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Thread: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

  1. #26
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    I have three guitars and they are for whatever, including fingerpicking.

    Taylor 914
    Martin OM-28A
    Gibson L-1

    I think (for me), the longer scale better. I like drop D, open D and open Dm. So, when you lower string tension from a short-scale guitar it further reduces tension. I went with long scale.

    My guitar teacher preferred rosewood over mahogany. So, I was influenced by that! So much so, he sold me my 914! (It's Brazilian!)

    The only reason I have my 1930 L-1 is because my father in law gave it to me. That was over 30 years ago. I'll keep that forever.

    My first Martin was a dread. I'm no bluegrass! I like to sit and play. I never want another dread! I sold my HD-28V to buy my 000-28 Norman Blake. Son has that - great for fingerstyle, but for the short scale and alternate tunings. (My opinion, again other's disagree!)

    I think the OM a great workhorse and recommend them! In that regard, I'd personally get spruce over rosewood - even though I love my 000-15S, which is now with our daughter.

    Then again, I mostly play mandolin. . .

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    Not to discourage guitar acquisitions but here are a few fingerstylists. Notice what they are playing. I have a real nice Breedlove I use for fingerstyle primarily but grab the Martin HD 28 every so often. Mine is an American Breedlove and is top of the line. I am not sure what their imports are like these days.



    When these were made there weren't a lot of smaller guitars suited for finger style. You would have to buy something old. When I quit dreads I bought a 1924 0-28K Martin. Never played anything bigger after that and most are smaller.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  3. #28

    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    Well, there are certainly a lot of dread lovers here. Two things not considered here by those recommending sticking with the dread:
    1. The way a dreadnaught jacks the right should up makes it less comfortable to keep the right hand hovered over that sweet spot for an extended period of time. It's the same physics that have driven some elderly players to using smaller guitars.
    2. Voicing: a shallower body and tighter waist focuses the midrange and trebles and brings them right up front. Even the difference between a grand auditorium and a dread is very noticeable. Thundering bass is not necessary for fingerstyle.
    *I agree that an OM hits the sweet spot for fingerpicking.
    I must agree with #1 above. I have found that in the past two years it's been harder and harder to get comfy with the dread size. Prior to that I had an auditorium size Taylor. I wasn't trying to FP then and wanted the bluegrass sound. I do love the HD28's tone and projection but would like something that is more balanced. Perhaps until I can try out some of the guitars suggested I may change out the bass strings (thanks for that suggestion) to balance the strings a bit. Being on the cusp of "elderly", I think the dread size and shape is taking its toll now.

  4. #29
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    When you mentioned that your budget is "low", I think most folks that responded did not realize that the instruments you listed are, in at least two cases, under $200.oo. The Yamaha and the Orangewood get very good reviews. I had never heard of Orangewood guitars before your post but I am impressed!

    Review...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3l-s_28HvA

    It is very difficult get a decent mandolin for that kind of money, that's for sure.
    Last edited by Charles E.; Sep-05-2020 at 1:38pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #30
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    When these were made there weren't a lot of smaller guitars suited for finger style. You would have to buy something old. ......./.
    Not really. Martin made the 00-21 model through 1995. Mine's a 1970. Has the wide, classical style neck, short scale. Great fingerpicker, lots of punch and plenty of bass.

    btw, I traded a D-28 for it.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Not really. Martin made the 00-21 model through 1995. Mine's a 1970. Has the wide, classical style neck, short scale. Great fingerpicker, lots of punch and plenty of bass.

    btw, I traded a D-28 for it.
    The New York Martins were one of the few wider neck acoustics available at the time, other than a classical guitar. They made a few 0 and 00 both in the NY model. I think they had a 1 7/8' nut if I remember.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  7. #32
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Stella, Kay, Harmony?
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  8. #33
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    This is the Golden Age of guitars. The options and quality are insane when compared to what was available in the past. I played a $130 Recording King Dirty 30 once that could have easily become a lifelong player. I suggest taking $300-$400 into a guitar shop and just see what grabs you.
    ...

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  10. #34
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    I'd have a look at the Eastman E2OM. 1 3/4" neck, short scale, warm cedar top, all solid wood, $500 shipped.

    Rob
    2020 Sawchyn Beavertail
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  11. #35
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    The Eastman E20M may be called a 1 3/4 nut.. possibly true.

    However on the ones I have played the string spacing at the nut was cut as if it were a 1 11/16ths and the string spacing at the bridge was "narrow"

  12. #36
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    I wonder if the the OP ever decided on a guitar?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  13. #37

    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I wonder if the the OP ever decided on a guitar?
    Nope, not yet. I'm nowhere I can actually play most of the ones that have been recommended. I'm out in the country/mountains for the summer and will be getting back to civilization in October. I plan to start looking in earnest then, when there should be more inventory anyway. Seems like every time I check a guitar shop online, everything is "arriving soon" or "place your order now". I have pretty much narrowed the choices to Yamaha FS800, Martin 000jr, an Eastman OM/000, or an Orangewood all mahogany. Of course, when I get to try them there may be a few I haven't considered that stand out. I don't jump into decisions, so having extra time to consider all suggestions is helpful.

    I'm progressing slowly on my fingerstyle education, so the additional time to get up to speed will serve me well when I'm auditioning guitars.

  14. #38
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    About 15 years ago I did something that's uncommon among other pickers I play with, which was to switch from right leg to left, using the more classical guitar stance, when seated. It put the neck at a bit of an angle, alleviated right shoulder discomfort, and didn't take long to adjust - don't think I can even play with the guitar on my right leg anymore (not comfortably for sure).

    Nothing wrong with a D28 for fingerstyle at all. But I like the idea of using the excuse to get another axe. (That trick of buying one for the wife that ends up in your lap is pretty good, too.)

    But there is joy in playing 12th fret gems. Also, old archtops can be great for fingerstyle. So check 'em out in music stores and pawn shops, you might find something you can't live without.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  16. #39

    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I've tried the classical method on the left leg. It's just too uncomfortable. I will check out old archtops. I think a lot of them are really cool, so if they fit the bill, even better.

  17. #40
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    About 15 years ago I did something that's uncommon among other pickers I play with, which was to switch from right leg to left, using the more classical guitar stance, when seated. It put the neck at a bit of an angle, alleviated right shoulder discomfort, and didn't take long to adjust - don't think I can even play with the guitar on my right leg anymore (not comfortably for sure).
    Quote Originally Posted by Rdeane View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I've tried the classical method on the left leg. It's just too uncomfortable. I will check out old archtops. I think a lot of them are really cool, so if they fit the bill, even better.
    I made the switch from right to left leg about ten years ago when I decided that I should learn some classical repertoire. I originally just used it for classical (nylon strung) guitars, but it felt weird switching back and forth. Now, I tend to play everything that way. It just feels better in my right shoulder and arm, although the left arm & hand took some getting used to.

    Be careful with archtop guitars, they are a whole other animal, and although you can play them fingerstyle, they generally won't have the wider nut or string spacing you are looking for. And, the 17" bodies that some have can take some getting used to. My favorite archtop guitar right now is a small bodied Old Wave that I picked up from Mr. Bussmann a few years ago. Wider nut, and nice tone.
    Kit
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  19. #41
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Left leg guitar can make for a bit awkward seating adjustments in jamming circles and guitar pulls, but that’s been the only drawback for me. My last arch top was a lowly 1949 Patrician, rescued from a pawn shop in very good condition. The last year or so I had it, I mostly kept her tuned in open D for fingerstyle and loved it.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  20. #42

    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Made a decision! I tried a lot of guitars and decided to go with a real low budget and had my choices narrowed down. I ended up with a Yamaha FSX800C. I don't need electronics, but they're there. No problem. I found the fretboard on this guitar surprisingly easy and without of the problems I'd had with the dread (seemingly the D and G were awfully close together). I like that while the guitar is gloss, the neck is satin. The tone is pretty darn good for an inexpensive guitar. I had an FS800 about 4 years ago that I sold to a friend and regretted it afterwards. This little guitar is just the right size and sounds great. Thanks for everyone's advice and guidance.

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  22. #43
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    If you can get a hold of one a Dean Gypsy is an amazing sounding guitar with a great bass and mid-range and a shorter scale, excellent high fret access, and a great price if you can get one. They weren't the most expensive guitars new, but I've owned one for years, and everyone whose played it has said it sounds great fingerstyle, I'd reccomend it, the sound might be personal preference, and a bias to my favorite guitar, but it really has a woderful tone.
    Just a dude with a mandolin.

  23. #44
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Yamaha is a great choice. Enjoy it!
    ...

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  25. #45
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    Default Re: Which Budget Fingerstyle Guitar?

    Many of us here might have got started on a Yamaha guitar, I should think.

    It was great value back then, and I think probably still is today. Good choice.
    David A. Gordon

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