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Guitar buyin advice anyone?

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Lons

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Bit of a longshot but I need advice if anyone can offer it.

My sons birthday on 25th of this month and his new wife has just told us he has a hankering for an accoustic guitar. We would like to buy it for his as a surprise present and I've had a quick look on line where the choice is bewildering as I'm not at all musically inclined :roll:

He's a beginner and we don't want to spend more than around £100 in case he gives it up but don't want to buy c**p either. What should we look for?
Will probably visit a shop in the Metrocentre later this week for a looksee but might buy on line.

cheers

Bob
 

Boatfixer

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When we had the same dilemma last year with our daughter we went to Windows in Newcastle - a proper music shop with helpful assistants who know what they are selling and were pleased with what we bought. Much nicer than the Metro Centre......

Graham
 

bugbear

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Lons":rrcbcbsa said:
Bit of a longshot but I need advice if anyone can offer it.

My sons birthday on 25th of this month and his new wife has just told us he has a hankering for an accoustic guitar. We would like to buy it for his as a surprise present and I've had a quick look on line where the choice is bewildering as I'm not at all musically inclined :roll:

He's a beginner and we don't want to spend more than around £100 in case he gives it up but don't want to buy c**p either. What should we look for?
Will probably visit a shop in the Metrocentre later this week for a looksee but might buy on line.

cheers

Bob
Key question is wether s/h is deemed acceptable. A decent guitar shop will have good s/h guitars at good discounts compared to new.

BugBear (owner of s/h guitars)
 

Lons

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Graham
Yes it's Windows I mean't when I mentioned the Metrocentre as we don't get in to Newcastle much these days. Will make the effort though if that's the case.
What did you buy, if you don't mind me asking.

Bugbear
S/H never crossed my mind but something we'll definately consider. Will have a word with the wife tonight to see what she thinks.

I'm fairly sure he'll stick with it but if so will want to upgrade as he progresses so whatever we buy will be relatively short term IMO

Thanks guys

Bob
 

jimi43

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Firstly she needs to check what type of acoustic he will need.

You can get nylon or steel string acoustics....the former for more classical and Spanish music and the latter for everything else...so I would opt for steel string if I didn't know which to be safe...

I have had about 20 different steel string acoustics over the years and only one I kept...a Takamine.

Now the top of the range are bloody expensive BUT they make a Jasmine model which is mass produced and still beautiful!

I got mine from Freecycle for um....free! :oops: But the neck had snapped at the headstock (a common fault with solid mahogany necks) and had been repaired once so the lady that was throwing it out had given up getting it fixed and bought another one new.

There is a good Takamine on FleaBay at the mo for £140 starting with no bids...CLICKITY CLICKITY HERE so that gives you some idea...sadly there are no Jasmines up at the moment.

The added benefit is that this model (and the Jasmine) have a piezo-electric pickup built into the bridge and a little pre-amp with volume and tone so you can amplify this guitar later should you so wish.

If you are going secondhand the Epiphone (by Gibson) is a nice guitar...this is one I had...



...but watch out because it is essential that the neck is straight. The truss rod adjustment can adjust this to some extent but if it is warped or twisted then the guitar is a nightmare to fix and not really worth doing at this level.

There is a lovely one in a case on FleaBay at the moment....CLICK HERE....seems ok and if you are bidding...ensure you ask that question about the neck and if it turns out bad...you have reason to send it back.

I hope this helps and let us know what you end up with.

Jim
 

steadyeddie

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Hi Bob,
Yamaha make some nice acoustic guitars that won't break the bank if you go down the S/H route. Try and get a guitar that will be as trouble free as possible. As a beginner, all he'll want to do is play the thing, not mess around with it constantly.

Dave
 

Silverbirch

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As someone who`s owned both rubbish and good quality guitars in my time, I`d suggest going to a music shop, definitely.
Ebay is OK if you know what`s what, and know how to fix potential problems. At your price point, you need to look for a decent action, ie the strings shouldn`t be too far off the fretboard, which will make the instrument hard to play. A beginner will get sore fingers anyway, until he develops callouses on the ends, and strings which are hard to press down will just add to the problemand make it hard to play nice clear notes..
Anything bought from a music shop shouldn`t suffer from that, especially if you ask for it to be set up before parting with your cash.

Ian
 

chunkolini

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I would never buy anybody else a specialised piece of kit as a surprise gift.
I cycle a lot and use loads of tools, and have people offer to buy me 'x' for the bikes or workshop.
It can work as long as the buyer does as they are asked. But it is not always much help.
I remember a horrible christmas when as a teenaged skateboarder I was bought a load of stuff that was of no use to me.
I would personally offer to help the individual buy their guitar, and offer a sum towards it, or allow them to stear me to buy the right model as he might have some idea of what he looking for.
Maybe even offer to go with the giftee (is that a word?) and buy said item under the guidance of a hopefully knowledgable sales assistant.
Certainly always a good idea to encourage people to take up new hobbies/interests.
Good luck.
 

Lons

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Thanks for all the advice guys.

Wife is on a day off tomorrow so we're going to Windows music store in Newcasle for a chat and the information you've given will be most useful. At least we know now what to ask.

Strangely enough I got cold feet about buying the guitar - it's my wife who wants the surprise present - I know how I'd feel if someone wasted their hard earned on tools I don't need or want so I told her tonight we should let him choose. Still need the info first though.

Bob
 

Lons

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Edit... still double posting for some reason I can't figure out :?
 

bugbear

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chunkolini":1zm2n7oh said:
I would never buy anybody else a specialised piece of kit as a surprise gift.
It's possibly OK at the beginner stage - but what you say is certainly true for any body at a more advanced stage in a hobby.

BugBear
 

MIGNAL

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Don't need to buy a tuner. So many online. There is a very good free app. for an Android phone, obviously for iphones too.
You could forget buying the Guitar and go for a Ukulele instead (or even a Guitalele). Apparently they are all the rage at the moment. Sales of Guitars have fallen over the last few years, Ukes are on a steep upward sales path. Happens in time of recession.
 

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Bought a good basic Concert Uke for my better half for £39!

Rod
 

Lons

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Thanks for the rest of the help guys.

been into Windows today (only to find out later there are another couple of shops we could have been to #-o ). Still confused but def will take my son in to see what he likes. Hopefully this coming Friday as hes in Leicester this week.

Quite liked this Fender C140 at £159, (cheaper on line) http://www.gak.co.uk/en/fender-cf-140s/54846, seemed to have a nice tone - any thoughts? There was also an Ashton D27ntm with a tuner built in http://www.gak.co.uk/en/ashton-d27ntm/43359.

What's the 'phone amp Mignal? We all have iphone4 but I can search if I know what I'm looking for
Bob
 

MIGNAL

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Not an amp but a Tuner application. The Android one is free and very accurate. There should be a few for iphones. I know that Peterson do a strobe tuner for the iphone but it is probably expensive and a bit of overkill for his needs. TBH I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid for such an App. as you can get a clip on Tuner for under £10.
 

Lons

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MIGNAL":ljb7dubo said:
Not an amp but a Tuner application. The Android one is free and very accurate. There should be a few for iphones. I know that Peterson do a strobe tuner for the iphone but it is probably expensive and a bit of overkill for his needs. TBH I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid for such an App. as you can get a clip on Tuner for under £10.
Typo as I knew you meant an app :oops:

Just done a quick search and I'm astonished at how many apps available for guitars. Quite a number of tuners as well, several free.

muchas ta :)
 

MIGNAL

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Probably the most important thing is for him to take lessons. I know that many learn through a Book or through Videos but you simply cannot better one to one lessons with a decent teacher. It doesn't have to be very many, 2 or 3 30 minute lessons should form the basis of good technique - the important stuff such as posture, a 'natural' hand position and certainly how to avoid the dreaded left hand death grip. It's just a case of finding a decent teacher who is aware of that stuff. Oddly enough sometimes the best players don't always make the best teachers, probably because things came automatically for them and they didn't experience the common problems that beset some of us.
 

MickCheese

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The tip about getting lessons is a good one. I have played guitar since the age of 13 and am over 50 now, never had a lesson in my life but deeply regret it.

I just got to a stage where I progressed no further and I am convinced lessons at an early stage would have helped me.

I still think lesson would help but it is just lack of time that stops me and a million other hobbies together with work getting in the way.

Mick
 
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