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    hi

    i want to start learning to play the acoustic guitar. which is the best one for a beginner? how much should i expect to spend? i want to buy it in london in person - where should i go?

    thanks!!

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    The best way is to learn all the tones in the guitar, that way you can later learn all the achords and play whatever. and if you want to get reallyreally good at guitar you need to spend like 6-8 hours a day (that's for pros) but we normal play like 1-2 hours a day
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    Yamaha make very good entry level instruments - you can't really go wrong with them. Expect to pay between £100-£150. You can get an acoustic guitar for less but if you stick with it then you'll probably appreciate having paid a little more in the first instance.

    Denmark Street (by Tottenham Court Road) is the most famous place to buy guitars in London but you could probably find what you want in Argos or any local music shop. Chappell of Bond Street is a great shop where you'll get good service and probably less of the attitude that sometimes comes with Denmark Street if you prefer to go central.

    Rock on.
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    You can usually get a beginners acoustic set that comes with a cheap enough acoustic, plus an instructions manuel, plectrums, tuners, case, chord diagrams, etc.

    Don't spend big money on your first guitar, because you'll wear the strings out before you can really appreciate the music you can create.
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    I'd agree with the above, £100-£150 is a decent amount for a first guitar, look at Yamaha as a brand. They aren't nice sounding imo, but they are cheap.

    There should be a Dawsons somewhere in London. I almost exclusively get my instruments from them. Not the best price compared to online but very good selection compared to my other local shops the staff know a lot. I'd rather pay that bit extra to play it in a shop than place an order online.
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    Please pardon me for any assumptions but I'll treat your question as if from someone who has no prior experience of learning a musical instrument.

    I've been playing guitar for 31 years and my first guitar was a nylon string classical guitar that if I recall, cost my mum about a tenner. Dependant on how keen you are in addition to what type of music you wish to learn, I would probably (albeit somewhat blindly) advise on getting a steel string acoustic with a cutaway body (where the neck joins) to allow easier access to the upper frets as comfort will be a significant factor in your enjoyment, hence, continuation of "keeping at it." This is my preference though and this may be surplus to your needs which goes back to what type of music you want to learn. Like loads of things, you will suck for a while and it takes time to build up any level of skill moreso than just learning information / knowledge as it involves physical use of your body in ways which you will not be accustomed to. I played piano since I was 4 and started guitar at 11 and from a musical perspective at least, this gave me a huge advantage in having an "ear" for what I was trying to learn.

    Normal bog standard acoustic guitars have wider necks and are much bulkier in the body than electric guitars which make playing more difficult for beginners so, if you're able to, just hold one and put your hands on and around the neck to get a feel for what you're comfy with and forget just about everything else (within reason) when you choose one to buy apart from THE NECK!!! Seriously - please be advised from a life-long player that the neck will be make or break in your enjoyment and ease of learning. Some acoustics have necks that have a scale (the length of the neck) and width more similar to electric models (which are generally slightly smaller) than other instruments and I would advise that you consider this when choosing your instrument. Also, it would help to take a sensible person with you who has a half decent level of guitar knowledge if at all possible as it is a minefield and when all is said and done, it helps if you at the least have some basic idea of what you're looking for. Also, the string tension on acoustics is greater than a well set-up electric which also places more strain on your hands and fingers. You should at least be able to play a note / chord without having to press too hard and the strings should be an even height above the neck along it's whole length with a minimal gap between the string and neck. The string shoud sit just above the frets without being too low as to cause a buzz when the string vibrates or too high as to turn your string into cheese wire! It's common with cheaper guitars, especially cheap or abused second hand guitars, that the string height (or "action" as it's called) is ridiculously high and almost impossible to play, that the string height gradually increases towards the upper frets (which will affect "intonation" which is basically pitch variations at different points on the neck making it aound out of tune even after you've tuned it) or too low an action (more common on the lower / thicker strings) which makes it buzz terribly.

    On a side-note, if you're serious, I would strongly consider tuition as clearly defined goals will help you no end and push you to learn in ways that you can't learn from looking online or watching Youtube. Tuition will also be tailored to your ability and level of progression which a tutor would use to help give you the best and most fruitful learning experience.

    I'm not overly familiar with London guitar shops. I've heard some mixed reports on a number of the guitar (music) shops on Denmark Street which is one of the well known areas for music shops in London. I haven't been up that way in quite a while. Alot of music shops employ people on a commission basis to get a half decent wage which is unfortunately the nature of alot of business these days which doesn't bode well for a genuine beginner looking for good advice on purchasing a guitar irrespective of how many sales the shop assistant needs - even moreso someone looking to buy their first "I fancy trying it" instrument. If you're pretty savvy then by all means, have a little gander around the Denmark Street area at least as a starting point.

    I have no idea on what your budget is but as a first guitar, I wouldn't pay more than £100 on a first acoustic to get something that will be at the minimum something which doesn't cut the ends of your fingers off and offers even a moderate level of playability. Second hand is often a good option and something that I would opt for and you could probably get one for much less. I've actually seen one or two guitars in charity shops which were brand new. Don't be embarrased to just try them out to get a feel for them. For every idiot in music shops who may mock beginners will probably be a decent handful of seasoned musicians who will encourage you. If you want more specific advice on something in particular, I'd be happy to help if I can.
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    hi

    thanks for all your advice. i might just wander around denmark street and try some out.

    i played the piano up to grade 8, but haven't really played much in the last 5 years due to time. i miss making music, and getting a piano isn't really an option at the moment.

    thinking about teaching myself at the moment. is it such a bad idea if i have a piano background?
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    No... If you played piano up to grade 8, it's a winner in my opinion. I assumed you had no prior knowledge of music which is why I advised on a tutor but you will already be familiar with practice regimes and know the in's and out's of theory as well as noticing things like the correct positioning of your body and hands etc. which is all half the battle I think. Sorry for my assumption and good luck with it :-)
 
 
 
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