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NatalieS
02-21-2010, 02:43 PM
I'm really wanting to get into guitar. My mom has a full-size acoustic and it feels overwhelmingly big to me (especially compared to ukes!). I'm thinking about trying either a parlor guitar or a baby (smaller scale) guitar, but I don't really know what I'm doing. What's the difference between the two? I know a baby has a shorter scale but does the parlor? Does anyone have a strong recommendation for either? I need to keep my budget under $500.

Thanks in advance for the help... :)

cornfedgroove
02-21-2010, 04:28 PM
there's lots of options...lets talk "baby" for now: There just that, little guitars and of course some are nicer than others. The nicest by far is the Martin LXM. It's good looking, sturdy built (has a little heft compared to others) which is a good thing, and it sounds much fulleras well...and comes with a real nice gig bag ($279). The baby taylor is "ok"...much lighter, less sturdy in attempt to maintain taylor sound, BUT at this size, it just comes out sounding "thin" and almost tinny. For what you're wanting...they may just be too small. Try that martin and see.

small scale guitars are a step up in size...such as the Taylor Big Baby, or the like the Breedlove Passport. These might not be a bad option for you, but its a matter of preference. These are not my favorite for the simple reason that for the money...you could get alot better. I'm not a fan of either of these guitars, although there may be some other alternatives.

the third option is the parlor guitar. In my opinion, this is the best option. I personally have always thought the Art Lutherie guitars were always high quality for the price with some nice parlor size guitars. something like this...
http://www.axemusic.com/product.asp?numRecordPosition=29&P_ID=1311&PT_ID=34

Aunt Betty
02-21-2010, 04:41 PM
I have a full-sized guitar and a 3/4 sized guitar and they seem huge after playing my ukulele. I am not very good at barre chords on the guitar and was happy that it was much easier on a ukulele.

Recently, I ordered a 1/4 size Strumal (sp?). It should be like the guitalele (Yamaha?) that is sold in Canada, but not the U.S.

I hope that I will be able to progress with my guitar skills when I get this tiny guitar. Look up guitalale; I think that some ukulele manufacturers make them. I think that they about the same size as a baratone ukulele (maybe a bit wider).

I am not going for the best tone; I just want to increase my skills. Maybe I will be able to get strong enough to play a larger guitar.

Hope this helps.

NatalieS
02-22-2010, 04:38 PM
Thank you both for your help. Cornfedgroove, I really like the idea of a parlor guitar, and those Art and Lutherie ones are indeed very pretty. I think I need to start going to stores and trying out all the ones I can, instead of sitting here imagining what they will be like. ;-)

Aunt Betty I've thought of getting a guitarlele but I would prefer to use standard guitar tuning. The guitarlele, I believe, is tuned up several steps, which would defeat the purpose of wanting a guitar. They are very pretty sounding, however! I really liked the tones from the ones I heard on youtube.

DaveVisi
02-22-2010, 04:44 PM
I've had several "baby" guitars. Some tuned like a guitar, some higher. I ended up reselling all of them. I'd much rather have a classical, or for a steel string sound I'd go for parlor.

ukeskywalker79
02-22-2010, 09:26 PM
Hi Natalie I am in the same boat as you. In the last 2 weeks I suddenly has this urge to learn and play guitar. I have been doing research for the past few weeks and realized the selection of guitars out there can be overwhelming. I joined a few message forums and narrowed down my seach to a few possibilities. I went to Guitar Center this weekend with my wife and we both played all the propspects and narrowed the search even more. People may tell you to go full size right off the bat but only you know whats best for yourself. Several people, including the guitar center rep, told me to start off full size but comming from a Concert Uke I wanted to learn on a smaller scale. I tried out two 3/4 size guitars. The Baby Taylor and the Little Martin LXM. Between the two I preferred the sound of the Martin. I also tried a few full size: Yamaha FG730s, Seagull S6, Seagull Entourage (Same as S6 but smaller neck and width at nut). I really enjoyed the Seagull Entourage the most for playability and tone.

For parlors (a bit larger scale) several people have recommended the Larrivee Parlor. The price is up their but they have been receiving nothing but rave reviews. I'd like to try one if I can find a dealer. Good luck on your seach. It realy is a whole new animal but it sure is fun hunting down that first guitar. For me its the Little Martin LXM. :D

guitharsis
02-23-2010, 01:02 AM
Hi Natalie,
Are you looking for steel string or classical?
If you want a nylon string classical, you have many options. The parlor guitars have a smaller body but may have a standard size fret board. I have a custom parlor guitar that is 613mm and has a 49mm nut width. Also have a 640mm 50mm smaller bodied guitar that is presently listed at Bernunzio's. Standard size for a classical is 650mm 52mm nut width. Bernunzio's has many options for a beginner small classical - 1/2, 3/4 & 7/8. www.bernunzio.com The Larrivee parlor recommended is a nice steel string, also the Baby Taylor or Little Martin. My first guitar was a LaPatrie Motif which is a nylon string parlor guitar with a standard size fretboard. Any guitar is probably going to seem very large to you now.:)

lukuleles
02-23-2010, 02:09 AM
every "baby" guitar i've played has sounded like a toy, flat and unresponsive. parlor guitars can be very sweet to the ears though.

as far as price to value it seems like blue ridge guitars do a good job.

NatalieS
02-23-2010, 05:09 PM
Oh boy, I think my heart is now set on a Larrivee parlor. You all are right, they are pricey, but after watching more YouTube videos that I can count, and looking at online vendors, I've fallen in love with the P-09 series. The question is: which wood is the best?? They offer mahogany, rosewood, lacewood, and maple. All with spruce top. I like the look of the rosewood and maple the best, and the sound of the maple really stands out for me. These two are also the most expensive-- darn! My mom plays a full-size Larrivee guitar and I absolutely love it.

Graduation and birthday are both coming up for me this spring. Hmm.....

cornfedgroove
02-23-2010, 08:01 PM
daang, those are expensive!

I would take a seagull guitar any day of the week...they are w/o a doubt the best bang for your buck in an inexpensive range. They are better than any ibanez, epiphone, yamaha, ovation etc. great guitars, solid and will withstand the years. I know several owners who have had theres over 15 years with no problems.

WhenDogsSing
02-25-2010, 11:13 AM
Oh boy, I think my heart is now set on a Larrivee parlor. You all are right, they are pricey, but after watching more YouTube videos that I can count, and looking at online vendors, I've fallen in love with the P-09 series. The question is: which wood is the best?? They offer mahogany, rosewood, lacewood, and maple. All with spruce top. I like the look of the rosewood and maple the best, and the sound of the maple really stands out for me. These two are also the most expensive-- darn! My mom plays a full-size Larrivee guitar and I absolutely love it.

Graduation and birthday are both coming up for me this spring. Hmm.....

If you're interested in a Larivee parlor guitar, contact Don or Marty at Wildwood Music in Coshocton, Ohio. They sell more Larivees than any other dealer in the country and offer them at 40% off list, no haggling required. They are the best folks in the world and have a great selection. They will ship to you. Their web site is http://www.wildwoodmusic.com/
I have two Larivee parlor guitars and they are great pieces of work.

SailingUke
02-25-2010, 11:33 AM
I have a Larrivee O-50. It is a parlor with a slothead. Mahogany with Spruce top. I live very near the CA factory, they are excellent guitars. The parlor is a real guitar. The Baby T. &. Bay M. are not the same sound. I have a Baby T. to use when traveling with a guitar.
My preference is the Taylor, although in the stores the Martin may sound better. Martin puts a heavier string (Meds.) than does Taylor. I changed my Taylor to Meds. from the stock lights and it immediately it got better.
As far as parlor woods go, mahogany is a little drier and missising the ring of rosewood. The Larrivees 03, 05 & 09 series are all pretty much the same. The 03 is made in Canada and is a satin finish. The 05 & 09's are made in CA.
Many say it is just bling that makes them more expensive. Any of the Larrivee guitars are good value all wood and well made. There are also several other Canadian builders that make a great guitar reasonably priced (below Larrivee).
Guitars and ukuleles last and give pleasure a long time, so I tend not to get too wrapped up in purchase price.
I even have a Larrivee ukulele.

GrumpyCoyote
02-25-2010, 05:11 PM
I have a Martin Size 5 Parlor and love the parlor size. I'm looking at a cheaper parlor to travel with and that Larrivee is on the short list. Love it.

ukeskywalker79
02-25-2010, 07:24 PM
I've been giving it some thought and decided to scratch out the little martin. Knowing myself GAS will kick in and I will be longing for a Larrivee anyway. I will be saving for a Larrivee P-03 with the satin finish. I just have to decide on which tonewood. Some say the satin finish of the P-03 is more responsive over the P-09 (gloss finish) due to the thinner coating. I personally love the simplicity of the satin finish.

GrumpyCoyote
02-25-2010, 08:01 PM
I've been giving it some thought and decided to scratch out the little martin. Knowing myself GAS will kick in and I will be longing for a Larrivee anyway. I will be saving for a Larrivee P-03 with the satin finish. I just have to decide on which tonewood. Some say the satin finish of the P-03 is more responsive over the P-09 (gloss finish) due to the thinner coating. I personally love the simplicity of the satin finish.

Although I haven't played both, I can say that the "gloss vs. satin" stuff is a myth with modern finishes. They are almost always chemically the same material - and the same thickness. Arguably the satin is actually thicker, as it has an additive for the "satin" and less polish than the gloss (thus less is worn away). Either way - it makes no sound difference. Get the one you like.

GrumpyCoyote
02-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Also, I don't think anyone mentioned the Blueridge BR-341 (http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/BR341.htm) parlor...

They are import Martin knock-offs, but damn fine guitars for the buck. Nice appointments, love the slotted head-stock. About half the price of the Larrivee.

http://elderly.com/images/new_instruments/20N/BR341_front.jpg

ukeskywalker79
02-26-2010, 09:27 AM
Yes those Blueridges are really nice even the 361 with rosewood. The body is a bit bigger than the Larrivee Parlors and some people actually prefer its sound. Although they are imports everyone seems to be happy with them. Definitely one to add to the collection.

NatalieS
03-05-2010, 07:07 PM
Well guys, I had the chance recently to get my dream uke (a really rare issue Pono). So I went for it. I am temporarily aborting the guitar mission due to lack of funds. Maybe I'll try again later! Thank you all for your advice... I'll definitely revisit this thread when i decide to try guitar sometime.

lukuleles
03-06-2010, 02:00 AM
pictures please!!!!!!!

NatalieS
03-06-2010, 03:41 AM
It's flying across the oceans right now, lukuleles. It'll arrive in about a week, I believe, and then I'll definitely post a thread about it. Can't wait!

harpdog
03-06-2010, 04:04 AM
I like rosewood or mahogany in a parlor - maple is nice but tricky, and you might end up with less of a warm depth to the bass - though I love maple also.
Larrivée makes wonderful guitars. My best is a Larri (full dreadnaught size)

If you think Seagull, look at their "Grand". It's a parlor size, with a solid top.
Some economical all solid parlor sized instruments can be found among the imports such as Recording King.

LoMa
06-08-2010, 09:06 AM
I've had several Larrivee parlors and liked them but was never very wow'd by them. They efinitely do not sound like a full size guitar, lacking the bass response. Of the little Larrivee's I've had, the rosewood gave the fullest and roundest tone by far. The Larrivee Parlor has a scale of around 24", as I recall.

Then I found the Carbon Acoustics Cargo guitar - 3/4 scale guitar made of all carbon so it's pretty much indestructable. It doesn't look anything like a wood guitar, but the tone is fantastic for such a small bodied guitar. Not that the Cargo has a wide fretboard that might give some folks some trouble, but the scale is real short - shorter than the Larrivee Parlor - around 22 or 23".

I second the comment on the Blueridge rosewood parlor guitar. It has a much fuller sound than the Larrivee parlor, and it has a full size scale. So it's a small body, but long scale - I think 26".

RevWill
06-08-2010, 09:44 AM
The Art & Lutherie Ami parlor guitar is quite well-regarded and is very affordable.

http://www.artandlutherieguitars.com/gtramicedantbst.jpg

DaveVisi
06-08-2010, 11:02 PM
Of all the guitars I bought and sold, the one steel string I hung on to was the Seagull F6 Folk guitar. It might be a little bit bigger than an official "parlor" guitar, but it plays well, sound great, and I couldn't beat the price. It's no beauty queen (I've always disliked the Seagull headstock design) with it's flat sawn cherry wood but it has an all solid cedar top (where it really matters) and it makes up for it by sounding so good, even up against models costing several times as much. I don't find the F6 listed any more. I think the closest model now is the S6.

FYI, Godin, La Patrie, Seagull, Art and Lutherie and a few other brands pretty much all came from the same shop, just different options and styles.

Skrik
06-09-2010, 01:49 AM
Let me put it this way: if out of the blue, I had to sell all my musical instruments but one, I would keep only my Tanglewood parlour guitar (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29094-How-to-prevent-UAS...). That's right, all the ukuleles would go before I'd let go of this beauty.

SweetWaterBlue
06-09-2010, 02:12 AM
It lacks the two bass strings, and is sometimes tuned differently, but you might also consider a tenor guitar. If you tune it like a low G uke, its basically a slightly larger baritone uke. This guy gives a pretty good idea of what they sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7QUMVt5Tqk

jehicks87
06-12-2010, 10:16 AM
I don't play guitar anymore, and when I did, I wasn't very good at it (I could strum most chords, and play a few songs, but not much more than that.) However, I did play on quite a few models, as a buddy of mine worked at a local music store. One of my favorites aside from the Larravees was a second-hand parlor guitar. I can't remember what brand it was, but it sounded WAY better than the "you-know-who" baby guitar, or the "you-also-know-who" backpack guitar, as well as many of the big-name full-sized guitars. It may have been an indication to my subconscious that big things come in small packages :)

So, my vote is for the Parlor. I think Boat Paddle Ukes makes a parlor, or they used to...

yep, at the bottom of this page: http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/listen.php but it will undoubtedly bust your budget :/

Either way you go, it's all about making sweet, sweet music (eventually!) Good luck with your shopping!

Pippin
06-13-2010, 11:07 PM
The Art & Lutherie Ami parlor guitar is quite well-regarded and is very affordable.

http://www.artandlutherieguitars.com/gtramicedantbst.jpg

At $299 USD it is a great deal. I have been tempted by that guitar myself.

Pippin
06-13-2010, 11:09 PM
Let me put it this way: if out of the blue, I had to sell all my musical instruments but one, I would keep only my Tanglewood parlour guitar (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29094-How-to-prevent-UAS...). That's right, all the ukuleles would go before I'd let go of this beauty.

Nice guitar. Not easy to find one in the USA. I have seen one up close and personal. Parkwood guitars are seldom seen outside the USA.

ceemonster
06-14-2010, 04:45 PM
i'm wondering if the person with the martin style 5 parlor guitar could weigh in as to whether it sounds fine in standard tuning or whether they feel they need to tune up to "terz." i'm looking at an all-mahogany 5-15 but wish to play in standard and am kind of put off by posts i'm finding here and there saying this guitar doesn't sound good in standard and only comes alive tuned a minor-third up, in terz....

same with guitarlele---i'm very interested in Mele's baritone guitarlele, but the only input i could find from an owner was a post on one of the uke sites by someone who tunes his up with different strings......thanks.

GrumpyCoyote
06-14-2010, 07:37 PM
I keep my size 5 in standard. With higher tension strings, it works great and sounds fantastic. It sounds fine in terz, but by no means do I agree with the "doesn't sound good in standard". In fact, it's one of the finest sounding guitars I own in any tuning.

Here's one (I'm a crappy player, but you get the idea):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qRGR8J3ay4&feature=related
And another:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPao--ebm28

Incidentally, those vids are both with the thinner strings - it sounds even better now.

As for my guitalele, I have the Yamaha GL-1 and use high tenson classical strings. Works like a charm and sounds great.
Here's the review:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjYh63r_IFE

And a song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_kMMRlbGys

ceemonster
06-14-2010, 10:23 PM
thank you for the input, and nice clips!

the yamaha guitarlele works in standard? wow, i thought that one you could only play in "a to a" like a kanilea tenor six-string....

GrumpyCoyote
06-15-2010, 09:08 AM
thank you for the input, and nice clips!

the yamaha guitarlele works in standard? wow, i thought that one you could only play in "a to a" like a kanilea tenor six-string....

Sorry for the confusion - for the guitalele "standard" is ADGCEA. 5 half steps up from a guitar.

ceemonster
06-15-2010, 11:18 AM
yes, that's why in addition to wondering about the style 5 (thanks for the info!), i'm wondering about the Mele guitarlele, which differs from yamaha, kala, and kanilea, in being standard-tuned, i.,e., a Bari with two added strings. but the sole post i have been able to find by a Mele guitarlele owner was kinda like the posts i've seen about the martin style five-i.e., the person said they were tuning "up" from standard to a-a because it sounded better that way. i wondered if there was anyone else with a Mele guitarlele who had input as to how its standard tuning sounded. :confused:

harpdog
06-16-2010, 01:49 AM
I would go with a parlor guitar only to be getting used to a full scale length. A lot of the "babies" have shorter scale length, and that can be nice: less string tension, less of a leap from ukulele; but I think it may be better to go straight to full scale length to train yourself right to that length. Since you have to make a jump, it would be no big deal to go right there.

djangostan
06-16-2010, 03:01 AM
washburn are doing some stunning solid body parlour guitars which are aged and look beautiful.they have a nice v neck shape which makes it comfortable to play.i think for the price you wont get much better.

NatalieS
10-30-2011, 06:10 AM
Resurrecting my old thread... :)

I've been bitten by the "I want a guitar" bug again. An Aria dealer close to me has a secondhand parlor that looks to be pretty nice. I can't find hardly any information on this model, though. I found one YT video featuring it. It's a parlor-size body but full length (25.5") scale. Solid spruce top. Kind of blingy which I actually like. Any opinions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10zi7ahTmiw

I'm also interested to see the response to the Cordoba Guilele, which is set to be released any day now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgU1ZrHwA_M

Markr1
10-30-2011, 01:43 PM
I bought my daughter a Big Baby Taylor guitar for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have a Gibson Robert Johnson which is a parlor guitar. I like the Big Baby but if I was going to be serious about playing I would choose a parlor size. They just have a really nice feel to them and very comfortable to play and a better and fuller sound then the Baby or Big Baby guitars.

harpdog cc
10-31-2011, 11:34 AM
I just bought the Taylor GS Mini - to me, it's the ultimate small guitar. Better sound than any parlor I've tried - really amazing sound. Do yourself a favor and try one before you decide.

NatalieS
11-08-2011, 05:14 PM
I took advantage of a good deal on a used Larrivee parlor last week, and I'm glad I did. :) I'm really happy with it so far. My fingers are protesting the steel strings, but I can't stop picking this thing up and learning chords! I find that having a few years of uke experience is helping a lot because I don't have to learn fingerpicking and strumming technique, just the new chord shapes. Having six strings to play is both challenging and a nice change. I'm glad I've made the leap into guitar playing!

gokidd
11-10-2011, 07:56 AM
I took advantage of a good deal on a used Larrivee parlor last week, and I'm glad I did. :) I'm really happy with it so far. My fingers are protesting the steel strings, but I can't stop picking this thing up and learning chords! I find that having a few years of uke experience is helping a lot because I don't have to learn fingerpicking and strumming technique, just the new chord shapes. Having six strings to play is both challenging and a nice change. I'm glad I've made the leap into guitar playing!

Congratulations, Natalie! You chose a really fine parlor guitar. I played at playing guitar for several years before adopting my first uke ... and I STILL find myself hopping back and forth between instruments all the time. It's almost as though playing one type for several weeks makes me appreciate the other type that much more. If you have not already done so, invest in a professional setup on the Larrivee and your fingers will thank you. Maybe even consider tuning down a semi-tone for awhile, as it makes practice a little easier as you adjust to steel strings. Best wishes, Bob.

GVlog
11-14-2011, 05:19 AM
Larrivee parlors are really good guitars! You made an excellent choice.
:)

Pippin
11-16-2011, 03:44 AM
The A&L is $299, but for $399 you can get a much better Takamine New Yorker, which is slightly larger than the A&L, but, it sounds much better and is made a lot better.

NatalieS
12-06-2011, 04:56 PM
Guitar is so not my thing. I've tried to pick it up but I hate the size (even for a parlor), I hate six strings, I hate having a painful left hand. I give up! The guitar's already on evilbay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170741343952

I bow down to those who can make a guitar sing. Me, I'm sticking to piano and uke. :)

Skitzic
12-07-2011, 04:09 AM
Sorry to hear it didn't work out. That's a beautiful instrument! If I had the funds I'd scoop that right up!

GVlog
12-07-2011, 10:07 AM
Guitar is so not my thing. I've tried to pick it up but I hate the size (even for a parlor), I hate six strings, I hate having a painful left hand.
:(

Sorry it didn't work out. Personally though, I don't usually recommend a steel-stringed guitar to beginners. A nylon-stringed classical guitar is a better transitional instrument. A guitalele might work too but many of the ones I've seen have narrow string spacings.

flagstaffcharlie
12-07-2011, 12:26 PM
Wow. I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out. The Larrivee parlors are beauties and it was a good choice. You might someday try a nylon string and find it works for you.

NatalieS
12-02-2012, 06:02 AM
Not to resurrect an old thread, but I'm cringing at how quickly I gave up on guitar last time. I've since picked it up again and, for some reason, it's sticking this time. I think that playing a new instrument is sort of like becoming a marathon runner. There's an extreme amount of patience involved, with the realization that you may hit a wall and just have to push through it (well, that's according to my runner friends, anyway ;) ). For me, my "wall" with playing guitar was getting over the pain of stretchy chords. Even the G chord gave me a lot of grief, but now I don't even realize what the big deal was or why I found it so difficult. I suppose I felt the same way back when I learned the Bb chord on uke.

UKISOCIETY
12-02-2012, 08:24 AM
How about a dulcilele (stick dulcimer)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgBp-0zC9RY

Barbablanca
12-02-2012, 01:40 PM
Nice Alan. I've got a standard strumstick, but that extra body gives the instrument more depth and boy does it look cool with a Uke body!

As for the main thread - I've played an A&L and loved it. It's on my list of things to get when I win the lottery ;) It may be true that there are better made Parlour Guitars out there, but I happened to like the sound of the A&L more than the others I tried in the shop that cost twice as much. Plus, even if I wont the lottery I'm too mediocre a guitarist to justify big bucks being spent on yet another guitar ;)

mds725
12-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Not to resurrect an old thread, but I'm cringing at how quickly I gave up on guitar last time. I've since picked it up again and, for some reason, it's sticking this time. I think that playing a new instrument is sort of like becoming a marathon runner. There's an extreme amount of patience involved, with the realization that you may hit a wall and just have to push through it (well, that's according to my runner friends, anyway ;) ). For me, my "wall" with playing guitar was getting over the pain of stretchy chords. Even the G chord gave me a lot of grief, but now I don't even realize what the big deal was or why I found it so difficult. I suppose I felt the same way back when I learned the Bb chord on uke.

I'm glad to hear the guitar thing is working this time. Which one are you playing?

I lack your patience. I bought a Cordoba Requinto a few years ago (six string, but tuned like a guitar, except in ukulele C -- ADGCEA -- so it has some ukulele familiarity) and a scale similar to a baritone ukulele, but I haven't taken to it -- dealing with the extra two strings has been difficult for my fingers to learn and for my brain to comprehend, and I'm sort of offended that there are some chords that require you not to strum one or more of the strings. I instead got a tenor guitar -- a Blueridge BR-40T -- and asked for "Chicago tuning" (DGBE) so I wouldn't have to learn new chord shapes. (I actually bought it from the guy in the video, who runs Hot Strings Guitar Shop in Connecticut.) It sounds wonderfully like a guitar, but it has only four strings and its scale is just a bit larger than a baritone ukulele's, so it hasn't been a challenge for my fingers. I hope you stay with guitar and become proficient at it, but if it frustrates you again, there's always a Chicago-tuned tenor guitar.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hjsfK69S3w