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Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?

Acme 06 Mar 06 - 05:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Mar 06 - 05:28 PM
Bert 06 Mar 06 - 05:34 PM
Peace 06 Mar 06 - 05:42 PM
Peace 06 Mar 06 - 05:48 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 06 Mar 06 - 05:55 PM
RichM 06 Mar 06 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Jim 06 Mar 06 - 06:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Mar 06 - 06:08 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 06 Mar 06 - 06:21 PM
Peace 06 Mar 06 - 06:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Mar 06 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM
michaelr 06 Mar 06 - 07:48 PM
Peace 06 Mar 06 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM
Acme 06 Mar 06 - 08:49 PM
freightdawg 06 Mar 06 - 09:30 PM
M.Ted 06 Mar 06 - 11:17 PM
Cluin 06 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM
Nick 07 Mar 06 - 08:15 AM
mooman 07 Mar 06 - 08:31 AM
Tootler 07 Mar 06 - 08:34 AM
Hand-Pulled Boy 07 Mar 06 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM
Acme 07 Mar 06 - 10:00 AM
alanabit 07 Mar 06 - 11:05 AM
PoppaGator 07 Mar 06 - 12:58 PM
Wesley S 07 Mar 06 - 01:10 PM
Acme 07 Mar 06 - 01:43 PM
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Acme 08 Mar 06 - 10:08 AM
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Acme 08 Mar 06 - 03:59 PM
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Acme 08 Mar 06 - 09:28 PM
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Clinton Hammond 09 Mar 06 - 01:06 PM
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Acme 09 Feb 07 - 12:56 AM
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s&r 10 Feb 07 - 05:40 AM
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Subject: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:24 PM

My son turns 14 tomorrow and wants an electric guitar for his birthday, and wants lessons. He says he doesn't want to be like the kids who just hack around with them, he wants to really learn to play it. This is good.

The question: Is an electric guitar the best one to learn on, or is there more to be learned musically on an acoustic instrument that would then translate to the electric guitar later? (I am aware that there are acoustic guitars with electric amplifiers, so include those in the mix of answers.)

Obviously the guitar to get him is the one that he will actually play, so I'm not going to strong-arm him on this. I'll take him over to one of the musical instrument stores and will look at the guitars for students. But I'd like some talking points on the pros and cons of learning on one versus the other. In his lifetime he can buy as many guitars as he can afford, but where should we start?

Qualifiers: My kids have been raised with a lot of classical music and folk music, though right now they tend to listen primarily to rock. My concern is that he learn guitar in such a way that he will have the broadest choice in the direction he goes.

I grew up with music but have always felt guilty for not being able to afford lessons for the kids. My piano is an antique, it looks great but needs to be refurbished so it isn't an instrument for serious practice. The fact that he is interested in music now is good and I want to let him learn while he's interested. I don't want to let this interest cool and possibly miss the opportunity for a passionate amateur to make up for years of no lessons in his early childhood. We'll figure out a way to afford lessons (his dad has deeper pockets--we'll start there!)

I'll ask around about classes and teachers, and a teacher might have a useful answer also regarding instruments. But until I get to that point, what can Mudcatters contribute to this family debate?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Stilly River Sage


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:28 PM

Acoustic... if for no other reason than it can be played anywhere... and electric requires gear....

Also, because of neck thickness and string gauge, you'll develop more hand strength faster on acoustic....


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Bert
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:34 PM

Who is going to teach him and what does he/her think?

Otherwise I'd go along with Clinton, and acoustic can stay out on the sofa and be played at any odd moment.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:42 PM

I agree with Clinton.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:48 PM

I learned on an acoustic Stella, then moved to a better guitar (which means almost any guitar in the world) which I think was some sort of Guild. I traded that after a few years--I was then going on 15 I think--for a Fender Telecaster. Played that for a year, and noticed that it was a completely different type of guitar playing. Traded the Telecaster for an acoustic and played acoustic for the rest of my life, with the occasional drift into electric now and then. As Clinton said, it makes the hands 'stronger' to start with acoustic, and forces the guitarist to pay attention to slides and technique, etc. I'd suggest acoustic first. Then electric. However, people may have views that are opposite and be 100% right for them.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 05:55 PM

Accoustic electric, epiphone Red Dot, if he really wants to play more rock and roll than other types of music...That way he can learn how to use amplifiers and distorsion pedals, and still practise with the accoustics.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: RichM
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:02 PM

Either one is a path to music. I have always played acoustic (then what's that fender telecaster doing in the corner ??) but if he wants to start on electric, i see no harm in that...


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:08 PM

I started on acoustic, because I was listening to that type of music in the 60s. I later obtained a hollow body electric as my tastes changed, but now play mostly acoustic.
My son started on a solid body electric, because he was a blues/rock fan. He later played punk through high school and now plays mostly bluegrass mandolin. The Les Paul sometimes stays in the case for months at a time, but he can't bring himself to get rid of it.
I think the point I'm trying to make(I'm never too sure) is that I feel he should get the instrument that will motivate him. Also, a cheap electric (Strat clone) is often easier to play than a cheap acoustic. If you go for acoustic, get a reasonably good one.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:08 PM

"learn how to use amplifiers and distorsion pedals"

Learn how to play first... then learn how to wank....


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:21 PM

It's about his choice of music Clinton, not about your dislike of eletric guitars. If you want to play rock and roll an accosutic guitar will just get trashed in a year or two.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:24 PM

Treu to what motivates him.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 06:29 PM

Who said I dislike electric guitars???????


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 07:02 PM

simple compromise,

an electric and an acoustic..

good quality low cost beginers guitars are easily available everywhere these days.


eg.. a fender squier strat starter pack including small amp,[+ accesories]

and

an art of lutherie acoustic..


bet you could find the lot for less than $350 if you shop around..


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: michaelr
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 07:48 PM

There are plenty of guitars that combine both worlds; i.e. acoustic guitars with pickups, low action and slim necks. Even Martin makes some such (originally marketed to women, I believe; some mention was made in the recent Martin thread).

Seems to me that would be the ideal starter guitar. He can make up his mind later whether he wants to plug in or not; the option is there.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 07:50 PM

And THAT is a great idea.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 08:07 PM

.. it is a good idea..

i have a chinese made fender stratacoustic
[strat shape bowl back acoustic with electric guitar neck + piezo pickup]
that i'm fitting
magnetic pickups and tone/vol controls to..

so i'll have independent piezo and true 'electic' outputs to 2 amps..

..however, dont foget a 14 year old guys priorities may be entirely different
to ours..

and teenage girl impressing 'rockstar' image

might be just as important to him
as any of the more functional playing requirements we'd demand..

maybe, should also checkout Xtreme metal and skatepunk guitars !!?


my 13 year old nephew was bought a 'run-of-the-mill' electro-acoustic
last xmas..

which wasn't up to the job of running good through a grunge distortion pedal to meet the satisfaction of tthe school rock band
he was hoping to join..

i dont think his parents took into account what he wanted to acheive..

so now a year later the acoustic guitar is dumped neglected in his bedroom
while he now devotes his spare time to getting in with a skateboard gang..


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 08:49 PM

punkfolkrocker, I think you've hit it on the head. Thanks, all, for your observations--I'll have him read through this thread this evening. The goal for both of us is to have him enjoy music, but the goal of starting out in a way that cultivates the skills to do what he really wants, that's his mother speaking.

Finding the teacher is my next goal. I'll call around and find out what the options are. There are various music stores in the area, the one I have in mind is old and well established. They should have some recommendations. Plus, I work at a university with a good music department where I might find some suggestions.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: freightdawg
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 09:30 PM

I think it would be important for him to sit down and express his ultimate (or, as far down the road as possible) goal. If it is true musicianship and the ability to move easily from one instrument to another I would say start on the acoustic. It is more demanding in several areas, and has been mentioned, can be played anywhere at any time for short periods of time (important during those "build up the callouses" stage). However, if he truly wants to focus on the electric side with no real plans to cross over to an acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, etc, then start him with a nice electric and amplifier system. It will not be as painful to learn initially, and with a good set of headphones he will not make the household pet too miserable.

I would try to communicate to him (maybe a good salesman would help here) that the two instruments may LOOK similar, but in style and substance they are really two different animals. Many start with electrics and switch over to acoustics, that is for sure. However, I think the easier path is to start with an acoustic, and then add the electric. Skills learned on the acoustic are more easily transfered to the electric, but some less-than-exact techniques that work quite handily on the electric will have to be un-learned when the change is made to an acoustic.

Bottom line is what is going to float his boat. He may think girls dig the lead guitarist in a rock band, but does he understand the sweet nectar of a lovely little love ballad and a moonlit night with just the object of his affection as the audience for his acoustic??

Some dawgs weren't born yesterday, ya know.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 11:17 PM

Find the kids that really play, and ask who taught them--you need to find a teacher than understands how a 14 year old thinks about music--As to guitars, acoustic guitar will actually yield better music faster--there are a lot more things to get under control when you play an electric--even still, 14 year olds have a high tolerance for uncontrolled noise, so it can work either way.

You can now get playable guitars for cheap at Target, and I suspect, if you check the newspapers, you can find them, or related ones used for even cheaper--Punkfolkrocker, you should re-post your list of good cheap instruments--


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Cluin
Date: 06 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM

All the best rockers also play good acoustic and most learned on them.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:15 AM

I have a (just turned)14 year old son who started playing about 4 years ago. He now mostly plays electric guitar but will pretty much pick up anything with various numbers of strings and play it. There are 5 or 6 guitars knocking round the house so there is a choice.

We started him with a Spanish guitar which was recommended by school where he started learning (because his friend was doing it - he had earlier said he wasn't interested!). We still have the Spanish but I tend to play it more than him now.

I have a Squier Strat that I had bought in a moment of middle aged yearning and he increasingly moved towards playing that once he knew what sort of music he wanted to play (he is a Steve Vai - Joe Satriani fan). I would say that he now plays the electric guitar 90% + of the time mostly trying to play faster and more accurately (if your son is interested he has a site at here which has some of his music on).

The Spanish guitar wasn't a barrier to him learning but the availability of the electric was useful at the right moment. I haven't played it very much since... The thing that has made a difference to him is the enjoyment he gets from it and the motivation to get better - without that it doesn't matter what guitar you get. Whhe plays every day and has started getting involved with a couple of bands as well as humouring his father by playing with him sometimes.

The right teacher I reckon is really important - but the right teacher for a beginner may not be the right teacher in a year or two's time. When my son started he was taught at school along with others. When he left primary school we found him a teacher locally who was ok at first but increasingly I felt was not really thinking about Zander's development as a player; he would come along do a lesson jam a couple of twelve bars and go. The teacher decided at Christmas that we would give it a rest for a while and my son could keep teaching himself (via his ears and Guitar Techniques magazine)!!

He has his first lesson tonight with a new teacher who has been recommended and who specialises in electric rock guitar and seems much more tuned into to what he is doing and seems enthusiastic (as well as being a mean guitarist himself) - we will see what transpires

I hope your son enjoys himself and gets through the inevitable frustrating plateaux that he will encounter and comes out the end still loving to play.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: mooman
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:31 AM

I've played both acoustic and electric most of my life and now play a very nice electro-acoustic... the best of both worlds and easy to play!

Good luck to your son and his endeavours!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:34 AM

Whatever the instrument, get what he *really* wants to play, otherwise you will waste your money. I had a daughter who wanted to play clarinet, but when she approached the school about lessons, they fobbed her off with a tenor horn (brass band instrument, not saxophone) which was not what she wanted and - surprise, surprise, she lasted very little time. Eventually we borrowed my sister's clarinet and she was away. As a result we bought her a clarinet and although she has not played for a while, she still has it and always enjoyed playing it.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:51 AM

He may start to want to play songs so acoustic is the way to go. They can always to transformed into an electric 'style' at a later date. So long as you don't get him a banjo everything should be fine!


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM

give me any oportunity and i'll recommend
the Hofner Colorama..

amazing value for money as it was never advertised well enough to ignite mass market interest
so is now being discounted at ridiculously low clearance bin prices.

great minimalist Gibson style woodwork and slim fast set-neck
superb sounding humbuckers [or P90 version if preferred]
a beginner guitarists dream electric guitar

sounds good from mellow jazz to heavy rock styles..

[hardtail, so no tremelo to blight the tuning and intonation
for inexperienced players]

then just need a 10 or 15 watt practice amp
with headphone socket to sort out the basics

ebay listings:

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?cgiurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2Fws%2F&fkr=1&from=R8&satitle=hofner+colorama&category


only proviso, this is a potential working pro standard instrument,
sold very cheap and underpriced,
so depending where you buy them,
may expect less than accurate straight from factory set up,
and the occasional dud with uneven frets..
but if in that situation you should be able to demand a better replacement.

an electric guitar like thi would leave plenty spare change
to also buy an art of lutherie / epiphone/ yamaha/ samick/ etc acoustic..

seriously, these days, cost should be no barrier to providing a beginner
with both a good acoustic and an electric guitar
to learn to play equally well..


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 10:00 AM

Last week I was at Sam's Club shopping for something else entirely and walked past the entertainment section where they had both electric and acoustic (electric with an amplifier) guitars. I didn't take notes on what they were, just noticed them. One of each of those together would cost about $450 (US).

This has been great advice. The birthday youth has made his request for dinner (chicken parmesan and chocolate cake for dessert) and we'll swing by a music store on the way home to start our search. I'm sure I'll have more questions.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 11:05 AM

I would start on acoustic for all the reasons given. It is more flexible, you can build up the hand strength and you can translate the chords, scales etc to an electric later on.
However, if all he really wants to do is sound like the rockers, he may as well start out on electric from day one. You can bend up a whole tone without risking a snapped string and you get round to using more of the fretboard earlier (though not necessarily better). My six year old had a few months of lessons on classical guitar, but now he likes learning Beatles and Stones licks on the electric, because it sounds noisier and more distorted. He is not turning into Eric Clapton, but he is at least picking the thing up and playing it.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 12:58 PM

Electrified acoustic would seem to be the best bet, unless the kid is truly interested only in electric-guitar music, in which case give him an instrument he will want to continue to play, i.e., an electric.

I wouldn't go for a straight unamplified acoustic guitar in this day and age ~ you might as well start learning the basics of amplified sound right from the beginning ~ not necessarily distortion and such "wanking," but simply how to coax a variety of sounds from your instrument, including the load-and-clear acoustic sound that any working folk-style performer needs, as well as some semblance of a blues/rock electrified sound.

I'm a strictly acoustic player myself, and perhaps I'm oversensitive about my own abysmal ignorance of sound technology, but I think that electronics has now become an integral part of guitar playing and any beginner should be positioned to learn something about it.

Whichever way you go, be glad that low-end mass production of stringed instruments has become so much better than it was a generation ago, thanks to reverse engineering, computer technology, and robotics. Cheap guitars are no longer as grossly inferior as they used to be; their tone might not measure up to that of a pricy top-of-the-line model, but the frets are going to positioned correctly so that the instrument will be tunable and the action will be reasonably low. Back when I was a boy, a cheap acoustic guitar would be impossible to tune up accurately and hurt like hell to play. Things are different now: I had occasion to borrow a Made-in-China electric/acoustic Washburn not long ago, and was really pleasantly surprised at its quality.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 01:10 PM

Stilly - You might want to look at Ridglea music over at the 6333 building on Camp Bowie Blvd. They have a nice selection of Seagull and Art of Lutherie guitars { basicly the same company }. They offer lessons too. Some friends of mine went there with their 14 year old girl and they were pleased. I can run by there this Saturday morning if you would like me to scout their stock. Send me a PM if you have any questions.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 01:43 PM

Thanks, Wesley. Do you know anything about Mr. E's? They're closer to us than the Camp Bowie address, though Camp Bowie is only 5-10 minutes further. My daughter also mentioned a guitar store in the same general area (Hulen & I-20).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 02:02 PM

Yes - they carry Martins and Ibenez I think. I haven't shopped there for anything other than picks. I'm have a brain freeze about the other place but it's in the Cityview shopping center. It faces the freeway - Brook Mays Music - that's it.

Also if you decide to go electric there is a Guitar Center over on Hulen - close to Chili's. The service there is awful. Unless you want your sales people to stand around and compare piercings and "ink". But they do sell cheap.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Kaleea
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:29 PM

I tell my students &/or their parents that one who has always played an acoustic can always pick up an electric & play it. One who has always played an electric cannot always play an acoustic. When the guitar players popularly known for electric were at home, they picked up their favorite old acoustic.
Go with the acoustic with electronics "on board."


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Bert
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:13 AM

And for the chocolate cake try Rigo Jancsi


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM

I spoke to my son last night on the way to his guitar lesson and he reckoned acoustic was the more useful in retrospect even though he plays electric mostly now.

Main reason was that the electric is easier to play - ie action, lightness of strings etc and so the acoustic was better for the development of his playing


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Bob Dylan & The Band
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:13 AM

SO GET AN ELECTRIC AND RAISE THE ACTION !


that'll build up underdeveloped finger muscles and callouses..

then lower it back down again to gain all the benefits and advantages
of late 20th & 21st Century guitar playing and technology.


honestly, some people who should know better, don't.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:17 AM

I treat them as two (almost) different instruments. If he wants to play electric guitar, that's what he's got to have. And the various electro - acoustic combinations, while they may have their place(no-one asks to get born as a bastard)are neither one thing or the other.
Love
Richard


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Grab
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:43 AM

Start with a nylon-string classical. First off, it's better for toughening the fingers - you get used to having to hold strings down (there's some feedback from the strings which you don't get from ultra-light electric strings), but the strings are physically larger so he won't cheesewire his fingers to death (as he would with a steel-string acoustic). It also gets you better technique than you'd ever get from an electric - electric guitar teaches you shortcuts which don't make you a good guitarist. Learning these shortcuts is fine, but learn them *after* you know how to do it properly...

Beware of starting him on an Art and Lutherie, or a Seagull, or a Martin, or anything expensive. A cheap classical which plays OK (maybe second-hand) should come in at about $100, if UK prices are anything to go by. (Get someone who plays guitar to check it out first though.) If he sticks it out for 6 months, the reward can be a Squier Strat plus amp. But don't buy anything over $100 to start with.

One thing to check - how big are his hands? If he's big for 14, then a full-size is probably fine. Otherwise if his hands are fairly small then a 3/4 size might be better, and for that it's a 3/4 classical all the way.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 10:08 AM

The salesman at the music store we started with yesterday was quite frank about the guitars we were looking at--they are student guitars and they aren't something you buy today and sell next year for a profit. They're available for the work of learning to play the instrument, and are priced accordingly.

I will PM Wesley about guitar locations and consulation on a selection. If I lived in Seattle still there would be no problem--since my guitarist father has passed away I'd call Don Firth and get all the information I need and probably lessons to boot. He's the best guitarist I know and a wonderful teacher (great voice, too!)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 10:23 AM

At the risk of seeming pedantic, check out a good accoustic electric similar to the Epiphone Red Dot. Not overly expensive and he gets the best of both worlds. Plus, if he chucks it in when he discovers girls and cars, you can usually sell it close to what you paid for it. Anyway, my advice is let him choose, and discuss all options with someone who can teach him the best.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: mooman
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 10:44 AM

Not sure of the "bastard" label. An electro-acoustic is a type of instrument in its own right. My archtop electro-acoustic has an excellent acoustic sound (which several 'Catters will attest to) for a variety of styles and tunings but also has extremely good electronics when I need to plug in. Because of its versatility I have sold my other expensive handmade acoustic as being redundant and have just kept my steel-bodied resonator as a second guitar.

My advice, check all options and go with what seems right for your son.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 10:52 AM

If you go for an electro-accoustic I swear by the Yamaha DX range - But then again I play concertina so what do I know..;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:59 PM

The guy at the music store agreed that as long as we stay away from banjos my son will be okay. :D


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 08:40 PM

Well, blessings all over your heart, Maggie, for the kind words (he said, blushing modestly)!!

I would have chimed in on this early, but the operational words seemed to be "electric" and "rock," and these are not my areas of expertise, so I thought I would leave it to those who know more about these things than I do. Were I to put forth my ideas of the best way to go, I figured I would probably have a whole batch of hard-charging folkies on me like pit-bulls on a pork roast.

But then, I took note of where you say, "He says he doesn't want to be like the kids who just hack around with them, he wants to really learn to play it." Ah, SO!!

And then Graham (Grab) said essentially what I would say. While I was cowering in the corner, he was A Man of Courage!

No matter what kind of music a person wants to play, the best (no, here come the pit-bulls again!) the most efficient way of learning to play an instrument (or singing, for that matter) is to learn classic technique. And this is best accomplished on a nylon-string classic guitar. Probably at age 14, a standard, full-size guitar would be fine (if not right now, he'll probably grow into it in a couple of weeks). Halfway decent student classics can be found for between $150 or so, and, say, $500. I have one student who has an Alvarez AC60S. She paid about $275 for it and it's a darn nice guitar, especially for the price!

Among pianists, there is no essential difference between the techniques of, say, classical pianist Artur Rubinstein, "country pianist" Floyd Cramer, and jazz/ragtime pianist Eubie Blake. Whether these virtuosi play on a concert grand piano, an upright, or an electronic keyboard, the technique is the same. Why should playing the guitar be any different? When watching guitarists of various musical styles (playing a wide variety of guitars, classic, acoustic, or electric), especially those who play with the right-hand fingers rather than with a pick, the better players' right hand position and technique duplicates or at least approximates that of classic guitarists. And, incidentally, a finger-style player can learn to use a pick in about a half-hour's practice, but not the other way around. The main difference in left hand fingering and technique that I've seen lies with the non-classic guitarists occasionally "thumbing" notes on the sixth string—having never learned how to properly do a barre chord (Wow, listen to those shrieks of protest!!). But most of the best guitarists keep the left thumb behind the neck, rather than wrapped around it.

As far as the guitar itself is concerned, quite a number of jazz guitarists prefer a nylon-string classic guitar over a steel-string. Probably the best known is Charlie Byrd. And I once saw (on the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour") Chet Atkins (yes, that Chet Atkins!) walk out carrying a José Ramirez concert guitar (same model Segovia played), sit down, prop his left foot on a footstool, place the guitar on his left leg, and play Francisco Tàrrega's Requerdo de la Alhambra (Tremolo Study) as well as I have ever heard anyone play it. One doesn't do that without studying a fair amount of classic technique. Ever wonder how come Chet Atkins was so prodigiously nimble-fingered compared to many other finger-pickers?

Efficiency. Classic technique on almost any musical instrument is the product of centuries of experimentation and gradual perfection. And, the process is still going on. Using classic technique doesn't mean you have to play classical music. But learning classic technique gives you the widest range of versatility. You can take off in just about any direction you want. Same as with the piano.

But then, would the young 'un really be interested in putting in the time and, perhaps, deferring instant gratification for a bit (which, while learning the basics of any style, he would have to do anyway)? With a good classic guitar teacher (preferably one who is open to the idea that he may or may not want to go on to play classical music like Pepe Romero or Christopher Parkening), within a year or two of lessons and "woodshedding" with the instrument, he would be off to a darn good start for just about any musical direction he wanted to go. Worth his thinking about carefully. Music, if one wishes, can become a life-long study and a source of immense satisfaction and enjoyment.

If he were to walk into a garage band rehearsal with a nylon-string classic and heard any hoots of derision from his confreres, would he have the courage of his convictions and the strength of purpose to imperiously stare the philistines down? To allow oneself to be a slave to mere image is to willingly fall victim to an insidious form of tyranny.

As my drinking uncle used to say, "Them's my sediments."

Anyway, more power to him, no matter what he decides to do. Good hunting!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:28 PM

Maybe I should have started this thread by saying "John Dwyer's grandson wants to learn to play the guitar" and that would have covered a lot of ground regarding intent--the kids share a family resemblance when it comes to pursuing interests. When they get their teeth into something, they want to learn how to do it right. :) Thanks, Don!

I think an acoustic guitar wouldn't go to waste if it were set aside for an electric (his sister has perked up her ears with all of this guitar talk). We may need to do some careful negotiations so that while the theory and technique are being learned, the goal is always in sight, even if it is more Eric Clapton than Christopher Parkening.

Maggie (SRS)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 11:20 AM

With due respect to Don Firth, I think there are chords that comes up from time to time that cannot be played without wrapping the thumb around, but they are few and far between. ;-)

The reality is that basic classical guitar technique and basic electric guitar technique are pretty much the same. There are a a lot of advanced classical guitar things that one will likely never use(though you could)--but the bottom line stuff is the same. There is a very simple reason for this--the underlying logic of the fretboard is the same.

Twenty odd years ago, when I began teaching guitar classes, I called up lots of people who I'd known over the years who used to play guitar and didn't anymore, to find out why this was so--There was one answer--as time went by, their musical tastes changed, and they couldn't adapt their playing to the kind of music they liked--

The reason for that was simple--they had learned the specifics that they needed for a given style, but they'd never learned the basics--

That is, they could play Mississippi John Hurt's "Candyman" note for note, but couldn't play a simple quarter note scale, couldn't locate notes on the fretboard, couldn't play intervals, couldn't play a melody, and could't read music or follow a chord chart in time--

Anyway, I wanted to let Don know he isn't the only one who thinks that way--


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Scoville
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 01:01 PM

I don't have a whole lot to say about guitar types since I've never been interested in electric and have never played one, but, from my perpective, I think it would be more important to find a good teacher who can offer your son a lot in whatever genre of guitar interests him.

I did take lessons but I use almost none of what I learned. I didn't know enough about guitar to know what it was I wanted to play (well, I knew, but didn't know where to start). I could already read music since I was raised on piano. I had a good teacher but we were a poor match--he liked jazz and I was mooning over Norman Blake. The only thing I learned from him that still applies is the concept of chord melody.

We also butted heads because he insisted on bar chords and I couldn't do them. I have small hands (I'm a girl) and I was using my mother's Guild F-30, which is a lovely little guitar and terrific for picking, but has high action and, even with medium-light strings, high tension (I like high action). He pestered me until I handed him the guitar and said, "Here, you do it," and it turned out that he couldn't play bar chords on it, either. My hands don't fit around the neck of a classical guitar so that was the end of that.

I'm still not a great guitarist but at least I've been able to teach myself, or learn informally from others, the kinds of things I wanted to learn earlier. I wish now that I had the time/money to take flat-pick lessons. Sigh. Maybe when I'm out of school again.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 01:06 PM

Chet Atkins was self-taught...


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Scoville
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM

I wouldn't dare. I have a lifelong reputation for bad fingering (on all instruments: Piano, guitar, dulcimer, probably on fiddle but I've never had a teacher so nobody's ever corrected me).

Actually, I would dare. I do. Only I would never tell anyone that I'm "doing it right" because I know I'm probably not. I've taught dulcimer before and luckily, it's not that formal so I can tell people to do whatever is comfortable.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM

All due respect, but I disagree with the position that all guitarists should learn to be classical guitarists first. Don's one of my favorite Mudcatters, someone who obviously has vast experience and knowledge, who always has something pertinent to say; someone with whom I usually agree, and by all accounts an excellent player, singer, and teacher.

Do keep in mind, however, that he is a militant nylon-string-guitar proponent and player ~ not, strictly speaking, a classical guitarist, but someone who plays folk music on a classical guitar. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's pretty unlikely that anyone's 14-year-old son is likely to take that particular direction.

My own first guitar was a classical type, and I took a few classical lessons (one summer ~ just six or seven weekly lessons) which undoubtedly helped my development. However, I would not recommend the same kind of instrument to today's beginners. I think any new player (except one specifically committed to classical guitar music) should get accustomed from the git-go to the narrower string spacing and the feel of the strings on a standard steel-string acoustic or electric instrument.

Also, I don't think it is always necessary to play barre chords. For certain styles (notably blues and ragtime, especially in regard to the F major chord as used in the key of C), barre chording is flat-out wrong. Advanced students may need to unlearn the standard barre-chord technique and learn to play the bottom string with the left thumb if they develop an interest in this genre. At least, that what Stephan Grossman says in his books and tapes, citing the Rev. Gary Davis as his source, and I for one respect his input.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 03:46 PM

Both my sons grew up surrounded by guitars & banjos and have both evolved into fine musicians with a very wide taste in music. Both started out on acoustic instruments but went on to electric and back and forth ever since.
Fortunatley my wife is a good music teacher and I was able to pass on a few pointers as well.
The important thing is to encourage your son to enjoy whatever he decided to play. There are also a lot of very good books and CD's which may help. Your local music shop should have a list of local teacher.
Good luck hope he does well


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 04:29 PM

It's not that everyone should become classical guitarists, PoppaGator, it's just that it doesn't hurt to learn clean, repeatable ways to play scales, finger chords, a systematic way to look at the fretboard, and to learn to hang things on a basic framework of metric and harmonic theory--


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 05:00 PM

If he doesn't have his heart set on one type, encourage him to get an acoustic-electric. It can do the amplified sound, but doesn't need the amp. If he's tending toward the electric, ask him who he wants to sound like (if it's Limp Bizkit, fob him off with an accordion), and get whatever that guy plays (least expensive play-alike, of course, not the full-blown "Guitar God" model, which is just a way to bring the price and profit up). That is to say, if he wants to play like XXX* who plays a Les Paul, he can't sound like that unless he gets something like a Les Paul. If he wants the Stratocaster sound, that Squier Strat-Pack mentioned above is just what he wants. If he's not sure, maybe an acoustic-electric is okay.

Electric guitars tend to be easier to play (unless the action is really, really bad), and acoustics aren't tied to an amp. Those are the good points of each kind. Harder action but freedom, easier action, but tied to electricity (and parental comments, "Not so LOUD! Turn it down!).

Acoustic-electrics are in vogue nowadays, and you can get a pretty playable guitar that can "do" acoustically OR electrically.

Of course, whatever his teacher, when you find one, recommends is another consideration. But whatever you get, make sure he's more or less happy with it (14-year-olds are often times unhappy with any choice, so keep that in mind).

And be sure to play many models when choosing. Even if you then try to get the same thing from eBay, or a yard sale. Get the most from dealing with a music store -- get some assistance in making sure the neck fits the hands, etc.


Bob


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 10:19 PM

I would hardly characterize myself as a "militant" advocate of using nylon-string guitars. I know many excellent guitarists who play musical styles in which the sound of nylon strings just isn't appropriate. Blues is probably the most obvious example. Although I play alternating thumb picking styles on a nylon-string guitar and seem to get away with it, I think this kind of picking actually sounds better on steel strings. And I can't imagine most country music being played on nylon strings, with the exception of Willie Nelson. But you'll note that he gets a particularly penetrating sound out of "Trigger" by playing close to the bridge, and with a pick instead of using his fingers.

I favor nylon strings especially for beginners because steel strings tuned to pitch exert about 2.5 times as much tension as nylon strings. This reflects itself directly in how much pressure is needed to press the strings down on the frets. Also, there is the "cheese cutter" factor, especially with the unwound treble steel strings. These are important matters to a beginner. Sore fingers! Also, if you eventually want to shift to nylon strings as I did, you have to practically relearn a lot of left hand technique because you're used to using far much more pressure than nylon strings require, and this can affect left-hand agility. It takes a long time to learn to lighten up on the left hand. This is something I learned the hard way. I played a steel-string guitar (Martin 00-18) for a few years because Walt Robertson, my first guitar teacher, used a steel-string guitar.

And then, there is the matter of the technique of playing. I was particularly interested in British Isles songs and ballads, and I liked some (but not all) of the accompaniments that Richard Dyer-Bennet did to such songs. This was in the early Fifties, and there were not that many recordings out to serve as examples of how to do folk songs. Field recordings weren't readily available until later. Among the singers who were available on records, Ed McCurdy played a classic guitar. So did Cynthia Gooding. Although McCurdy and Gooding played reasonable well, Dyer-Bennet obviously knew his way around a classic guitar much better than they did. I wanted to be able to play like him, but I was aware his classical style of both playing the guitar and singing was really "iffy" as far as a lot of folk songs are concerned. Imitating him was not my intent. Among other things, since I'm a bass, I sound a whole lot more like McCurdy than like Dyer-Bennet. And besides, being able to play the way Dyer-Bennet could, as well as he could, did not mean that I had to play that way. There is nothing that stops me from playing a simple "Burl Ives basic," or any other folk style. Whatever I figured was appropriate for a particular song. Not stuck in any one style of playing.

I also liked classic guitar music and wanted to be able to play some straight solo classic guitar. When Walt felt he had taught me all he could, he suggested that I seek out a classic guitar teacher, which I did. I traded in my Martin 00-18 on a Martin 00-28-G classic. I was soon able to play some of the simpler pieces by Sor and Tàrrega, and eventually Milan, Bach, Villa-Lobos, and such. It was not long before being able to work out and play song accompaniments, either simple or complex, became duck-soup.

But—more to the point, when I started teaching, I gave my students options:   "We can start right off learning chords and right-hand picking and strumming patterns. Or we can spend a bit of time going through a couple of classic guitar manuals. Personally, I advocate learning some classic first, but it's your call." Some wanted to plunge right in and start learning songs. Fine with me. Also, easier on me as a teacher.

But some (including Maggie's dad) opted to learn some classical technique first. I can think of several of my former students who went this route and did quite well for themselves, playing a whole variety of different styles, some on nylon-string guitars, many on steel-string guitars. Some of them are still at it. One is a gal blues singer/guitarist (HERE). She started on a classic, but currently plays a Martin D-18. She's very active, and has been since her "debut" at the 1964 Berkeley Folk Festival. She was doing a lot of Joan Baez and Tom Paxton stuff until the festival, where she heard Mississippi John Hurt, went nuts over blues, and had chance to sit down with him and get him to teach her some guitar licks. Having spent some time on classic technique, she was nimble-fingered and knew her way around a fingerboard, so she was able to pick up what he showed her very quickly.

And those are my main reasons for recommending learning some classic technique and getting the appropriate kind of nylon-string guitar to learn it on. HOWEVER, I have never tried to claim that this is the only way.

Two other matters:   

First, as far as barre chords versus wrapping the thumb around the neck is concerned, I have no objection to using the thumb, but I, personally, have never encountered a situation where I felt it was necessary. I could, of course, work out chord voicings in which it would be necessary, but I've been playing guitar for over fifty years and have just never needed to. But whatever turns your crank. It's not a religious issue with me.

Second, I am aware that Chet Atkins was self-taught. He started playing when he was nine years old. He mastered the fingerboard, and it's my understanding that he learned finger-picking from Merle Travis (whether in person or from recordings, I don't know), then expanded his right-hand technique from there. He investigated a lot of different styles of playing, including classical. And he could read music. Tàrrega's Requerdos de la Alhambra is not an easy piece to learn and play, but this was only one of several classic guitar pieces that Atkins could play, and play well. What I said above is, "One doesn't do that without studying a fair amount of classic technique." I did not say that Atkins took classic guitar lessons.

I have not had a classic guitar lesson since the early Sixties. But I'm still studying classic guitar:   practicing technical exercises more or less daily, trying to keep my song accompaniments fresh, and working at learning new pieces.

Maybe one of these days I'll learn how to play the damned thing.

Press on.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Grab
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 11:23 AM

Thanks Don, but I'm not really sure I'm a man of courage. Blind ignorance, perhaps... ;-)

I don't think classical technique is really essential (although as someone who does play a bit of classical, it's something I like a lot). But just using it to learn clean fingering and strumming is the best start you can get. When he can strum 8 beats to the bar and make the chord changes cleanly, and he's doing reasonable barre chords (Hotel California is recommended), then he's probably ready to move onto an electric.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 11:53 AM

Don, I certainly hope I didn't offend, and in fact I'm glad if my comments played a role in prompting you to contribute such an interesting and erudite post.

The technique of using the left thumb to fret the bottom string is, as I understand it, pretty much verboten within the realm of classical technique, which requires that thumb be kept well down ast the center of the neck. The classical hand positioning maximizes your reach up and down the fingerboard, of course, but absolutely requires that barre technique be used for chords like the F major.

The inelegant left-thumb wraparound does pull your other four left-hand fingers back into a position where they can't reach nearly so far, but (in a few cases of really advanced ragtime/blues tours de force) it's the only way to play five strings at once at different frets, and to play certain runs of treble-string melody while holding down the requisite bass notes.

I'm able to play barre chords, and routinely play certain chords either with the thumb or as barre chords depending upon the context. Back when I was learning, however, I wasn't able to play the barres at first, and the thumb technique allowed me to play more chords sooner than I would otherwise have been able to finger.

(In general, I still find it easiest to play the F-major are related chords with the thumb, But I use barres almost exclusively for the Bb-major "family" of chords and for most of the minor chords.)

And Ted, point taken. I think we agree that virtually everyone on this forum who favors the classical guitar and/or classical training is someone using that instrument and applying that technique to a wider range of musical genres than strictly classical music. (Ted and I have a long history of minor disagreement over formal musical education versus an intuitive "by-ear" approach, but I do certainly respect his knowledge, and on more than one occasion I have depended on his expertise to learn a tricky chord progression or some other such musical subtlety.)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 12:54 PM

Meanwhile, I gave Dylan $20 the other day so he'd have something for his birthday since it will take us a little while to sort out the guitar and teaching options we want to go with. . .

I have a lot of guitar music around here and will make a point of playing some of it for Dylan to remind him of what the possibilities are. Thanks for giving those examples, Don. And I will eventually print out this thread for him to read. Next week the kids have Spring Break so we'll be able to go do more poking around and talking to folks.

Maggie (SRS)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 02:11 PM

Absolutely no offense taken, PoppaGator. I know that, in my enthusiasm, I can sometimes come on like a sort of "classic technique Nazi," but any route that gets a person playing what they want to play the way they want to play it is a good one. It's just that (stating the obvious, in the light of what I've already said) I think classic technique is a sort of four-lane royal road to doing just about anything you want to do on just about any kind of guitar.   

There are a lot of darned fine self-taught guitarists (e.g. Chet Atkins), but self-teaching without some guidance, at the very least, a good manual or technique book (and there are some really lousy ones out there) can lead a person into some real dead ends.

Cautionary tale:   I knew a guy named Jerry who was into blues guitar. Self-taught, he'd been playing for several years, and he was mightily frustrated because he couldn't get a clean, clear, loud sound out of his guitar (a nice Martin—steel-string, of course). I watched him for a few minutes and saw the problem right away. When he first started playing finger-style, he had trouble with his right thumb and his fingers bumping into each other. So he moved his thumb toward the bridge relative to his fingers, with the result that his fingers were almost parallel to the strings. He couldn't even contact the strings with his nails. All he could get out of the guitar was a soft, fleshy tone.

I told him to turn his hand around until his thumb was to the left of his fingers (more like the classic position), so his thumb and fingers would still be out of each other's way, but his fingers would be at more of a right-angle to the strings. This way, he'd have some real control over the tone. He'd been playing the other way for so long that he howled and complained about how uncomfortable and "unnatural" it felt. Well, of course, considering the way he'd been playing for years. I suggested that he stick to it and practice that way for a week or two and see how it went. Well—sad ending. After a couple of days, he found it so frustrating he gave it up and went back to his old way. He never did get a clean, clear tone out of a very nice Martin guitar. He may as well have been playing rubber bands strung across a cigar box.

On the left thumb:   I've never seen a classic guitar piece where "thumbing" the sixth string was called for. And that includes good transcriptions from other instruments such as cello (Bach suites), harpsichord (Scarlatti), or piano (Albeniz or Granados—or Debussy for that matter). So it's not necessarily verboten in classic technique, it's just not needed. And as far as my own accompaniments are concerned, since I do the arrangements myself (from "Burl Ives basic" to fairly lute-like accompaniments on some songs like The Three Ravens), it just never comes up. Not that I take pains to avoid doing it. It just never occurs to me.

But then, I rarely strum all six strings at a time. I'm usually using my right-hand thumb and fingers in various combinations, picking individual strings, sometimes arpeggiated, sometimes three or four notes together, but rarely all six at once. With the first position F, if I'm not using the abbreviated form (top four strings), I do use the barre (definitely not my favorite chord), but since I'm often coming to it, or from it, with some kind of bass run, using the thumb wouldn't work too well for me. I can see where if one wanted to play a first position D, all six, with the F# in the bass and the A and D open, the only way it can done is to use the thumb. Walt Robertson sometimes wrapped his thumb over to catch the F# when he played a B7, all six strings. So there are chord voicings where the left thumb is about the only way it can be done. I think this probably comes up mostly in blues—or maybe in country or rock, where the guitarist is using a pick and is strumming a strong, up and down sort of "whack-whack-a-whack-a-whack" rhythm. Jazz guitarists, on the other hand, when playing straight rhythm and strumming across all six, often position the left hand so the pads of their fingers mute the strings they don't want to sound.

Whatever works. Lemme put it this way:   if I ever encounter a situation where I feel it's called for, I won't hesitate to use my thumb. Whatever it takes to do justice to the music.

Well, son of a gun! This is the kind of discussion that makes Mudcat a pretty neat place! I hope we haven't strayed too far from the subject of getting the young'un launched on an enjoyable plunge into the world of music, wherever he wants to take it. I'd say you doin' good, Maggie

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM

This is fine, Don, and I had the same thought about the richness of Mudcat as a resource for sharing this kind of artistic experience. He may not be ready to read this far down the thread for a while, but we all know that others will discover it and may find exactly what they've been needing.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 14 Apr 06 - 01:33 AM

An update: I printed out this entire thread, and gave my son all 18 sheets a few days ago. He read it cover to cover, and I think between the opinions here and what I'd told him already he said he'd like to get an acoustic electric. I waited a little while to give him the printout because the purchase will come after the tax return comes in. :)

A lot of what people spoke about here will be over his head, but he'll have keywords when it comes to speaking with and selecting a music teacher, and that's important. If he feels that the teacher understands what he wants because he was able to articulate what he wants, then he is most likely to stick with lessons, to practice, and to enjoy the music he makes.

Thanks, all!

Maggie Dwyer (SRS)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:40 AM

An update: This month my son started classical guitar lessons at a well-respected guitar studio in town. He lucked out and got an opening in the owner's schedule (he also has several former students who teach here).

We have a guitar on order, a modestly-priced Spanish one (purchased through the studio) that "will make a great second guitar" when he gets older, and will be good for learning on now. Meanwhile, he is using a loaner from the studio. First couple of weeks I heard mechanical note playing, but last night I began to hear cords--and you know how if you click on a little zip file on your computer all of a sudden you have a large file? Well, listening to some of those cords brought back volumes of memories--a single cord is sometimes enough the have the entire song Dad used to play and sing pop into my memory. And my son noted "when I hear some of these cords, I just want to go to Spain."

I can sit the entire lesson in the waiting area, but I usually don't, I walk around a bit to give my son a feeling that he's there one-on-one with the teacher. I come in later when they're engrossed and don't notice me. Last night I heard him take a great deal of time to describe the position for the hand and fingers when playing--how "it may seem strange now, but it will feel natural before long," and how he would have more control. I'm sure this is some of what Don was speaking to just a couple of messages above this. It'll take a while to get this right, but learning it now at the very beginning is going to give him the tools he needs to master this instrument.

Thanks again, everyone, for the advice--and I'm sure there will be milestones and decisions to make about this and future instruments and styles, so I'll keep track of this thread and post updates when they seem appropriate.

Don, I think my Dad would be so pleased with this, and I hope one of these days to bring my young guitarist up to the Northwest where he can meet you and Bob and others and learn more of the story of the family folk tradition.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 12:56 AM

February, 2007, and my son has a few months of lessons under his belt. I sat in the studio waiting room this week listening to them take turns playing the chords of a simple song while the other improvised. I had to turn around and watch to see who was playing which part--they sounded very good. His teacher suggested that he get a tape recorder and do this on his own--first play the song into the recorder, then play it back and practice his improvisation. My dad had lots of recording equipment and gadgets, so I dug out a small recorder with a stereo mic built in, and a 3V adaptor (so I don't go broke buying batteries!) and set him up. Didn't take any time before he was playing back the basic song and improvising over the top of it.

He is still dying to get his hands on an electric guitar, and no one is preventing him. We just had a big purchase of a video game player (Wii) and several games to go with it (part christmas money, part his saved allowance), so he has to save up for a while for the electric guitar and amp that he wants, but he is motivated! I think this summer I may have a son who goes into the lawn mowing business because he's too young to work in some of the retail places yet.

Don, if you're still following this thread, a cousin of mine is getting married in Seattle on Aug. 11. I'm going to try to bring the kids up, and if I do the visit will be very short, but I'd love to have some time to let you and Bob and Jean and whoever else is so inclined sit down and meet Dylan and Caroline and share your stories of music with their grandfather. He'd be so proud of these two, and I think you'll enjoy them. At the same time, I want them to know some of the people who helped his love of music come to life.

I would like to pick up some recordings by current performers who have crossed over from rock to classical or traditional. I've read about several over the years, but the only one I can think of right now is Sting. Who else is versatile in rock and classic or jazz, etc., to listen to for inspiration?

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Blindlemonsteve
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 04:56 PM

Accoustic, absolutely most definitely, dangle the electric guitar as the carrot, something to work towards, also, if he learns on an accoustic, he´ll find electric a lot easier, its all to do with the action.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 05:09 PM

I play both and I think they are both radically different instruments. They are played differently in that one uses a light touch with a different style pick and the other needs to have more projection with a larger or stouter pick or finger picks or bare fingers. The style of music is important here and the great motivator is to sound like the musician that you admire.

The beauty of the guitar is that it is capable of so many different styles of music.

I have heard parents say that they want their kids to start off with acoustic due to their prejudice against rock or that acoustics are cheaper and that if the kid doesn't continue, it's not so hard on the pocket book. This is starting with a negative. If the kid really wants rock, then IMHO buy the best rock guitar you can, a good Strat, Les Paul or Tele etc. The better the instrument, the more incentive to practice it and the resale value is better if you have to sell it. The worst thing you can do is to put an acoustic clunker in a student's hands. The same goes for an electric.

Many kids have been turned off music by inferior instruments.

Putting a bad instrument in a kid's hands says a lot about the parent's attitude toward the value of learning music.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 10:09 PM

Frank, he's learning with a classical guitar now, and is enjoying himself. No one is preventing his access to the electric guitar, and I told him that when he gets one he'll have to talk it over with his teacher how he wants to handle learning on two different guitars because I can't advise him there.

My goal, as a parent, is to give him the best opportunity possible, so he can do whatever he wants as he grows as a musician. We're starting him on the classical guitar with a fine teacher and getting the theory and style in there as he learns. His teacher feels that for contemporary music, learning the blues is the best foundation to go into lots of other types. Since he's learning on a classical guitar he's learning the correct way to play this instrument, and if he wants to pursue it later, he can. He is into Metallica and Black Sabbath and System of a Down these days, but this young man has quite varied tastes--after watching the film Amadeus a few years ago he asked for the complete opera Don Giovanni. He wanted to read the libretto and listen to the whole thing, not just hear the charismatic snippets that were in the film. He likes all sorts of music, so I am, for the time being, trying to steer him in the direction in his lessons that will give him the most access later.

The selfish part of this is that what I want for my son is what I didn't have when I was learning piano from various nice ladies who lived down the street. A good solid foundation for his music. His teacher is including theory along with proper methods of playing. From there he can do whatever he wants. It has been my practice to get the kids started on things I think they need to know, and this, like other interests, is a team effort, because he asked for the guitar and lessons. But as he forms a plan and articulates it we'll move forward. Rest assured, there is flexibility in this arrangement so that he knows that once he has the basics down he can call the shots.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 05:24 AM

to be honest - I think things are changing - you know how it is - things change. circumstances alter cases.

When I was a teacher in Birmingham in the 70's, there were a lot of kids into reggae. I tried teaching them some stuff, but most of them had watched other musicians to me - and I tell you this - very few of those kids ever botheres learning first position chords. they got cheap electric guitars and they started with full six string barre chords.

Nowadays there is less reason to start on the acoustic - even than there was then - you can get a a cheap strat or telly copy with a little practise amp and all that stuff for about a hundred quid. there are playable acoustic guitar kits also - like the Cort.

What I would say is - ask your kid what he wants to achieve, and use your intelligence to help him.

My Dad always told me that Josh White and Segovia could piss rings round Hank Marvin. Of course in my maturity I know my dear old Dad was talking tripe on this occasion. well intentioned tripe - I became a a fingerstyle guitarist, I knew it would please my Dad - but I think as a plectrum guitarist I would have been more employable and more in tune with the times.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 05:38 AM

I had somehow overlooked this thread before... a lot of excellent comments here. I guess I'd boil it down to two issues: what kind of music does he want to play, and is the guitar physically easy to play. When I started out, I jumped from a Stella, which doubled as a cheese slicer, to a Fender. Talk about a quantum leap! I went from the Fender to a Gibson classical guitar... another totally different feel and sound.

In the years that I taught guitar, I found that the two greatest barriers to kids sticking with their lessons were the difficulty in playing a cheap guitar with high action (and a lousy sound) and their not wanting to play the kind of music that I could teach. Kids get discouraged easily for both reasons.

Like anything you set out to learn, you need some immediate payback. If you're playing a guitar that's hard to play, playing music you don't like, payback can seem mighty far down the line.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: s&r
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 05:40 AM

SRS - I wish the parents of the kids I teach had your approach. You deserve a virtuoso musican for a son

Stu


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: retrancer
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:39 AM

I would say both - get him both. An acoustic classical and an electric.

For the starter electric, I'd stay away from the kits - lower quality in everything and the other kids will mock him. For 200 US you can get a fair ibanez (gsa 60) and then get a reasonable entry level amp - crate or i actually like behringer for the value. for under 500 bucks that was my package and I played acoustic for years only just started on electric. They are different instruments - if he wants electric do that - my rents made me learn clarinet before saxophone so i could play both. in the end i hated both.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:13 PM

Folks...note...the original discussion was LAST year. The basic decision has been made, and the guitar student is progressing.

(I wish the Jeff would write some program that checks the date and puts a red **Refreshed** note in when the last post was more than say...3 months old.)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:42 PM

I just noticed that this thread is back.

Exactly so, Bill. People really ought to get into the habit of noting the dates of posts and reading at least a few previous posts before jumping in with both feet. The matter has been well covered, the decision has been made, the lad has been taking lessons for some months now, and it sounds like he's doing well and enjoying it. What more can one ask?

That's great, Maggie! I will alert Bob (if he hasn't already noticed it) and we'll definitely have to get together when you're here in August. Sounds good! I'm looking forward to it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:37 PM

This thread is still yielding useful feedback a year later, though checking dates is something I have to make myself do when I'm ready to jump into a newly discovered thread with both feet.

Like jstarwolf predicts, at some point we're going to end up with both. Advice about how to choose the electric for a student is welcome--he has looked at guitars and found a modestly priced one he is thinking of saving for--but recommendations of types or models would be helpful. Also, the amp is an important ingredient and he's not impressed by the kits that come with the guitar and a cheap amp.

And thanks, stu. I've told him that since his sister says she's going to live under a bridge and keep cats she grows up that he'll have to become a rich musician and support me in my old age. . . :)

I don't have to remind him to practice very often, he's a self-starter in this. School homework is the largest impediment to guitar practice, and I've asked him to stagger his evenings so he doesn't always practice guitar last thing at night. I think that anything done right before bed is less likely to stick if he's tired. (Though maybe he thinks about it when he sleeps--who knows?)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 02:20 PM

Could be, Maggie. When I'm learning a new song, I find that I pick it up a whole lot faster if I go through the words, singing it silently in my head, as I'm drifting off to sleep. If I get stuck on a line or a phrase, the first thing I do in the morning when I get the chance, is to look it up and go over the song again. Also, when memorizing a classic piece, I play it in my head, trying to visualize the music, the fingerboard, and the fingering.

Actually, I don't know if it really works, but since I've been doing this, even with my aging brain cells, I think I'm learning stuff faster than I used to.

At least it makes me feel virtuous.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 06:11 PM

Yeah, Bill:

I didn't check to see that this thread was a year old before I posted. Maybe that's allright. Someday someone else may have a son or daughter who wants to play guitar where the parent faces the same decision and this discussion would be beneficial.

Stranger things have happened. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: LukeKellylives (Chris)
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 06:01 PM

I, myself, am 15.

*Shock and awe*

If you want my opinion on what to get a fourteen-year-old who has both rock and folk tastes, I'd go with getting him a hollow or semi-hollow body electric. It might be a little more expensive, but it transposes for folk and rock easily. It also can be played without an amp and sound like an acoustic (if you ever actually did that). I, myself, want a semi-hollow or hollow body...But I have too many guitars and mandolins lying around as it is! My room is kinda small, so I am constantly getting it piled up. Gotta make room for some more instruments around for my obsession with banjos and fiddles. ;)

So, either get him an acoustic-electric, or some kind of hollow-body electric (Which is your best bet, if you ask me!).

DO NOT start him off with one or the other if he has both rock and folk tastes.

I have mainly folk tastes (Irish and Scottish), and I had to go over six months with the absolute torture of only having my brother's Squire to play traditional folk music! It was horrible!


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: oggie
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 05:32 PM

It totally depends on what he wants to do. Our son, Peter, plays keyboards and anything else he can lay his hands on. He is into the sound something makes and at the moment that is electric. He can play (untaught) my acoustic guitar (or mandolin) but he wants a particular sound. In his case we found (at half price in a sale) a twin necked 6/12 string Tanglewood electric (just under £200) to which he's added a Line6 pod. It makes wonderful music (and noise) and is in tune with what he wants to do. It helps that as an ex-chorister he has the basic musical knowledge so he doesn't need formal lessons but then I never had music lessons either and play too many instruments as well.

To me the important part is getting that spark that so they want to learn, play, improve. If they don't want to play an acoustic guitar then no amount of cajoling about how it will helpp them later wil work - unless you bribe them "get to this standard and we'll buy you a Gibson/Ibanez/Fender" (delete as applicable).

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 11:00 PM

Don and Bob, I sent you a very large attachment in an email this evening. It hit Don's Earthlink spam filter (I have the same one in place, but I think I have you in my address list). Check your suspect mail and add me to your list. I included a couple of addresses in there. The photo (in two sizes, one for a photo print, one for web or email size) is of Dylan at his lesson today. Note those beautiful long fingers. He's a natural! :)

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: pirandello
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 07:29 AM

I have been playing guitar for over forty years now so I hope I can speak with a little experience behind me.
Firstly, start your son on acoustic guitar.
Secondly, get the best guitar you can afford for him. So-called 'student' guitars can be uninspiring musically, difficult to play and ultimatel off-putting.

When I began, all those years ago, most guitars in my price range were unplayable dogs which I had no option but to persist with; I wouldn't wish that on anyone!
An easy playing guitar is inspirational, encourages a student to practise and will speed up the learning process.

A good, solid-topped, well-made instrument at a very reasonable price is the Yamaha FG 720S and is my recommendation. My first decent guitar was a Yamaha FG I got in 1969 and I lived with it for years.

Good luck to you both.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 08:08 AM

Stilly - You might want to check out Richie Blackmore. From what I've read he went from hard rock { Deep Purple - yeah the guy that played "Smoke on the Water" } to performing Renaissance music. I understand that it's pretty good stuff but I haven't heard it personally.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Y_Not
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 08:47 AM

I think it is a great thing for a young person to take up a musical instrument and the main lesson to learn is the instrument is a tool with which you make music.
I would say in my opinion it would be best to learn on an acoustic guitar, you hear an immediate response to the technique that you apply and the sound that you create is a true result of your imput.
In any Art form Music/Dance/Painting/Theatre and so on, you need to aquire the basic knowledge, this is then a platform from which you can experiment, pursue and perfect your chosen style.

Learn your scales! this is the fabric with which you weave your dreams.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: kerryguy7
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 09:07 AM

I too am just learning guitar. I am 55 years old and I used to play (chords only...and very poorly!) way back when I was in my mid-twenties.
I just purchased an acoustic. After some advice from a salesman at Guitar Center here in Grand Rapids, I purchased an "Epiphone 150".
I am trying to learn on my own BUT I might throw in the towel and decide to spring for some instrutor led group classes.
Anyway, for what it is worth...I was told to begin learning on a simple acoustic guitar that sounds good and has a fairly good overall tonal quality.
I was told that if I progressed far enough and if I was interested in extending my playing capabilities then and only then should I invest in an electric guitar.
Any suggestions as to how an "old guy" :) like me can better master this here instrument?


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:10 AM

Learning guitar/acoustic vs electric: First remember that the objective is to play MUSIC....
Having said that, acoustic is the better choice for many reasons. TONE TONE TONE TONE TONE TONE TONE TONE...IS THIS GETTING THROUGH TO YOU? An acoustic guitar is a teacher. It instructs you by allowing you to hear notes on a primordial level, it builds strength because the strings are usually heavier. It is portable.(Yeah, yeah, I know. So's an electric. But you gotta bring the EQUIPMENT, MAN! The groupies. the agent, the underassistant promo man, the wardrobe changes, the lighting, the sound system, the rehab program. Are you laughing now?) O.K. let's continue... You can FEEL it. By it's very nature, it encourages you to play Rhythm, chord patterns, structures that are the very core of music. Every kid wants to Rock out like the big guys he sees on T.V. So Mom and Dad go to the music store and get the guitar , the amp, the lead cord, and the kids gotta have a PEDAL right? He can't TUNE the thing, so they get him a tuner. But in this storm the only thing you have done is inject NOISE into the picture. I have seen a guy who could play lead like Van Halen, but the guy DIDN'T KNOW A CHORD! INCREDIBLE! First, get an acoustic guitar. Do your homework first by learning about acoustic guitars, how the wood should match, how to spot good tuners(keys), how to check if the neck is straight, the names of the strings, how to put them on, how to care for it. Then learn to tune by EAR! No tuner! Then you learn chords. And LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN can you hear me over there?! The progressions will come next. Your hand strength will grow, you will come to understand the importance of tone.(I hope) And then, the time will come when that desire to play electric guitar will be satisfied. But when that happens, you will have been prepared to meet the electric monster on your own terms. You will know what a chord is. You will know HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO SOUND! Then you can take that and add electric enhancement to it, the power, the distortion, etc. But hopefully, if you have followed the path, you will be playing MUSIC, and not making NOISE. Love Yas. bob


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:44 AM

Any suggestions as to how an "old guy" :) like me can better master this here instrument?

Kerryguy, it would help us to advise you if you answered these questions:

1. Do you know any musical theory? I think it may be helpful to know some musical theory, but this isn't essential to play well (there are plenty of good guitarists who didn't/don't know any musical theory).

2. Have you played / do you play any other instrument(s)? If you already play (say) piano it may help to pick up another instrument, from the point of view of understanding how to play chords, etc.

Not essential as I said, but it helps us to know what your musical knowledge is.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:51 AM

I can see that I should have made the thread title to "Classical vs Acoustic vs Electric." I've learned a great deal, and realized I had to consider more than just the amplified/non-amplified question when we approached these lessons. I'm glad to see others visiting the thread to make the same comparisons, and Wesley, thanks for the name. I'll look up that guy. I'm planning to take him to the Eliot Fisk concert at TX Wesleyan on Mar. 23. That's through GuitarFortWorth.org.

I've sent a photo to Pene Azul to add to my Stilly River Sage pages. It is of my son at his lesson, to add something to the body of knowledge this thread is attempting to convey. He's enjoying his lessons, and is saving to buy an electric guitar. When his student guitar (on order from a company in Spain) comes in this is one that his teacher says is good to learn on and is a good second guitar. And Dylan is welcome to buy as many additional instruments as his budget allows, once he earns his own money. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM

Oddly enough, a classical guitar, and (even some classical guitar lessons) are probably a better place to begin for the aspiring electric guitarist than a steel string acoustic guitar.

The reason is simple--scales. Classical guitarists learn scales in positions up and down the neck. Electric guitarists play a lot of single note stuff, up and down the neck. People who start out on steel string acoustic guitars tend to learn to play open block chords, which don't really tend to be that interesting on electric guitar.

It is possible to learn to play on an electric guitar, and there are some reasonable, inexpensive ones out there--the thing is(and I know this has been said, but it bears repeating) that there is too much extraneous stuff going on with an electric guitar--chords, amp, tone, volume, pickup configuration--a beginner needs to focus, multitasking, at the beginning, can be an unsurmountable barrier--


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:57 PM

If your first love is electric - buy electric! I would guess that in this day and age most aspiring young rock guitarist would go straight to electric. For £100, a kid could get a reasonable electric guitar and a small amp.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Grab
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 09:26 AM

Hmm, missed the refresh of this last time.

Some brilliant players who've taken electric techniques or songs and put them on the acoustic guitar are Michael Hedges, Eric Roche (both sadly deceased), Thomas Leeb and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Rodrigo y Gabriela in particular play some amazing flamenco-style covers of Metallica songs. If he's into the whole crossover thing, I suspect he'll like them.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: kerryguy7
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM

You're right Scrump, I should have mentioned that I have played bagpipes in the past. I can sight read music and have previous experience playing acoustic guitar in the past. When I played guitar I simply played chords...all self taught...simply copied what I saw in some instructional books.
So, at this point I am trying to learn from the start, as they say.
But...I do read music, I am certainly not a stranger to music theory either.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 09:53 PM

Catching up on the guitar lessons:

He has been alternating between classical and electric for a couple of years now. After a year or so he bought the electric, but didn't even mention it to his teacher, I'm the one who did. Since this is clearly something he is motivated to learn, and his teacher is very wise (and has also played electric and opened for various bands) he suggested Dylan bring it in, and they alternate back and forth, a few weeks on one, then on the other.

Tonight he is in practicing Villa Lobos, his Etude #11. Sounds magnificent! He's come a long way. This may or may not be a easy piece to learn, but it is satisfying, to know he is at home with and enjoying a range of music, from Metallica and Segovia.

Don, my Dad would shed tears of joy, I'm sure, to know how happy Dylan is to be playing, and to be doing it on his own terms. And by extension, it was exposure to your teaching all of those years ago that led me to help him with these choices. Thank you so much!

Signed,

One Happy Mom, with one Happy Son :)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:16 AM

Stilly, I admire your parenting. Congratulations to the both of you.

Since he was mentioned a bit at the top of this thread - I have a couple of Chet Atkins stories. Back in the 80s he and his band stayed at the motel I was operating at the time.

His band members went out and about but Chet stayed in. He would wander over to the office with his big -unlit - cigar just to hang around.

Whenever I passed his room I would hear him in there with his music. The man still practiced...

The day they left they came to the office to say goodbye and his bass man said, Don't you want a picture of Chet?

I was taken aback - I don't usually do that kind of thing - but I said, Oh, yes. Oh, sure.

I got my camera and we went outside. He stood by the car and I snapped the picture. He got in the car and they backed out of the slot.

I droppped the camera. Into a water puddle.

I felt bad, because I knew they probably saw the accident. But I still have the picture- it is kind of dark but it did come through.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:47 PM

Stilly, they are really two different instruments. It depends on the kind of music he's interested in. For rock, a low action, fairly good pickup is adequate. Also, a good amplifier.
Not a cheap sounding one.

For folk, a playable neck and a pleasant sound. Yamaha or Takemine are cheap but good.

Motivation is important here. What style?



Frank


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:55 PM

Yes, indeed, Maggie, I sure your Dad would by proud of his grandson! It sounds like Dylan has come a long way in a few short years. That Villa-Lobos Etude is not overly difficult, but it's not an easy piece either. You need to have some technique under your fingers before being able to tackle that!

Etude 11 by Villa Lobos.

####

I've only played an electric guitar once. One afternoon, I was visiting a friend who was working as a bartender in a place that had jazz in the evenings. The place was practically deserted, and the lead guitarist's axe was sitting up on the bandstand. I mentioned that I'd never played an electric and my friend said, "Why don't you try the guitar? I'm sure (he mentioned a name I don't remember) wouldn't mind." So I got up on the bandstand, the bartender turned the whole shebang on, and said, "Go to it!"

I hauled off and did some finger-picking stuff like "Freight Train," "Railroad Bill," and a few others, then tried a classic piece or two. I became overcome with lust! All that brute power at the turn of a knob!

As I began to covet the guitar I was playing, it suddenly occurred to me that in the gear around me—amps, speakers, miscellaneous foot pedals for various effects—I was looking at megabucks worth of equipment.

Thinking of the state of my bank balance, I sobbed a mighty sob, then gazed at the skies and cried out, "Get thee behind me, Satan!!" and put the guitar down!

Wow! That was a near thing!

I love my classic guitar and the music I can play on it, and I would never part with it, but electrics are sure fun to play. . . .

What brand of electric does Dylan have?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:15 PM

It is an Ibanez, a modestly priced one that a kid could afford as a good practice guitar, and an amp he bought separately (sometimes there are guitar and amp packages, but those are to generally be avoided, apparently).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:22 AM

My son has just started playing classical guitar after playing mostly electric guitar for the last few years. He intends to go to music college after his A levels in 18 months time and so needed to do his grades in preparation. He got his grade 8 on electric guitar (with a 95% distinction) in December and is now doing classical guitar with the aim of picking up a grade 6-8 over the next year or so. One of the things that his tutor thinks is that classical guitar will also have benefits on his electric playing in terms of rhythm and expression.

Very different to his electric playing (most of his interests are in the rock/Vai/Satriani area and jazz) where his prime interest is in writing and improvisation. It will be interesting to see where it all ends up but he is a fine player already and loves it all. I think it's great to have a hobby that you love so much - it was his 17th birthday on Saturday and he had three friends round playing music (and chess) for most of the day.

He has an interesting range of techniques from a (growing) classical one to tapping and legato techniques which are more applicable to an electric but the fluidity and the speed that he can play at is very much from his electric playing. His current tutor is very much technique based and my son practices his arpeggios and scales and runs with his metronome so his fundamental technique is solid even though he started as an electric player.

And yes his guitars (compared with mine) are much more expensive. He plays an Ibanez JEM7V and a seven string Ibanez RGB and that pretty much put paid to all the pocket money.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:51 AM

I don't know what the grading system is you're talking about, but it sounds like he is taking classes in school? For the time being, we're paying for extracurricular private lessons once a week, year round. I have quizzed this child any number of times about what he wants to do when he goes to college or if he has given any thought to which college, but I don't have an answer. I'm sure music will be part of it, whether it is as a formal program or a favored hobby.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:04 AM

He learns the piano at school as part of his A level music as an alternative instrument and for a bit of fun but his guitar is all outside of school with a private tutor.

The exams were via the Registry of Guitar Tutors. There is info about them on the site.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:11 PM

Sharing your passion for music with the next generation can be very challenging.

My son, who has had his own group for nearly nine years now, once thanked me for making him learn on an acoustic guitar first. I had played for years, self-taught and with a poor ability to sight read. When he said, at age 5 or so, that he wanted to be a "rock star," I had a chat about basics with him.

I told him we would get a guitar for him to use, but that he would have to demonstrate that he was serious by taking lessons, learning music theory and staying with that program for at least two years. At first, he was angry that he wasn't getting an electric. But, he did all he was asked, learning with a steel-string Yamaha.

He started picking up my classical guitar and spending more time with it along the way. We eventually got him his electric, an inexpensive Squier. Within a year, he had sold it and bought his own Takamine classical guitar, with which he continued his lessons past the age of fifteen. He told me that the musical discipline and versatility he now enjoys comes from the basics we asked of him when he was starting out.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:32 PM

I stumbled upon a remark on Facebook about a favorite musician of his. He noted that the guitarist was versatile and displayed a strong understanding of the theory behind the music. These things go together for him, and make the music more powerful.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 08:36 PM

>>Sharing your passion for music with the next generation can be very challenging.

Speaking personally I'd have to say rewarding yes, challenging no.

Perhaps my experience is different than others. My elder son learned to play the piano so we offered our younger son the opportunity to learn and instrument if he wanted to. He didn't want to. Until...

A fiend of his at school started playing (about 6 and a bit years ago) and so he thought he'd have a go too. He had some lessons at school and we bought a spanish guitar for him. He just enjoyed playing and practiced and practiced and loves it. Never asked him to practice or do anything he just does it for him. I bought a Strat copy for me a few years ago as I wanted to play an electric (mid life thing and I don't like cars and don't want an affair) and he started playing that. I played my first proper gig with him when he was 14 at Fibbers in York and it has been a real joy to get to play together at a few places.

Now he has a bunch of friends who he plays with and gets involved in a classical guitar quartet, plays in a couple of jazz bands, collaborates with a guy the other end of the country on music that they write together, plays occasional gigs with me and friends and the rest of the time practices.

One of the huge joys is coming home, like tonight, and listening to him and a friend practicing together. I snuck in my Zoom recorder and you can hear a bit here - it's a couple of spanish guitars and a spanishy-jazzy thing but I don't know what it's called (sounds like that Al de Meola/John McLaughlin/+flamenco player album that I have somewhere).

Acoustics or electrics? I'm not too sure it matters.


http://www.esnips.com/doc/2ae38c42-f92a-443a-b47d-35bf6baf2811/jazz


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:21 PM

What a pleasant piece to come home to! Thank you for sharing that. How old is he now?

This thread started out with the goal that I think has continued fairly unaltered for me--as a parent there are things I know about the process of learning an instrument, and if I can convince my son to take the bit harder road for a while (classical guitar and the techniques that go with it) then anything else that comes later will be easier for him. And if he stays with classical, that's fine, but that isn't the ultimate goal. I wanted to help him develop the skills that give him the most choices in his musical life.

I don't know that my kids will ever some day say, at the Grammy's or whatever, "Thank-you Mom, for making me take classical first." Or even sitting around one day playing for the grandkids and have him say "Mom was right about taking classical." I just want him to be able to pick up the guitar he wants to pick up and be able to play it, or learn how without agonizing about the steps he left out when he was learning the first time around.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 10:22 PM

100! Might as well grab it. :)


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 09:53 AM

>>What a pleasant piece to come home to! Thank you for sharing that. How old is he now?

He was 17 last Saturday.

>>if I can convince my son to take the bit harder road for a while (classical guitar and the techniques that go with it)

I reckon the knack is that he convinces himself. The desire to do it for himself is the thing. When my son got his last exam result he was pleased (of course) but he then disappeared off to his room and did his usual practice to improve his technique. His friends say - 'ah but it's easy for you...' but they don't see the practice. He sees it as fun. Motivation in music is enormously self generated. I pick up and play guitar or mandolin every day but am pretty undisciplined in my practice but I guess he has grown up in a world where there is always some sort of music going on and always an instrument to hand to play and I find it hard to walk past a guitar without picking it up for at least a few seconds.

My other son was different. He became interested in music after we watched the Sound of Music and I showed him how to play Doh a Deer on the piano. He went on to learn to play the piano to a decent standard and can still sight read a piece of music really well but he got bored at some stage. He didn't want to do grades and he got tired of playing classical tunes. He had a period of time when he learned some jazzy tunes and other things but then just stopped. He'll never forget how to play but I doubt it will be a part of his life in the same way as his brother.

I guess it's the difference between being playing music and being a musician.

Hope your son gets the pleasure that mine has.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 10:57 AM

He has been gripped by the Villa Lobos piece. Clearly he enjoyed the sounds he was making and immediately began practicing more to improve the sound. He already does the same thing with rock pieces on the electric guitar, but I think now the classical has gained more traction with him. It took reaching a level where the music can pull him along.

My son will be 17 in three weeks.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 09 - 12:23 AM

Villa Lobos Prelude #1 now--he's once again engrossed by the feel of playing and the sounds and it is such a pleasure to listen to him practice. He memorizes the music and then as he practices he works on parts and learns to make the sounds correctly. I had such a difficult time memorizing music when I was taking piano lessons--I am in awe of his ability to do this, but I won't say anything, because I don't want to jinx it.

Meanwhile, with birthday cash he bought a big electronic pedal of some sort for the electric guitar, and I've walked in at his dad's house to find him lounged on the floor, in the dark, totally engrossed in making amazing sounds come out of the electric. What a rock star. . .

Paying for these lessons has been difficult. My bank balance would be healthier without the monthly expense, but this is easily the best money I've spent over the last three years, to hear him totally engrossed and entertained by the process of learning is what every parent can only hope for.

I've thought about Nick's recording of his son's work. Until my son is ready to start recording things himself, I won't try to record anything for playing here. When he's ready, we'll know. But I would love one day to have recordings of his playing just for the pleasure of listening, so I hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

What a musical adventure this has become!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:31 AM

I've only played an electric guitar once...

As I began to covet the guitar I was playing....I sobbed a mighty sob, then gazed at the skies and cried out, "Get thee behind me, Satan!!" and put the guitar down!

Wow! That was a near thing!


I had exactly the same experience just a couple of weeks ago, but it involved a "banjitar" (6-string banjo tuned as a guitar).

Power corrupts.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 May 09 - 03:00 PM

Wow! Dylan must be coming along right well!

"Clearly he enjoyed the sounds he was making and immediately began practicing more to improve the sound."

The mark of a musician!

Villa-Lobos Prelude #1.

Too bad the sound quality of this clip is not better (at points, it sounds a bit like a tape that's running unevenly), but John Williams is a superb guitarist, and there are some good close-ups of his hands. I learned this back in 1964 when I was taking lessons from Bob Flanary (a former student of Aaron Shearer, who wrote a bunch of classic guitar technique manuals). That is, I used to be able to play it. I think I'll dig out the music and see if I can re-up it!

I've never had the privilege of meeting Dylan, but I think he's inspiring me!

Here's another Villa-Lobos piece, Choro #1, played by another excellent guitarist, David Russell.

I've just finished reading Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music, by Glenn Kurtz. I found it downright agonizing to read. One of the many ideas he highlights is that it's one's perpetual failure to achieve the perfection one strives for that keeps one practicing and reaching for that unattainable perfection. Without that, there is no progress. Yet, like the arrow in Zeno's Paradox, it never reaches its target. Agonizing, yes, nevertheless, it was a very inspiring book. It got me to thinking about my own musical career, what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I would do if I had the chance to do it all over again.

In a way, I was luckier than Kurtz in that he focused entirely on the guitar, whereas I took up the guitar as an adjunct to singing. But then, that gave me two areas of music in which I would never achieve that sought for perfection. But—one does what one can. And what one must,

Glenn Kurtz was interviewed on NPR by Scott Simon some months back.   CLICKY.

And Maggie, one can not say enough about the importance of a supportive parent in the development of talent. As long as we were serious about something, my sisters and I always had the support of our parents. With the financial support of my father and the hard work of my mother (playing chauffeur, taking care of costumes, the protective instincts of a mother bear, and dozens of other things), my sisters both became national figure skating champions.

When I started classic guitar lessons and I didn't have enough money to buy my first classic guitar, my mother consulted with my teacher, then bought the guitar for me (a Martin 00-28-G) and said, "Think of it as an early birthday present. And Christmas."

I don't know, but I think there are sainthoods given out for that sort of thing. Good on ya!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 09 - 03:46 PM

Don, there are some very nice recordings of this piece on YouTube. I did listen to the John Williams one first--it is an old recording.

When I was poking around I evidently clicked on the playlist for someone who included this piece and had a nice hour or so listening to a sequence of wonderful guitar pieces. It might have been the Vojislav Ivanovic performance in Sydney, Australia, that set it off. After the first piece I wasn't watching the browser window, but I let it play in the background. I have good speakers on my computer that makes this work. My office computer has tinny little flaps of vibrating paper in the monitor frame that sound cartoonish in their renderings. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 09 - 11:48 PM

That is awesome, Maggie!


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 18 May 09 - 11:44 PM

Recently sighted on the facebook page of a certain 17-year-old:

"(His Name) is infatuated with the double harmonic scales."

:-D


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 02:05 PM

I've been hearing some wonderful classical pieces coming out of the classical guitar, including an increasingly good rendition of the "Malaguena." But lately I've heard some good classical pieces coming out of the electric guitar. The presto movement in the Summer portion of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is really intense when transcribed and played on electric guitar.

Isn't this interesting? To see what a kid can do when he asks for a guitar and lessons?

If you follow on his facebook page you see that he's into the rockers who really know their theory and have a classical background. His latest remarks have to do with one I don't know (that isn't suprising) called Yngwie Malmsteen, from Sweden. His Wikipedia page shows some interesting work:
    Malmsteen became notable in the mid-1980s for his technical fluency and neo-classical metal compositions, often incorporating high speed picking with harmonic minor scales, diminished scales and sweep picked arpeggios.[citation needed] Four of his albums, from 1984 to 1988, Rising Force, Marching Out, Trilogy, and Odyssey, ranked in the top 100 for sales.


SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Guest John Hartford
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 02:53 PM

hi

It seems as if this thread has got a little side-tracked from the original question.

In trying to get back to advice on what type of guitar to buy for a beginner - :

many ideas have been expressed above and most of them have some merit.

However I believe that it is all-important to learn music in the way that it is most enjoyed by the beginner.

I would advise that the novice finds out what other young bands are around and what they play and try to get involved in some way with them.

This will point the boy at where he wants to go. It will become natural for him to decided what type of guitar he wants to play.

At this stage IMHO it doesn't matter whether it is accoustic or electric, if he gets good enough it will be easy to move between instruments.

He will learn the rudiments as he goes alaong and as he does so he will indicate his keeness to continue. At this stage it would be in the parents' interests to consider finding and funding a good teacher - there are many around.

Any good musician will tell you that at this stage there is no substitute for PRACTICE.

My guitar tutor told me many moons ago when I asked him if he could teach me to play. He replied no...but that he could teach me how to practice how to play...the rest was up to me.

Happy Learning

John


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 04:30 PM

Thank you! One reason it has seemed to get side-tracked is because I've been reporting in the last couple of years the progress of the boy, now a very tall young man, who initially asked for the guitar and lessons. This is the follow-through part after the initial research and help from Mudcatters. I will admit, that I still kind of forced the issue, in having him start with classical even though he thought electric was the best guitar around. He bought an electric after the first few months of lessons and didn't mention it to his teacher, but I finally did, because I want him to know we all think both are okay, we just wanted him to start with classical; lessons include both classical and electric now.

A little over three years ago to the day, my son started classical guitar lessons with Michael Dailey of The Guitar Studio in west Fort Worth. He teaches there plus lessons at several area colleges and universities, and is well-respected in his field. He used to front for a couple of rock bands, but he mostly teaches classical guitar.

It's pretty thrilling for a parent to listen to the stages, to have heard the moment when the classical music turned the corner from being an exercise to being a passion, and it's interesting to listen to the process of parsing rock and classical sometimes, and merging them at others.

We've tended to go the reverse direction of what John H. recommended, but I think it is a typical route to follow and one that Dylan might have done IF I hadn't grown up with a father who studied classical guitar (with Don Firth) as he was toward his interest in being a folksinger.

At this point, my imput is to pay for lessons, to drive him over, and on occasion remind him if he of it if he hasn't taken one or other of the guitars over for a lesson in a while. The rest is up to him.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 05:55 PM

There is some contemporary art music for electric guitar. Try Frank Martin's "Trois poemes de la mort" and John Buller's "Proenca". There's more to it than rehashing Vivaldi.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 08:49 PM

Last Thursday my son was hired by a co-worker to play background music during the opening minutes of a reception in the library where we work. It sounded great and he stopped when the talking got really going.

And today he went to his first master class, with Rene Izquierdo, who was here in town performing last night for Guitar Fort Worth. Here is his myspace page http://www.myspace.com/reneizquierdo. He was very good, and addressed each student at their level, but the information was useful for all, I am sure. What an amazing process. My son played a Villa Lobos etude. And among other things, learned about how to precisely trim his nails to get the best sound on the strings. It's really interesting, the upkeep of a guitarist, as well as the technique and learning the material. Each student got nearly an hour (there were 4 of them).

This has been such a fascinating process. This son, who graduates from high school in June, will have a free ride at the University of Arizona in Tucson, primarily because his teachers nominated him for the Hispanic Scholar Program award. Two schools offered full scholarships, and Arizona is a Tier 1 school. He may well end up in computer engineering or a technology or science field, but I suspect he'll pursue guitar all the way through college. Izquierdo recommended a professor in the program at UA (Patterson). So we will check it out when he makes a campus visit soon.

What an interesting process this has been. And his grandfather (John Dwyer) would be so proud of him!

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 05:56 PM

Glad to hear his progress and that he's playing and doing well - it's nice to have a thread that spans some years with the same people in it and what has happened over that time.

I'll fill you in on mine as he is not to different in age. My son has been accepted at college in London to do a BMus degree and play his guitar for three years and then hopefully find his way into the music industry either as a session musician, band player, teacher or whatever.

Having recently joined a new band myself we may look to include him in our band between now and when he goes off to college. It would give me huge pleasure as I really enjoy playing live with him when I get the chance.

He has been asked to play in a jazz band recently, still plays a range of music and still practices and plays as much as he can.

All the best.


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 10:52 PM

If you haven't read any of them, you need to check out Jed Marum's threads. His son plays with him on a regular basis, I think.

Maybe years from now, when they're both famous and respected (and one would hope rich, but at least, comfortable!) musicians, they might stumble across this thread. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,paul delean
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:07 AM

im gonna be 14 on may 21 and its april i stated playing the Electric when i was about 11 and now i join a high school band with 16-19 year olds(about 6 of them my gf 1 other girl and the rest guys). i play lead and i did awesome. but after a while i got a girl friend and i made a song for her but the bad part is that i need to learn the Acoustic so i spent about 2 months and i've mastered it so like i said start out with the Electric and switch about 2-3 years later
and incase u don't believe me i was born in 1996 in romania (south east Europe until i was 3 than we moved to kent washington(near seattle)and thats pretty much it. and the awesome part my gf sings shes a year older and plays piano,guitar(both kinds), and drums! god i love my life


Paul delean from
Make it ot break it!


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:06 AM

"...i need to learn the Acoustic so i spent about 2 months and i've mastered it..."

well done that man.

some people, it takes them three, or even four, months to master the Acoustic ...


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Nick
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:56 AM

Two months is about 1464 hours and that's a reasonable amount of practice time to get you on the way.

"Guitar (both kinds)" - ?

Left and right handed? Strung and non strung? In tune and out of tune? Plastic or wood? Cheap and expensive? Loud and quiet?

Probably like me when I say I play music (both sorts).


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:23 PM

Around here, "both kinds" is classical and electric. Definitely a relative term. :) Good luck with the acoustic. And I grew up on the other side of the lake from where you are now.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:14 AM

Flat out..get both!
GfS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:13 AM

Why stop at two?


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 10:48 PM

We have traveled full-circle with this thread.

A few weeks ago a co-worker arranged to have my son perform during the early minutes of a champagne reception in the university library where I work. The conversation reaches a dull roar after about 20 minutes, so he didn't play long, but I was so proud of him, and glad that co-workers could see how grown up and talented he is.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Click! section where I sent photos of events in the library. Of course I included one of the the musician!

He has decided to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson in the fall, where he has a full scholarship (based upon receiving the Hispanic Scholar Award Program scholarship that UA offers recipients of this award). His father is Puerto Rican and his teachers nominated him for this award. It led to 2 full scholarship offers. Lucky young man! Lucky parents!)

My son participated in a master class in early April, and the performer and teacher, Rene Izquierdo (TwitPic of class), spoke highly of Patterson in the UA Guitar program, so I emailed Patterson before we left. Dylan will major in computer science, but Patterson arranged for one of his students to meet him during the orientation. I wanted D. to see the school, and imprint on it, but I also wanted him to know that there is a good guitar program. He can change his major if he wants, but even if he doesn't, guitar will always be important, and I think that helped make the decision easier. I'm sending him two states away to go to school, but I have a small network of friends out there, who met him during our trip. The most important part of this is that he be happy with the decision, and it was his to make.

So, mom is finished with her teaching and nudging and cajoling and whatever maneuvering one needs to go through to get a kid to the jumping off place. Soon enough he'll be out there without a net. But I think he'll be fine.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Learning guitar: Acoustic vs Electric?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 11:16 PM

BOTH!!!!

GfS


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