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Old 02-09-2010, 09:18 AM   #61
FPGT72
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Perhaps the old one was setup wrong...I don't know, but I can tell you that I played yesterday night for an hour and a half and there was zero pain with the new guitar. I only quit because I was getting tired. I also feel that I made more progress last night then I had in the two weeks before.

Like I said I am a total newbee but the new guitar could just be setup right or whatever....I am happy and that is all that counts. I am going to take the old one up and see if there is anything they can do with it. Lessons are going to have to wait till school gets out, my son has after school deals on the days the teacher I want is giving lessons.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:02 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72
Perhaps the old one was setup wrong...I don't know, but I can tell you that I played yesterday night for an hour and a half and there was zero pain with the new guitar. I only quit because I was getting tired. I also feel that I made more progress last night then I had in the two weeks before.

Like I said I am a total newbee but the new guitar could just be setup right or whatever....I am happy and that is all that counts. I am going to take the old one up and see if there is anything they can do with it. Lessons are going to have to wait till school gets out, my son has after school deals on the days the teacher I want is giving lessons.
New gear can be a great inspiration. I recently bought a new (to me) guitar, my first new addition in 15 years, and my ethusiasm for the new instrument took me from playing/practicing 1 hour a day to 4-5 hours a day. Well worth the investment.

All anyone is saying is that a cheapo guitar can be made to play well in most cases. My #1 guitar for the better part of 20 years was a bottom of the line SG Special. I bought several other guitars, vintage and historic reissues among them, with the intent that they would become #1, but that old $300 SG Special just played and sounded better than all of them. I did upgrade the pick ups which went a long way to making it sound so good, but it was/is still a $300 guitar under the pick ups.

The new guit (SG Classic) has finally taken over the #1 spot.

Use what you have learned here, that a good set up can make a good guitar a great guitar. Things like action (string height), string guage, even the angle that the strings break over the bridge to the tail piece, make a difference in the playability of the guitar.

Things like pick, guitar cable, and the amp you choose make a big difference too.

Now quit screwing around and post some pictures of your new axe.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:53 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by RudyBoy
Only 40 years here, but I've been fixing them for 30 - let me adjust yours for you and you can ditch the capo!
But seriously, I have clients who have arthritis and debilitating neurological disorders, and none use a capo. We set up guitars for many of the local children's programs, and none use capos. I appreciate what you're saying, and technically speaking it's true, but I just disagree that it's a needed measure, if the guitar is set up correctly, which many are not.
I just started playing so please forgive me for asking but how does a person set up a guitar correctly??

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:54 PM   #64
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Lots of good advice here - lessons are a good idea, IMO, after you learn some basic open chords on your own. Lessons from a decent instructor will keep you from developing bad habits and will accelerate your learning.

One of the posts about learning barre chords and the pentatonic scale (sounds complicated here but it isn't) is great advice - i have been playing for a long time too and can't read a note of music but this is all the "theory" really needed for rock & blues.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #65
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Here she is...I played tonight till I could not hold my eyes open. doG this is fun.

Has anyone checked out the guitarjamz.com web site. They have a free intro and what this guy says just clicks with me.

Anyway here is my new baby:

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Old 02-10-2010, 06:04 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72
Here she is...I played tonight till I could not hold my eyes open. doG this is fun.

Has anyone checked out the guitarjamz.com web site. They have a free intro and what this guy says just clicks with me.

Anyway here is my new baby:

Marty is very good. I enjoy his video instruction!! Nice guitar you got there!
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:53 AM   #67
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Here's some advice, from a music store owner, for guitar buyers:

1. Ignore the name on the headstock. I can't tell you how many times a week I get asked "Do you have any Fenders?" or Gibson or whatever brand. A majority of the time, after further investigation, I will find out that the person asking the question wants one because their hero plays one and that more often than not, the person has never played one of the aforementioned brands but is stuck on that brand as a result of marketing alone. When in comes to quality for the money, it has never been a better time to be a guitar buyer. There are more well made guitars at better prices than ever before. I've sold and played many $200.00 guitars that were of better quality than many of the $3,000.00 guitars I've sold. Ignore the name on the headstock.....mostly. I'd still recommend sticking with a "name" brand, but just because it says Fender or Martin or Gibson or does not mean its a good guitar.

2. Buy from a quality independant dealer, not the big box stores. Sorry folks, but GC and Musicians Friend doesn't really give a shit. When you buy your guitar there it most likely has never been touched by a technician and checked out for playability and function. It's simply pulled out of a box and put on the sales floor or shipped to you. A quality independant dealer will do an inspection of the guitar and properly set it up before it ever reaches their sales floor. For the most part price isn't an issue either as most indy dealers will match the big box stores price.

3. If you've found a particular model of guitar that you like, ask to play several different ones of that model. This is particularly true of acoustics. No matter how hard manufacturers try for consistency in a particular model, no two trees are alike and the woods will respond differently.

4. Ask about extras with the sale. My shop, for instance, gives free string changes for a year (you have to buy the strings from us) and free neck adjustments for life with the purchase of a guitar from us. In our shop part of the string change process is that we clean and polish the guitar, tighten any loose hardware and inspect it for operation, and check and adjust the neck, bridge, nut, and action if needed. We offer the free string changes not just to increase sales, but because we actuall CARE about whether your guitar is still performing as it should and the free string changes allow us to get our hands on your guitar to make sure all is right. We want you to be successful with music and having a properly functioning guitar is crucial to that.

5. It isn't all about the dollar amount. If it is all about the dollar amount for you, then I feel sorry for you. This refers, in some part, to number 2 above. Granted, there are some bad apples in the barrel, so all the following applies to QUALITY indy dealers. Chances are the indy dealer will match the big box price, but even if he just comes close, consider the other, unseen benefits. The indy dealer is more likely to be able to recommend good teachers. The indy dealer is more likely to have good product knowledge and take the time to find the right product to suit your individual needs. The indy dealer is more likely to remember you when you come back in a month later with a problem. More importantly, they'll actually CARE when you come back with a problem. The indy dealer is the one who donates to your kids little league fund raiser. The indy dealer is the one who volunteers in your community to make it a better place to live.

GC, MF, and internet store lovers feel free to flame away.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:23 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajflyboy
I just started playing so please forgive me for asking but how does a person set up a guitar correctly??

Thanks!!!
That's a tough one to cover in a thread - I have one client who builds guitars, but has me set them up for him!

In general, we're refering to how the truss rod is adjusted, how high/low the saddle is adjusted, and what kind of clearance you have at the nut. For electrics we also look at how the pickups are balanced with each other, and across the fingerboard. The truss rod is perhaps the most poorly understood feature on a guitar, and is rarely set properly by most users. It is often used by the novice to adjust the "action", commonly defined as the height of the strings as measured at the 12th fret. What it really does is control the shape of the fingerboard: too much curvature and barre chords are difficult to play in the middle positions, and if too flat or back-bowed you might/will get fret buzz. You want the neck to be "just right" for your style of playing, THEN adjust the action height with the saddle. The nut also needs to be "just right" and typically requires special files to adjust correctly. File too deeply and you just ruined the nut and need to start over with a new one!

The goal is finding the best setup for YOU. If you have a light touch and are playing finger-style jazz, you can get away with light strings, and a low action. If you are flat-picking some loud bluegrass, then you'll probably be using heavier strings and a higher action. Most new players should probably start somewhere in the middle, and evolve from there.

In addition to understanding the process, you often need special tools. Most players do not have the resources to get this dialed in right - the best $65 spent on your guitar would be for you to find a good guitar tech who knows how to do a good setup for you. And to complicate things a bit, changing string tensions, and changes in humidity can change the guitar's shape a bit, causing changes in the setup. These effects vary depending on the guitar. Once you have a good setup dialed in, try to stay with the same strings, and try to control the humidity of the room the guitar lives in. Case humidifiers are also advised, depending on your climate, time of year, and the kind of guitar - ask your locally-owned guitar store for more info (as mentioned in a previous thread, most big-box salespersons will be of no help).
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:37 AM   #69
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Great points! Even if the GC (MF is the same place BTW!) says they set up your guitar it was probaby done by a a 20 year old Stairway to Heaven wannabe rather than a Luthier or experienced technician with the proper tooling. I can't tell you how many times I have looked at used guitars that the owners claimed that they bought them for a kid (or themselves) and lost interest. In many cases you couldn't fret them with a C-Clamp or they buzzed like a door bell because someone "Adjusted the Action" for them. Nothing stymies learning an instrument quicker than trying to play a crappy instrument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josjor

2. Buy from a quality independant dealer, not the big box stores. Sorry folks, but GC and Musicians Friend doesn't really give a shit. When you buy your guitar there it most likely has never been touched by a technician and checked out for playability and function. It's simply pulled out of a box and put on the sales floor or shipped to you.

We offer the free string changes not just to increase sales, but because we actuall CARE about whether your guitar is still performing as it should and the free string changes allow us to get our hands on your guitar to make sure all is right. We want you to be successful with music and having a properly functioning guitar is crucial to that.

Chances are the indy dealer will match the big box price, but even if he just comes close, consider the other, unseen benefits. The indy dealer is more likely to be able to recommend good teachers. The indy dealer is more likely to have good product knowledge and take the time to find the right product to suit your individual needs. The indy dealer is more likely to remember you when you come back in a month later with a problem. More importantly, they'll actually CARE when you come back with a problem.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:14 AM   #70
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I got my guitar from a little mom and pop shop here in Lees Summit...they where great. Answered all my new questions and ASKED ME QUESTIONS, what did I want to do, what music did I want to play, and they showed me several guitars. I also went to one of the big box stores and I felt like a fish out of water there. Guys with a thousand tats and just a little bit of an uneasy feeling. I walked away thinking I might just forget about the entire thing...then on the way home I stopped at the little shop. The prices where the same, the service was better....perhaps because the guys in there where in their 40's and 50's....more my speed and spoke my language.

I know that in part I bought a name but I also did what many new classic car buyers do....I bought paint....it was so pretty.

I just wish I would have found this before my mid 40's.

I also have no illusion of being the next paul simon, Van Halen, or whoever. I just want to have fun.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:10 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72

I know that in part I bought a name but I also did what many new classic car buyers do....I bought paint....it was so pretty.
There is no shame in this. Lusting after your guitar is a big part to enjoying it and making you want to play it.

Great advice from the other posters too.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #72
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I can play the Les Paul forever with no issue. It's just hard to do acoustic-style blues with the LP. Strings are too light, I think. And it just doesn't sound right. I'm using .009 strings.

The Guild D-40 (Dreadnaught shape) has a nearly perfect neck, but medium gauge bronze strings. Trust me, its easier to play with the capo on the 2nd fret.

I've found that a thumb pick and a single finger pick gives the best combination of style and speed playing Hot Tuna-esque acoustic blues. I find less is more when finger picking. And it's harder on the Les Paul than the Guild (with or without the capo).

I haven't mastered the flat pick plus finger pick yet. I can't get the sharp pull with the flat pick I can with a thumb pick. More practice I guess.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:04 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72
I know that in part I bought a name but I also did what many new classic car buyers do....I bought paint....it was so pretty.
No shame at all in that. And my post wasn't to discredit the big names. The famous brands make some good guitars and some bad guitars. It was more of a point that often times many of the lesser known brands actually have a better axe than the big guys.

I recently had a Gibson Les Paul in, retail $4,200.00. It was just 6 months old and the guy was hard up and I bought it for resale. He had the original reciept and he had paid $3350.00 at a reputable dealer. Close inspection revealed little details like filler around the logo inlay, tape lines where they had taped the neck before spraying it, and an output jack put on crooked. The intonation was also off, but that could have been the previous owners fault. Anyway, I could literally pick up any $350.00 guitar in my shop (the most popular price range here) and all of them were put together and finished better and played better than this $4,200.00 big name guitar.

This isn't to rag on Gibson. I know that this is (hopefully) an exception and not the rule. It's just an illustration that a name badge and a high price tag do not necessarily equal quality.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:23 PM   #74
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that is fuckin' sweet.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:23 PM   #75
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the quilt is pretty god damn cool, too.
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