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3/4 size guitar

GUEST,Paul S 03 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM
Gillie 03 Jul 09 - 02:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 03 Jul 09 - 03:09 PM
SharonA 03 Jul 09 - 03:17 PM
SharonA 03 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Paul S 03 Jul 09 - 03:56 PM
SharonA 03 Jul 09 - 04:59 PM
Leadfingers 03 Jul 09 - 11:32 PM
Mark Ross 04 Jul 09 - 11:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jul 09 - 05:51 PM
SharonA 04 Jul 09 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jul 09 - 07:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 09 - 07:51 PM
Gillie 06 Jul 09 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Paul S 16 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM
Stringsinger 16 Jul 09 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,jeff 16 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM
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Subject: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm going to have a look at a guitar for my little guy tomorrow. It's a used 3/4 size acoustic guitar that has probably been collecting dust for a while.

I plan to tune it up and check how well it holds it's tuning, and how the intonation is. Does a guitar of this size tune to the same notes as a full-size guitar, or would it be an octave higher?

Thanks,
Paul


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: Gillie
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 02:37 PM

Same pitch Paul. If you do an otave higher chances are that the strings will snap. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

Octave higher would be asking for trouble. But if the neck is short it might sound better tuned a tone or so high. I've got a little guitar where the (nylon) string length is 21 inches or so, and I tune it two semi-tones high, which means the string tension is about the same as it would be with a full size guitar.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:09 PM

It would have to be very small to be tuned an octave higher. Best off tuning as normal, the tension will be less than on a full-size guitar, which is good for little fingers.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:17 PM

Paul: What Gillie said. Tune it to the same notes, at the same pitches, as on a full-sized guitar.

There is a way that you can tune some of the strings an octave higher, if that is your purpose: use "Nashville Tuning". This is a term which basically means that the guitar is re-strung with the six "other" strings on a 12-string guitar. Strings 3, 4, 5 and 6 are tuned an octave higher than standard tuning; strings 1 and 2 are tuned at the same pitches as for standard tuning. Therefore, the highest pitch would be at string #3, not string #1.

String gauges: The gauges for a medium set would be .012, .016, .010, .014, .020, .030 high to low. A light set would be .010, .014, .009, .012, .018, .027 high to low. All strings are unwound, except for the low E which is wound. You could purchase each string individually, or you could use strings from a 12-string set, or you could purchase a specially-packaged set of strings labeled for Nashville tuing (D'Addario sells a set for acoustic guitar -- ask for item #EJ38H).

Here's a YouTube clip demonstrating the sound of Nashville tuning: Nashville tuning & Martin HD-28 It's a really pretty sound that is especially cool when accompanied by a guitar in standard tuning. If your little guy is new to the guitar, you may want to consider the Nashville tuning option because of the lightness of the string gauges -- it's easier on young, uncallused fingers!


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:25 PM

By the way, I have a Larrivee parlor guitar that I have strung in Nashville tuning. In my opinion, this tuning is ideal for the 3/4 sized guitar. Full-sized "cannon" guitars like the one in the YouTube video aren't really designed for the reduced tension on the neck.

Here's another YouTube clip, where the guy is using a 3/4 sized guitar: TB-505 • Nashville Tuning on Guitar (Lesson)


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:46 PM

Nylon strings might be easier on the fingers. and they don't come in different gauges, which is why I tune mine higher. But if the sound is OK with standard tuning that's much more convenient for playing with others, or using written music at any stage.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:56 PM

I'll watch for the thin strings in case it was Nashville tuned.

Thanks, Sharon, for the youtube links; I had never heard of Nashville tuning before, but love the sound!

Thanks everyone for the quick answers.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 04:59 PM

McGrath: When I was beginning to play guitar, I found the nylon strings difficult to manage because of their shape and thickness; my fingers kept slipping off them! Steel strings were much easier to press down, even before my calluses formed. Also, most nylon-string guitars have a wider fingerboard, which makes chording more difficult for smaller hands.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 11:32 PM

Different strokes for dffernt Folks


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: Mark Ross
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 11:47 AM

Bob Suckiel from the Rose Tattoo travels with a 3/4 size tuned up to A. He says it's great for playing in the front seat while his wife Diana drives. Dakota Dave Hull refers to this as a piccolo guitar.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 05:51 PM

It's quite possible to replace steel strings with nylon on a guitar with a narrower neck. Doing it the other way round isn't too good an idea without checking, because there might be a risk of damaging the guitar.

But most 3/4 guitars I've seen seem to have nylon strings to start with, as wewll as a a relatively narrow neck (copared with a classical). True, steel strings don't slip so much, but they might be liable to be more painful for new young fingers. As Leadfingers said there, different strokes for different Folks.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 07:20 PM

Hi, McGrath: Hmmm, never tried replacing steel strings with nylon on a steel-string guitar. Seems like it would be a pain to deal with loop-end nylon strings and a bridge designed for ball-end steel strings... unless one buys ball-end nylon strings in the first place. I'm thinking that one would have to be concerned about the nylon strings fitting into the slots in the nut, but since I've never tried it I don't know if that's an issue.

The main problem I see, though, is that nylon-string guitars are designed with wider necks (and a higher nut) for the specific purpose of accommodating the greater degree of vibration of the nylon string. If you put nylon strings on a narrower-neck guitar designed for steel strings, don't you get some buzzing or dullness of tone as the nylon strings vibrate against each other?


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 07:11 PM

I have a 3/4 size guitar with nylon strings. I have owned it about a year. I called the distributor for info, and the person I talked to said to string it with the usual strings (EADGBE) of normal tension.

It has a nice sound, so that's what I plan to do.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 09 - 07:51 PM

Guitars vary. By no means all steel strung guitars rely on ball-end strings. And 3/4 size guitars tend on the whole to have string lengths more comparable to standard guitars, than the little one I've found works better strung a tone high.

My experience has been that nylon strings can sound OK on some guitars that used to have steel strings.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: Gillie
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 07:54 AM

A tip to harden the finger tips is to dab them with Metholated spirits.


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM

Thanks everyone! We bought the guitar, and Mickey couldn't be happier. It's a really nice little guitar -- made by some cheaper subsidiary of Washburn.

Now I just have to teach him how to use it.

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:27 PM

My Tacoma small-size guitar works with A,D,G,C,E,A nicely and fits with standard
guitars. Ex. Your E chord would be an A chord etc.

Frank


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Subject: RE: 3/4 size guitar
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM

Living in Nashville I'm very familiar w/'Nashville Tuning'. It's just the 2nd set of strings on a standard 12 string. So, when its played w/a standard 6 string it sounds like a 12 string. The 'Nashville Sound' was developed by Owen Bradley and secondarily by Chet Adkins. The 'flattop guitar' sound was accomplished by having 4 or 5 guitars sitting around 1 or 2 mics all playing the same rhythm strokes on the same chords using capos in differnt positions. For example: Player 1-open A, player 2 Capo 2nd fret using 'G', player 3 capo 5th fret using 'E', player 4 Capo 7th fret using 'D', player 5 using 'Nashville' tuning flattop in open A. That's how they got that 'BIG' acoustic guitar sound on all those Studio B recordings.

By a combination of circumstances...I was being 'courted' as a possible 'Combine Publishing' staff writer at the time. They'd scored a minor hit w/a Glen Campbell cut called 'The Dreams of the Everyday Housewife' by Chris Gantry(RIP) and were looking for 'young/out of the box' songwriters. I got to sit in on a Tammy Wynette session where I met Pig Robbins, Vassar Clemmets, Sneaky Pete Drake, Billy Sherrill and George Jones. I was there for about 3 hours in Studio B and witnessed first hand the recording process at a VERY young age. They were going to let me play one of the rhythm guitars, but at the last minute the missing guitar player showed up. :-( Oh well. Got to shake Tammy's hand...it was a little clammy as I recall. George was sitting on a couch and looked like he was going to explode...I was more than a little afraid of him.

Billy Sherrill couldn't have been more classy and gracious. He shook my hand and said, "You play guitar, son?" I said, "Yes Sir, I do." "You bring it with you?" "Yes." "Well, we're a guitar player short, so would you mind filling in if he doesn't show up?" "No, Sir, not a bit!" "Thank you, son and please call me Bill...everybody else does." Here's Billy 'effing' Sherrill thanking ME like I was doing HIM a favor by agreeing to play...on a Tammy Wynette session! Never forgot how easy going and relaxed he was. I wasn't even in the union!

Sorry, got a little thread drifty there.


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