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Your philosophy on body shapes

Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by hana, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. hana

    hana Strat-Talk Member

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    So I'm coming from electric guitar—REALLY want an acoustic. Saving up now!
    Here's my rub; I'm a 5'2 female haha. I've briefly played a grand auditorium (beautiful Taylor 614ce, a friend's) but I've never really spent any real time with it.
    My question is, do you believe smaller people can grow used to playing on bigger body shapes? A lot of people I know recommend parlor guitars or grand concerts but there's just something about that bigger body shape that sounds gorgeous... but maybe I'm biased ;)
    Yes, I know I ought to go to Guitar Center and spend some time playing. But even when I first started electric I was very clumsy with how to handle it. I grew used to it. Maybe it's the same with bigger body acoustics after spending a week or so with it. Or so I'm hoping.


    Just for giggles, the guitar I'm looking at is Orangewood's Mason Live. Cutaway is essential for me, it looks pretty, and the sound is killer for the price.
     
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  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Yes, you can play any body shape.

    There's a lot of people out there playing some really big instruments.
     
  3. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-o-nutster Silver Member

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    All I can say really take a look at the Acoustasonic. If you like acoustic guitars it is one! Want more lows? Plug it in! Then you have a choice of several with onboard electronics. Then want to play electric? Hit the Tele pickup and away you go. Want to feel like an acoustic most of the time? Leave on the .11’s. Want it to feel like an electric but go between electric or acoustic at the drop of a hat? Then put on .10’s or .09’s.

    The thing is, it is the most flexible guitar ever, and the most comfortable plus the lightest. It’s all I want to pick up now, at least 90% of the time! It’s awesome. Lots of color choices and used you can save $400 or $500 and still have a mint condition guitar. I’m super happy with mine
     
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  4. hana

    hana Strat-Talk Member

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    I don't know—from what I've heard its not really my style of sound, but that's just my opinion. I'd also like to be able to pick up and play anywhere without an amp. Not sure what an Acoustasonic sounds like unplugged though.
     
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  5. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I love love love the sound of a grand auditorium. My guild f250e is a great sounding guitar.

    The thing with grands is they are really curvy with a narrow waist, they might be just fine for a small player. And then again, what the heck do I know about small players? I'm 6"2". Best I can say is try a few. If they don't fit they aren't right for you.
     
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  6. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-o-nutster Silver Member

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    Well all the videos I’ve seen sound like crap, so there is that. It sounds like an acoustic guitar just not a lot of low end. It has more than I thought it would. Yes my other acoustics have more bottom end but they are so uncomfortable after you get used to the Acoustasonic. So light and comfy... and I too just wanted to pick up and play unplugged and that’s what I do most of the time. It’s mahogany so it really sounds like an acoustic and has lots of natural sustain because of the wood choice. You should at least try one if you can before you buy a huge acoustic, try it unplugged and then plugged in for a ton of low end. Personally I will not be putting back on any phosphor bronze strings. Regular ol electric guitar strings sound fine and actually I kinda prefer it so the electric sound isn’t so zingy. I hope you find what you’re looking for. You are so small that it makes the Acoustasonic that much more of a gotta try it thing..
     
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  7. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    Agreed. I got over a LOT of my thoughts about what's possible to play well when I saw youtube videos of very young kids playing all sorts of guitars at a very high level.
     
  8. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Papa Americano Silver Member

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    You can probably play any guitar you choose, but still, it should be comfortable.
    I have also been searching for an acoustic and I love the sound of a Jumbo, but I keep coming back to the parlor guitars like the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany or the Martin 000-15M.
    For reference, Bonnie Raitt is 5'4" and plays the hell outta a jumbo, and John Mayer is like 6'5" and often plays parlors.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  9. Misfit

    Misfit Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm 6'3 and much prefer a parlor guitar for its size, feels more like a spanish classical... took me a while to find one with the tone I liked, but they are out there..
     
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  10. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    Its not size that counts. :)



    I agree with the recommendation re: parlour guitars. They are a good starting size imho. You can also get some fantastic vintage ones for not a lot of money because they aren't 'cool' yet.
     
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  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    [​IMG]

    Emmylou Harris managed it quite well. ;)

    FWIW some smaller body guitars project quite well and have a very nicely balanced tonality. Two I've played that would fit that description are the Taylor 300 Series models with Tasmanian Blackwood bodies and Mahogany tops like a 324ce and the Martin CEO-7.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  12. gretev

    gretev Strat-O-Master

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    There is no right or wrong. You will get used to any shape. Get the bigger body shape if that‘s what you want. Don‘t worry about what other people say just get what feels right to you. Maybe look at some dreadnought or jumbo guitars and see which one you like most.
     
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  13. Chilidawg

    Chilidawg Strat-Talk Member

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    My daughter is 5' 1". When we went guitar shopping, I strongly encouraged her to at least try a 000 body size. She insisted on a full-size dreadnought. She had been learning on mine, and didn't want to switch sizes. She handles it very nicely.
     
  14. hana

    hana Strat-Talk Member

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    haha good for her! curious—does she have any hand soreness? though it starts with good technique, wondering if bigger sized guitars are something you might get used to handling but still makes your hands/wrist tight after a while because of the way you're forced to work around it's largeness?
     
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  15. hana

    hana Strat-Talk Member

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    True, she did :)
    My only problem with that right now is at the 400 dollar price range a lot of smaller body guitars just lack any sort of body, they sound very bright and I just hate that. That I know of anyway, if anyone has a recommendation in that range be my guest.
    If I could get my hands on that Blackwood Taylor though it'd be a dream, how gorgeous!
     
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  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    One other determination you may want to make hana is how to you plan to use the guitar most often. Amplified playing live shows or mostly unamplified at home or in a recording studio?

    Live through a PA or amplified in a smaller setting much of what the smaller body lacks in tonal presence and projection can be compensate for in the EQ settings so comfort while standing or sitting often takes a precedence.

    On the contrary if you plan to play unplugged or with the body mic'd then you may well prefer a full size dreadnaught and you'll find ways to work around it's size and deal with it. No one is gonna know what's best better than you. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  17. hana

    hana Strat-Talk Member

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    I reckon it'll mostly be unplugged. I want the option of plug and play if I wanna track some ideas, but it'll depend on my mood if it's direct to interface or mic'd.
     
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  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    I understand and yeah those models I suggested are both upwards of $2000.

    And I can't disagree with you about the basic acoustic voice of smaller body models. They're typically more effective for finger pickers who needs a brighter sound and acoustic blues players who love small body models.

    If you tend to strum full chords for vocal accompaniment a full size dreadnought or jumbo always seems to work better. Bigger body more sound and broader dynamics just like is true of most speakers.

    I haven't played one in years but in your price range many have raved about the Yamaha FG models. A good friend of mine just picked up a used FG830 to have as a knockabout campfire guitar. He loves it and this is a guy whose used to his vintage Martins and Larrivees. You might look at that one.
     
  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    In your price range I might suggest ignoring those that are acoustic/electric models and focus solely on the best acoustic sound.

    The pickups and preamps in budget A/E models aren't very good. You'd be better off using a sound hole pickup or a decent mic.

    JMHO
     
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  20. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    You can find a nice lower end used Martin 000 sized guitar in that price range on reverb.

    You can get used to pretty much anything. I switch from -335’s to my D-28 to my Strats to my Les Paul to my Tele to whatever with no issue. I’m only 5’7” and I get around on whatever guitars no problem.

    Happy hunting and welcome! Happy to have you.
     
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