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Rllink
12-01-2016, 04:36 AM
My wife has a guitar down it the basement, and I got it out a couple of weeks ago and messed around with it. It says Dreadnought inside on the label, and it is my understanding that is the size. Also it has steel strings. My first thoughts were, "this thing is gigantic, and boy these steel strings suck." But then on Monday I went off lookin' and touchin' at a couple of music stores in the city, and almost all the guitars that I saw were Dreadnought size with steel strings. I guess that must be the standard. Anyway, I was just browsing and I didn't want to get anymore than passing in my interest, so I didn't talk to anyone about them.

Recstar24
12-01-2016, 05:44 AM
Dreadnoughts are cool, but I prefer playing the OM/OOO size. Yes those are all steel string acoustics. Classical guitars are nylon string. I am sure that is pretty standard, you wouldn't find nylon on a dreadnought or OM/OOO because the bracing is completely different.

KanePono
12-01-2016, 06:00 AM
It's a very popular guitar shape invented 100 years ago by the CF Martin Company and named after a british battleship. The dreadnought is particularly well suited for ensemble play and produces excellent volume and clarity. When I purchased my guitar (over 40 years ago) there was no choice, it was a dreadnought or nothing. I can't imagine putting any thing other that a good set of steel strings (mediums if you want to play loud and attack hard or lights if you want to go easy on the fingers) on your dreadnaught guitar. I recommend that you go back to the music store, but a set of Martin Marquis Lights, string up the old beast, and have some fun filling the room with great strumming sound. Then hit the hot tub for some therapy because your body will be in shock from manhandeling the big old battleship.

Rllink
12-01-2016, 06:09 AM
It's a very popular guitar shape invented 100 years ago by the CF Martin Company and named after a british battleship. The dreadnought is particularly well suited for ensemble play and produces excellent volume and clarity. When I purchased my guitar (over 40 years ago) there was no choice, it was a dreadnought or nothing. I can't imagine putting any thing other that a good set of steel strings (mediums if you want to play loud and attack hard or lights if you want to go easy on the fingers) on your dreadnaught guitar. I recommend that you go back to the music store, but a set of Martin Marquis Lights, string up the old beast, and have some fun filling the room with great strumming sound. Then hit the hot tub for some therapy because your body will be in shock from manhandeling the big old battleship.I will admit a passing interest in the guitar in the basement, but I'm not ready to take on a new instrument right now. Maybe when I get tired of the ukulele, but for now I have my hands full just learning to play the ukulele well.

Booli
12-01-2016, 06:13 AM
My wife has a guitar down it the basement, and I got it out a couple of weeks ago and messed around with it. It says Dreadnought inside on the label, and it is my understanding that is the size. Also it has steel strings. My first thoughts were, "this thing is gigantic, and boy these steel strings suck." But then on Monday I went off lookin' and touchin' at a couple of music stores in the city, and almost all the guitars that I saw were Dreadnought size with steel strings. I guess that must be the standard. Anyway, I was just browsing and I didn't want to get anymore than passing in my interest, so I didn't talk to anyone about them.


I felt the same after I picked up my own old steel string acoustic guitar after having played the uke for a while...HUUUUGE

The lower bout on most dreads is about 16-18" wide, with the body about 4.5" deep, similar to a Martin D-28, whereas even a baritone uke the lower bout is usually no more than 11" wide (but typically close to 9.75") and the body maybe 3" deep in the extreme...

Tenors, et all, all smaller than that, so coming from your concert uke, going to a dread is going to seem relatively insane.

When trying to play the dread again, what killed me more than the ginormous body size compared to my tenor ukes, was the scale length. On tenor I can span 8-9 frets from pointer to pinky. but on the guitar I felt crippled by only getting about 5 frets, unless I put a capo on the 4th fret, and then you are basically playing a guilele in Bb flat tuning.

If you want to get into steel strings, with 6-strings, Ibanez has a 17" tenor scale, steel string guilele, called Ibanez EWP14OPN/Piccolo Guitar that is tuned up a 4th from standard EADGBE guitar tuning to ADGCEA tuning, so it's the same pitch/key as a ukulele but with two more bass strings, and all your chord knowledge will transfer, but you add some fingers/frets to the 2 newer strings. Sells for about $170 online - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EWP14OPN


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsHnVQOVY8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsHnVQOVY8

TheBathBird
12-01-2016, 07:06 AM
I recently traded in a ukulele for a Pono UL Terz guitar, which is a 21.4" scale designed to be tuned GCFA#DG, and I absolutely love it. Even though it's tiny for a guitar (MUCH smaller body than a dreadnought!), it still feels like a monster compared to my little soprano uke, but it's an absolute joy to play. It didn't take long to get used to the steel strings, and I'm really enjoying having the extra bass :)

Mivo
12-01-2016, 08:00 AM
Here is an interesting article (http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/7781/acoustic-guitar-body-types-main-differences-suggested-genres) that talks about the different sizes of acoustic guitars and how they may be used best (setting, style).

Personally, dreadnoughts don't appeal to me because they are so loud, so uncomfortably large, and they are "too full" sounding. I'm more interested in fingerstyle, and the smaller sizes are more suitable for that. I bought a parlor guitar that I hope to get by middle of next week. Parlor isn't a standardized size, but basically it's about the size that people referred to when they said "guitar" before the first world war. Then guitars just got bigger and bigger, presumably so they could compete with banjos, volume-wise.

The one I bought has a 24" scale (shorter than this and I feel that standard guitar tuning won't work and you have to tune it up), with a relatively wide nut (1 3/4") for an acoustic guitar, and it was relatively inexpensive. It's this one here (without the pick guard as the new ones don't have it, luckily):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgH0nonmemM"]here it is in action

I think this is as big and as loud as I want it, and it has the right sound. I'm conditioned by several years of playing and listening to ukuleles, so the "spammy sound" of larger guitars is almost uncomfortable to my ear. I looked at OM/folk sizes, whose bodies are a bit bigger and the scale is around 25.5", and I found the sound to be too full already with those. It would work for me, but the parlor size's sound texture appeals much more to me. I also think the 24" scale will be easier to play - less string tension. Plus I think 12 frets to the body is perfect. Certainly prefer my 12-frets-to-body tenor to the 14-frets-to-body ukes I had.

If I'll get on with it in the long run, I don't know. I just wanted to experience steel strings. I also plan to apply the lessons I learned from the ukulele journey here and not repeat the same mistakes: stick to something that costs between 300-700, buy one properly set-up instrument only and then play it for at least a year before thinking about replacing it or getting a second one, embrace laminate sides/backs to avoid fretting over humidity (with a solid top), remember that skill is my chief limitation (not the instrument), replace strings only when new ones are needed, don't buy too many books, be patient with myself.

Recstar24
12-01-2016, 02:56 PM
My acoustic is strung with basis daddario .10's and it feels great.

Rllink
12-02-2016, 07:00 AM
Mostly I wanted to know if my wife's guitar is standard, or if it is something that her parents bought her that was off a bit. Everyone knows how that goes. Thanks Mivo for the article. It actually explained things pretty well, and if I do decide to play the guitar I'll just use that one to start. I'm not much for blurring the lines when it comes to stringed instruments, so I won't be trying to make a guitar into a ukulele, or get a ukulele that somehow is more like a guitar. I know that people like to do that and I appreciate the suggestions, it just isn't me. It is interesting though. If I do decide to learn how to play the guitar, I guess that I'll play the one in the basement to start out. Who knows where I'll go with it from there.

Recstar24
12-02-2016, 08:22 AM
Sounds good. Yes dreadnoughts are all steel string and are a specific steel string design. Guitars that use nylon/flourocarbon are typically going to be classical guitars. There are other sizes and types of steel strings guitars such as parlor, O, OO, OM/OOO, etc.

Mivo
12-02-2016, 10:03 AM
I'm not much for blurring the lines when it comes to stringed instruments, so I won't be trying to make a guitar into a ukulele, or get a ukulele that somehow is more like a guitar.

Well, the lines are already blurred. The difference between a jumbo guitar and a smaller parlor guitar (some only have just 21" or even shorter scale) is massive. Then you have classical guitars, e-guitars, guitars with 6, 8, 12 strings, and tenor guitars with four strings. Stringed instruments of the guitar family (which I feel ukuleles belong to) seem to be all alike. A guitarlele is just a very short scale guitar, in the end.

zztush
12-02-2016, 10:29 PM
If you want to get into steel strings, with 6-strings, Ibanez has a 17" tenor scale, steel string guilele, called Ibanez EWP14OPN/Piccolo Guitar that is tuned up a 4th from standard EADGBE guitar tuning to ADGCEA tuning, so it's the same pitch/key as a ukulele but with two more bass strings, and all your chord knowledge will transfer, but you add some fingers/frets to the 2 newer strings. Sells for about $170 online -

I have this Ibanez EWP (See my signature). It is really good guitar. I bring it anywhere I go and I can play it anywhere. It has steel strings, and nut width is as narrow as acoustic guitars. Almost all of guitareres have nylon strings but it has steel strings. Hence it is very good for any songs for acoustic guitars. Blues, country, folk songs and any popular music are ok. Sound is very big with thin sound board. If booli has got this one, I want to ask you which strings and which tuning you prefere.

Booli
12-03-2016, 12:00 AM
I have this Ibanez EWP (See my signature). It is really good guitar. I bring it anywhere I go and I can play it anywhere. It has steel strings, and nut width is as narrow as acoustic guitars. Almost all of guitareres have nylon strings but it has steel strings. Hence it is very good for any songs for acoustic guitars. Blues, country, folk songs and any popular music are ok. Sound is very big with thin sound board. If booli has got this one, I want to ask you which strings and which tuning you prefere.

The couple of sound demos on YT are quite impressive and the wood combo seems very nice indeed.

I dont have one (yet) (EWP). I'm working on a tenor guitar project at the moment. (full show-and-tell will be forthcoming)

If it works out, it will be possible for anyone get a nice tenor guitar with a 1.5" nut (just like most baritone ukes) for less than $100 and a little bit of instrument modification at the nut and saddle for the conversion from 6 strings to 4 strings.

It is not my original idea, and the seed and inspiration for my project comes from this thread: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?123582-95-Steel-String-Baritone which I am following (sort of) but going a little further than the OP in that thread.

If I did have one of these Ibanez EWP Piccolo guitars, I'd likely try stringing it with a set of D'Addario FLATS in the medium or heavy gauge and try and see if that is enough tension for Terz tuning G-C-F-Bb-D-G instead of the typical ADGCEA guilele tuning. I am continually impressed with the D'Addario strings that I have tried for uke, guitar, bass, mandolin etc so I would start there and maybe also look at Thomastik-Infeld for some of their acoustic flatwound strings if they have any.

Until I complete the tenor guitar project, other instrument buying is on hold, and pending the result (success or failure) of that effort, will determine what comes next, either an Ibanez PFT2-MD tenor guitar ($179) or the Ibanez EWP piccolo guitar ($169)...stay tuned :)

Teek
12-09-2016, 10:56 AM
I had a dreadnought, a gorgeous Tacoma D-18, got it super cheap, set it up with extra lights (.10s) and gave it to my husband as his very own guitar. He decided that it was way too much work to even sit properly in order to hold it properly in order to fret it properly, so he concluded he would never be a guitarist and crossed that off his list. I sold it for a profit. It was too huge for me, sounded a little thin with the extra lights, and the 25.5 scale along with the size was too much, I threw my shoulder out trying to get wrapped around it.

I now have a couple mini jumbos that have a smaller upper bout and slim waist, and a cutaway, same full scale length, and they are way more comfortable for me to stretch on. I have the action on one set at plays like butter height, which is important. Also there is no reason you can't tune it down a full step, capo at the second fret, and have standard guitar tuning without the full stretch. The lights will be easier of your fingers, and you can play the top four strings in C tuning chord shapes to start, just so you can see how it feels and sounds. Maybe go to frets.com and look up how to do a proper setup, how to check that the neck is correct, etc. If the action can't be set properly because the neck has issues, you may end up hating guitars, and guitars are awesome!

My 24" parlors are my preference though (I have 5 I think plus a 24" scale electric), and they are all in standard tuning, there is no need to tune up. The tension will be more comfortable and fretting cleanly will be easier.

Good luck, have fun, don't make it too big of a deal until you know if you want to chase that sound. :)

Mivo
12-09-2016, 02:21 PM
My 24" parlors are my preference though (I have 5 I think plus a 24" scale electric), and they are all in standard tuning, there is no need to tune up. The tension will be more comfortable and fretting cleanly will be easier.

Glad to hear that! I still haven't gotten the Alvarez AP70, but supposedly I'll get it next week. I have had little exposure to parlor guitars and the assumption that a 24" scale would be just right for me was largely theoretical. A concern was that the low-E may be too low, but I didn't hear that from videos.

It also looks like that I might accidentally win an ebay auction for an e-guitar. If I do, it'll have been an inexpensive purchase (20% of the current retail price for one that's three years old), but if not I won't mind not getting it, and would kind of prefer that outcome. I really want to just stick to the parlor guitar for about a year. (I do have a nice Roland guitar amp that I bought years ago for an electrified kalimba.)

Teek
12-09-2016, 08:16 PM
@Mivo, I used to have trouble stretching on a 20" scale baritone uke and thought they were just too big. I eventually made it to the 24" guitars, I only have about a 4 fret reach but I can also play a couple frets up, and sometimes I can manage a slide up to cheat. Composite Acoustics makes a carbon fiber small travel guitar with a lovely full size radiused fretboard with a 22.5 scale called a Cargo that is really nice. If you decide you like the sound but hate the scale, maybe grab a Tacoma Papoose. It's a 19" scale all solid wood, cedar top over mahogany, can be got pretty cheap on eBay or Reverb every now and then, they are a little treasure. That's the little jewel that led me to four more Tacomas... all 25.5 scale but I have capos..

I have an Alvaez Masterworks solid mahogany, I was looking at a 1920s Martin size 2 and realized the Alvarez was a nice little copy of that guitar! It is a honey, what a sound, I don't think you will be disappointed in the Alvarez!

Mivo
12-12-2016, 12:37 PM
Luckily, I didn't win the auction for the e-guitar, so I can stick to my "just one guitar for a year" plan. Phew!

If I do stick with guitars as a secondary instrument and look for another one down the road, it would be a carbon fiber or e-koa one, just so I don't have to worry about humidification or and temperature changes. This in part why I went with the Alvarez AP70 (solid top only, laminate back and sides) instead of their Masterworks series (all solid). My daily player tenor is solid wood, and I enjoy it, but I could do without the frequent glances at the hydrometer and having to pack the instrument in the case whenever I open the window for ten minutes in the living room in the winter (humidity then seems to drop from 45% to 25% in no time). This is also the reason why I got one of Kiwaya's quality sopranos.

I liked the baritone uke size and regret a little that I sold the one I had. I thought the guitarlele would be the best of all worlds,, but in the end I learned from it that if I go six strings, I need the scale length/body to be a little larger and the fretboard to be narrower. I also think as far as guitar goes I prefer the sound of steel strings to nylon/fc ones (also a better contrast to the ukes).

Heard back from the vendor today and the Alvarez gets set up tomorrow and then shipped to me. Insisting on a setup really delayed the whole thing. Apparently it comes with D'Addario XP16 strings, which seem to be coated and widely liked. Bought a pack of those for replacement and will avoid trying others for a while.

Ukecaster
03-23-2017, 01:55 AM
Funny, I was a guitarist long before uke, and have 1 dreadnought size, and 1 very slightly smaller Larrivee L body, both steel string. I had the exact opposite reaction when I was given a vintage soprano as a gift....Whaat! This is a toy, how can something so tiny be a serious instrument, and how can anyone play it? Now I know otherwise :) Yes, dreads give a big, full sound, that's why I love them, but after playing uke, the steel strings will take some getting used to, and will tear up your fingertips more, but you'l develop tough calluses. For more comfort, I'd suggest some light gauge coated strings, my faves are Elixir Nanoweb Lights, they are easier on the fingers, last a long time, sound great, with less finger squeak. Actually I'M kinda concerned about blowing all my parts at this weekend's rock band gig, since I'be been almost exclusively uke for the last month. Better get out the telecaster and wail for a few hours first.