Sunday, March 20th, 2016 09:16 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
[personal profile] afuna

I've decided to start learning guitar, just for kicks.

What really triggered it is that I've always been slightly curious and sort of wanting to pick up the guitar maybe, but never really enough to actually get one of my own. Buuuuuut for Christmas, [personal profile] zorkian got the kiddo a kid-sized guitar. And then a week ago, I decided to pick it up and try it out.

I'm trying to take it slowly, so I don't do the thing where I'm intensely interested in something for two weeks and do that and only that, and then never touch it again. But so far I think that I'm managing to pace myself. I am, however, now considering getting an adult-sized guitar of reasonable quality.

As with anything, being a beginner is scary and confusing and there are so many conflicting pieces of advice.

(It is not as intense as, say, the debate over circs vs dpn, but there seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether a laminate guitar is ever worth the money, or whether one should just jump straight to a solid-top one.)

I've decided for sure that I'm getting an acoustic guitar with steel strings (so not electric, and not classical with all nylon strings).

The remaining things I'm trying to decide are:

  • whether I want to try a 3/4th sized guitar or a full-sized one.

    I have short and stubby fingers. The only gloves I've found that will fit me are kid-sized. So, while all beginners say that they can't do the chords properly, and while most experts say that this problem will go away once you've practiced enough that you have some finger strength, it may in my case be worth cheating a little bit and getting something explicitly for smaller hands.

    OTOH some kids are able to play full-sized guitar just fine so...

  • whether to get a solid-top one or a laminate

    I'm definitely not getting the cheapest guitar out there, on the principle that as a beginner I don't want to spend all my time just fighting my tools. But given that I'm only a week into this interest, and this is mere casual interest and not "I want to perform someday", I want something that reflects that.

    What I figure from all I've seen is that by virtue of material, most solid-top guitars are likely to have a minimum bar of quality. You can find good laminate ones, for like $100 cheaper but it'll be a bit hit-or-miss -- if you know what to look for in the guitar / reviews then you might be able to find a good guitar for the price. If you don't then you'll want to upgrade soon enough that you'll end up spending more than if you'd just bought the higher-quality guitar in the first place.

My plan right now is to learn a couple of chords, and then go into a music store and try out a couple guitars that have good online reviews, and then pick one.

I don't know if this is reasonable or not! Wish me luck :)

(In the meantime, I can uh. Play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", and the "So Do La Fa" song from Sound of Music. Very very laboriously and slowly. I cannot play "Do Re Mi" though, because I don't actually remember what the notes for that are

Oh and I can semi-sort-of with much careful positioning do C, D, G, and Em chords.)

Date: 2016-03-21 07:08 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Sounds reasonable to me!

I would say smaller sounds like it would be more comfortable.

Date: 2016-03-21 09:28 am (UTC)
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
I'm going to flag up that my baby brother has had excellent luck getting good guitars second-hand via eBay and the like!

Date: 2016-03-22 04:57 am (UTC)
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauamma
You go!

Date: 2016-03-22 05:53 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: watercolour and pen style sketch of a brown tabby cat curl up with her head looking up at the viewer and her front paw stretched out on the left (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
I used a 3/4 size when I was first learning. Easier to make shapes with fingers when I didn't have to factor in the stretching the fingers, but I transitioned to full size easily.

Date: 2016-03-29 02:29 am (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
Ooo, oooo, I can help!

I did music for a *long* time in my youth. Should pick it up again sometime.

I would suggest not worrying about online reviews for models. There are certain brands that are quality: Martin, Ibanez are the ones that come to mind. I don't think model reviews will matter much... The right guitar for you is, in one sense, the one that feels right: you can reach the whole fretboard, you can pluck it and it sounds lovely. In another sense, there's form: the right guitar should support the right form - no sense in getting carpal from the wrong guitar and bad form!

Guitars come in ALL SORTS of shapes and sizes. I have a "Travel guitar" foxfirefey gave me, and it, frankly, is officially "too small" and "not loud enough", but I loooove it. I can do things with it, with MY body, that I can't without a lot of practice on a bigger instrument. (I don't really Do Guitar though: I am trained on other instruments).

You have three separate parts of your fingers you need to consider: length, strength, and calluses. Two of those are mutable. :-) Calluses take weeks to grow in properly; until then, your poor fingers will hurt after a practice session. Strength will come too, with daily regular practice. Length........ ask a friend to pull your finger?

Price wise, I'm rusty, but I would look very suspicious at any new guitar cheaper than $200.

Hope that helps.
Edited Date: 2016-03-29 02:30 am (UTC)