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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On another forum I frequent, there was a discussion on guitars. There was a link to a guitar retailer in London and I found myself looking around and thinking it would be nice to play one again. I played one once, very badly, but now I think it would be nice to get an acoustic guitar to strum some chords. Some of those instruments looked beautiful.

The most likely candidate is a Yamaha F310, though I wouldn't mind a nice Ovation or Martin if the price was right.

Just wondering if many people here play guitars? Is it easier for a sax player to learn guitar than piano, for example?
 

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if you learn guitar, please don't rely on tabs. I used to play when I was very young..way before I picked up sax.
 

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Hey Bruce, I used to live in Patney (a tiny hamlet halfway between Devizes and Pewsey) - how's Wiltshire these days?

Guitar is a funny one - it's actually harder than it looks because of course you have to do totally different things with right and left hand simultaneously and you have to learn both rhythm and lead. But that said I reckon it's not impossible and yes of course your theoretical knowledge and your sense of timing and all your musical ideas and inspirations are transferable - after that it'll be down to time and effort just like anything else. Good luck!

The Yamaha is probably a solid choice for a learner, Martins are going to cost a considerable amount more!
 

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I think the guitar is easy to get going on. I've been playing guitar for 26 years. I find the sax much more difficult to play well. If you just want to fool around, about any mid-priced acoustic will last you a life time. Just stay away form the cheepie stuff. They generally sound crappy and don't hold up well.

Great thread title and album too

 

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bmacd,

I love the guitar & agree with tj.

My guess though is that ounce for ounce, per unit of
time & energy, you'll get more (musically) out
of starting anew with piano than guitar.
I think keys are more independently
two-handed instrument.

Except of course that the guitar feels different,
does a few things completely beyond sax or keys
and can just be hard to resist.

Just F.Y.I.: if you buy an acoustic guitar make
sure it has a 'solid' top, not laminated.
Can elaborate if you're not familiar with this.

rabbit

P.S.: what did you want to play on guitar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mostly chords, though I hear a Wes Montgomery-style octave thing too. Perhaps with a bottleneck?

The main aim is to learn chords to help teach myself standards. I have a cheap keyboard and a good book to learn from but it is electronic (I don't have an acoustic piano). I think there is a lot to be said for feeling the vibrations of a string in the instrument you are playing.

Oh, and the acoustic guitar is quieter too.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rick Adams said:
Hey Bruce, I used to live in Patney (a tiny hamlet halfway between Devizes and Pewsey) - how's Wiltshire these days?


The Yamaha is probably a solid choice for a learner, Martins are going to cost a considerable amount more!
Rick, Wiltshire is still here and doin' alright. I drive through Patney sometimes when I go to the garden centre at Woodborough. It's a lovely part of the world.


Thanks for the advice on the Yammy. My tenor is a Yamaha so I know they are quality instruments for the money.
 

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...fond memories! Do you recall the copr circles up that direction that ended up featuring on the Led Zeppelin CD? PM me if you ever fancy hooking up for a walk up to the White Horse and a pint of 6X, I'd love to come out that way again for old times sake!

Have fun with the guitaring.

Right, it's too nice to stay in, I'm off to walk the South Downs Way - Chanctonbury to Cissbury and back round in a big circle - that's two stone/iron age forts and stone works dating as far back as 3500BC linked by a range of hills that cross southern England horizontally for those who give a damn! :)

The fort at Cissbury...

 

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bmacd,

Not to steer you toward my prejudices, but here's
my take: playing chords & learning the 'standards'
sounds like jazz rhythm guitar. This is fun and
can make you welcome far and wide.

Certainly can be done on acoustic guitar but
electrics use lighter strings and so it can be a
lot easier especially if you lack fretting hand power.
That said, I've a Martin flat top that can be amplified
wonderfully for this as well as a 'Jazz' axe.

You'll certainly need to learn the basic "open position'
and 'barre' chords but those are largely absent or to be
avoided in jazz rhythm guitar. If you get into it I can offer you
a few pointers to make the jazz bit more accessible.
Which is not to say I know a lot, but that I know
something useful. Rattle my cage if you ever want
this info.

rabbit

P.S.: Listen carefully before you buy a guitar with a piezo
pickup. You mentioned bottleneck: the guitar is best
tuned differently for that. One last bit: guitar is built for
blues and tablature is in fact great for learning fingerstyle
blues. Enjoy!
 

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Very nice Rick. I miss a bit of culture.
 

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Ah! The South Downs Way. Walked it twice, once with my wife and our dog, and then again with my 10 year old son, who was fitter than me. As was the dog. And my wife.

I started on guitar too, and can't say it's easy or hard for a sax player to double on. It's just completely different, but uses the same notes. One good thing is it'll give a different angle on what you play that will inform your horn playing - the converse is certainly true to me.

Whether electric or acoustic isn't a key issue - the electric is actually quieter if you don't plug it in. But a decent action and lightish strings are, as has been said, an important consideration. Having been concentrating on sax in the last couple of years I can actually see my fingerprints for the first time since 1970, and it HURTS to play guitar for long.
 

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brucemacdonald said:
On another forum I frequent, there was a discussion on guitars. There was a link to a guitar retailer in London and I found myself looking around and thinking it would be nice to play one again. I played one once, very badly, but now I think it would be nice to get an acoustic guitar to strum some chords. Some of those instruments looked beautiful.

The most likely candidate is a Yamaha F310, though I wouldn't mind a nice Ovation or Martin if the price was right.

Just wondering if many people here play guitars? Is it easier for a sax player to learn guitar than piano, for example?
We were shopping for an acoustic for my son several years ago so I learned a lot about guitars. The Martin will be quite a bit more expensive but it will be an excellent guitar and will hold its value. I wasn't that impressed with the Ovation guitars, as they appeared overpriced. That was my opinion and I'm sure others will disagree. There is definitely a corelation between qualty and price with Yamahas. Expensive Yamahas are excellent and less expensive are not that good.

We ended up buying a floor model Fender GDO - 300 with a Quilt Maple Top for $200.00 and it is excellent. My son has taken lessons for 3 years, practices daily, is nterested in guitar theory, writes, and records music. It is a very good acoustic for jam, rock, blues, folk, etc.

I know Fender is known for their electrics, but their acoustics are pretty good, too.
 

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brucemacdonald said:
Rick, Wiltshire is still here and doin' alright. I drive through Patney sometimes when I go to the garden centre at Woodborough. It's a lovely part of the world.
There's a fantastic pub in Woodborough that used to be owned by an ex SAS sargeant and his wife a retired history professor. The pair of them were delightful and always tipsy as were their dogs, one of which drank bitter, the other lager. The food was wonderful, the old, overstuffed armchairs by the real log fire was inviting and the bar billiards was a lot of fun. We used to swap cooking apples from our orchard for pints of beer - happy days! I returned a few years later to find it had been taken over and was nothing like so good. What's it like now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rick Adams said:
Chanctonbury to Cissbury

I'm sure I have walked the Chanctonbury ring before....certainly I have walked some parts of the South Downs Way when I lived in Southampton. There is a beautiful stretch around Old Winchester Hill....
 

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Interesting thread..... even though it is from a carrot cruncher;)

As someone who went the other way, from guitar to sax, I think it should be pretty easy for you. As always, listening to your favourites is the best way.

I have played jazz guitar pretty seriously for 20 odd years, and owned probably 30 guitars over that time, GAS is a full time problem for 6 stringers.

If you tell me what sound you are after, even a specific track/recording, I should be able to advice on guitar/amp combinations

For jazzy stuff, you can use pretty much anything, but for an allround electric guitar you cannot beat a telecaster, it goes from jazzy in the neck pickup position to country twang. It also benefits from stable tuning, and good residuals for resale :)

Acoustics can be limiting, and difficult to amplify/record. They can also be tougher on the fingers for a beginner, due to action, nut spacing and string guage/tension. I learnt as a 12 year old on nylon string, which I still use for Bossa Nova style playing. These are easier on the fingers, and a good starting point. I have a maccaferri style guitar for out and out gypsy stuff, but these can sound terrible if not played with some verve (and skill)

If you want an acoustic, try one first, and make sure it "sings". Some of them can be lifeless and frankly disappointing.

I worked in a guitar shop in my 20's, and saw lots of beginners come and go. My suggestion would be a Fender/Squire Tele, and a small (fender?) practice amp, with reverb, which flatters the beginner. You won't be dissapointed. If you love, and only want, the mellow jazz sound, you could go for a cheap semi, a Gibson 335 or 175 clone. These have a limited tonal range though, and I could do a blindfold test with my telecaster thinline and my Gibson 175, and most couldn't tell the difference. I have played out using my tele on jazz gigs, and although it raises eyebrows, it sounds fantastic. I can make a tele sound like Wes, George Benson, Barney Kessel, Jim Hall etc so ideal for jazz comping. It can be bright, but rolling off the treble is easy. I once had a nice chat with Jim Mullen after a gig, and he told me that he only uses a "Jazz" full size semi because it looks more appropriate, and he was sponsered by Aria. He likes the telecaster for jazz too.

BTW, I find playing the piano helps my sax playing more, as the chord notes are kind of "layed out" in front of you. The problem with the guitar is that you tend to work in "shapes" rather than notes. You will learn finger patterns for chords and scales, and this won't neccesarily help you sax playing. BUT the guitar is good fun, so go for it!

I would be more than happy to post some soundclips for you of various guitars so you can get a feel, just let me know.

If you click on my soundclick link below and listen to "cry me a river" this was recorded using a USA 90's telecaster thinline straight into my multitrack.....

The terrible solo (03:25 onwards) in my latest offering "the shadow of your smile" was recorded using a full bodied Guild X-150 Jazz Guitar into a mic'ed Fender Vibroverb valve amp from 1973. This is probably the archetypal jazz set-up, and you can certainly sound like Wes on this. You mentioned slide though, this would sound muddy and horrible on this set-up. Better on the telecaster....
 

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I've owned a classical guitar for about 20 years. I find it very fun and relaxing to pick it up and pluck away. It's a "nice to have" when you feel like making music but it's 10 at night and everyone is in bed.

Also, someone mentioned to stay away from TAB and I totally agree. It's the idiot's way to guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Matthew

How dare you call me a carrot cruncher? I'm from London and born in the same hospital as John Entwistle and Pete Townshend! (And Kim Wilde) :)

Seriously though, thanks for the tips. I've always liked the Tele, it's always looked to me like an honest kind of guitar. I'm sure I have seen Jim Mullen play on a Tele as well (this would have been in the Morrissey-Mullen days, mind). The 335 is another type I like the look of - I believe Emily Remler used one for a while. I had never considered an electric guitar, perhaps that is where I need to go?

As for sound: being a sax player, I don't like using effects much, I would like to have a "clean" sound, and I like the sound of glissandi which of course are not easy on the sax. Having just watched the "Seven Ages of Rock" on Heavy Metal I do not want to sound like that. It is difficult to describe the sound I want; like a Johnny Marr sound, though without all that reverb. I don't know much about guitars, but I guess the sound I want is most likely to come from a hollow-body or electro-acoustic. It is not really the classic jazz sound a la Grant Green, George Benson etc, though I do like that kind of sound. I DO like the Ralph Towner type of sound, if that helps...

What I really need is a couple of hours in a guitar shop.....:? If only to hold the bloody things for feel.
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
owned probably 30 guitars over that time, GAS is a full time problem for 6 stringers.
That's not too bad. My dad's guitar count is up to 47 with reluctance to sell any! I use that to my advantage when he asks why I need back up to all of my saxes.
 
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