Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

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beats me
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Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by beats me » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:57 pm

Right then. I’m toying with the idea of taking lessons in this fine genre. First order of business is I don’t have an acoustic guitar at the mo. I could ask an instructor for recommendations but I thought I’d ask you people. Many opinions is better than one, unless you guys go the softsynth route and eventually list every acoustic guitar available on the market over the last 4 decades. :x

I’m not looking for the cheapest possible option but am not a money is no object person either or looking to turn this into a career, just something that sounds good that I could also possibly record with. And excuse this ignorance, but steel or nylon strings?

Thanks in advance.

BassTooth
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by BassTooth » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:26 pm

i'd get a Yamaha. get nylon strings.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ ... cal-guitar
$500

Jarvisimon
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by Jarvisimon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:27 pm

beats me wrote:Right then. I’m toying with the idea of taking lessons in this fine genre. First order of business is I don’t have an acoustic guitar at the mo. I could ask an instructor for recommendations but I thought I’d ask you people. Many opinions is better than one, unless you guys go the softsynth route and eventually list every acoustic guitar available on the market over the last 4 decades. :x

I’m not looking for the cheapest possible option but am not a money is no object person either or looking to turn this into a career, just something that sounds good that I could also possibly record with. And excuse this ignorance, but steel or nylon strings?

Thanks in advance.
Nylon obviously.

My advice is to look on ebay or similar second-hand outlets. You're more likely to get a bargain. I had an admira guitar, which was a medium priced beginner/intermediate guitar. You'll get one at a fraction of the new price second-hand.

Also, you'll need to be doing a lot of nail trimming, so get yourself some decent nail clippers and a bumper pack of emery boards, although a fine sandpaper (flour paper) will do just as well. Experiment in finding the nail shapes that best suit your right hand technique. Your left hand fingernails will need to be very short, so as not to touch the fret-board whilst playing.

beats me
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by beats me » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:04 pm

Thanks for the advise so far.

Funny that I didn’t think how there would be a lot of finger picking involved as opposed to using a pick. Obviously I didn’t do too much research here or even realize the basics (nylon string finger picking). I think the main reason I’m attracted to the genre is you are expressing a lot with just you on the guitar. You don’t need a lot of other instruments backing you up.

beats me
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by beats me » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:06 pm


gjm
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by gjm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:24 pm

Fingernails will be the least of your worries.

There are soooo many entry level classical guitars on the market, and depending where you live, there will be brands that dominate the market. Be prepared to buy twice. Once to get started and once more when you have developed a relationship with the first instrument and you discover what you like or dislike in sound and feel. Keep the first one as a hack/beach/camping guitar.

Generally, look for something with a solid top ( not really essential but desirable) and pay attention to weight. The lighter instrument will go out of tune much quicker than heavier ones. A cedar top is generally regarded as 'warmer' than a spruce top which is regarded as 'brighter.' Forget about getting an entry level one with pizzo pick up. It will be shit. Either spring for condenser mic's like Rode NT-5's matched pair or look to guitars with built in tube enhancements $$$$. Also, the quality of the tuners/winders will make a difference. Loose sloppy ones will piss you off when tuning, it can be a problem with entry level guitars and you treble strings.

Forget about cutaways, if you are going to be learning to sight read or refresh your TAB reading skills, you won't be going near the 12th frets of a while.

This is a good forum that has resource for music and a decent discussion on recording http://www.delcamp.us/ Be warned though, it is VERY strict. You will be banned for sneezing the wrong way.

BTW, there is a difference between a classical guitar and a spanish guitar. The difference lie in the finer points of construction, materials and action. Its these things, should you really get into it, that you would save for your second purchase when you have come to grips with what you are doing.
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gjm
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by gjm » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:34 pm

beats me wrote:check out this weirdness.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SLG110N/

8O
The silent guitar should be something you acquire after you have developed a sense of creating dynamics with a proper acoustic. There will be many levels of 'touch and feel' that you will develop and this relates to trainer your ears. Wait till you see the MIDI options :mrgreen:
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beats me
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by beats me » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:03 am

gjm wrote:Fingernails will be the least of your worries.

There are soooo many entry level classical guitars on the market, and depending where you live, there will be brands that dominate the market. Be prepared to buy twice. Once to get started and once more when you have developed a relationship with the first instrument and you discover what you like or dislike in sound and feel. Keep the first one as a hack/beach/camping guitar.

Generally, look for something with a solid top ( not really essential but desirable) and pay attention to weight. The lighter instrument will go out of tune much quicker than heavier ones. A cedar top is generally regarded as 'warmer' than a spruce top which is regarded as 'brighter.' Forget about getting an entry level one with pizzo pick up. It will be shit. Either spring for condenser mic's like Rode NT-5's matched pair or look to guitars with built in tube enhancements $$$$. Also, the quality of the tuners/winders will make a difference. Loose sloppy ones will piss you off when tuning, it can be a problem with entry level guitars and you treble strings.

Forget about cutaways, if you are going to be learning to sight read or refresh your TAB reading skills, you won't be going near the 12th frets of a while.

This is a good forum that has resource for music and a decent discussion on recording http://www.delcamp.us/ Be warned though, it is VERY strict. You will be banned for sneezing the wrong way.

BTW, there is a difference between a classical guitar and a spanish guitar. The difference lie in the finer points of construction, materials and action. Its these things, should you really get into it, that you would save for your second purchase when you have come to grips with what you are doing.

Damn. Thanks for all the info. :)

gjm
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by gjm » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:38 am

I reccomend these guitars as an entry level one step above your chinese plywood toped guitars http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/c5.html to my students. They sound very nice for what they are with good volume and sustain. Not sure if your local is a stockist and have no idea of price at your end, but here they are well priced for what they are. I always recommend having a play before buying, even among the same model and brand at this price point. They are sometimes set up differently action wise, probably due to assembly line conditions in country of origin. Eye ball the neck for dead straight, if you know a few chords esp barr, play them as far up the neck as you can and listen for buzz or oddness. Put a capo on 5th fret and play regular open chords like D, G, C etc and listen for buzz. Usually the strings that come with this price point guitar are crap so might want to think about restring with a decent medium tension to start. Oh... and the Cleartune app is a great iOS device tuner :D
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Jarvisimon
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by Jarvisimon » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:26 am

gjm wrote:Fingernails will be the least of your worries.
Whilst I think the rest of your advice is good, i'd say your fingernails were the next most important part of playing the guitar. Technique will come over time but if your nails are wrong, then your technique can never be right.

When I was playing lots of classical guitar (many moons ago), I spent ages getting my right hand fingernail shapes perfected as doing so made such a huge difference. If your nails are any old shape, your playing is different each time you practise, which is not conducive to good learning.

If you're patient, i'll draw some shapes for you to try out. Symmetrical nail shapes are crap, so don't bother. Get it right to begin with then at least you know your tools are fit for purpose and always manicure them to shape before you start a serious practise session because you'll need to know how to pluck your strings properly and you want to be able to repeat the sound time and time again.

gjm
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by gjm » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:13 am

Jarvisimon wrote:
gjm wrote:Fingernails will be the least of your worries.
Whilst I think the rest of your advice is good, i'd say your fingernails were the next most important part of playing the guitar. Technique will come over time but if your nails are wrong, then your technique can never be right.

When I was playing lots of classical guitar (many moons ago), I spent ages getting my right hand fingernail shapes perfected as doing so made such a huge difference. If your nails are any old shape, your playing is different each time you practise, which is not conducive to good learning.

If you're patient, i'll draw some shapes for you to try out. Symmetrical nail shapes are crap, so don't bother. Get it right to begin with then at least you know your tools are fit for purpose and always manicure them to shape before you start a serious practise session because you'll need to know how to pluck your strings properly and you want to be able to repeat the sound time and time again.
I agree that nails can be important, however I am suggesting that the decision to play with or without nails is much further down the track. In terms of either starting from scratch or moving from a different type of guitar to playing this type of instrument then I would suggest that posture/guitar holding technique will be the most important thing to focus on in early stages. Because every body has a different set of flexibility in regards to wrists, you simply cannot expect to use your western strumming style of holding a guitar and plonk it onto an instrument with a wider neck and different body shape. Starting out in the classical position as a right hander resting guitar on an elevated left knee, can drive someone bonkers for the first few months while coming to grips with the principles of the first position for the fret hand and a right hand technique that does not touch the sound board. Add to this sight reading wether TAB or notation, arpeggio's, scales and piece memorization, then there is enough going on to occupy your mind. I would suggest that as time passes and a general familiarity is made with certain skill appropriate tunes and exercises, you will either naturally bump into the nails vs no nails argument or give it a go when you are ready.

One of the issues with nails is that some people simply cannot grow or maintain strong healthy shapable nails. Sometimes working conditions prevent longer nails. While playing with nails will generate a different 'sound' in your playing, people who are starting out are often unaware of these differences and it takes quite some time to develop an ear for sound and dynamics.

So, as a person who maintains a set of playing nails, I agree with you on their importance and care, I am just suggesting that it should be further down the track than day 1 of playing.

BTW, long nails on one hand is a turn off to a lot of women. It can be interpreted as creepy. :wink:
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Jarvisimon
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by Jarvisimon » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:32 am

gjm wrote:
Jarvisimon wrote:
gjm wrote:Fingernails will be the least of your worries.
Whilst I think the rest of your advice is good, i'd say your fingernails were the next most important part of playing the guitar. Technique will come over time but if your nails are wrong, then your technique can never be right.

When I was playing lots of classical guitar (many moons ago), I spent ages getting my right hand fingernail shapes perfected as doing so made such a huge difference. If your nails are any old shape, your playing is different each time you practise, which is not conducive to good learning.

If you're patient, i'll draw some shapes for you to try out. Symmetrical nail shapes are crap, so don't bother. Get it right to begin with then at least you know your tools are fit for purpose and always manicure them to shape before you start a serious practise session because you'll need to know how to pluck your strings properly and you want to be able to repeat the sound time and time again.
I agree that nails can be important, however I am suggesting that the decision to play with or without nails is much further down the track. In terms of either starting from scratch or moving from a different type of guitar to playing this type of instrument then I would suggest that posture/guitar holding technique will be the most important thing to focus on in early stages. Because every body has a different set of flexibility in regards to wrists, you simply cannot expect to use your western strumming style of holding a guitar and plonk it onto an instrument with a wider neck and different body shape. Starting out in the classical position as a right hander resting guitar on an elevated left knee, can drive someone bonkers for the first few months while coming to grips with the principles of the first position for the fret hand and a right hand technique that does not touch the sound board. Add to this sight reading wether TAB or notation, arpeggio's, scales and piece memorization, then there is enough going on to occupy your mind. I would suggest that as time passes and a general familiarity is made with certain skill appropriate tunes and exercises, you will either naturally bump into the nails vs no nails argument or give it a go when you are ready.

One of the issues with nails is that some people simply cannot grow or maintain strong healthy shapable nails. Sometimes working conditions prevent longer nails. While playing with nails will generate a different 'sound' in your playing, people who are starting out are often unaware of these differences and it takes quite some time to develop an ear for sound and dynamics.

So, as a person who maintains a set of playing nails, I agree with you on their importance and care, I am just suggesting that it should be further down the track than day 1 of playing.

BTW, long nails on one hand is a turn off to a lot of women. It can be interpreted as creepy. :wink:
I would say it should all be put together at the same time, nails, right hand and arm posture etc etc.

Funnily enough, although I started with a footpedal and therefore a raised left leg in order to get the guitar in to place, there is an alternative method using a knee cushion (I had mine specially made as it needs to be perfect) this had the added benefit of improving my posture, as I could then keep my body symmetrical, with both feet on the ground. No crooked neck and skewed body, which is a real relief after a 3 hr practise session.

And it's right to practise the correct pluck from the get go. The sooner you master that, the sooner you can concentrate on reading music and the happier you will be because you're getting a good sound. I'd say this was much more important than the wood from which the guitar was made. The most important thing with the guitar is that it's the correct size, it can keep tune and it doesn't buzz.

Also, I never had long nails, they were just particularly shaped, infact, they needn't be any more than 1/3 cm at the longest point. Just enough to hit the string with regular accuracy.

I stopped playing about 20 yrs ago when I realised I was never going to be the next Segovia. I'll still pick it up every now and then but because I don't maintain my nails, I ruin every piece I play so people think i'm a pile of cack.

Oh well. At least I can mess around on my computer without annoying the neighbours.....aren't headphones great?

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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by Forge. » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:19 am

lots of good advice - I have nothing to add on which to get because my classical is an "Onyx" which was my first guitar given to me 25 years ago, so I'm well out of the loop on that, but I just wanted to add that I still actually love playing the nylon string probably the most out of all my guitars. It just feels so comfortable and I am just as happy to use it without a pick

for recording I'm not sure I'd use it much... maybe if I put brand new good quality strings on it

Although Jose Gonzales uses one and he gets a really nice original sound - but I think a big part of that is actually down to the way you tend to play a classical - i.e much more finger picking

littlepig
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by littlepig » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:50 am

beats me wrote:check out this weirdness.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SLG110N/

8O
I have one of those. Probavly not for the purist but it has a pretty decent feel.

It is a good travel guitar but too long to fit in the over head bins on aircraft.

3dot...
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Re: Decent guitar for Spanish Classical?

Post by 3dot... » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:49 pm

littlepig wrote: It is a good travel guitar but too long to fit in the over head bins on aircraft.
http://www.voyageairguitar.com/site/
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