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Thread: Please convince me against picking up classical guitar at this stage

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Quake Country
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    I started out decades ago with classical guitar as well, and never learned much beyond some simple etudes, a few melodies, some chords and arpeggio patterns. There were few books available to a beginner and no tabs, you had to read music so I learned the treble clef. There was no YouTube like today where you can find a lot of good lessons.

    I love tenor and baritone ukes for the extra frets and more room on the fretboard and for carrying a low G. Eventually I did miss the two extra bass strings of the guitar for what I wanted to learn to play, so I started out with looking for travel guitars. I got a Tacoma Papoose a few years back but it's a steel string tuned A to A. More recently I picked up a few short scale steel strings, then looked for nylon so I could practice longer. I picked up a sweet Cordoba Cadete 3/4 size 24" scale classical for $92 off eBay. They retail somewhere around $300+. It's a beaut! Cheap because it had a few dings and needed a setup. Solid Canadian cedar top and laminate mahogany back and sides, rosewood fretboard and faceplate. It's very easy to play with the short scale, smaller Torres style body and has a nice sound. A little darker because of the cedar but a nice voice. Satisfied the short scale nylon itch very well, and eventually led to two more classical styles. It's my go to nylon string since it's a laminate and I let it sit out on a stand. Normal tension strings on the short scale make for a comfortable very comfortable easy yet buzz free tension, it feels less than on my Collings tenor. I didn't want it for classical, though I enjoy playing some easy etudes on it. I'm using it for learning Blues guitar. I have a number of short scales and just picked up a full scale circa late '60s Goya solid flamed maple spruce topped flamenco. Before that I got hold of a Favilla 25" scale all one piece mahogany back and sides, spruce topped classical for cheap. Rings like a bell, it is an ugly thing but lovely sound. If Willie Nelson can play a classical style Martin for country why the heck not get a classical? Go check out the flamenco guitar players who are doing flamenco blues!

    I still play my tenor ukes but I can't play the etudes for 6 strings on a tenor uke. I love that bass thump of the E &A strings for the Blues too. When I get something down on my nylon I switch to a steel string, but the nylons let me play longer. Guitaleles are fun and always an option. Go to a guitar store and pick up some classicals and see how they feel. They are also all over Craigslist really cheap, usually around $100-$150 for a nice quality Japanese made vintage solid cedar or spruce top classical. You just need to make sure the necks are straight and solid. Check Craigslist Japan when you are there. Scratch the itch, pick it up when you feel like it, and still play the snot out of whatever great new uke you buy. Life is too short.
    Last edited by Teek; 03-24-2016 at 07:58 AM. Reason: additional enabling
    I should be curling up with a good uke, a book and my dog.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    middletown CT
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    I highly recommend the Cordoba guitars! My tastes run from pop, jazz and a little classical music. While I do use a leg support, you'd never confuse me for a classical player... But I love my Cordoba GK pro.

  3. #13
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    Mar 2014
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    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    I don't want to talk anyone out of anything that they want to do, but I have a couple of good friends who play classical guitar. So several year ago they were trying to talk me into playing classical guitar too, so I started hanging round with them to see what it was all about. That's why I play the ukulele.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lower Slower Delaware
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRule View Post
    I was in Japan last month. Don't count on finding any cheap uke just because it's made in Japan. Their price is outrageous! There is a street in Tokyo that sells only string instruments but mostly guitars.
    Have you tried travel guitar? It's smaller in size.
    I played classical guitar too but tenor uke can deliver just as good classical quality and it's so much easier.
    I have a 3/4 Cordoba C100M When strung with good high tension strings, it's pretty nice and not much bigger in feel than a baritone uke, and you get the base strings. I may see if the guys at Southcoast have any better strings than the Savarez it's strung with but it sounds great and not much more difficult than the uke--took me a few weeks of practice but then it started to come easier.
    Ukes: Mainland mahogany tenor, Eleuke Tenor Solid Cutaway Sunburst
    Guitars: Yamaha GS-90, Marcario flamenco negra, Cordoba Protege 3/4

  5. #15
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    May 2010
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    a classical guitar is just a big baritone uke with 2 extra strings. but boy, do they have fat necks. If I was in Japan I'd be looking for a tenor Kiwaya. they make some really nice ukes.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  6. #16
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    Dec 2011
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    Lower Slower Delaware
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    Well, I've been playing again for a month and I thought I'd never regain the ability I had as a teen. (I played uke as a kid, mom had three bored kids one summer and put us all in ukulele lessons with an old WWII Airline uke we had at home. Wonderful!) Picked up the uke five years ago for something to do after husband passed away (music is very healing) I had his old guitar but couldn't manage it until now. Even with arthritis in thumb, I'm managing after some refurb of the guitar and new strings and dogged practice every morning.

    It just takes time to limber up. I'm surprised how it goes. It was absolutely useless the first three weeks, then suddenly I'm back to fairly good. Now, some good video lessons and I'll have fun.

    Meanwhile, I'm amazed at how playable tenor ukes are. I love my Mainland to bits. It's so sweet and you can really fly up the fretboard.
    Ukes: Mainland mahogany tenor, Eleuke Tenor Solid Cutaway Sunburst
    Guitars: Yamaha GS-90, Marcario flamenco negra, Cordoba Protege 3/4

  7. #17
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    Jul 2016
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    East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
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    Nope. Whatever keeps you excited and motivated to keep playing.

    I decided to learn to play the electric guitar when I turned 40 (4 long months ago). It seemed like a good choice for a midlife crisis, all things considered. And I love it. But this love rekindled an interest in acoustic guitar, which led to travel guitars, which led to the ukulele. Not as a process of replacement, but of addition.

    The important thing is that I keep playing, keep learning, keep training my fingers. Technical skills, agility, strength, finger independence, all translate from one instrument to another. So does the musical side, training the ear for intonation, dynamics, expression, timing, improvisation, etcetera.

    What I will say is that the ukulele is a great platform for learning fingerstyle and other non-strumming techniques. Buying a classical guitar doesn't open up these opportunities - they're already there. Having two extra strings won't fix the 'sick of strumming' dilemma. Only expanding to new styles will. And you can expand to new styles with the ukulele just as well as you can with a classical guitar. It's different but neither is substantially easier.

    Heck, (I realise this may be sacrilege around here) I actually don't like the sound of a simple strummed uke. It takes more than any DDUDUDUDDDUUUD pattern to interest me, no matter the strings and no matter whether it's a $30 or a $3000 ukulele. And yet, I'm captivated by it, addicted to the sounds, techniques and arrangements that are possible to produce once one looks beyond simple strumming patterns.

    Whatever you decide, relish the decision, give it everything, and don't let anything hold you back, be it choice of instrument or mindset.

  8. #18
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    Nov 2015
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    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    You obviously need a baritone!
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  9. #19
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    Jul 2016
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    309

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    I think you know what you want to do and that is not buy a guitar just yet. I would support this idea for the reason that its difficult to learn both guitar and uke at hte same time. I made the mistake of buying a guitar just before i started with the uke. My first priority was to learn guitar but i bought the uke for travelling and as soon as i realised how confusing it was to learn even just chords for both instruments because they are differnet, then i stopped with the guitar to focus on the one that i needed to learn first.

    You've also said you don't have a lot of space in your flat, unless you want to hang your guitar on the wall, that is another good reason not to buy it now.

    But you should go with what you really want. When i want something that know is not good for me at that time, eg becuase i know finances are limited, or I know i already have enough clothes, or I can get hte book from the library and those sorts of reasons, then i just block the idea of want right out of my head and don't go browsing. So if you really want to avoid buying a guitar now, forget that you want until you are properly read to do it. IN forgetting you want one, don't look at them in the shops or online and if you start thinking about it, just drop the thought.

    I think with only one instrument ot focus on, you will make much better progress.

  10. #20
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    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    How about a Guitarlele, which seems to fit your desire for a six string instrument yet smaller in size?

    I'm not about to say that ukulele isn't difficult (millions of examples on YouTube show the opposite). But I will say that guitar has additional challenges based simply upon the addition of two extra strings. I don't actually think the difference in pitches for each string matters, because they are all relative to each other--but you do need to learn new chord names for the existing shapes you know, as well as to remember to use the two additional strings.

    That said, you don't always play all six strings on a guitar, either (Think F [Bb on a ukulele] or D [G on a ukulele]). And I can't think much in terms of technique that you learn on a ukulele that isn't applicable to guitar, although picks are used on guitar (less so with classical guitar).

    In the end, go buy what makes you happy, as long as the purchase itself doesn't make you unhappy (debt load you cannot bear, etc). Life is too short. And in the end, if you don't use it, you can keep it on a wall (storage should't be an issue) or sell it (although you are guaranteed to sell at a loss).
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

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