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Author Topic: Best blues guitar under a grand?  (Read 8812 times)
stubby
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« on: October 17, 2007, 11:31:12 PM »

As far as blues goes, my P-05 isn't quite cutting it - lovely guitar, but absolutely no authority in the bass department. My L-03R, although a nice fingerpicker, also feels mismatched for acoustic blues. If I went looking for a guitar under a grand, specifically for fingerpicking blues, what would you recommend?
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blued03r
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 11:38:17 PM »

My D-03R is great for country blues.  I know it's a dreadnought, not a 000 shape, but, the sound is full, tight and very vocal.
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 11:44:38 PM »

As far as blues goes, my P-05 isn't quite cutting it - lovely guitar, but absolutely no authority in the bass department. My L-03R, although a nice fingerpicker, also feels mismatched for acoustic blues. If I went looking for a guitar under a grand, specifically for fingerpicking blues, what would you recommend?

maybe- a Larrivee L/OM-03MT , better still OM-03MT 12 fret (solid bass response)- check the for sale section.
maybe- martin 000-15S

good luck,
R.
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Caleb
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2007, 12:00:30 AM »

There's no such thing as a "blues guitar".  That's a marketing strategy.  If a person can't play blues on what they have, they can't play blues at all.


.02 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2007, 12:07:30 AM »

The OM-03MT is best Larrivee I've played for blues. It has a strong fundamental woodsy sound with some bite. A OM-03 might work, but the ones I've played seem a bit too shimmery and modern sounding for my blues taste.
The rosewood Larrivee's sound too smooth and don't sound woodsy or have bite, IMO(which is fine I just don't want that for blues).
Outside Larrivee, the Martin 000-15S and the Epiphone Masterbilt OM/000's are worth a look.

What do I mean by bite?... This guitar has plenty.
http://littlebrotherblues.com/Gear/1926GibsonL0-L1/1929-L1-Gibson-1.wmv
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bluesman67
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007, 01:21:14 AM »

Flaggerphil's Forum 12-Fret hogtop OM-03MT, if it is still available!  JUMP ON IT FAST if it isn't sold, check his post under the For Sale Marketplace on the forum.  If you can't get that, then find a 14-fret OM or an all sapele from Guitar Adoptions, either an OM or an L.  The blues sound the best on these!

Yup Jeremy, lots of bit in that Gibson.  Thanks for the link, very cool.
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bluesman67
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stubby
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 01:34:50 AM »

Creature, thanks for your insight. Of course there is no "blues guitar". Of course any guitar will do for playing blues, or any other genre for that matter. Wouldn't you agree, however, that there are guitars that seen to be better suited to different types of music? Classical pieces sound better played on nylon strings. The characteristics of dreadnaughts lend themselves to bluegrass. Wider string spacing is generally preferred for fingerpicking. And on and on. Variations in body size, scale length, tonewoods, etc., all contribute to different tonal nuances which may make a guitar more suitable to a given genre. I thought this concept was basically a no brainer. If I can elaborate on my question, I'm asking for subjective opinions on which manufacturers offer good value on guitars which lend themselves to a "blues" sound or vibe, elusive as that may be. 

 
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dberch
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2007, 01:47:26 AM »

You might be able to find a used OM-05MT or L-05MT for under a grand.  I got my 0M-05mt for $875 used. FANTASTIC for blues and country blues.  And, yes, Creature, whatever else choose to play on it as well. :)
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Caleb
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2007, 02:52:03 AM »

Creature, thanks for your insight. Of course there is no "blues guitar". Of course any guitar will do for playing blues, or any other genre for that matter. Wouldn't you agree, however, that there are guitars that seen to be better suited to different types of music? Classical pieces sound better played on nylon strings. The characteristics of dreadnaughts lend themselves to bluegrass. Wider string spacing is generally preferred for fingerpicking. And on and on. Variations in body size, scale length, tonewoods, etc., all contribute to different tonal nuances which may make a guitar more suitable to a given genre. I thought this concept was basically a no brainer. If I can elaborate on my question, I'm asking for subjective opinions on which manufacturers offer good value on guitars which lend themselves to a "blues" sound or vibe, elusive as that may be. 

 
I'll give you that the nylon string is best for classical, but everything else is sales hype and marketing angle by the instrument manufacturers.  I don't mean to be an a-hole, and I don't want to spoil your thread, but honestly, if people focused more on the music and less on the instrument they'd be a lot better off.  I say just find a guitar that sounds good and feels good, and you can play anything on it that you want.  Too many musicians obsess over nut width, string spacing, neck size, blah...blah...blah.  I really belive that most any guitar, again, that sounds good and plays good, can be used to achieve your goals.

But, like I said, I'll give you the nylon string for classical example.  But then again, I think lots of that simply has to do with tradition and what we've come to expect out of a classical gutiarist.  You gotta stop and think, "classical guitar" is less than 100 years old, as we know it, and was made popular by Sagovia.  If he had played it on a Martin dread, that would be the standard. 

.02

(I'm almost out of change....)
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joopie
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2007, 03:50:38 AM »

geeeeezzz... creature, you are no fun at all!

  cop

R.
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2007, 05:01:32 AM »

I'll give you that the nylon string is best for classical, but everything else is sales hype and marketing angle by the instrument manufacturers. 

'Everything' is an ambiguous term. What relevant to this thread is sales hype and marketing angle(by manufacturers) and do you have examples?
Except for a few specific models from small builders I have been under the impression most companies don't want to be boxed in by having to imply 'well if you want a (fill in the blank) genre guitar you'll have to go somewhere else'; which is what would happen if they said 'this guitar is really made for the blues(so it's not as good at other stuff). I don't recall seeing this sales hype like that from any large manufacturer(pertaining to genre suited guitars).

When someone ask about a guitar for fingerpicking blues, most people assume they are talking about guitars that sound like the guitars played on those early recordings. Yes that includes a lot of different sounding guitars but most of them also had a lot of similarities too. It isn't marketing hype that certain guitars were used on those recordings; and if you want that sound, the best way is to use a guitar that sounds like one of those guitars. Sure you can use a cedar/rosewood Taylor dreadnaught but it probably won't sound like any guitar used in the 20's and 30's. If you don't want that sound fine, but no need to state the obvious.

Even if manufactureres were pushing this idea that certain guitars suit certain types of music, that isn't reason alone to say it's not true (...not that it is).

Quote
Too many musicians obsess over nut width, string spacing, neck size, blah...blah...blah.  I really belive that most any guitar, again, that sounds good and plays good, can be used to achieve your goals.

The features you listed are some of the very things that make a guitar 'play good'. I really can't play a short scale parlor with a narrow nut well... I know, I own one. I also can't play a guitar if the neck profile is too low, I had to regretfully sell a OM-21 because it caused wrist pain. Maybe you just like to 'feel it out' when you buy a guitar and don't care why it doesn't feel right while others will say 'it's because the neck profile is too deep' (or whatever), but it's the same effect. You just verbalized it differently and used a different thought process.




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Roman
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2007, 11:34:53 AM »

Have you considered a resonator guitar?  An inexpensive tri-cone or biscuit metal body works well for both slide and fingerstyle blues.  I also like the Goldtone by Beard wood body resonators, not expensive and they sound great.
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bluesman67
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2007, 12:57:03 PM »

I'll give you that the nylon string is best for classical, but everything else is sales hype and marketing angle by the instrument manufacturers.  I don't mean to be an a-hole, and I don't want to spoil your thread, but honestly, if people focused more on the music and less on the instrument they'd be a lot better off.  I say just find a guitar that sounds good and feels good, and you can play anything on it that you want.  Too many musicians obsess over nut width, string spacing, neck size, blah...blah...blah.  I really belive that most any guitar, again, that sounds good and plays good, can be used to achieve your goals.

Creature cracks me up.  He must be the only unlucky dude getting pounded by marketing and sales hype for blues and bluegrass guitars, BLAH BLAH BLAH.  He must be one of the best guitar players on the planet because he can focus on the music and can make any guitar sound great for any genre of music, once again he is a cut above the rest of us.  I am amazed he even brings himself down to our level to contribute on this forum and read through countless meaningless opinions just to tell us like it really is.

Why do we even offer our meaningless, hyped, untrue opinions on the best guitar for this or that?  It's all useless.  I don't even know why they make guitars differently anyways.  They should all be the same size and shape, made of the same tonewood because one isn't better than another regardless of your playing style...except of course nylon strings on classical guitars because creature said so.  It's all about marketing and sales hype to sell more by the manufacturers.

"I'll give you that the nylon string is best for classical, but everything else is sales hype and marketing angle by the instrument manufacturers.  I don't mean to be an a-hole...Too many musicians obsess over nut width, string spacing, neck size, blah...blah...blah".   Creature, please tell us if a wider nut on a classical guitar is b/s marketing hype, I want to know if they are fooling me because I could put some Martin Silk & Steels (hype) on my dread with a 1 11/16 nut so I don't have to buy a classical guitar.  It's all too confusing and I'm so tired of the marketing hype and sales pitches that I always get.  It's all lies, all lies I tell you.  Everyone is out to get me and trick me and I'm just losing my focus on the music. BLAH BLAH BLAH

We've heard it all before from Creature, maybe he should get over his self.   
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bluesman67
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G Man
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2007, 01:08:14 PM »

I'd give the Martin 000-15S a try, if you can find one locally to get your hands on.
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2007, 01:36:48 PM »

We've heard it all before from Creature, maybe he should get over his self. 
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2007, 01:41:21 PM »

Well, you won't like this answer either, but along with my Martin 000-16SGT, the guitar I like most for fingerpicking blues is my Larrivee Parlour. Unfortunately, it wasn't anywhere near $1000, but I'd be surprised if the less expensive mahogany parlours were any less suitable.

To my ear, the least suitable blues box would be a rosewood dreadnaught -- too resonant, too many overtones, too overpowering -- all those strengths, IMHO, become weaknesses for blues. Clearly a matter of taste & expectations, imho.

I'm dying to try a Larri 000-50 for an extended run, but its just too similar to my Martin, and I ain't getting rid of THAT guitar.  If Larrivee hadn't dropped the 00-50, I'd be G.A.S.'ing for that one for blues, or a Gibson Blues King, a Gibson L-00, a Martin 00-18VS.  Oooh, boy! In my opinion, my Larri P-10MQ fits right into that group, even though its a bit smaller.

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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2007, 02:33:51 PM »

Well, I agree with Creature that there's nothing to stop you from playing anything you want on any guitar you want, but the reason we get obsessed with different guitars for different genres is because we lust after specific sounds, and sometimes -- oftentimes -- you need a specific guitar to get that sound.  I can play bluegrass on my 00, but I won't come close to sounding like my bluegrass heroes until I pick up a dread. Similarly, if I want to try to get something  like Robert Johnson's sound, I'm better off with a smaller-body guitar.

Of course, as we all know, tone is in the fingers, dude, and no amount of gear will ever make you sound exactly like Tony Rice or Robert Johnson.  And I agree that we can get so obsessed with the hardware that we forget about playing.  I've gone down that road many times myself.
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2007, 02:47:27 PM »

It's fine to disagree with people but let's keep things pleasant here - it isn't the UMGF you know!   

 whistling

PS BJStrings - I believe GA has an 00-50 in stock!!!   
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2007, 03:02:43 PM »

It's fine to disagree with people but let's keep things pleasant here - it isn't the UMGF you know!   

 whistling

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Caleb
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2007, 05:34:08 PM »



We've heard it all before from Creature, maybe he should get over his self. 

I believe the correct grammar would be "get over himself", but only a real a-hole would point out something like that....     

Points taken, all.  Even if I chased down several examples of marketing hype in ads etc. for a "blues guitar" it wouldn't satisfy my critics.  To ignore that there is marketing hype, and that we've not all fell for it a time or two, is a bit naive IMO. The main point I've ever tried to make in these kinds of threads is that people don't need to wait till they have the "perfect" guitar to make the music they want.  Often times the instrument is not the problem anyway. Yes, if you have a guitar that's painful to play, get one that is comfortable, etc. The best thing has always been to just go play guitars and forget what's on the headstock or what the great players use and find what works for you. 

love,
the creature
 
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