Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

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manatee2005
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Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by manatee2005 »

Any Bogleheads play the guitar? I'm 45 and want to learn to play. I already know how to play the piano, but want to try some things on the guitar. Any good beginner guitar that I can buy?
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by craigt3365 »

If you are a musician, you'll know buying the best instrument you can is the way to go. Don't go cheap. Buy a quality used one is the best way to go.
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manatee2005
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by manatee2005 »

craigt3365 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:09 am If you are a musician, you'll know buying the best instrument you can is the way to go. Don't go cheap. Buy a quality used one is the best way to go.
Yes, but i don’t want to spend $2k on a guitar if I’m going to quit after 3 weeks. That’s why I’d like a beginner guitar now and then in 6-12 months if everything is going well I can upgrade.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by mrc »

In that same situation myself, I rented a nice model for 3 months. It was a much higher quality instrument than I would buy just to try playing. It was a short term (90 days I think). I could apply the rental toward the purchase of that or another instrument, or return it and walk away. That is the most cost efficient way to try out a good guitar.
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manatee2005
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by manatee2005 »

mrc wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:30 am In that same situation myself, I rented a nice model for 3 months. It was a much higher quality instrument than I would buy just to try playing. It was a short term (90 days I think). I could apply the rental toward the purchase of that or another instrument, or return it and walk away. That is the most cost efficient way to try out a good guitar.
Cool, that’s how I bought my snowboard in the 90s :-)
tigermilk
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by tigermilk »

What do you want to play? Electric? Acoustic? If acoustic, classical guitar? If my goal were to play classical, I certainly wouldn't run down to the music store to buy a steel string guitar.

FYI, for myself, when I wanted to learn guitar, I went electric and bought a cheap Squier (a bit over $100 at the time). It was OK to start on, and I eventually upgraded to a Gretsch G5420 at about 8x the price of the Squier. My wife was taking classical guitar lessons, so right off the bat she started with a fairly expensive classical acoustic with nylon strings.

So step 1 - classical guitar or pop/rock/country/jazz. That will help define your path.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

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caponicus
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by caponicus »

I wanted to learn some guitar when I turned 40. I went to a Guitar Center store and asked for a basic intro level acoustic guitar. They sold me a Yamaha for under $200, which they said was one of their best sellers. I’ve been very happy with it, sounds great.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Yukon »

A highly reviewed Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar from Amazon performed wonderfully for my 3 week successful trial a few years back. I used an app for tuning and kids music teacher was surprised and impressed at the $200 price point.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by GmanJeff »

Ask for suggestions here, and you'll likely receive many replies addressing both considerations in selecting an instrument, and suggestions for specific brands and models in any price range you define.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/for ... 47307&f=24
Tjb
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Tjb »

There are lots of new and used reasonably priced options. Most high end guitar manufactured also have low cost models, usually made in China, Korea, Mexico etc... at reduced cost and decent quality. As someone mentioned earlier, squire by Fender is their foreign made line and are a common starter electric guitar choice. Someone also mentioned Yamaha for acoustic which are also reasonable. You can go to guitar center and try a wide range of guitars and see how you like them. As mentioned, knowing what kind of guitar you want is important. If electric you will also need an amp. If acoustic, which is likely what you are thinking of, they can also come with pickups for amplifying f sound. If straight acoustic no, pickup then for a starter you can get something decent and very playable in the 200-300 range. Go to “Musician’s friend “ web page or “guitar center web page and look around, I highly recommend going to guitar center or a local music store and try some out. Names like Washburn, Breedlove, Frnder, Yamaha, all have good inexpensive models. Then you jump to higher end Martin, Taylor, that have very expensive models, but also mid range 400-600 models made just like the top end, foreign made with variable materials. I have a number of guitars, electric and acoustic and love playing at home or out at pubs and wineries. Good luck and enjoy.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Yamaha FG820. Solid top, and you can find usually under $400. Lots of YouTube reviews on it.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Rebuilding and servicing guitars was a fanatical hobby of mine for years. I've also played since 1966. During my hobby times, I mostly bought used guitars on craigslist and would fix any issues, usually leveling and crowning the frets and often repainting and trying various different pickups. From all this work, did find some general trends in guitars. All of these are solid body electric. I did this with dozens of guitars, building what I wanted, from Clapton tributes to Knopfler. Craigslist people started tracking me down to work on their guitars as I described in great detail the guitars I'd put up for sale.

First, stay away from Squier affinity and bullet series guitars. The fretwork is horrid. I could fix that with leveling but it would take me literally an hour of grinding the frets, where something like a Mexican strat would take 10 minutes. Squiers also use ear bleeding pickups. Yes, they are cheap. The street price for used ones on craigslist was about $50. If you want a strat style guitar, look for a Mexican strat or same for Mexican tele.

Others if you want new. Music Man is a super premium guitar brand, way over your price range. But they've worked with overseas builders over the last 5 years or so. If you find them in your local music store, look for any of their associated brands of late. Sterling is the upper overseas brand and is excellent. I'd put it way above Mexican Fenders. Sterling-Sub is the lower brand and is surprisingly good for very low price. Although cheaper than Mexican Fender, their quality is much better. Both of these are pretty rare in the used market.

Ibanez makes great low end guitars. Find one that does not have a trem (whammy bar) and you'll have a very nice guitar. I've owned several of these and have been impressed. They have a number of Les Paul copies that are lighter and not as thick as a Les Paul. For your learning, this will make things easier. These guitars, like a Les Paul are a shorter scale, meaning the frets are slightly closer together, which makes it easier to play. To see the difference, if you take a strat guitar (25 1/2" scale) and put a capo on the first fret, starting your play on the 2nd fret, you now have Les Paul scale (24 3/4" scale). Most PRS guitars are this scale.

I will say that when buying anything Fender used, there are fakes out there. I've found my share of Squier bodies bolted to Mexican or even USA necks and being sold as USA. A rough rule is if you flip the guitar over, if the screws in the trem plate are evenly spaced on a Fender, it's a low end Squier. There are some exceptions, like early Mexicans right after the factory burned down and was re-opened. But it's a good general rule. Also look at the color. The candy Cola is not a Mexican color, for example.

If you're handy, anything on a Fender is easily upgraded. Squiers have pots that are the size of dimes and are garbage. Quarter sized pots, usually CTS is standard in Mexican Fenders from about the early 90's. There are other changes through the years, but not all are upgrades (going from single pole pickups to 2 magnetic bars, for example). But for learning, it's fine and you can upgrade these pretty easily. There are tons of aftermarket parts out there.

So I should have said this first, but electrics tend to use much lighter strings making pressing them before your fingers toughen is much, much easier. I'd recommend doing this and getting a small amp. Line 6 has a nice, cheap modeling amp that I have. It's like $100 new and you can dial in effects and they work at low volume, or plug in headphones.

There are used guitar stores everywhere and most big names....even Guitar Center will have used. They will save you money over new. GC offers lessons as well but Youtube offers so many lessons, it's amazing.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Sandtrap »

Considerations and randome thoughts:

1. Choose your guitar according to the music you want to play and how it's played.

IE: Fingerstyle folk is your primary like. (James Taylor, Bob Dylan, or Country)
so. . . . Medium steel string acoustic or classical guitar (also wont' rip beginner fingers up however harder to bar chords).
IE: Classical, flamenco, etc. (classical guitar, nylon strings)

2. Like a shoe, a guitar has to be comfortable and fit your body and so forth. If it's not comfortable, then you won't play it as much. So. . . neck shape and diameter to fit your hands, body width and bulk or it will dig into your ribs or push up your shoulder, etc.

3. Regardless of price, a well made guitar will have a comfortable "action" and remain that way as you own it and it becomes "seasoned" (if an acoustic) over time, vs a poor guitar will warp, deck raise, etc, over time and need to be adjusted and then often only so much. You've seen this when a guitar seems to have strings so high off the fingerboard that it's very hard to play.

4. An expensive guitar such as a high end Martin/Taylor, etc, might not be played as much because you don't want it nicked, etc.

5. The best guitar is one that you will play often and be comfortable with it.
IE: I have a very high end Taylor that is not played much because it is not comfortable. OTOH, I have an older Martin, one of my lst, that has a smaller acoustic body, that is a jazz high tension nylon (unique) design that I play often.

The most important thing is long term fun which is definitely found in a guitar. One you will take to family get togethers and play with friends as well as by yourself.

*Sing along with your guitar. It makes it happy. :D :D
*And, your guitar will sing back to you.

j :D
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Tim_in_GA
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Tim_in_GA »

I would recommend going to a music store and trying several out to see what feels good to you.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by fleetwdl »

Look for a used early model Sigma guitar made in Japan. They were manufactured with Martin knowledge and technology and they sound great. Later they were made in Korea and China--avoid those. I have a DR-35 and will not give it up even though it's only worth less than $400.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by praxis »

Go to want ads or pawn shops or craigs list or ebay. In our town there are a half dozen guitars for sale in the paper. I bought a steel string for $50
last Tuesday and it's decent enough so I can play with friends that visit without their guitar.

Really, you will find out soon if you want to continue and if you get familiar with playing a guitar, you'll be better at picking out one to upgrade. It seems like everybody in the 60's & 70's bought one and most of them are sitting in their closets. I think the recent urge to de-clutter has put many back on the market. In a pawn shop you can play all of them and make an offer.

Decide what kind of music you want to start with. Find your favorite song in that genre. Look it up on you tube and you'll find at least 5 guitar tutorials from beginner to complex. Learn on a song you like. Memorize a few chords and play that song until you've got it down. Maybe move up to a harder version lesson. It will be more fun than practicing scales.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by finite_difference »

I would look around the $400 price point if you can afford it. And around $400 for an amp. And buy used if you can.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I actually don’t enjoy practicing on a crappy instrument. A quality instrument just sounds and feels so much better, and makes you want to play.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by daheld »

I was also going to suggest Taylor. They're not hand built masterpieces, but Taylor does technology and robot made guitars pretty darn well. They're really consistent quality-wise, and most models have a low enough action that makes it easier for a beginner to learn. The neck is also not like wrangling an oak tree, ala a Martin dreadnought (which I love, but are not particularly conducive to beginners).
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by TSR »

The key question is acoustic or electric. Assuming acoustic, then I believe this (below) is the right answer. You could also get an even better guitar used for the same price if you wanted (or the same model used for less money). Do not go below this $400-new range though. You get into the world where people are cutting corners on neck and fretwork, which will make it very hard to play and learn. If you want to DM me your location I would be happy to recommend other places you could go with models near you.
FrugalConservative
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by FrugalConservative »

I learned on an acoustic (YAMAHA FG800).

Quality guitar that wont break the bank. Buy a decent tuner.

https://www.kraftmusic.com/yamaha-fg800 ... undle.html
blues008
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by blues008 »

Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric?

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-el ... 05500.html
mhalley
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by mhalley »

How are you going to learn? Private lessons, online videos, etc?
I remember watching this teaching system on shark tank.
https://musiciantuts.com/chordbuddy-review/
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by bondsr4me »

I don't know what he used, but I always like the sounds coming from Don Rich when he was with Buck Owens.

Sure wish I could play like him...would love to learn to play geetar.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by bad1bill »

I'm assuming you are talking acoustic.

DON'T buy online or used if you are serious about learning and staying with it. There are some great Chinese-made guitars that are cheap but the key is in the setup (fret, nut and bridge work). A local shop will be able to make sure your guitar is properly setup AND maintained. Playing guitar in the beginning means ease of fretting and building up callouses and finger strength. A poorly setup guitar that you might get on Craigslist or on Amazon will dissuade you from playing a lot. Since you are not a player, it will be hard for you to determine what is good for you. A local shop can fit it to you and will guarantee that it stays that way.

Case in point (I'm a guitar player). I bought my son (beginner) a mandolin for Christmas. My local shop wanted $450 but I saw a $250 one online. The local shop recommended an online retailer who sets up the mandolins beforehand so I bought that $250 mando (the local used to carry the same instrument but said most of them needed an extensive setup so they didn't find it worthwhile to carry them anymore). It was fine for about a week but the dry atmosphere here in Colorado soon rendered it unplayable. The online shop refused to take it back citing humidity. It wasn't worth their time to ship it back and forth. My local luthier friend fixed it for $50. But you as a beginner don't know if that online or Craigslist guitar has (worse case) a warped neck or similar.

A local shop can probably find you a good used guitar for $400 or less.

Moving forward with learning, there are many on-line teachers who can get you going in the right direction. Son is doing just that...
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by cacophony »

If you want to go the electric route I'd suggest a ~$500 mexican made Fender Stratocaster and a $230 Boss Katana 50 MKII amp. It's a great combination that's very versatile, and you won't feel the need to upgrade anytime soon. If you decide not to continue with guitar they both hold their value well on the used market.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

blues008 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:44 am Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric?

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-el ... 05500.html
I would put this in the slot of where Mexican Strats were in their best times. I've heard good things about these but have not bought one myself. The things that are important, the neck width at the nut is 1.65", which is "normal". Squier Affinity series are much more narrow at 1.6", which doesn't sound like much of a difference, but you can feel it. The one you linked has alnico pickups, which suggests individual pole piece magnets, which tends to be better than Squier type bar magnets. I think this one looks pretty good as a starting point.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by blues008 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:41 pm
blues008 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:44 am Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric?

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-el ... 05500.html
I would put this in the slot of where Mexican Strats were in their best times. I've heard good things about these but have not bought one myself. The things that are important, the neck width at the nut is 1.65", which is "normal". Squier Affinity series are much more narrow at 1.6", which doesn't sound like much of a difference, but you can feel it. The one you linked has alnico pickups, which suggests individual pole piece magnets, which tends to be better than Squier type bar magnets. I think this one looks pretty good as a starting point.
Thank you! Would you think buying a $500 mexican made Fender Stratocaster instead as a previous poster suggested? Do you have any recs on a specific model? I'll try both in store if possible first.
Katietsu
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Katietsu »

If you take lessons at our local shop, you can play a different one of theirs each week. We have a satisfactory hand me down that has been fine to get started. But DH is thinking of getting a two fer one by taking some lessons and getting an extended test drive of a few different guitars.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by kjvmartin »

I have been playing for 22 years and have had acoustics and electrics from Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Ibanez, Ovation, and Fender.

You don't want to trap yourself in an instrument to resell at a loss if you decide to quit. You can get a quality instrument (from one of the big names) and not lose much/any money if you resell. If you pay a fair price, you can resell it for about the same price with no trouble. On the other hand, you could rent and then still pay too much for a brand new instrument at a small shop. Or you could rent and lose the rental fees for several months.

I have settled on Martin has my overall favorite builder. There's a language of pricing you'll need to learn in the world of guitars.

List price = No one pays that.
Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) = everyone is obligated to advertise that. You can use a coupon at Guitar Center and get a few dollars off MAP.
Street Price = There are some volume/online sellers, and sometimes the big boxes will match street pricing. For Martin, you can reasonably expect to pay 60% of the list price for most of their instruments.

Fair used price is 50% or less of an instruments list price.

Let me give you an example from one of my favorite sellers, with whom I have no affiliation.

https://www.maurysmusic.com/inc/sdetail ... /565/94757

You can reach out to that dealer and he will likely surprise you with a much better price on the phone/e-mail. I'd implore you to compare that new price with new/used prices of the same instrument on eBay. As a thought, that would be the #1 recommendation I would give to any beginner and is one of my favorite instruments at any price.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by wesgreen »

Good advice here from the B'heads! Much better than on international investing!
Yamaha especially, and Fender too, make good stuff. On the other hand, I've seen enough great guitar players play amazing music with "terrible" / cheap guitars over my lifetime to realize that the instrument doesn't matter. Getting your rhythm together, and having fun, may be more crucial, as you probably know from piano. A free smartphone metronome app can help there.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by jb3 »

Used Mexican strat. Ebay.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by helloeveryone »

manatee2005 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:40 am Any Bogleheads play the guitar? I'm 45 and want to learn to play. I already know how to play the piano, but want to try some things on the guitar. Any good beginner guitar that I can buy?
I started off w a $100 guitar on amazon. After 3-4 months of lessons I bought a used one at guitar center for ~$1300. Huge difference obviously in sound, playability, comfort etc.... I skipped the $500-800 range guitars which are probably just as fine but I really wanted the taylor I bought.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by atikovi »

manatee2005 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:19 am
Yes, but i don’t want to spend $2k on a guitar if I’m going to quit after 3 weeks. That’s why I’d like a beginner guitar now and then in 6-12 months if everything is going well I can upgrade.
Is there a reason you WANT to play the guitar? If it's because you like the music, wouldn't it be easier to just buy some CDs to listen to? I mean, I like good food but don't particularly enjoy cooking so I eat out sometimes.
dsmil
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by dsmil »

I recommend this website for learning

http://www.justinguitar.com/
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

blues008 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:54 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:41 pm
blues008 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:44 am Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric?

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-el ... 05500.html
I would put this in the slot of where Mexican Strats were in their best times. I've heard good things about these but have not bought one myself. The things that are important, the neck width at the nut is 1.65", which is "normal". Squier Affinity series are much more narrow at 1.6", which doesn't sound like much of a difference, but you can feel it. The one you linked has alnico pickups, which suggests individual pole piece magnets, which tends to be better than Squier type bar magnets. I think this one looks pretty good as a starting point.
Thank you! Would you think buying a $500 mexican made Fender Stratocaster instead as a previous poster suggested? Do you have any recs on a specific model? I'll try both in store if possible first.
Mexican strats have continuously increased in quality every couple years. I would have no problem with one as a first guitar. I would never buy one used on eBay. I could so easily put together a Mexican strat with just the correct neck and a bunch of Chinese garbage body, pickups, trem, pots, switch and as a beginner, you'd never figure it out. At least playing it yourself from Craigslist, you have some chance to catch a fake. At a shop, I've seen "partscasters", but they're accurately labeled. I remember one in particular that had a complete Mexican body and an American neck for $500. It got sold and I found it on Craigslist 2 weeks later, advertised as a USA strat for $900.

Something else you could consider is the Korean built guitars. They all tend to be excellent. PRS SE level guitars, Carvin acoustics, and others are built in Korea. I have owned a number of semi-hollow PRS-copy-type guitars, which have all been Korean. I still have a Dillion and it is excellent. Samick in Korea is one of the largest guitar makers in the world and makes a lot of different branded guitars. I will say that the Samick branded guitars can be inconsistent and vary from very good to garbage. They seem to make private labeled guitars pretty well.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Sandtrap »

wesgreen wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:21 pm Good advice here from the B'heads! Much better than on international investing!
Yamaha especially, and Fender too, make good stuff. On the other hand, I've seen enough great guitar players play amazing music with "terrible" / cheap guitars over my lifetime to realize that the instrument doesn't matter. Getting your rhythm together, and having fun, may be more crucial, as you probably know from piano. A free smartphone metronome app can help there.
So true!
In my early years, I brought my guitar teacher along to look at guitars in a store. He was a regular gigging solo guitarist, university trained and all that. Played a very well used Yamaha and something else.
We went through a number of low and mid priced classical guitars in the store. My teacher would play each of them for a bit.
A lot of the people in the store gathered round and listened as he played.
Huge reality check re: guitars.

j :happy
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Sandtrap »

Later, if you want to get into jazz ( IE: Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Benson, etc) , get a hollow or semi hollow body, Gibson or equiv, electric. Put some flatwounds on it.
Awesome!

Also, if you ever expect to play in public or larger setting or busy family gatherings, get an acoustic with a quality pickup and preamp in it.

j :happy
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manatee2005
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by manatee2005 »

atikovi wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:00 am
manatee2005 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:19 am
Yes, but i don’t want to spend $2k on a guitar if I’m going to quit after 3 weeks. That’s why I’d like a beginner guitar now and then in 6-12 months if everything is going well I can upgrade.
Is there a reason you WANT to play the guitar? If it's because you like the music, wouldn't it be easier to just buy some CDs to listen to? I mean, I like good food but don't particularly enjoy cooking so I eat out sometimes.
I could also put in CDs of piano music but doesn’t compare to playing it :-)
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Sandtrap wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:57 am Later, if you want to get into jazz ( IE: Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Benson, etc) , get a hollow or semi hollow body, Gibson or equiv, electric. Put some flatwounds on it.
Awesome!
....and be traditional. Wound G string.

(I still have a 69 Guild archtop double cutaway (looks like Johnny A Gibson) that my parents bought me new)
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pochax
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by pochax »

i play acoustic guitar and have recommended this as the best beginner guitar for $200:
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-FS800-Aco ... 156&sr=1-2

The Yamaha FS800 punches above its price in terms of sound quality and build. my niece (13yrs old) and my mom (70+) both got one and love it. across acoustic guitar reviews/forums and youtube vids, you'll see this guitar recommended (including wirecutter.com). There is also an FG800 (slight larger dreadnought body style) for the same price and you can get that as well, but i recommend the smaller body one to start for playability and comfort, then if you stick with it and want a bigger sound, you can upgrade later. here is a youtube vid explaining further support for this guitar as the best "beginner" guitar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tY-XyxUb4I

There are comparable good starter guitars for a little bit more $ (seagull S6, Taylor academy, Martin X series, etc.) but i would start here if you want to keep the cost down.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Sandtrap »

bad1bill wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:22 pm I'm assuming you are talking acoustic.

DON'T buy online or used if you are serious about learning and staying with it. There are some great Chinese-made guitars that are cheap but the key is in the setup (fret, nut and bridge work). A local shop will be able to make sure your guitar is properly setup AND maintained. Playing guitar in the beginning means ease of fretting and building up callouses and finger strength. A poorly setup guitar that you might get on Craigslist or on Amazon will dissuade you from playing a lot. Since you are not a player, it will be hard for you to determine what is good for you. A local shop can fit it to you and will guarantee that it stays that way.
........
+1
A new guitar will take time to settle into itself because of the change of climate from where it was made and where the owner lives, also the new wood will "season" and shift. Tension in different string sets change the action height as well. All this and more effects "playability", intonation, sound, tone, etc.

j :happy
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Halicar
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by Halicar »

blues008 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:44 am Any thoughts on this model for a beginner electric?

https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-el ... 05500.html
I'd say you can't go wrong with that. Musicians love to geek out on gear and debate the merits of brands and models, but realistically, "Squier Stratocaster" is more or less synonymous with "Beginner electric guitar."
bondsr4me
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by bondsr4me »

dsmil wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:08 am I recommend this website for learning

http://www.justinguitar.com/
+1
Thank You for the link....looks very interesting.
Have a great weekend.
gittarman
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by gittarman »

You can get a very good beginner guitar for a few hundred dollars. I have been playing
for over 50 years and I recently bought a guitar online from Orangewood Guitars (https://orangewoodguitars.com/).
I did so because I was in the market for an inexpensive "knock-around" guitar, plus I was intrigued by their business model.
I am very happy with the quality of the guitar I bought, plus I have had very good experiences with their customer support in
resolving a couple of minor issues. They have a number of models that would probably satisfy your needs. I am guessing that
you can save a few bucks vs buying a similar guitar at a brick and mortar location.

I think the biggest challenge you will have buying a guitar "sight unseen" is selecting a guitar that is comfortable for you, from a size perspective.
In this regard, it is best to go to a music store and try some out. I would strongly recommend staying away from the "big box"
music stores, and trying to find a local shop that has a good reputation.
gtrplayer
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by gtrplayer »

What kind of music do you want to play? You can learn on anything but if you want to be James Taylor, you don’t want a strat.

I’ve taught beginners. The primary hurdle is the action on the guitar. Some guitars are set up with very high action. If you’re new, you don’t know what it should be. You want action as low as you can get it without it buzzing. Second thing is you want it to play in tune. If doesn’t, you’ll think you’re wrong and won’t understand why it doesn’t sound good. Tune it, then check the tuning up the neck to see if it is setup right.

You absolutely do not need to spend a lot of money. My favorite guitar is a $300 Ibanez nylon string. I set it up with low action and I’ve played it on more gigs than I can count. People tell me they think it must be expensive. I’ve got more expensive guitars but they’re not “better.”

It’s all set up. Buy a $50 well set up guitar and you’ll be fine.
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9Iron
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by 9Iron »

pochax wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:02 pm i play acoustic guitar and have recommended this as the best beginner guitar for $200:
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-FS800-Aco ... 156&sr=1-2

The Yamaha FS800 punches above its price in terms of sound quality and build. my niece (13yrs old) and my mom (70+) both got one and love it. across acoustic guitar reviews/forums and youtube vids, you'll see this guitar recommended (including wirecutter.com). There is also an FG800 (slight larger dreadnought body style) for the same price and you can get that as well, but i recommend the smaller body one to start for playability and comfort, then if you stick with it and want a bigger sound, you can upgrade later. here is a youtube vid explaining further support for this guitar as the best "beginner" guitar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tY-XyxUb4I

There are comparable good starter guitars for a little bit more $ (seagull S6, Taylor academy, Martin X series, etc.) but i would start here if you want to keep the cost down.
I own a Yamaha FS800, in addition to a Taylor. It is a great little guitar, very comfortable to play. Overall, it is a fantastic value. Highly recommend it for beginning guitarist. I use ghs silk and steel strings on this guitar, beginners may find these strings helpful as they are a bit easier on the fingers.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by MP173 »

I also started playing at age 45. Unlike you (OP) no musical experience. I envy your piano background as it should ease the learning curve for you.

I have collected a number of guitars - Ibanez semi hollow body is a nice electric for me. Also had a Squire electric (purchased in 2001) and it was really good until someone stole it. I picked up another Squire from a dumpster (seriously) and it was not as good. The frets were higher (someone earlier mentioned that).

I have a nice Washburn accoustic sitting in my home office and pick it up multiple times daily as a relief from work. Also have a mini accoustic purchased for my son when he was 7. He played it 10 minutes....I have it in family room and pick it up frequently just to have something to do.

I am currently learning to read music and transfer to guitar. I had a thread on this a few months ago - it is simply a new language for me to learn. Tablature is frequently used for guitar. Justinguitar is a very good website. Been there numerous times. He covers considerable ground at no charge.

As far as a recommendation, I can offer nothing...there are a number of much more experienced guitarist here that speak the language much better than me.

Good luck!

Ed
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munemaker
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by munemaker »

I played a bit as a teen ager, and am getting back into it as a retiree.

This does not answer your question but might help. To me, as a beginner, a guitar being easy to play is more important than having excellent tone. "Action" describes the distance between the strings and the fretboard. Make sure the guitar is properly set up with low action and thin strings. Electrics are generally easier to play than steel string acoustics.

Higher action and thicker strings will give better tone but will discourage a beginner. I can say this from experience.

I personally would not purchase a really expensive instrument until I have some confidence I am going to stick with it.

There is a huge amount of information online. Just google your question and you will find a lot of valuable information.
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Re: Guitar for a 45 year old beginner

Post by tedgeorge »

I went through this right before the holidays. This is a hard question to answer because you don't know what you don't know. You can't really play anything so comparing guitars is really tough in a store. You don't know if the guitar is setup correctly or what you could change to make it better. Did changing the strings make things better or worse? Is it the guitar or is it me?

Here's what helped me:

Narrow down what you think you want to try. I went with acoustic because I didn't want to deal with amps and other things that my young kids would destroy. Way easier to get out and/or hide the acoustic. Electrics are pretty cool and I don't think I'd regret one of those either.

Determine a price point. You may find something you "like" in say the $200 range. Then you can start looking on craigslist and facebook for the many others who thought they wanted to play and decided not to and want to unload their guitars. Maybe you find a deal that includes all the other stuff like a case, picks, strings, etc. for the same price you'd pay new.

Guitars can be "setup" in your local shops for say $50 and up. This means a person who knows what they are doing can make adjustments to make a guitar play and sound better. Maybe they lower the strings down so you don't have to press so hard or make another slight adjustment that would never occur to a beginner. I haven't done this but if you found a great guitar for a really cheap price... you may want to add one of these in.

Learning is hard. You're going to have to practice as it's relatively new motions. Maybe different for a piano player but as someone who can type very fast, it didn't seem to translate. :) It seems like most of the beginning is learn a couple of chords and then learn how to move back and forth between them without looking down. Then doing that faster and faster. I can see why the best start early in life when there is nothing else going on and you're not bothered by taxes or sick kids or whatever.... It's a slow grind but I'm surprised how quickly the fingers remember where to be and which strings to strum.

I ended up with a Yamaha FG800 that I picked up on craigslist. I'm currently using the JustinGuitar app. Lots of practice with chord changes and it has scaled down songs you can play along with to make you feel like you're making progress.

Good luck!
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