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Silent practice/travel guitars?

GUEST 06 Dec 04 - 12:48 AM
C-flat 06 Dec 04 - 04:59 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Dec 04 - 05:11 AM
BlueToadForge 06 Dec 04 - 07:34 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Dec 04 - 11:49 AM
PoppaGator 06 Dec 04 - 03:46 PM
C-flat 07 Dec 04 - 02:47 AM
breezy 07 Dec 04 - 11:31 AM
s&r 07 Dec 04 - 11:41 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 04 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,and then again... 07 Dec 04 - 11:46 AM
GUEST 07 Dec 04 - 11:59 AM
PoppaGator 07 Dec 04 - 12:14 PM
Grab 08 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM
Little Hawk 22 Jan 10 - 08:55 AM
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Subject: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 12:48 AM

Any reviews on the silent guitars that are designed for practice and travel?


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: C-flat
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 04:59 AM

I've only played the Yamaha silent guitar in the shop but I think it's a great tool.
Although at £450 it's a bit steep just to use as a practice instrument and I doubt you would be able to create the authentic tones of a mic'd accoustic if you were to use it live through a P.A.
If I had that kind of money as loose change I would have one, but I haven't!!

C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 05:11 AM

I'm not a guitarist, but a friend of mine who is, loves his Martin Backpacker guitar... it's triangluar and very easy to carry in it's own backback. Try a look on the Martin Guitar website Martin Backpackers which is fascinating, even for a non-guitarist like me.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: BlueToadForge
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 07:34 AM

Garnet Rogers plays a silent guitar in concert; It doesn't sound like an acoustic exactly, but it still sounds damn good. He plays the nylons tring, I don't know how the steel string sounds. I would personally like to try one, but the guitar shops around here don't carry them, unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 11:49 AM

As far as steel strings are concerned, you can get an ordinary electric guitar for a lot less than 450 pounds. If you only want to practice without waking the street/family/cat, it's worth considering. You can get low-power amps to drive headphones, down as small as a couple of inches each way or less. I can't see much advantage to the Yamahas, apart from the weight saving. And with a big amp, you can be a rock star!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 03:46 PM

450 pounds -- that's over half a grand American!

If all you need is something on which you can practice silently, and that you can take on your travels without inordinate worries, get a cheap/used electric -- shouldn't set you back more than a C-note at most. And, if you want to, you can jack into a real amp and play loud -- just like the overpriced newfangled Silent Guitar! Imagine!


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: C-flat
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 02:47 AM

Whilst not defending the cost, I think the Silent Guitar has a couple of benefits over "a cheap electric".
It feels like an accoustic (neck/set-up), it breaks down and fits into a small bag, it doesn't need an amp (earphones fit directly to guitar) and, as with the version I tried, it's also available with nylon strings.
I used to travel a lot and did, on occassion, take an electric guitar for "silent" practice. As well as the guitar I needed my effects pedal (to use as a small amp), earphones, power supply and 2 leads. Eventually I found I would rather visit the music shops in whatever town I was in and pretend to be interested in buying for an hour or so!

C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: breezy
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 11:31 AM

do they do silent malodeons, banjos and bodhrans?


ducking for cover


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: s&r
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 11:41 AM

We had a Martin backpacker. It got played half a dozen times, then lived in its bag in the attic until we traded it in. Played like a plank and sounded like a cheap ukelele

Stu


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 11:44 AM

My son, who plays electric guitar in a garage rock band and is fairly serious about it, is always noodling around in his spare time on his electric guitar, without even plugging it in. He doesn't bother with amplifier, earphones, etc., and seems happy this way. We also have an acoustic guitar, but he seems to prefer the unplugged electric.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: GUEST,and then again...
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 11:46 AM

A Japanese friend of mine brought his Martin backpacker over when he visited. He carried it everywhere & played everywhere - on the train, in the garden, wandering round festivals. He had a technique of playing it quite hard so that it didn't sound too quiet. Was absolutely ideal for what he wanted - it really comes into its own when travelling (which is the whole point I guess).


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 11:59 AM

Pardon


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Dec 04 - 12:14 PM

I would think that a solidbody electric, unplugged and without headphones or any other enhancement, would be good enough for practice. But then, my economic circumstances are such that I would never give the *slightest* consideration to actually buying the Yamaha Silent. (Now that I think about it, 450 pounds is substantially *more* than $500 America!) Those of you with money to burn, knock yourselves out -- but none for me, thanks!

Some people love their Martin Backpackers, other hate 'em -- at this point, that's not news around here.

Jed Marum has one he uses for performance and even recording, but he strings it up in an unconventional manner; I think he uses 12-string strings to tune the four lowest strings (if not all 6) an octave high.

I've seen local pub owner and balladeer Danny O'Flaherty play his (conventionally strung) Backpacker live on the radio. (I was in the studio as a fund-drive phone volunteer.) He used a pick, played it right into the mike, and over the air it sounded like, well, a guitar. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: Grab
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM

You can get wider-fretboard electrics. They won't feel like a classical, but they'll certainly feel like a normal steel-string acoustic. An electric in a gig-bag is certainly a bit bigger than a stripped-down travel guitar, but not by too much. And for the amp, you can get belt-pack headphone amps for not very much that are no bigger than an FX pedal.

The nylon string thing is more difficult to get round. But you can get piezo pickups for electric guitar (see this StewMac link) so I guess it wouldn't be impossible to fit these pickups and restring with nylon if you *really* felt you needed to.

Alternatively you could get a cheap half-size or three-quarter-size classical for about £50. This is the same size as a stripped-down travel guitar, except that it's a proper guitar and sounds nice (unlike a Martin Backpacker which is frankly crap). If you want to make it quiet for practising, thread a bootlace round the strings by the bridge.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Silent practice/travel guitars?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 08:55 AM

I played a Yamaha Silent Guitar at a music store in Cobourg recently...playing through an amp, of course. This was the nylon string version with the full size "classical guitar" neck. It sounded just utterly marvelous through the amp...rich, full, beautiful nylon string sound. When you added some reverb, available through switch settings on the back of the guitar, it sounded even better. It would make a superb instrument for live performances, and the fact that the body is not deep at all makes it very pleasant to hold...good ergonomics. I can hardly imagine a nicer sound than this guitar delivers through a good acoustic guitar amp, and that is why I would buy it: NOT to practice silently (unplugged), but to play it through an amp and get all that marvelous sound.

The neck and setup feels just like a normal acoustic, very comfortable to play.

So for me this instrument should be looked at not as a marginal sort of "travel guitar" such as a Martin Backpacker (which I consider useless, frankly), but as a fully-fledged full size electric/acoustic guitar for live performing and practicing at full volume with a guitar amp...and the very secondary additional option of playing "silently" or on headphones if you want to. Look at it as a high quality electric guitar, in other words, but with an acoustic neck and feel when you play it, so it's perfect for acoustic style guitar technique.

I cannot praise this guitar too much based on how it played and how it sounded, and I am thinking very seriously about buying one now.

Anyone else had experience with them?


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