Author Topic: guitar for the smaller build  (Read 422 times)

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Offline the3amrain

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guitar for the smaller build
« on: June 02, 2018, 03:05:28 pm »
hi, i started learning the guitar around march this year, and have gotten most chords down, and am capable of some simple fingerstyle.

i'm currently playing on a yamaha c40, because i read that nylon strings are easier to start with. the guitar however, is too big for me, giving me shoulder and arm aches when i play as i have a relatively smaller build. the frets are also too wide for my embarrassingly small hands (my index finger can barely reach the low E of the first fret).

therefore, i'm thinking of selling my c40 and investing in a smaller sized acoustic because that's what i initially wanted to play. i'm looking at the big baby taylor ($599) and the martin dreadnought jr ($744 on discount) currently due to their slightly smaller sizes, and would love for some suggestions on which i should get (maybe suggest other models as well?),, especially since there is a differing price point as well. i've also considered 3/4 guitars but i really like the fuller sound of the dreadnoughts more!

thank you! :)

Offline DarrellW

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Re: guitar for the smaller build
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 05:34:17 pm »
The fingerboard on your C40 is very much wider than any of the steel strung guitars so that’s one issue sorted!
I think you should look at 00 or 000 size guitars preferably by going to a shop, maybe Parlour size are also worth looking at; the Taylor GS mini is a better option than the Big baby, having tried both that’s my opinion (also the Mahogany or Koa ones sound best)!
With smaller guitars if you want a nice mellow sound Mahogany is good, Koa is more balanced, Spruce is quite bright (I’m talking about the tops here) with Mahogany, Sapele or Rosewood (or Koa) sides and back; solid woods are nice but if you live in an area where you get extremes of weather conditions then laminate is less affected. Martin make a range of guitars made from HPL (high pressure laminate) these are pretty decent so also worth looking at.
The most important thing you need to do is find an instrument that you bond with, you must be attracted to it this way you will want to play it as often as you can which obviously will help your learning curve!
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline MelissaM

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Re: guitar for the smaller build
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 05:59:24 pm »
Holy crow! The Yamaha C40 has a 2.0625 inch nut (or 53mm) - no wonder you’re having a hard time reaching the low E! Most non-classical guitars have 1 11/16 or 1 3/4 inch nuts (43 or 44.5mm).

I tried to find the body size of the C40, but can’t find a lot of info beyond the fact that it’s ~4 inches deep at the lower bout.

I’ve done a fair bit of reasearch into smaller bodied guitars, since I’m small and my GA sized Taylor acoustic wreaked havoc on my right shoulder. I’m guessing your budget is under $1000. Here are some guitars you might want to consider:

Big Baby Taylor — my brother (who’s been playing for over 40 years) has one and loves it. It’s a dreadnaught, which you like, and an 15/16 scale body. Might be just perfect for you!

Taylor GS Mini. I have the mahogany version. Doesn’t sound as full as my Taylor 114, but it also doesn’t wreak havoc on my shoulder. My brother thinks it sounds a little nicer than his Big Baby Taylor. Around $500.

Ibanez Ac240. It has a 1 3/4 inch nut, which is a little wider than the Taylors above. It’s about the same size as the Martin 000 guitars. Solid mahogany top, laminated mahogany back and sides. Nice guitar—too big for me, so I went with the GS Mini. Around $300.

Yamaha FG800. Nice guitar, dreadnaught. Solid spruce top, laminated back and sides. Small string spacing that might be a little tight for finger style. Around $200.

Yamaha FS800. Same as above but more of a concert shape vs dreadnaught.

Alvarez AP70. I’ve heard great things about these, but haven’t been able to find one in person. The neck might be a bit chunkier compared to the Taylors and Yamahas.

Hopefully you can find some to try and will fall in love with one of them!

- Melissa
How do I play this thing?

Offline the3amrain

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Re: guitar for the smaller build
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 06:40:52 pm »
The fingerboard on your C40 is very much wider than any of the steel strung guitars so that’s one issue sorted!
I think you should look at 00 or 000 size guitars preferably by going to a shop, maybe Parlour size are also worth looking at; the Taylor GS mini is a better option than the Big baby, having tried both that’s my opinion (also the Mahogany or Koa ones sound best)!
With smaller guitars if you want a nice mellow sound Mahogany is good, Koa is more balanced, Spruce is quite bright (I’m talking about the tops here) with Mahogany, Sapele or Rosewood (or Koa) sides and back; solid woods are nice but if you live in an area where you get extremes of weather conditions then laminate is less affected. Martin make a range of guitars made from HPL (high pressure laminate) these are pretty decent so also worth looking at.
The most important thing you need to do is find an instrument that you bond with, you must be attracted to it this way you will want to play it as often as you can which obviously will help your learning curve!

I live in Singapore, which is very humid (usually around high 80%ish), which I heard will affect the structural integrity of the GS Mini (?) and there are quite a limited amount of music stores around the island! So most of the smaller bodied guitars are only available through online order, making the trying part difficult. I do appreciate the extensive introduction to the different types of wood available though! It is really helpful since I don't get to try out the guitars, and would have to depend heavily on research to decide on the guitar I have to get, and also because I'm a newbie to this guitar shopping thing. (I just went into Yamaha as a noob and got my current guitar because they recommended it to me.

I will definitely go try out some 00s that are available though.

Holy crow! The Yamaha C40 has a 2.0625 inch nut (or 53mm) - no wonder you’re having a hard time reaching the low E! Most non-classical guitars have 1 11/16 or 1 3/4 inch nuts (43 or 44.5mm).

I tried to find the body size of the C40, but can’t find a lot of info beyond the fact that it’s ~4 inches deep at the lower bout.

I’ve done a fair bit of reasearch into smaller bodied guitars, since I’m small and my GA sized Taylor acoustic wreaked havoc on my right shoulder. I’m guessing your budget is under $1000. Here are some guitars you might want to consider:

Big Baby Taylor — my brother (who’s been playing for over 40 years) has one and loves it. It’s a dreadnaught, which you like, and an 15/16 scale body. Might be just perfect for you!

Taylor GS Mini. I have the mahogany version. Doesn’t sound as full as my Taylor 114, but it also doesn’t wreak havoc on my shoulder. My brother thinks it sounds a little nicer than his Big Baby Taylor. Around $500.

Ibanez Ac240. It has a 1 3/4 inch nut, which is a little wider than the Taylors above. It’s about the same size as the Martin 000 guitars. Solid mahogany top, laminated mahogany back and sides. Nice guitar—too big for me, so I went with the GS Mini. Around $300.

Yamaha FG800. Nice guitar, dreadnaught. Solid spruce top, laminated back and sides. Small string spacing that might be a little tight for finger style. Around $200.

Yamaha FS800. Same as above but more of a concert shape vs dreadnaught.

Alvarez AP70. I’ve heard great things about these, but haven’t been able to find one in person. The neck might be a bit chunkier compared to the Taylors and Yamahas.

Hopefully you can find some to try and will fall in love with one of them!

- Melissa

There is quite a limited selection of brands and guitars readily available where I live, but I think I'll be able to try out the Yamaha guitars! Thanks!

I recently sent an email to an official dealer for Taylor Guitars here and they said that most of the smaller bodied models are in high demand and are only available for online pre-order, with only excess stock (though they doubt there will be any) being sent to physical stores. So I don't think I'll get to try the Taylors out :(. Still interested in the Big Baby though, just tried my friend's and it was pretty comfortable and I love it's brighter tone. (perhaps more obvious to me because I've been playing with a classical guitar).

I do have another question now though, because the only BBTe model they are stocking is the Taylor Swift edition (which I don't really fancy, I prefer my guitars clean), so I was wondering if it was possible for me to get an electric system (pickups? sorry, still not very familiar) set up on my guitar later on, and if yes, any idea how much more it would cost?

Offline DarrellW

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Re: guitar for the smaller build
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 07:06:00 pm »
You could buy online from Thomann, I think they charge about 50 euros flat rate to ship to Singapore; have a look at these, if you don't want to risk too much money they are quite good for what they cost and are not going to be too much of a problem with your climate.
https://www.thomann.de/gb/folk_guitars.html?sw=Harley%20benton%20GS%20Travel&filter=true&manufacturer%5B%5D=Harley%20Benton&price-first=58&price-last=140
My singing sucks so I’m learning Guitar and Ukulele, it’s fun 🌟

Offline NewDude

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Re: guitar for the smaller build
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 07:22:50 am »
You could buy online from Thomann, I think they charge about 50 euros flat rate to ship to Singapore; have a look at these, if you don't want to risk too much money they are quite good for what they cost and are not going to be too much of a problem with your climate.

Thomann also has a nice return policy, where you can return items to them within 30 days if you dont like it..Great for trying out stuff that you dont have access to in nearby physical music stores :-)

 

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