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Acoustic or Classical guitar

53 17 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM
53 17 Apr 02 - 06:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Apr 02 - 06:10 PM
Stephen L. Rich 17 Apr 02 - 07:30 PM
IvanB 17 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM
catspaw49 17 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM
Benjamin 18 Apr 02 - 12:01 AM
toadfrog 18 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,jonesey 18 Apr 02 - 06:39 AM
SharonA 18 Apr 02 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,jonesey 18 Apr 02 - 02:09 PM
Don Firth 18 Apr 02 - 04:24 PM
DancingMom 18 Apr 02 - 11:00 PM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 02 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Lyle 19 Apr 02 - 09:22 PM
pict 19 Apr 02 - 10:03 PM
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Subject: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: 53
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM

Which would you choose if you had to choose 1 of the best. Acoustic, or Classical. I think that I'd choose acoustic, cause I can't fingerpick worth a damn.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM

All Classical guitars are surely by definition Acoustic. I've never seen a Classical Electric Guitar.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: 53
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 06:00 PM

Gibson makes them along with a lot of other manufactures.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 06:10 PM

Blimey!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 07:30 PM

McGrath of Harlow -- I actually saw an electric classical this afternoon when I went to buy picks. I've forgotten, of hand, who manufactues it, but it appeared to be qite a dandy piece of engineering. It also sounds quite nice (I noticed it in the first place because someone was sitiing off in acorner noodling on it and I followed the sound). It sound almost like a normal classical guitar when miked properly (how often does THAT happen?).

As for classical as opposed to a steel stringed guitar (wich is what I'm assuming was meant in the first place), It depends on the song. The tonal difference between the two can change the character and attitude of any given piece of music. Try playing a song on steel strings then try the same song on nylon strings. It's almost like two different songs.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: IvanB
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM

When I think of 'electric' guitar, I think of a guitar which uses electronics to shape the sound in any of various ways, not necessarily related to the sound dynamics of a plucked string, as controlled by the player. Although I'm aware of various electrical pickup systems being used on acoustic guitars (whether steel string or classical), I believe the best of these merely make the guitar an amplified acoustic as opposed to my definition of an electric guitar. I'm certainly aware that both steel string and classical acoustics can be purchased with onboard electronics, but I'm not sure that makes them 'electric guitars.' Splitting hairs, I suppose, but that's the way I see it.

As for the original question, Stephen's right on with his answer. I own both steel strings and one classical, and they certainly each lend their own air to any given song.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM

Assuming BOB meant a steel string acoustic versus a classical shaped nylon/gut strung acoustic, then Stephen certainly has one good answer as the difference in sound is marked.

For a personal preference, I find them so very different in sound that songs which I think about on a classical may never occur to me on a steel string and vice versa. Playing wise, I am much more comfortable with a steel string as I prefer the less wide fretboard but there are times that a couch and a dark room and a classical all come together.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: Benjamin
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 12:01 AM

I mostly play classical now, and if I were to choose between only having one, I'd have to take a classical. However, they don't really work well when I'm asked to lead songs for various church meetings. I guess it depends on what your doing with the insturment.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: toadfrog
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM

Depends on what you are playing, of course. I always played a parlor guitar, which could be called a compromise between the two, although really it is the ancestor of both. The nice wide fingerboard is good for finger picking. But if you are going to play a classical guitar with folk music, it sounds like you are just going to play chords. Otherwise I can't see what you would use it for. And if thats all you plan to do, any El Cheapo will do; a classical guitar could be v. expensive.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:39 AM

Narrowing it down to a 'choice' of either steel string or nylon string acoustic I'd have to go with the steel string. Of course, it would be a dreadnaught, 12 frets to the body, slotted head and wide neck.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 09:53 AM

Well, I love the sound of the classical guitar when an accomplished concert artist is playing it, but when I try to play one I simply become frustrated. The neck is too wide for my smallish hands, and when I try to finger a chord my fingertips slip off the nylon strings.

I love to fingerpick, but I prefer to pick – and strum – on a steel-string guitar.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:09 PM

One artist I've seen over the years who played a nylon string guitar was Michael Johnson. He had(has) a real nice touch and would suggest going to see him if you get the opportunity. There were a couple of 'radio hits' he had in the late 70's, 'Bluer Than Blue' being one. Was in the Chad Mitchell Trio w/John Denver. Probably has a website. Great taste in material from other 'unknown songwriters' such as Greg Brown, Al Day, Dick Pinney, Mick Scott, etc.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 04:24 PM

I've used classics exclusively for folk music for fifty years, and believe me, I play a heck of a lot more than just chords. My accompaniments run the gamut from simple (à la Burl Ives) to complex (à la Richard Dyer-Bennet). I also finger-pick, and sometimes I just whack away at it. I don't think in terms of classic or steel-string, I just figure out what kind of accompaniment would be appropriate for the particular song and take it from there. The classic works fine for everything, with the possible exception of blues and bluegrass (not because you can't do it on a classic, which you can, but because the sound just isn't right).

Recently I've developed a bit of a hankering for the steel-string sound, and I'd like to pick up a nice li'l steel-string parlor guitar. But the classic would still be my main instrument.

Of course, I have fairly big hands. But then (li'l thread creep here), I had a guitar student once, a young woman in her early twenties who stood about 4'10". She was just little. Her hands were so small she had dimples on her knuckles, and I thought maybe she should get for a smaller guitar (she had a standard classic) and/or I'd have to figure out modified fingerings for her. But she insisted on "learning it right." Within a few of weeks she was playing all the exercises in the technique book with standard fingerings--including a first position G chord, using her 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers! She diligently kept her thumb behind the neck like the book said she was supposed to do and, small as her hands were, she found she could make all the reaches. She wound up able to play anything that anybody else could play. So it can be done.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: DancingMom
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 11:00 PM

I was asking myself that question recently while shopping for a guitar. I want to get a good foundation in classical guitar, but I also want to learn to play blues and bluegrass. I can pull all those off on an acoustic guitar, but not necessarily on a classical. So I went with the steel-string acoustic for my first purchase. Sharon


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 05:56 AM

Well here are some excerpts from a fascinating essay in the introduction to Aaron Shearer's "Classic Guitar Technique", 1959:

"The second type of guitar does not have a set describptive name to distinguish it from the classic guitar. It is sometimes called the plectrum guitar, pick-style guitar, American jazz guitar, and the rhythm guitar, although it is not necessarily restricted to playing "rhythm" or strumming. ...
"An oval or triangular shaped plectrum (pick) of tortoise shell or similar material, held between the thumb and index finger of the right hand, is used to sound the strings. Employment of this single device in playing the plectrum guitar sets serious limitations upon the instument...Melody with the supporting harmony necessary to give fullness and color to a composition can be produced in only a limited sense when the guitar is played with a plectrum. As a matter of fact, the harmonic combinations and range of tone necessary to the solo performance of fine concert music simply are not available on the plectrum guitar. ...
"The plectrum guitar is excellent as a "rhythm" instrument, working, as is customary, with bass and drums to set the beat of the modern studio or dance orchestra. (In this tyhpe of accompaniment the correct resolution of chord tones is relatively unimportant.) It produces a brilliant, rather metallic tone, which in addition to being suitable for "rhythm section" work, is also used by "western style" and "hillbilly" singers in playing simple accompaniments. When amplified electronically (it is then called the electric guitar), it is most effective as a "melody" instrument, usually playing a single note at a time, but ocasionally brief chord passages. The electric type of plectrum guitar is widely used as a medium for playing various types of modern jazz, popular music and "western style" music. ...
"For beginning students the classic guitar is unquestionably more rewarding and actually easier to play. As will be noted in this book, surprisingly melodic and full sounding little solos may be played after only a few hours of good study. the reason for this is recognized in the fact that the classic guitar, played with the thumb and fingers of the right hand, permits the execution of widely spaced harmonies of two or more notes simultaneously. It is easier to play simply because the strings of the classic guitar are softer and more flexible than are steel strings, resulting in less irritation to the left finger tips.
"Which instrument is more difficult to play is a relatively unimportant question, however; the first consideration for the student is which type of guitar will bring the most personal stisfaction and will more fully satisfy the individual's taste."

So there you have it. From a classical guitar teacher, of course! I think a few things have changed since then...amazing that this was written as late as 1959.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 09:22 PM

Hugh thread drift here, but Willie Nelson has the most recognizable sounding guitar of anyone I know, and everybody knows it is a classical guitar - BUT - What kind of strings does he use? (They sometimes sound like steel to me.) Anybody know???

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Acoustic or Classical guitar
From: pict
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 10:03 PM

I like both but I far prefer steel strings they have much more definition,volume, and sustain,I also prefer the bright ringing tone to the much more mellow toned classical.I also prefer the clarsach to the gut strung harp for the same reasons If I want fundamental heavy notes I'll use nylon/gut strung but it's not often I do.


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