for slide etc - but that's his main one.

    I can't enjoy an electric - I'm too clumsy to get any good sounds out of them, they don't allow good volume control, they sustain unless actively stopped, and the feel is too much like pushing buttons, or working a synthesizer. Too wimpy, essentially, not enough drum - they don't seem like guitars at all to me, but some different instrument.

    Long ago, I bought my first good guitar from a boutique shop in a wealthy neighborhood - a one man operation that had a large array of different kinds of guitars hanging in a humidity controlled room. Thirty or forty different builders, plus the standard brands. He had a couple of sizes of 1930s Martins, a Gibson Hummingbird and J-200 from the right years, the famous ones. All with newer strings, all tuned, all set up to play. The guy's schtick was to sit you in a chair and hand you instruments, one at a time, and have you take or leave them, sift and compare. After you had the room's selection winnowed to eight or nine, you left - and came back a few days later, to play off the eight or nine. It came down to two, with me, both clean and clear, strong in the bass and in beauty - one more loud and dramatic and powerful, the other more warm and expressive and balanced. (Neither one expensive, by the way, which was lucky) I chose the power, but I said to him - and meant it - that if I were a better human being I would prefer the other. And he told me that that particular guitar - my second choice - was almost everybody's second or third choice.

    He eventually gave it as a contest prize in some promotion. It was a Taylor - one of the early ones, before fame, when the name was just another builder's name on the wall with thirty others.

    I own two working guitars, and the remains of that first one (still plays, even sounds pretty good, but unrecognizable - different neck, braces shaved, holes cut into the back, reamed out soundhole, overstrung and hammered and victimized by all my big ideas). A six recently built to fit by David Seaton, a secondhand 12 built long ago for somebody else by Bozidar Podunavac.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's Christmas - and Hawaiian slack key somehow sounds like Christmas inherently. Apparently there are recordings of actual Christmas carols and such by slack key players, but that seems like overkill - just slot in something like this: http://www.dancingcat.com/notes/08022-38048-2-.html
     
  10. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    13,431
    Hm... actually, if anyone has some advice -

    I'm looking at the option of purchasing a guitar for my wife - she enjoys playing around with her guitar, but it's a bit too large for her (she has smaller hands, and bar chords give her issues due to the width and depth of the neck of her current instrument).

    Any recommendations on a brand good for those with smaller hands that is reasonable in price and quality without going into a kids-sized guitar?
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,522
    I'm guessing that you are talking about an acoustic guitar from your description. Is that correct?

    There are different sizes, for example I used to have an "auditorium" sized guitar which in the Martin numbering system is 000 as I recall. You also don't mention much about her current guitar. I'm assuming a steel string acoustic guitar but in mentioning a wide neck it occurs to me you might be talking about a "classical" guitar with nylon strings.

    I guess I need more information.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    An electric guitar is even easier to play.
     
  12. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    If memory serves, it is a steel string six string acoustic guitar. Once I'm home from work I'll take a look and get make/model/dimensions et al.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,522
    I don't have any specific recommendations. I have all electrics these days. Acoustics (steel string) come is "auditorium" "concert" "dreadnaught" and I may be missing some sizes.

    The smaller ones will be more to her liking it seems. I had a Martin guitar (which can be expensive). I had a lower end Martin however. You generally want to look for something that is all solid wood as opposed to laminates.

    I'm sure someone else will come along that knows more about the more inexpensive models. I just have limited expensive there as I've only had one steel string acoustic and one classical (nylon string) guitar. Both were in the middle of the price range.
     
  14. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    2,760
    My Seagull has a smaller neck than my Taylor does. My Ovation is even narrower still - in fact it is more like an electric guitar when it comes to neck width.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,436
    This is a net-search topic - a common and well-considered circumstance, with a lot of people's opinions searchable on line. Including my 2 cents, now.

    Search terms other than obvious: "Parlor guitar". "Tapered neck". "Short scale".

    Factor: the taper, not just the overall or nut width, matters. This would be personal preference, how high up the player bars, etc. (Epiphone makes something for small hands with a taper that looks like a toothpick, to me - no idea what they sound like).

    Factor: strings matter. Some brands of strings are easier to fret and bar than others - less stiff, regardless of tuned pitch or string size. Silk cores, double wound, etc. They do tend to cost more.

    Imho the laminate aspect (if built well) would be most critical in the top - the back and sides matter less. Guys like me who worry about back and side composition, beyond build quality, are mostly thinking long term - how the guitar will mellow and age, maybe finish appearance and resale value down the road (not me). Meanwhile - next ten years - if it sounds good, it sounds good. I've heard decent sound out of a fiddle made of tin.

    Martin makes a 3/4 guitar - short scale, narrow neck option - that gets ok sound reviews, for less than 400 dollars. You wouldn't need to spend any more than that, in other words.

    If the sound of the guitar you already have is good, one option would be to check with a local builder about simply tapering and slimming (or otherwise shaping) the existing neck, maybe flattening the fretboard a bit. Guys who know how can do some surprising things to fit a guitar to a person, and it might not cost all that much. And be fun, for the player - it's nice to have something made to fit.

    On a personal note: Necks that are thin (back to front) make it harder, not easier, for me to bar chords. I can bar more easily with a bigger, less cramped and "pinchy", stretch between the thumb pressure point and the fingerboard. YMMV.
     
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