156 of 159 people found the following review helpful
A Guitar Teachers Choice,
This review is from: Yamaha F310 Acoustic Guitar Pro Pack (Electronics)Well I've been teaching and playing for a long time and this is the acoustic guitar I've always recommended. It's tough and doesn't cost so much you'll get scared to taking it anywhere to play. It's nicely built so it will be fairly easy to play. Sometime soon you'll need to get some new strings - so get them nice a light so they are easier to play - go for 11's on the 1st string - you'll see this marked up on the string pack when you're buying - these will be marked 'light' or 'super light' - they make it easier to press the strings down when learning. Also a nice light pick (something like .43 mm) will ensure you strum and pick without digging in. You can go to a thicker plectrum (.71mm medium) later when you can play better. And read the instructions on the tuner pack - these cheaper tuners are a bugger to use well on the first tuning - but once in tune, they are easy to keep in tune.
Trust me, this is the acoustic to learn on - a well known manufacturer - well constructed (they make hundreds of thousands of these to sell them all over the World) - and a nice playing action. Put some heavier bluegrass strings on it once you can play well, like the D'Addario EJ19's, and you've got a great guitar for a party or the beach; the knock-about guitar to compliment the expensive one you'll get sometime in the future.
Get a Steve Kaufman or Russ Barenberg Beginning Bluegrass Guitar (Guitar Books) beginners book or DVD on playing bluegrass to get you started -Steve Kaufman: Learning to Flatpick, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning  (REGION 1) (NTSC) that way you'll have some intersting stuff to play and avoid books with Twinkle Twinkle or Jingle Bells. Once you can play a few chords and pick out a melody, you can move on....Have a listen to Tony Rice if you want to hear what that style is like played very well.Unit of Measure Don't worry that all this stuff will turn you into a bluegrass player - these books will get you playing anything. It's good stuff to get started on - and - you'll be playing proper songs that aren't an embarrassment. You'll learn all the chords and how to play melodies on the top strings and the bass strings and often a mix of both. After learning these basics you can go on to any style of playing.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Jan 2011 14:22:00 GMT
J. Baxter says:
Brilliant review of the guitar package and excellent advice for beginners on what type of guide to go for to learn some decent tunes. thanks! I learned guitar at school -er, too long ago to even think about, and am just returning to it at the age of 45. I've got vague recollections of a couple of chords, but need a good guide. I will definitely get one of those you mention.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2011 16:30:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jan 2011 16:30:31 GMT
If you need any more help look me up on Google - sounds unlikely but I bet you find me. Give me an email, whatever if you need help.
Posted on 7 Mar 2011 19:21:43 GMT
Superb review - actually one of the best for advice and encouragement I have seen.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2011 23:56:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Mar 2011 23:57:21 GMT
Well thank you Sir. BTW since I wrote this review I've got a brilliant tuner for beginners - it's the Intellitouch PT10. It even changes colour from red to green when you get the note spot on. Intellitouch PT10 mini tuner. This is the best tuner at a reasonable price I've come across whilst teaching. Don't buy a cheaper one - they just don't work as well - you can use a cheap one, but you'll need a lot of experience to get it to work well.
Posted on 26 Sep 2011 13:52:21 BDT
Great review. I have been thinking about learning the guitar for some time and only started looking for guitars today. Your review has helped me a great deal. You recommend strings in your review so do you suggest we change the strings straight away on this guitar or only when new ones are required ,that is when these wear out?
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2011 23:22:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Dec 2011 09:32:17 GMT
Generally an inexpensive guitar, in my opinion, won't have a top quality set of strings installed - after all it would just add £3 to the ticket price and every bit of price control helps to gain a low price shelf appeal. I'd plan to change the installed set pretty much straight away. I met up with Steve Kuafman last week on his current UK tour and he's still plugging the DR's brand medium/heavy set (that's actually just a medium guage set - they are 13 to 56.) But a 12-54 or 52 set will be easier on your fingers if you are a beginner. But all good players tend to use 13-56 on acoustics for flatpicking. D'Addario make good sets as well. I only recommend these two because I've used them for decades with no problems - but I'm sure there are many other good makes.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2011 08:58:12 BDT
Thank you for the advice once again, much appreciated. I'm also going to buy the PT10 mini tuner you recommend too. Whilst reading reviews of this guitar on other websites, always positive, but another model gets mentioned quite often and that's the Yamaha FG700MS. It's a bit more pricey at £165 but maybe still worth it for a beginner, do you have any comments on this model?
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Sep 2011 16:19:35 BDT
All Yamaha guitars are great value for money and their flat top acoustics go right through the price range to well over £1000 at the top end. At that stage players tend to buy the well known american brands - mainly because audiences expect to see those guitars in the hands of good players - but I know Russ Barenberg regularly uses an Epiphone Masterbuilt guitar that was part of a Japanese built range Epiphone brought out a few years ago (not to be mixed up with the current Masterbilt models - spelling change and build change.) He found it in a music shop, it played great, and he's used it sevral times on the BBC's Transatlanic Session programmes. So it's all about the sound, not the well known USA brands. It's the sound you are looking for and an upgrade to a better Yamaha will certainly make you sound better (and play better). The FG700MS is modelled on the LS and L range guitars - I have an LS6 which I use most days. So I'd recommend the FG700 for that reason - and it's half the price as well. You won't be disappointed making the extra investment.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Sep 2011 08:39:22 BDT
Thanks again for your prompt reply. I'm really looking forward to the whole learning and playing. I have even downloaded some free Android apps :)
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Sep 2011 10:13:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Dec 2011 09:34:51 GMT
Don't get too techy - you just need to set aside some quality practice time and the key is do it! Start with 30 minutes a day and don't rush. You'll progress at your own pace. Make a list on the music you are practicing and break it down into 15 second chunks - this might be the whole line or a couple of bars. Now build a schedule to work on each part. Practice the first part over and over for four minutes - don't rush it - prefect playing is what you seek; however slowly you have to play it to nail every single note. Now do the second part and keep going through the parts until 30 minutes is up. It's hard work practicing with focus. The next day do 3 1/2 minutes on each, then 3 minutes, 2 1/2, 2 minutes, 1 1/2, and lastly 1 minute on day seven. That's 17 minutes on every bar of the music right through to the end - all practiced equally. Use a cheap kitchen timer or just time one piece and calculate how many times equals the allotted minutes. You'll soon get used to practicing like this and it won't seem so complicated. This is the fastest way to progress, but it's hard graft. You'll be able to calculate how long it will take you to complete any book by counting up the lines of music and multiplying by 17 minutes - which is pretty motivating when you listen to the pieces at the end and know when you'll be playing like that. You'll probably never get past 4 hours practicing like this in a day so don't expect to turn yourself into a rockstar God in just a year. Email me and I'll send you some practice record sheets like this, with some explanation as well.
Everybody looks for the short cuts or some methododology or tech system to ease the load - in the end its focused practice that gets you there. It will take you 1000 hours to get to be a top pub player, 2000 hours to get to be doing great shows, parties, and weddings as an amateur, and you should be past Grade 8 after that work. And about 10,000 to be World Class and playing to a packed Albert Hall! There are no short cuts.
Don't tell yourself its about talent either, that's a cop out - its the work - check out these - Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice
Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
And the best book on music practice I've found is Effortless Mastery