View Full Version : Where should I go to buy an acoustic guitar?

09-05-2008, 02:51 PM
My wife wants an acoustic guitar for her birthday. I don't play guitar and neither does she. But we're a musical family, so I have no doubt she will learn how, and maybe I will too.

My wife is about 5'5", so I'm thinking I need to buy her a guitar that is on the smaller size. From my small amount of research, it sounds like I should be looking for a 000 size or "grand auditorium."

So far the only place I have been to has been Guitar Center. Does anyone have any recommendations as to a good place to buy?

09-05-2008, 03:07 PM
Another question: cutaway or not? It seems like a good idea, but does it affect the sound adversely?

09-05-2008, 03:31 PM
Acoustic Revival down on Broadway just north of Hampden is probably where I'd start. Nuthin' but acoustic instruments and they deal closely with Shallow Hill, so that's got to be good.


Also The Denver Folklore Center sells acoustic instruments, but it's more than just that. CDs, books, sheet music, anything folk or loosely related to traditional Americana. That's down on Pearl St. and Jewel.


Both are a few blocks from our place.

09-05-2008, 03:33 PM
I had a short guitar playing stint in middle school. The cutaway is a nice feature, especially for beginners as it makes more of the fret board easily accessible. The sound will be slightly different, and it's really up to your ear to decide if its adverse or not. The other thing you want to look at getting nylon strings. They have a softer sound than steel, but they are a good way to start developing calluses. Steel tends to very hard on beginners fingertips. Couldn't help you very much as far as sizing goes. When you're looking for a first guitar, buy something that is going to suit her bare minimum needs. The trend with guitar players seems to be they always end up owning more than one guitar (sound familiar?), so get something that will get her started, but won't cost the earth in case she decides guitar isn't her cup o' tea.

09-05-2008, 03:36 PM
do you want to spend $200 or $2000? And do you want it to be acoustic/electric? Check out Musician's Friend (web site), they have a lot.

cutaway will be a lot easier to learn on, so will the ones with the rounder plastic body compared to a larger square body. Sure, the smaller ones don't sound as good, but when she gets good enough that it matters she'll want to buy another guitar anyway. It's hard to find anyone who's into guitars and only has one, so IMO as long as it will hold its tune and has decent action and sounds decent it probably isn't a bad choice.

09-05-2008, 04:58 PM
Hmmm...I get this question ALL the time. I"ve played for about 15 years.

hey I HAVE A GIG TONIGHT :D In greeley, Island Grill 9:00 :beer::beer: /shameless plug

Anyways, the cheaper instruments tend to frustrate people more. Never stays in tune, not-intonated, hard to play...The more expensive usually better. Not always, but usually.

Try used too. Not as cool, but you can get better brands for close to the same. Look at Guilds, Tacoma's, Fenders, yamaha's, Takamine's for your lower mid priced guitars. Taylors/Martin's/Breedloves/Lavirree/Loudens for good high ends.

Try A TON...as many as you can. Just get whatever guitar feels/sounds right honestly for your first one. I wouldn't worry about cutaways unless you are really wanting to play lead notes/scales up high. You'll find after you get good, you'll probably change guitars a few times as your feeling/tastes change. The cutaways just allow upper fret access (that I still rarely use unless I'm playing in the full band setting) and costs more.

I only have 2 guitars...(4 actually, 1 is an old 50's "OK Corral" guitar that is wall art, and the other is my MIL's that I use for backup on gigs and slide play)

I don't know many guitar places in denver that I'd trust...but Wildwood Guitars in Louisville is STELLAR! TONS of high-end guitars. They are the largest Taylor and almost largest Martin dealer. VERY knowledgeable and are all good players. They don't sell you crap you don't need. WELL worth the trip...I highly reccomend them

Rock Dog
09-05-2008, 05:48 PM
Matt i bought an Ovation acoustic with the cutout that sounds great.
The other guitar i was really leaning towards when i bought it was a Takamine that sounded great, and was realy well made.
I really liked the Taylor and Martin's, but could not justify the $$ as a beginner myself... as FJBen said it is pretty much what your ear likes. I was told you generally want to look for something with a solid Spruce top, other tops have different tonal qualities depending on what kind of music you want to play..

09-05-2008, 11:17 PM
For a beginner guitar, and for the money take a look at a baby Taylor. They are on a smaller scale size, and come in a variety of tone woods. I played a Koa baby Taylor and it had very nice sound quality, IMO. X2 on the cutaway for a beginner, but they do look :cool:

Jenny Cruiser
09-06-2008, 02:29 AM
Get her two. A classical w/nylon strings and whatever sounds good w/steel. You can get light weight strings and have the nut/bridge worked on to get everything just how they ought to be. I have a 30+ year old Guild that sounds pretty decent. I've been looking for the right Lavirree for a while now. Go for sound. Solid wood. Used. The right guitar only gets better with age. :)

09-08-2008, 09:21 AM
I would suggest against getting a classical to begin. The necks are always wider. The strings are softer on your fingertips, but thats a WIDE neck to deal with to start.

See if you can get someone you know that has played for awhile to go with you to help.

I guess we still haven't figured out what price range you are looking in? that's going to dictate EVERYTHING :D

09-08-2008, 10:11 AM
I happen to know that Matt found a beautiful 30 year old sunburst 000 Epiphone to his liking. Now, we hope that Karie likes it too!