Need help on buying acoustic guitar
Aug 29, 2009 at 11:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

osmo

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I am looking to get into guitar playing. I want to buy an acoustic, but I have no idea what to look for or where to start. I would feel like an idiot just dropping into the local Guitar Center having no knowledge. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you recommend buying online or at a retail store?

My budget would be up to $1000 but I am not sure if that is overkill or appropriate.
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 5:06 AM Post #2 of 14

UglyJoe

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Spend no more than $200, and a lot less if you can get away with it. A Fender Squire or something like that would fit the bill nicely. Don't buy a guitar with a pickup in it; no use until you know that you are going to stick with it. Anything that frets nice will be a good guitar for a beginner. Simply make sure that it's not overly difficult to fret the strings and that when you do and play a note that there is no obvious buzzing, etc. Once you have played for a while and know you are going to enjoy and continue the hobby, then spend a grand or more on a guitar.
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 5:37 AM Post #3 of 14

nhancakes

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i agree, no point in dropping a grand on your first learner guitar. I like buying guitars from pawn shops personally. You'll save some money. Just take it to a local guitar shop to get it set up and you'll be good to go.
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 5:57 AM Post #4 of 14

nor_spoon

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I do not neccessarily agree with the above recommendations of not spending the grand. I would say spend as much as you feel comfortable with, especially if you can get a nice second hand. Then you will most likely get back what you paid if you decide to upgrade later on. That is one of the beauty of guitars, they hold their value very well. The benefit of a more expensive guitar would in most cases be better mechanics, playability, materials and sound. Just more inspiring to play...

If I were you, I would get some help from an experienced player if possible. As a total beginner, there is simply too many things to check when getting a guitar. I think one of the most important things for you is to get a guitar which has a good setup, has good mechanics which make it play in tune, and that the neck feels good in your hand. Of course, it has to be in good physical shape too, without any cracks and such.

Good luck!
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM Post #5 of 14

feh1325

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have any friends that have a guitar? perhaps you can borrow his/her guitar to see if you like playing guitar enough to justify owning one.
any other music shops close to you other than guitar center? i find that smaller places are bit friendlier and more approachable than guitar centers.

try and really get into the whole guitar thing before dropping $1000
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 1:51 PM Post #6 of 14

adion

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A few years ago I got a Fender acoustic starter pack (DG-8S is the guitar) that comes with everything you need to get going. It still plays very nice; in fact I think the sound just keeps getting better with time and use. So I recommend that.
 
Aug 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM Post #7 of 14
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Skip the 'starter packs' and Fender acoustics all together, there not worth it.

Look for a Takamine G series guitar and fit it with Elixir Nanoweb strings with will be easier on your figures until you build up calluses. Price wise you'd be looking at $320 from guitar center, free shipping online. Also check out zzounds and samedaymusic for some good deals.
 
Sep 1, 2009 at 12:32 AM Post #9 of 14

intoflatlines

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You can get good entry/mid-level acoustic guitars for around the $500+ region. I love my Ovation 1771LX. USA Made, great projection, wonderful action and intonation from the start..

Stay away from the cheap starter packs. They don't sound good, don't have good action/intonation from the box (which makes it sound bad and hard to play), and break easier. You'll end up not wanting to play.

Look around for a used acoustic. You can get a good deal.
 
Sep 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM Post #10 of 14

infinitesymphony

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I really like Alvarez's guitars in the sub-$500 range. For the price, I've been impressed. I'll also say that, unless you really need easy access to the higher frets, stick to the typical dreadnought design (without the cutaway). Most high-quality acoustic instruments are symmetrical for a reason.
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Also look out for Guild, Takamine, Yamaha, and some of the bare-bones Gibsons. The more real wood rather than laminate, the better!
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 1:10 AM Post #11 of 14

Kenix

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Sep 8, 2009 at 3:21 AM Post #12 of 14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I recently purchased a Takamine G124 for $200. It's a classical acoustic guitar (12 frets to body, wider neck, nylon strings) and sounds great for the money.

UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com - OFFICIAL "What guitar under $300" Thread

Definitely pick up a few and try them. The difference in sound and feel between nylon and steel strings is like night and day.



I love Takamine; I have the first one on the list - Takamine GS330S ($299.99 @ musiciansfriend.com) - definitely one of the best guitars I've played under $1,000.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 4:17 PM Post #13 of 14

mrarroyo

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Cheap is not always good specially w/ acoustic guitars. I would suggest you take your time and buy an used unit if possible. Then make sure it is properly fitted, if the intonation is off or the strings are too high of the frets you will not want to play it. Also consider silk and strings as your first couple of strings, they are easier to play and will allow you to build some finger strength as well as callous on your finger tips. BTW, I love Larrivee guitars.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 4:46 PM Post #14 of 14

mgrewe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by intoflatlines /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Stay away from the cheap starter packs. They don't sound good, don't have good action/intonation from the box (which makes it sound bad and hard to play), and break easier. You'll end up not wanting to play.

Look around for a used acoustic. You can get a good deal.



I couldn't agree more. I 2nd the advice of getting either nylon or very light gage strings to start with. In the beginning of my bass playing days, I purchased a red hand exerciser (can't remember the name), but it would let me work our each finger individually. I picked mine up at guitar center for about 12 bucks and would do it while I watched tv. Needless to say, it worked great for me.
 

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