Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
}<-('o')-
Joined
·
9,918 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are a bunch of ehMacian musicians.

Anyone know what brand of acoustic guitar would be good for a teen learner. She is small in stature and hands so can't use my full size Daion.

It needs to be good enough to keep it's tune, but not so good that I cringe and wince every time it takes a dinging. :eek:(and about how much should I expect to pay for such an instrument?)

What do music schools use? Anybody know, or have a suggestion?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,972 Posts
My teen has a smaller second-hand acoustic Yamaha that she took to University with her. No idea of the value (it was a gift from a family musician who 'had it in the attic'), but it sounds okay, keeps its tuning nicely, and is strong enough to serve as a personal protection device at University.

(She also has a Gibsons, which has a slightly nicer sound, but is much more delicate. We keep that one at home for obvious reasons.)

Edit: I'm told you should be able to pick up a decent second hand guitar for anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00. You might want to check with a luthier if you know one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
I'd go with the Godin family of guitar lines... sterling Canadian company, lots of subsidiary lines, a wide range of price points, a strong reputation for excellent value, quality of materials and workmanship.... their Art & Lutherie line is probably a good bet. I don't own any of their acoustics personally but I have four of their electrics and they are excellent instruments. I'd recommend Larrivée as well but they are probably a little more high-end than what you'd be comfortable with.

If you can't solicit enough responses here, try going to Guitars Canada and joining their user forums... you can pose the question in the acoustic guitar forum and I'm betting you'll get a decent array of recommendations/options.

Best of luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
+1 for the Art & Lutherie brand from Godin.

You should consider renting a guitar from Long & McQuade. I have rented Yamaha and Art & Lutherie for about $25 per month. You can switch up any time you want and get a feel for different brands. 60% of the rental fees can be put toward the used price of the guitar you rent (so the rental fee isn't a complete loss).

Barring that, your daughter should spend lots of time in-store and play anything she can get her hands on.

Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
Yeah, Yamaha is another brand I'd have no problem recommending. I've owned several of their guitars over the years and they too offer very good value for the money.

Regarding a reasonable outlay for a student guitar, I'd hesitate to go as low as $50 dollars. Even $150 strikes me as a mite risky. Perhaps if it's used and in excellent shape... but if we're talking brand new, go up to two bills, maybe $250, and chances are much higher you will get an instrument a young student learner will not have to fight in order to evoke from it sweet sounds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,786 Posts
I have a Takamine Acoustic. Not too pricey but delivers a nice sound. The Yahama is good too. I had a Yahama classical once but the neck warped, so I replaced it with the Takamine. If I had the money (and time) I would invest in an Ovation or a nice Gibson.

BTW, I know teens want to get some type of electric guitar. What I learned from past experience is unless you are performing on stage, electric is not a good option. An acoustic is far more versatile. I do miss my Les Paul though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
Boy, I wouldn't mind spending a couple of hours in a Long & McQuade guitar room with some of you all.

So far we have hit...

Yamaha
Godin - Art & Lutherie
Takamine
Ovation

All good options but the OP is probably looking at a used unit to get a good model within a beginner price range. Although Yamaha does have classical (nylon string) units for as low as $150 new (competent but dull).

Electric is a whole new ball game. If the OP wants some advice on this route, I'm sure we can come up with something.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
I'm not necessarily a very good example of this, being a self-taught player - but hindsight has pointed to me the utility of learning first on a good quality acoustic guitar. If you can become comfortable and adept with that, then stepping over to an electric, which tends to be 'faster' with easier action - becomes a breeze. Of course, some acoustic players never get used to the different neck profiles of electrics, much less the tones they tend to produce.

As for versatility, seems to me a Fender Strat or a Godin Exit 22 are mighty versatile instruments in their own right - plenty of tonal options there. I guess versatility is very much a subjective thing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
Just thought of another company... it's Chinese, which may or may not be a problem for some folks. The company is called Crafter and they do a range of acoustic and electric guitars which are certainly worth looking at. Very good price points for what they offer... even their higher end acoustics and electrics are positive bargains compared, on price point alone mind you, to very similar products coming from Fender and Gibson. I can't say who's stocking them right now but I know for a fact there are Canadian distributors.

Crafter, Yamaha and Art & Lutherie would be my three picks to look at more closely.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,859 Posts
I'm not necessarily a very good example of this, being a self-taught player - but hindsight has pointed to me the utility of learning first on a good quality acoustic guitar. If you can become comfortable and adept with that, then stepping over to an electric, which tends to be 'faster' with easier action - becomes a breeze. Of course, some acoustic players never get used to the different neck profiles of electrics, much less the tones they tend to produce.

As for versatility, seems to me a Fender Strat or a Godin Exit 22 are mighty versatile instruments in their own right - plenty of tonal options there. I guess versatility is very much a subjective thing.
I too have not picked up a guitar in many years but I do have small hands and for me finding a thin neck proved to be more important than the size of the guitar. A stocky neck just won't cut it with small hands. If you are looking used Gibson acoustics or Guild would do nicely but would probably be fairly pricey. Tone with either would be awesome.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Go with Godin

Take a good look at the Godin lines. Each line is pretty fleshed out with varying qualities, all pretty good. They start at the bottom end with plywood sides and backs and go up to solid wood.

I have a Norman which I have had for 17 years now. My son bought a Sea Gull, top of the line. They sell a lot ofthis line in the States.

Have a reputable guitar shop lower the action to the maximum. That will help with small hands.

Also, don't be afraid to look at guitars with classical strings. The down side is they usually have pretty wide necks. The upside is that the classical guitar takes a lot less pressure to play, which is great for small hands.

Another option if unplugged tone is not an issue is a hollow body electric with an easy action. If chosen correctly this wil be the absolute easiest to play.

If you are not musically inclined yourself, take someone in with you to try out the guitars. 1. You want one where the fret board is true and 2. even on a rack of identical guitars, there will be one that is sweeter than the others. What we did when my son bought his is we both went in and took down two guitars at a time. I played one and he played the other. Which ever one sounded best to us we kept out and took down andother guitar to play with it until we had what we figured was the best.

It is worth some extra money to purchase better quality. I have two acoustic guitars, one, an El Dega purchased in 1975 and the other is the Norman in 1992. If they are not abused, they tend to stay around for awhile.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
Norman! My sister-in-law has this old Norman B Series dreadnought from the early seventies... it belonged to a young man who tragically died in his early 20s and it was passed on to her as a memory-filled keepsake. Normally it sits in a dark closet in a house in Montreal. Every time I visit I try to take it out and play it. It's in surprisingly good condition; the house must have a fairly steady humidity level. What a phenomenal guitar. The sweetest, purest tone... it just begs to be played.

Take a good guitar like that and it only gets better with time. Provided you respect it, of course. I have a Larriveé that's coming up on ten years old now. If it manages to sound half as good as that Norman in twenty years I'll be a happy guy.

______________________

Lichen, good point about classicals and nylon strings. One of my first acoustics was a cheap classical. Yes, I had a tough time with the wide neck, but the strings, particularly the higher notes as they were nylon, were easy to play and their softness was a nice change from the crispness and keener twang of steel strings.

Much depends, of course, on what one wants to learn. We have a mid-range Takamine classical because a certain someone in my household wants to learn flamenco guitar. Me, I just like having it around because it's got a different vibe and that soft, gently rounded tone is occasionally just the ticket for recording. It's also quite beautiful to look at.
 

·
R.I.P. Don - 06/21/2020
Joined
·
86,927 Posts
I am just embarking on guitar lessons. My oldest son had a friend who was a fabulous guitarist who took me to a music shop in Edmonton about 15 years ago and bought me a used Norman. He then had it adjusted and claimed it was the sweetest acoustic he ever played. Sadly the young man took his own life some five years ago and I just decided to try and learn recently.

Reading this thread is the first time I realized I might have something special.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,589 Posts
Strange, Sinc. I should take the trouble to reacquaint myself with the story of my Norman's original owner. It sounds eerily similar to your tale.

In any case, Normans are often fairly plain-looking guitars but don't let their comparative austerity of appearance fool you. If your son's friend knows his guitars and highly praised your Norman, then you are very fortunate indeed to have such a fine instrument to learn with.

Lastly, good on you for taking up guitar now! Never too late, is it. I felt I had jumped in late when I started in my very early 20s; Im recalling childhood friends whose parents had made them take piano, guitar, recorder lessons, etc. But I'm glad I got into it in any case, and I hope you enjoy yourself as well. It can be a very rewarding pastime.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Art & Lutherie is Godin

I would go with Art & Lutherie or Godin's. Yamaha's should do too, but I can't say 100% how they would be comparable size-wise as I only own electrics.
Art & Lutherie, Norman, Sea Gull are all Godin brands. It has been awhile since I looked, but I believe that they also have another brand that uses domestic woods - Cedar and Birch say instead of Spruce and Rosewood for the body. these guitars have a mellower or muddier sound.

Each of the Godin lines has a slightly different neck. So play them.

I can't say for Art & Lutherie, but for Norman and Sea Gull, the actions are set very high off the shelf. I think this is so the hard strummers will not be twanging strings. So for any of them, get the action lowered at the shop.

Yamaha has always been a good mid range to high range brand. What they used to be really well known for was their twelve string guitars. They were one of the few brands where the neck did not become a bow after awhile.

For whatever you pick, of prime importance is a fret board that is right on. there is nothing that will discourage a player faster than to have a guitar that is almost impossible to tune.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Ovation Guitars are different

Ovation guitars are a little different than most others. They do not age and they have a unique ringing sound. This is due to the composite material used on the back and sides. So if you get an Ovation, you had better like the sound on the day you buy it as it will sound pretty much the same 20 years down the line.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
All Normans are good

I am just embarking on guitar lessons. My oldest son had a friend who was a fabulous guitarist who took me to a music shop in Edmonton about 15 years ago and bought me a used Norman. He then had it adjusted and claimed it was the sweetest acoustic he ever played. Sadly the young man took his own life some five years ago and I just decided to try and learn recently.

Reading this thread is the first time I realized I might have something special.
Sinc,

Take a look inside the body of the guitar to get the model and then go to the Godin web site, put up previously, to see what you have. My experience with Normans is that even the low end is really nice. The upper end is something else. I gave myself a Studio 68 for my 40'th birthday. I think I paid about $850 for it. I was up north at the time and every man and his dog plays guitar. Many of them had Martins which cost up to 4 times the price, but the Norman matched them all in sound and had a better action.

As for lessons, go ahead and take them. But also, go into a music store with lots of books and find one with music you like with simple chord tabulature and just play for fun. Guitar is a unique instrument in that everyone can play if their ear is good enough to tune it. If you are just playing for yourself, it does not matter if you are "good". It just matters that you are having fun. If you have enough fun, you will get better over time. I have seen too many people spend an incredible amount of time trying to become technically proficient, having no fun and then giving up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Lichen, good point about classicals and nylon strings. One of my first acoustics was a cheap classical. Yes, I had a tough time with the wide neck, but the strings, particularly the higher notes as they were nylon, were easy to play and their softness was a nice change from the crispness and keener twang of steel strings.
1. If you want a really nice sound, play blues on a classical. The strings bend really nicely.

2. You can overcome the wide neck on a classical if you have the proper posture. It is made to be played sitting down with the neck of the guitar up around your chin. That position seems to free up the hand quite a bit.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top