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I've played guitar for over 12 years & the first songs I ever learnt were on acoustic guitar ('Ticket To Ride' by the Beatles & 'Live Forever' by Oasis if you're interested). I gradually upgraded the quality of guitar I owned & by the time I got my 3rd acoustic guitar I got a Gibson.
I'm very lucky in that the guitar I own is an original 1959 Gibson Country & Western model, it's a rare model that was only made from 1953 to 1959. I wouldn't swap it for any other acoustic guitar in the world & I'm not yet convinced there is a better guitar out there. It's been used on sessions for bands & songwriters & never fails to get compliments. When I take it into a guitar shop for any reason it often ends up with a crowd of staff admiring it.
Some of the more famous Gibson acoustics such as the Hummingbird or the J45 are quite heavy acoustic guitars with large bodies, mine however is feather light & is the perfect instrument for strumming. I bought the guitar in Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, New York in 2005, the staff told me if I could get any guitar to get this one, and the owner even came in to meet me when I bought it.
As far as what it will cost to get a Gibson acoustic, the price can range from anywhere from about £700 for the cheaper models up to thousands for the top level guitars. For a vintage model you could pay anything between £2000-5000, maybe more, depending upon when it was made & the condition.
There are other rivals at the top end of the acoustic guitar market, specifically Takamine or Martin (probably regarded as generally the best acoustic guitars), but different guitars play differently & all brands have their advantages & disadvantages. But any kind of Gibson acoustic guitar is going to be a top level instrument. I find the older ones to be better, they have a build quality that the newer models lack, originally each guitar was built individually, now I think it is much more of a production line type operation, as a lot more guitars are made now than previously, so I think quality does take a bit of a hit there I think.
These guitars sound better with age in my opinion, & once you've got one it will last you for life.
My review of Gibson Acoustic Guitars.
Originally founded by Orville Gibson in the late 19th century; the Gibson brand of musical instruments quickly gained a great reputation for making hi quality instruments.
Orville (who's dress sense has to be seen to be believed - (I've seen some old photos of him in clothes that would make a 1970's extra on Starsky and Hutch feel embarrassed -lol!) originally started out building mandolins but quickly moved on to make acoustic guitars too.
Orville can certainly take credit for making the first arch-top acoustic guitars, and he also made flat topped ones too -though the Martin company were already making those long before Orville started...
Non the less Gibson went on to make many highly regarded acoustic instruments -and are still making them today (still in Nashville, USA). Gibson acoustics are considered to be some of the best in the world, however it must also be noted that the Martin guitar company is still going strong too -and if anything has a slight edge on Gibson, reputation wise... Though I'm sure Gibson won't mind too much since they also cornered a large part of the electric guitar market too.
There are too many Gibson guitars in existence (including some of the century or more old ones which are still in existence) to be able to sensibly mention them all, so I'll just point out a few things from the ones I've either owned or am very familiar with...
Arguably the best known Gibson Acoustic guitar is the 'Hummingbird' which has more than a passing resemblance to a Martin dreadnaught style guitar... (a classic Matin design named after a ship). The Hummingbird name derives from he scratchplate which has a picture of the bird on it.
These are expensive; my friend bought one 10 years back and paid well over a thousand pounds for it. Sound wise, I didn't like it - it sounded dead and flat. However, as acoustic guitars will tell you - well made guitars improve their sound with age.
...And I have to say that 10 years on it sounds wonderful - but it's a hell of a long time to wait for your guitar to sound great, especially after paying all that cash. So if it were me, I'd try to buy a second hand one that's already been played loads...
The other Gibson acoustic worthy of note is the J-200, probably best known because Elvis played one in some of his early iconic performances... and it's a great sounding instrument (though I think it's even more expensive than the Hummingbird) but ulness you're lotto numbers have just come up -or your a pro musician; you might want to opt for the cheaper Asian made Epiphone (a subsidiary of Gibson, via which they seller cheaper down market versions of their guitar range) J-200 instead.
It's loads cheaper and the\sound is not dissimilar to the real thing, though of course it's not as good... stil you'd need to be a pretty good judge to notice.
I think that Gibson acoustic guitars (along with their banjos and mandolins) are top quality excellent instruments that would suit the best discerning players; though arguably Martin still 'do it' a better when it comes to making acoustic guitars.
If you're playing is good enough to notice the difference then a real USA Gibson model is going to be the only thing that satisfies -if you just play semi pro or are on a budget, go for the cheaper (but still pretty good) Epiphone replicas of the proper Gibson acoustics, cuz you're not going to notice that much of a difference except for all the extra cash left in your wallet!!
Thanks for reading my review and I hope you found it useful and interesting. Good luck with your bargain hunting!!
My recommendation is for the Breedlove AD200SM (i purchased mine at Guitar Mania in Poole) at £430 it feels more like an £800 guitar and sounds better than my £800 Takamine. Action, intonation and tone is all superb. Love it !
Acoustic guitar is probably the best guitar you can start with as they can be sold cheap and are pretty much expendible. You don't need the best of the acoustic guitars to begin, all you need is a cheap 6 string 20~ fret acoustic guitar. However, If you go for an electric guitar you have to pay for the guitar AND an amp AND the leads. If you just bought an acoustic guitar and you didn't like it, it would only be a small cheap expence wasted, but if you bought an electric guitar, its a fairly expensive waste. Plus, playing acoustic guitar is great for quite jams with friends, great for acoustic sets (Good money for bands who play acoustic sets) and even begging (Alot of money in it). So if your a beginner, go for an acoustic, if not try a semi-acoustic (Half electric, half acoustic).
I am currently around the beginner-plus level of playing guitar. I know a fair amount of the major chord shapes and can tune by ear (although this is probably due more to my musical theory training than any particular prowess on guitar). I may not be equipped yet to write an op on learning how to play guitar, but I’m trying to provide a different perspective- that of a novice player. I decided to take a different approach than most of the other reviews in this section, by concentrating on how to choose a guitar and my thoughts on learning to play. Why guitar? Guitar is, apparently, the most popular instrument to learn. First of all, they look cool. Even your basic acoustic, or Fender Squier looks cool, while anyone who’s seen a genuine sunburst Les Paul (sorry to go on, but I adore these guitars), or a Gibson SG with its cool devil-horn look, will agree that some guitars are beautiful, stunning, downright sexy or of all of the above. Another great thing about the guitar is its delightful sound. Be it the gentle strumming of an acoustic or the ominous roar of an effects laden Gibson, they sound fantastic. What’s more, their popularity in music is obvious, whether you love metal, indie, or eighties cheese rock; guitars will obviously play a massive part. Even if you like pop music. You poor bastard. If you’ve decided guitar is the instrument for you, good on ya, you couldn’t pick a better one, although cellists, drummers (except me) flutists etc, may argue otherwise. Picking a guitar Most experts will tell you that it makes more sense to learn to play on an acoustic before getting acquainted with an electric. No one has ever bothered to tell me why, I just took their word for it. Perhaps its because an acoustic has a smaller financial outlay, all you need is the guitar, a few plectrums and a good tutor, or book, CD or video to learn, whereas an electric needs an amp, leads and so o
n. Having said that, I find, because electrics tend to have a lighter string gauge, they can be softer on string virgin fingers. But its easy to remedy if you fancy an acoustic, just buy a pair of light strings- and spend the next three weeks trying to figure out how to change them. Anyway, if you’ve decided to go with an acoustic guitar, your first consideration is whether to go for a steel string or a classical. On a steel string, the lower strings are bronze wound, and the upper are plain steel (perfect for cutting viciously into innocent little finger pads), on a classical, the upper strings are nylon. Obviously the type of music you wish to play will determine this. The second consideration is the cost, and there are two schools of thought on this, the first usually coming from economical types and laymen. That is, that it doesn’t make sense to shell out a lot for a guitar until you know whether it is for you. This is a fair point, as most guitarists usually find one guitar isn’t enough, they want more and more. The second school of thought is that if you’re going to buy one, you might as well get a good one. A well-made guitar is easier to play and sounds much better, so might encourage you to stick in and get really good. Also, an expensive guitar is a real investment, as they don’t lose value if they are well looked after, in fact it may well increase. My own acoustic guitar is at the lower end of the Fender spectrum, it cost £150. At that amount you are probably shelling out for a decent and well-made guitar. You can get a full-size guitar for as little as £60, and top of the range models go well into the thousands. My advice for complete beginners is do not go over £300, or under £100. Also, avoid beginners “packs” of the type available in some non-specialist stores, such as Argos. I’ve found they tend to not be very sturdy, and don’t sound great. A thi
rd po int, if you are going for a second-hand guitar, you REALLY need to get someone knowledgable to go with you. Basic checks to perform on an acoustic guitar (new guitars should not have these problems, but check anyway) First of all, novices should take a experienced player along with them, who will be able to determine whether to guitar sounds good, and whether there are any problems with action and so on. The first check of your prospective guitar should be that the fretboard and body are warp-free; otherwise the intonation (how in tune the guitar is in general) will suck. To test this out, place your cheek against the body of the guitar and look along to see that the fretboard is flat. Check along the side of the neck too, it should be straight. This may not be instantly obvious, but the metal strings exert a great deal of pressure on the neck and can cause it to bow. Guitars have a truss rod inserted to prevent this from happening, but an ill-adjusted one will be useless (for this reason, if you ever move to a heavier string gauge, you should get your truss rod adjusted). The wood on new guitars should be free of dings (ie, deep scratches or little holes) on the surface. If you play a note on the 12th fret, it should be exactly one octave higher than a tuned open string. If you don’t have an ear for music yet, this is where your expert comes in handy. Next, you should check the action (the height of the strings from the fretboard) is a good balance, another job for your expert. High action is very painful to play especially in acoustics, and low action creates fret buzz. Action is adjustable, but you should ask your shop to do this, for the time being. Sustain is the length a note sounds until it fades away. Play every note on the fingerboard to ensure the sustain is broadly equal, or get your expert to do it. Short sustain is good for chordy playing long sustain is good for single-no
te soloing . To begin with your better going for a guitar that sustains fairly well, unless you have no ambitions beyond being the next Grant Nicholas or Nick Valensi. Lastly, try a few different guitar shapes until you find one that is comfortable. Big-bottomed guitars look and sound good, but can be terribly difficult for small people, and beginners to play. The shape of your guitar, however, is a totally individual choice, you need to find one you like the look and feel of. You will also need A dust cover, bag, or case. You can get soft, slip covers to place over the guitar, or a soft guitar bag will come in useful now and later in your guitar-playing career. Do not let your guitar get dusty, too hot, too cold or damp. If you will be travelling about a lot, or if you are planning on moving, a heavy-duty guitar case with a metal inside and a soft inside, or at least a hard plastic shell-case, is a must. Be warned, the former can cost up to as much as the guitar, and will destroy anything they come into contact with, but if you are travelling soon by boat or plane, they are essential because luggage people do not heed “fragile” signs and are likely to shove your beloved Takamine or Fender under piles of whatever else might happen to be on board. Several plectrums. They cost next to nothing, so choose a large variety of shapes, sizes, materials and thicknesses. Most guitarists tend to favour heavy, thick plectrums, especially if they go in for single note soloing (due to the sharp sound), but I found a very soft, flexible plec easier to learn with as you can ensure you are striking all the strings without catching any too strongly (you can work on right hand technique later). Spare strings. A good set by Fender, Gibson or another well-known company will set you back at least £6.00. You can buy them singly in some places but its good to have a few spare sets lying around. Stick to a medium or light gauge a
t first, they a re easier on the fingers. If you buy them in bulk boxes you will save a good deal of money. As with the guitar keep them in a place that doesn’t get extremes of temperature or a lot of moisture or excessive sunlight. Learning to play (or, the downside) Learning to play guitar is the most infuriating thing in the world, with learning 4-way coordination on a drum kit coming a close second, and training an obstinate puppy coming third. While the last two don’t usually hurt unless you have a pet akita learning to play the guitar is likely to make you squeal with pain. Of course, the reason for that is the fretting of notes with the left hand. This is no exaggeration here, the pain can be blinding, so much that your fingers will pop reflexively away from the strings, your wrists and fingers will be stiff and achy, and your fingertips will probably fall off. Naturally, your soft finger pads aren’t made to play guitar, and the most taxing job they usually have is typing or holding a pen. The indentations from the strings are likely to stay imprinted in your fingers for an hour or so after, and you will probably feel a tingling or burning sensation when using your fingers to type or write just after using them for fretting notes. While I was breaking my fingertips in, I found that they were insensitive, almost numb, for the entire duration of the weeks I had to go through (except when I played and they began to hurt again) until my calluses developed. The whole fingertip problem is aggravated in a few ways… 1.When playing chords, if you hear a string make a buzzing noise, or sound muted, you either have to move your fingertip (which makes your muscles scream with pain), or press EVEN HARDER until you get the right sound. This is likely to make your already protesting fingers go on strike. 2. The majority of people will learn to play right handed guitar, and to be honest, your weake
r left hand will not be used to being put under that kind of strain. To me, it would make more sense for right-handed people to play left-hand guitars (although they’d be called right handed I suppose). Being left handed and using a regular right-hander, I found it a little easier and progressed quicker than a right-handed person might. So if you are left handed, try out right hand playing before you reverse it, you will probably find it easier, although some never get used to it- and famous left handed players have included Kurt Cobain and Hendrix, so you’re in fine company. 3. Not only will your finger pads hurt, your hand muscles will ache as well. Remember, do not play until you cannot bear the pain, its only going to put you off and might even damage your hand. If you feel tingling or numbness during playing, stop immediately. The only thing you should feel is pain, if that is any comfort; the tingling and numbness come after. Practising for ten or twenty minutes every day is better than playing once a week til your hands bleed, it will not make you better faster, it will only put you off and rust your strings (LOL), also, the 20-minutes a day approach will toughen your fingers up faster. By the time your calluses develop, you should be able to move smoothly between a few chords, and this will be made easier when you can’t feel pain anymore. Quite apart from the pain, learning chords is infuriating. Your muscles will refuse to stay put, you will need to crane your neck to find the frets, counting from the nut of the guitar, and making the chords sound properly with no fret buzz is a nightmare at first. Every time you move from one chord shape to another you will need to pause and adjust your fingers until the chord sounds good. Besides this, you have the whole nightmare of remembering chord shapes, its really hard at first to remember what finger goes where, and which is the exact right spot to hit (this may sound famil
iar to many lads reading this, if you know what I mean J). Then, just when you think you’ve got it right, a string will snap (which is bloody dangerous by the way, I’ve nearly been blinding by marauding upper E strings many a time) and you’ll need to figure out how to attach a new one (another annoying, fiddly job). What with the pain, your natural inner child screaming “I WANT E-FLAT DIMINISHED NINTH NOW!!!!!!!!!” Before you can play an A, your having to pause every two second and the obligatory whos-strangling-a-cat comments, the time will come many times in the first few months that you want to throw your guitar out of the window onto the nearest townie, and the time will come again in more advanced times when you are learning something more complicated, or when your breaking your pinkie finger into chord-playing (that’s a whole new threshold-crossing pain). The great bits The feeling you get when you finally master your first chords, your first song, or when your war wounds (calluses) arrive, is unbeatable. All the pain, frustration and the neighbour’s horror will be worth it when you’ve mastered the basics. And once you have got tough fingertips and you know your fretboard better, it all begins to come easier. Better still, if you’re guitar is wood (as opposed to laminate), the more you play it the better it sounds. My advice is to stick in there, the time will come when you can playing your first three-chord trick tune without a single buzz or muted note, and you will be dancing for joy when it does come, because all that hard work has paid off. If, at that time, you decide that guitar playing is not for you, then fine, but I wouldn’t recommend you decide before this point, and in fact I’d recommend you learn to play a bit more before you put down that Fender forever. Once you’ve mastered the basics you will probably turn int
o a guitar freak. You will be out buying tab books, learning more about music theory and band dynamics, eyeing up an electric guitar in a music shop as opposed to the cute indie kid shop assistant, and eventually turning a thought to starting a band and playing live. Guitar is a continuing process. There’s always more to learn, about notes, chords, history, models, and so on. When you start devising your own songs, even if you can’t put lyrics to them, you are creating a beautiful work of art that people will hopefully get the chance to appreciate. And of course it makes you look soooooooooooooo cool.
BUBBA ME BOSS AND FOURTEEN YEAR OLD WE FOUND ON STREET STARTING BAND SOON. WE GONNA CALL IT "POO BANDITS" AND WE SING ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE ISSUES THAT FACE HOMOSEXUALS EVERYDAY. THAT IS WHAT OUR MANAGER TOLD US AND IS OUR MARKETING "GIMMICK". WE NEEDED GOOD GUITAR SO WE PICKED UP THESE . THEY WORK WELL BUT PROBLEM IS I LEFT IT ON THE GROUND AND BUBBA WALKED BY AND TRIPPED OVER IT. HE FELL THROUGH THE FLOOR AND ON A GLASS TABLE THE FLOOR BELOW. WE RUSH HIM TO MEDICAL CENTER BUT ITS TOO LATE. BUBBA DEAD NOW BECAUSE OF THIS GUITAR. VERY BAD JERRY, VERY VERY BAD
I have an Art & Lutherie Cedar. This is an acoustic guitar made with a solid cedar top, and laminated sides and back. It is made by Art & Lutherie in the small Canadian town of La Patrie. All the guitars are handmade, with love. The care taken shines through with the beautiful tone produced. Solid top guitars mature with age, and some take a while to sound their best. This plain looking guitar simply sounds divine from the moment you pick it up. This guitar has a super sleek satin finish, which isn't to everyones taste, but suits me fine. Sadly, it is very soft, and so the body 'dings' very easily - this is a guitar to take good care of. If you do so though, it will reward you with many years of happy and beautiful playing.
I recently purchased a TW12NS-E Tanglewood electro acoustic guitar, and am greatly pleased with it. I went into a guitar shop with absolutely no idea what sort I was looking for, just that I wanted a reasonable priced acoustic with amplified capabilities if possible, and this proved to be the only one for me. My price range was £350.00 but I wasn?t really planning to spend it all down to the last bit. I bought this guitar for £240 after knocking the guy down 50 quid for it. I found that no other guitars in the same price range had nearly as nice tone, and had nowhere near as nice tone especially when plugged in. The guitar is a beauty to play and is enjoyable to play for longer periods of time without finger pains etc due to its nice action. I would reccoment this guitar to middle classed guitarists and not really beginners. Of course there is much better guitars out there for people with the money to buy them, but overall this is an amazing deal for a guitar of this standard. The build quality is very good, being a handmade guitar. Strong wood and well finished machine heads etc. The hard wood outputs a nice mellow sound as well as making it slightly louder than it would be without it. The only problem I find in it, is that from the 15th fret and upwards is barely playable as the guitar has not got the bottom section cut out of it, as many guitars in this price range has. If you?re looking to play lead on a guitar opt for a different model as this can become very irritating, although lead is played best on electric guitars in my opinion. They have action unmatched action compared with acoustic guitars.
There are two main types of acoustic electric Guitars. The frits type is essectially an electric guitar, ie it has pick ups like and electrick guitar and silimar controlls. This type also has a hollow sound box so that the guitar can be played acoustically to get a resonably sound. The second type is basically an acoustic guitar that has acoustc electric pickups in the sound box which means that you can get the exact acoustic sound through an amp. With this second type there is two main types. firstly those that are just like acoustic guitars with a large wooden sound box. And secondly the front of the sound box lookes the same but the back is rounded and made out of nylon. This second type often looks nicer and will usuaklly be cheaper. However there is a price to pay as the sound quality that you get out of the nylon guitars is very poor compaired to the wooden ones. With the wooden Guitars there is two different sounds that can be achieved there is the sound that you get from a tacamine or that which you get from a yammah. The latter tending to be sluightly softer than the first. Although having an acoustic electric guitar sounds like a good cheaper option than two guitars it isn't. In order to get a resonable acoustic electric you will need to spend upwards of £300 where as a resonable electric can be bought for £200-£250. There for I found that I could get a good acoustiv sound by using the neck pickup on my guitar and using a pedel. A straight acoustic pedel can be got for around £60-£70 making it cheaper than an acoustic guitar. Also with Acoustic electric guitars even with a pedel it is hard to get a thick metalic sound or a punky sound so a pedel again seems like a good option. Jon
There is a bewildering choice of guitars available, and a beginner is hard pressed to know where to start - he / she is often at the mercy of a shop assistant who may be desperate to shift the dismal guitar that's been sitting in the corner for months. This opinion will give the reader some advice about where to start when choosing an acoustic steel-strung guitar, and then strongly recommend the Simon & Patrick SP6. Why acoustic? I believe a steel-strung acoustic guitar is an excellent guitar to learn on. It is appropriate for a wide range of styles, is portable, requires little partnering equipment (unlike an electric) and is ideal for solo or group work. Buy cheap, buy twice! Cheap acoustics (£100 region)tend to have two main problems. 1)They sound terrible & this discourages practising. 2)They may well be awkward to play - the 'action' (how high the strings are above the fretboard) may well be too high (difficult to hold down strings) or too low (notes buzz). Also they often have cheap 'machine heads' (the bit you attach the strings to & tune with) which may wear out after a relatively short time. What do you get for your money? If you spend £200 plus on an acoustic you should expect a 'solid top'. The top soundboard of the guitar is made from one pice of wood, rather than laminated from several as the cheaper ones are. This makes the guitar sound much better, and also a solid top's sound will improve with playing as the wood loosens. A laminate will not improve. A guitar should be set-up well. The details are really beyond the scope of this opinion, but... The strings shouldn't be more than about 1.5mm above the frets (metal rungs going across the fingerboard), but not so low that they buzz. (It could be poor technique that makes a guitar buzz though...)Also the neck should not be twisted, but should have a slight bow, with the
centre lower than the ends. If you buy new then make sure the guitar is checked out by someone knowledgeable before the guarantee runs out. If at all possible, and definately if buying second hand take a seasoned player with you. OK....The Simon & Patrick SP6 I don't believe you can beat this guitar for a beginner. It regularly wins awards for the best guitar under £500 and it costs as little as £279! (just over £300 for the left-handed version). Solid top - can be spruce or cedar. Spruce has a brighter sound, Cedar has a mellower sound (I own the Cedar). The top has a delicate coating which S & P claims improves the sound over traditional coatings as it is much lighter & lets the wood resonate more freely. The only negative here is that it marks more easily than a varnished top. The action is good: Played very well from the beginning - further improved when I had it professionally set-up by a guitar repairer. A beginner will not be hampered by poor action & assume that it is their lack of ability. Sounds beautiful - I have used it live, with & without amplification and have received numerous complements regarding the tone. To amplify I use a 'Fishman Acoustic Rare-Earth Pickup' which was just over £100 (& I have it permanently fitted). A beginner will be motivated to keep playing it as some lovely tones will be coming out from the beginning. Perfect price bracket. At £279 it is not too much for someone who maybe isn't sure that they will take to the guitar to risk. A reasonable second-hand price is assured. For a more experienced player, the tone is far more than satisfactory & you would need to be spending £1000 to get something head & shoulders better. Any misgivings? Well aside from the top being easy to mark, the first S & P I bought had a manufacturing fault. This may sound like a criticism, but the fault was not discovered until I had owned the gu
itar for nearly two years & I had taken it to be professionally set-up because of a slight buzz on one string. The guitar was sent back to S & P and they instantly replaced it with a brand new perfect model, despite being well over the year's guarantee. Result! Overall - you can't do better for a beginner's guitar. Buy it, buy an electronic tuner, a chord book & then go and download your favourite songs from harmonycentral.com!! Phil the Juggler.
From the time that I was conceived, music has been a large part of my life. My Mom played her classical guitar (a Fender that is now twenty-two, twenty-three years old and still sounds absolutely beautiful), or she would put in a cassette to listen to. I don't know whether she contributed to it or not, but I am madly in love with music. And so, it seemed only natural that I learn how to play the guitar. My Mom bought my first guitar when I was eight. It was an off-brand student guitar - perfectly sized for small bodies and tiny fingers. That guitar has long since broken down, and no longer sounds like anything even remotely resembling a guitar, but playing that old acoustic model started me off on what has been a wonderful journey into the world of music. Two years ago, after several years of not so much as THINKING of playing, I finally decided to get rid of the old student guitar and upgrade to a "real one." I found myself in a tiny shop, locally owned and operated, looking at various models. The man who owned the store was out on business, but his wife - a very sweet and knowledgable woman - sold me the guitar. THE guitar, I should say. It was love at first sight, ladies and gentlement. She was a Takamine G-series. A simple acoustic guitar with chrome-colored tuning pegs and an elegantly-shaped body that was not enormous like the Gibson Classic, but not tiny like a Strat either. It was perfectly shaped to fit against the top of my thigh when I sat down to play a few notes. The sound was rich. Gorgeous. Beautiful notes flowed from the sound hole and into the tiny shop, with a full, rounded body to them that only a fellow music lover can understand or accept as fact. The steel-wound strings bit into my fingers, which were hardly conditioned to play such a fine instrument. I smiled with obvious pleasure, knowing in my heart that I would pay anything for this guitar. "It's on sale for $250 right now,&
quot; the woman said with a smile - it was almost as if she knew exactly what I was thinking at that precise moment. "Great! I hope you have a lay-a-way plan." "Of course." Less than two months later the prized possession was mine. The woman had thrown in a basic carrying case for free so that my guitar would be protected from such obscene interferences as dust, curious cats, or other nuiances. I was in love, people - madly in love. Acoustic guitars are beautiful to me because of the rich sounds that many of them are capable of producing. When I first started playing the guitar way back when, I had the acoustic model because, as my mother put it, "You'll be able to hear what you're playing instead of what you want to hear." With electric guitars, you can tune them oddly, twiddle with settings, and use distortion pedals to create any effect you want. If I had started with a nice Strat or perhaps a Gibson Classic, any old noise would have sounded like music to my inexperienced ears. Ah, yes. I love electric guitars too, and drool over the possibility of buying a Gibson Classic Goth - but that's another story. In the meantime, I continue improving my skills with my Takamine, knowing that it gives me a true and accurate picture of what I am playing. Besides which, there aren't many folk songs that sound great with any electric guitar. But, conversely, punk sounds horrid on an acoustic model. That being the case, my final verdict is that it all depends on the owner and his or her preference.
I while ago I wrote a very positive review of a Baby Taylor, which can still be read here. They say, "never pick up a Taylor Guitar if you can't afford it", and I think it's true. Because of my fondness for the Baby, I have always harboured an ambition to get one of it's bigger brothers...foolishly, when recently in my local music shop I picked up a 414CE, just to check it out... The rest of the story doesn't need Mystic Meg to be predicted. For a week my conscience wrestled with itself about the stupidity of spending such a large amount of money - "but it will help with my recording - but we need new windows - but it will surely appreciate - but xmas is coming - etc, etc". But I had to have it. The facts....the guitar features a solid Spruce top, solid Ovangkol back and sides, ebony fingerboard, a Fishman pick-up and pre-amp system and a hard case. Ovangkol is a hardwood similar to mahogany, but is favoured because of the tone it produces. However, the thing that is so difficult to communicate in reviews like this is the sheer delight in the handling of the guitar...yes, the tone is exceptional, the action is unbelievable for an acoustic, and it looks fabulous. But there is something more. As soon as I picked it up for the first time, something beyond mere facts and stats bewitched me...I didn't just want a Taylor 414CE, I wanted THIS one. So one week later, after doing some research about prices, availability etc, I went back. I have to really compliment Sound Control, who have outlets in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham (maybe more, but I know they have these three...), they are always ready and willing to "deal". Their original price wasn't bad...£1375 against an rrp of £1769, but I found another Manchester company selling it for £1299 (albeit that they didn't have any in stock). Sound Control matched the price and threw in 2 sets of Elixir strings (£11.99 ea
ch) and a high quality guitar lead to sweeten the deal. There is also 12 months of free guitar tech & set-up included. Thank you Dimitrios in the Manchester store. The guitar came with a beautiful and robust flight case (as you would expect at the price), and the 414CE fitted it very snuggly. On getting it home I played it solidly for 3 hours, old songs taking on a new brightness and intensity with it. I then tried it in electro mode, DI'ing it into my Yamaha AW2816, via a Focusrite Trackmaster for a touch of compression and EQ. The Fishman pick-up arrangement is very good. I have played high end Takamines and whilst they're obviously nice guitars, they can't match the Taylor for recording...imo. The sound was bright and true. I would always blend a mic'd channel with the DI'd one, but as an experiment, the DI'd 414CE passed with flying colours. They say you should play the guitar for about a month before you review the set-up, to play it in. I honestly can't see it getting better, but I'll keep an open mind. The opportunity is there to revisit Sound Control to review the set-up if I believe it necessary. So there you are. Kid with new toy and a smile from ear to ear. All I have to do now is explain the purchase to my wife....
Alright, I guess you could say I've been 'playing'- heh...- guitar since fourteen, but by NO MEANS am I an expert on types, tones or models so... But what I do know, and this is just my opinion really, is that the acoustic guitar is the most rebellious, Dionysian instrument on this lovely planet earth. Especially 12 strings, mate! The first guitar I ever got was an electric Fender squire, which was so crappy it never worked, and I still have problems getting the darned thing to hold patch chords(thank Ishtar for duct tape and patience!). As this electric guitar was turning into a hopeless situation, I procured an acoustic guitar and my true guitar learning commenced. Not only is it easier to hear and practice on an acoustic guitar(aside from those gawd-awful metal strings which give ya callouses), but eventually you become a better player because of the effort an acoustic requires. You gain a better ear and technically its the best for beginners and the serious musician who consumates his lust for musick every friggin' time! Heh, and the ladies love a man with a guitar, don't they fellas? But, what I really wanted to talk about is my 12 string Yamaha electric-acoustic, though its primarily acoustic. Well, I first got a 12 string when I was 16, primarily because of my admiration for Bauhaus' Daniel Ash( the first time I saw the 'Archive' video and Ash bashing away a rather peculiar looking acoustic 12 string, I thought "Gotta have it!!'), also I remembered vaguely seeing Robert Smith playing one in the 'Show' video and those funny pictures all Cure fans see. I didn't think much of it at first, because it was a bitch to tune a 12 string(12 strings are tuned in octaves- which is the bottom strings are tuned normally and then the high strings are tuned to the sound you pretty much hear in all the new american rage rock songs and old Pumpkins' records) and I was a lame guitarist to begin with(I
39;m much better now, though). So I ocassioned it once and awhile and then went out to talk to girls or hang out at movie theatres. What really got me into the 12 string, though, was realizing that the first two Sisters of Mercy albums 'First Last and Always' and 1987's 'Floodland' featured acoustic 12 string guitars. I though, 'Geez, I coulda sworn I heard this sound somewhere before... Oh yeah!!' Anyway, when I saw Wayne Hussey of the Mission(who was responsible for all the Sisters' best material 84-85),and happened upon the fact that his trademark instrument was a 12 string, I went at it rather heavily and, fueled by my admiration for Hussey's playing skills, became a pretty good guitar player. I thought I was unique, but it turns out 12 string plus gothick is a pretty standard equation. Like two plus two equals four. But anyways, I think acoustic guitars are the most rebellious instruments in the world- thats the whole point of folk. Anyone can make noise with heavy distortion, but soulbearing with an acoustic guitar is the most natural, simple yet difficult thing in the world- an art within an art within an art.
I started playing the guitar almost 4 years ago in school. The night before my first lesson, I took a trip into the city centre, and bought a Genta acoustic. I have not regretted my decision. Steel-stringed and full sized, it was the perfect way to begin learning this instrument. Being a steel stringed guitar, it's bound to hurt the hands of a first-timer, and it did. However, this is a good thing. Eventually, you will find yourself with finger tips that are tough as nails. Playing the guitar will no longer feel like torture, but a joy to behold. Electric guitars have lighter strings, making them easier to play, but you should wait a year or two to start on to one of these bad boys. Those looking to emulate the likes of the Beatles or Blur or any big name act will be slightly disappointed and will have to show patience. It will take a while before you are good enough to play proper songs, and don't be surprised if you start off playing very small songs called 'Snug As A Bug In A Rug' and the like. Patience is all you need. Once you've mastered the technique of not feeling as if your fingers have been pressed into a very sharp object, you will be able to move on to chords. These are not hard on their own, but the real problem is moving from one to another. All it takes is practice, and soon enough you'll be able to do it. Barre chords are a more advanced type of chord, requiring you to cover all six strings with your index finger. Be warned, these will not come to you overnight. These will take literally months of practising until you get the knack. But if you stick at it, you will get there. The next step is to learn single note patterns, eventually moving on to more than one string at a time. This is not hard at all, and you will be pleased to hear that one of these can be picked up in a day or two. Sorry to seem repetitive, but just practice it to master it.
Learning all these things on an acoustic is a lot harder than on an electric, but believe me, it is worth the effort. The price range for a starter would be between £60 and £100. When you move on to getting an electric guitar, it will seem incredibly easy to play, and you'll be emulating the big names in no time.
The blurb on the Yamaha acoustic guitar catalogue says that the APX range is the choice of many guitarists all over the world because of its 'extraordinary tone and response which provides expressive freedom and versatility.' I purchased one of these instruments recently and have really enjoyed playing it. Although I am not really experienced enough to know what the above actually means (does anyone?) I think that my guitar is a very good and sturdy guitar. This acoustic guitar is electric/acoustic really because it has the choice of being amplified by a pickup inside the body. If you must know this guitar has a 3 band EQ which means that you can you can alter the low mid and high tones using a nifty gadget on the side of the guitars body. At first I thought that this would get in the way of my arm whilst playing but to be totally honest I never notice it. From this gadget you can also turn the sound up and down and alter the AMF (600Hz-3kHz). It may not be advanced as some of the ones on the Takamine models but it does its job and it does its job well. When plugged in or acoustic it still makes a great warm, distinct sound. The workmanship of this model is good. You can especially see this from the bracing on the inside of the guitar. This guitar comes in 4 different colours; black, natural, translucent blue and violin sunburst (red faded to black). It has a Rosewood fingerboard with a Spruce top and Nato back and sides. Over all this guitar is well worth the price. For the same price you may be able to find some other make of guitar but when it comes to it Yamaha guitars are built by knowledgeable people who have been in the business for years and have manufactured a great sounding, long-lasting, hardwearing guitar.
A mainstay of folk, rock, Americana, and country music to name a few genres, the acoustic guitar is always a classic. Choosing the right acoustic guitar though, can be difficult even for the pros. Take a look at these reviews and ideas to help you make the right decision.