Martin LX1 Guitar Excellent for Ukers

coolkayaker1

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I was perusing Guitar Center last week and stumbled across a Martin LX1 in their acoustic room. What a little gem! I want to recommend this for ukulele players sticking a toe into guitars.

It has the features that we love on a uke--namely, small size. A touch larger than a baritone uke. It has a solid spruce top, and has the laminate back and sides seen on Martin's OXK ukulele. Strap buttons are pre-installed at neck and heel. It comes with genuine Martin strings that are superb. The sound is fabulous--not as deeply resonant as a dreadnaught guitar, but hey, at least I can put it on my lap in front of my computer desk while teaching myself from videos. And there are about 100 guitar tutorial videos for every one ukulele tutorial, I swear. It is loud compared to the nylon stringed ukes, certainly.

Anyhow, this made-in-Mexico baby comes with a dutchie Martin logo embroidered gig bag, all for $309 at Guitar Center, and if, like me, you grab one of those 10% off coupons flying around the store like confetti, it's about $260, before sales tax. Same price on Amazon. So, if you have a gift card burning a hole, and don't want a Lanakai or Luna uke, maybe the Martin guitar LX1 would be a good spend.

I'll throw up some photos, and just wanted to put a bug in the ear of my fellow uke players. A size-friendly, nicely playing, name-brand guitar that is grab-and-go for us. :cool:

And, it comes in other varieties and amplified:
http://www.guitaradventures.com/little-martin-acoustic-guitar-review

There's even an Ed Sheeran model, if one is into modern bling. lol Sounds the same as LX1.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWdO-84lOfM

Enjoy!
 
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Rakelele

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Thanks for bringing this up! Is this what they call the Little Martin? What is the scale length? Just like you said, I have been thinking that a smaller Guitar might help me improve my skills with six strings...
 

coolkayaker1

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Hi, brother Rakelele. I tossed a tape measure on it just now and it appears to be 23". Is that similar to your Nui? I think it's the same. So, yea, if you wanted a similar six-string, this might be a good one. I agree, it's good for finger-picking practice. I'm playing (more like stumbling through) Hysteria by Def Leppard now from this tutorial. LOL.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5_eTkGSjqw&list=RDm5_eTkGSjqw
 

Rakelele

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Yes, same scale length as the Pono Baritone Nui. I guess I will try to find a Music Store near me that carries the Martin. Thanks again, nice tutorial, too!
 

jwieties

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Good grab Steve! Funny... I've been playing a lot of guitar lately as well. Hadn't really played in a few years, but been having a lot of fun re-learning songs and picking up some new tricks. When I started playing was just as the "video lesson" thing was getting started. However, my favorite site has no vids.
http://www.ericlugosch.com/lessonhome.html
Huge variety of styles. Short interesting pieces that I just never get tired of. "standing on the outside" and "16 tons" are songs a play ever time I grab one of my guitars.
 

coolkayaker1

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Yes, do try them out at GC near you, Rake. It's fun to sit in the acoustic room and see what a dollar can buy in more of a mass market product than the ukulele (let's just say, you get a lot of guitar for not much dough, comparatively).

I didn't know you play guitar, Josh. That is super cool that you straddle both sides of the fence (you must like Gibson guitars, eh? ;-o) Thanks for sharing. I'm going to check out that website you linked.

Here's a fun little Sunday Morning video I found about Martin in Nazareth, PA., for those interested. Tons of online vids, but this one is particularly well-done (and only 6 minutes long...lol. Makes me wonder what Sebastian or Clapton could do with my new "Formica" Little Martin. LOL

You know, one of the little things that I like most about Martin guitars, and surely one of the primary reasons for the Martin mystique: the headstock is flat on top so, standing upright, the guitar leans well against a wall. haha

 
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jwieties

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I didn't know you play guitar, Josh. That is super cool that you straddle both sides of the fence (you must like Gibson guitars, eh? ;-o) Thanks for sharing. I'm going to check out that website you

You know, one of the little things that I like most about Martin guitars, and surely one of the primary reasons for the Martin mystique: the headstock is flat on top so, standing upright, the guitar leans well against a wall. haha

Ha, yes I love those old Gibson guitars. My little Gibson Uke2 was a way of fulfilling my dream of owning a early Gibson blues box. I'm pretty spoiled in the guitar department as well. I have a Marin 00-18v and a Larriver all mahogany parlor.

It weird, but as I was learning the uke, I had little interest in guitars. I was a fairly competent finger picker, but lost interest. Likely because I had stopped progressing. Picking it back up 2 weeks ago, I'm now feel like I'm a much better guitar player. Somehow learning the uke has had a positive influence on the way I approach the guitar. I'm incorporating some different picking and strumming patterns. Usually when I watch uke videos, I can tell who are/were good guitar players by the way they are playing their uke. It's fun to see how my uke playing is now influencing my guitar.
 

Rakelele

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It weird, but as I was learning the uke, I had little interest in guitars. I was a fairly competent finger picker, but lost interest. Likely because I had stopped progressing. Picking it back up 2 weeks ago, I'm now feel like I'm a much better guitar player. Somehow learning the uke has had a positive influence on the way I approach the guitar. I'm incorporating some different picking and strumming patterns. ... It's fun to see how my uke playing is now influencing my guitar.

That is my experience as well: My intense encounter with the Uke has improved my Guitar skills, as poor as they are. The Ukulele really helped me understand the concept of a stringed instrument. When I pick up my Guitar now, after more than a decade, I notice that I can do more stuff than ever before.
 

coolkayaker1

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Thanks for the replies, Josh, Rake, and Strum.

I'm really digging this little Martin, even though guitars do have strings that are too close together compared to ukes. LOL

Playing it makes me feel cool as I can emulate some of my favorite rock tunes. My son has seven years of guitar lessons and playing under his belt, so he is, like, up here (uses hand to show the ceiling). I'm, like, down here (uses hand to point to the arch of his foot).
 
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Pippin

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My favorite Martin is the D15 and I do wish I never parted with it. I sold the gentleman who bought it from me a Breedlove, too. He really loves the Martin and said that it is his absolute favorite guitar. When I got it (used) the relief angle was bad and the saddle had to be replaced. I did the work on it myself and it played as smooth as silk. It's just one in a long list of instruments that have come and gone in my life (I've been playing guitar and ukulele since the 1960s).
 

bnolsen

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I'll be the first to whine. 1 11/16th nut width is intolerable for many of us who play uke mainly because we don't have girlish fingertips. The cordoba mini-m or islander gl6 seems more in line with my tastes.
 
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Teek

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Little Martin, and especially the part about the coupons floating around. I am glad you are adding guitar to your repertoire, they are fun too. I don't think it takes anything away from uke, I find they both make me work a little better on the other.

Yeah I always thought a baritone uke was just so difficult to reach on the scale, LOL. It is, but I wanted a small body steel string acoustic for that thumpy steel bass. I eventually ended up with a good case of GAS so I've been hunting short scale acoustics but haven't tried the Little Martin yet. I also wanted to try a Taylor GS Mini.

I also like the 24" scale Larrivee spruce over mahogany P-01 I have, and they are all solid wood and you can find them on Craigslist for around $5-600 every now and then. The Composite Acoustics Cargo is a smaller body 22.75 scale carbon fiber so pricier, but a nice small weatherproof guitar for the money.

I found my fingers couldn't last long on the steel strings, so I started looking for short scale nylons. I ended up with 3 1920s parlors. They are sweet but have those big V necks so they take a little adjustment when fretting chords.

I love my Cordoba Cadete for it's playability but wanted a brighter sound, and have seriously gassed for an all solid flamed maple anything. I just got a 25.6" scale vintage all solid flamed maple Goya flamenco guitar for $400 out the door including a SKB hard case and a $200 pup inside. It's basically just a maple classical, with a little thinner body.

So it's been A GAS but now I have a lot of guitars as well as ukes to sell. My rental house is too small. Annnd my ex just gave me his gorgeous custom Kanile'a tenor.

For wider string spacing go with a classical or check out the crossovers. I love the Cadete for the short scale and found I really do like that wide neck. Hence two additional classicals to mess with. I'm just capoing the neck at the 2nd fret on the full scale Goya for playing anything that needs more than a 3 fret stretch.
 

coolkayaker1

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Thanks for the replies, Pip and bnolson.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Teek. I agree that the guitar and uke go nicely, hand in hand. It's odd, when I first picked up (and put down...lol) the acoustic guitar the strings felt too close and I was just unwilling to learn all my chordings again. Then, play it for a week, and the window opens and the air is fresh.

It's nice get on the other side of the fence, to find many of the niggles about ukulele such as reduced sustain and volume, are no longer issues. :) And to play classic rock and blues and have it sound much like the tunes Ive loved on the radio, well it's a bonus (along with thousands of guitar tutorials online, and the axe one can buy for the price of a mid-range ukulele is phenomenal). As you suggest, I actually play the ukulele better now that I play flat-top guitar, too!

I do enjoy the compact ukulele still, although I do not play it as much. Got a vintage Martin D-35 the other week--sounds like a baby grand piano.

Thanks for the replies.
 

Teek

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Hey CONGRATS on the vintage D-35!!!! WooHoo!!!
 

Ukulele Eddie

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I eventually ended up with a good case of GAS so I've been hunting short scale acoustics but haven't tried the Little Martin yet. I also wanted to try a Taylor GS Mini.

Here is a nice comparison of the LX1 to the GS Mini:


Teek, as you're local to me there you might be interested to know there's a guy in Pasadena converting his retail to shop to online only. He has several GS Minis without the pickups he'll sell for $400 OTD (street price is $499). Email if you want the details. I've been toying with the idea of getting one, but should probably stay focused on the uke.
 

coolkayaker1

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It opens a whole new window to play guitar, Eddie. At first, it's so weird, but stick with it daily and in a week you'll be playing geetar like all your jukebox heros.