Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Ocicat
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 4:47 pm
Location: St. Louis

Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Ocicat » Tue May 07, 2019 11:59 pm

Hi all! As mentioned in my intro post, I’m in the market for a new guitar for my 9-year-old daughter. She has been taking classical guitar lessons for going on 2 years, and she has learned so much! In terms of her skill, she has certainly outgrown her $90 Lucida 3/4 starter guitar.

Also, we have decided that at 4’10” (and with particularly long limbs & hands), despite her age she is physically big enough to comfortably use a full-sized guitar. We confirmed this over the weekend in a local shop, trying a 7/8 and a few different full-sized guitars. The helpful employees watched her hands and her arm position and concurred that she is fine on the full size.

Since we can go full-sized, I figure we should spend a bit more to get her something she can use indefinitely. After reading and visiting the shop I feel like $500-$700 would get us something very good for her purposes. If it were really worth it we could spend more, but I’m not sure that is logical at this point… If she really gets into it in the long term, she is bound to develop her own tastes and preferences and want something different than whatever we would select for her now.


In the shop, she got to play a Cordoba C7 and a C9. She actually said she liked the C7 better… but I have a strong suspicion that it’s just because she played it first…! To my ear, the C9 sounded much nicer, louder and more resonant. I want to give it a week or two, then take her back to let her play them again.

Anyhow, overall I have read about / am considering:

1. Cordoba C7 CD - She played it & liked it
2. Cordoba C9 - She played it & said she liked the C7 better… but I liked the C9 better… but it’s her guitar… but then she’s only 9 & I’m not sure how keen her ear is yet… :) (I’ve already ruled out spruce because she doesn’t like the look!)
3. Kremona S65C or F65C - None in stock locally…
4. Kremona Fiesta FC - None in stock locally…
5. Other???

I’m researching the more expensive options (#2 and #4) in case I encounter a great deal on a “mint” used one on Reverb. Also, I’ve gotten some surprisingly good quotes on all of the above from a local place - like the C9 for $690.

I wish that there were any of the Kremonas nearby for her to play. Our only option for her to try these is to order one, then return it locally (i.e., Guitar Center) if we don’t like the sound… but that is kind of a pain and I wouldn’t do it unless we really think it’s worth it.

Anyhow, would love input/advice/recommendations or any other suggestions we should be considering!

User avatar
souldier
Posts: 1370
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by souldier » Wed May 08, 2019 12:08 am

Personally I feel the Cordoba's are good value for the money (I've owned several over the years and have even compared them to some expensive luthier instruments). If it is within your price range and she can try and choose in person, I would go for that. There are a million options out there, but trying the very guitar you will buy I think is always the best. Even if you find the same model online for cheaper, you're still taking a bit of risk (although I have found cordoba's pretty consistent). I also think its generally a good idea to just go with the preferences of your daughter as making her own decisions will keep her motivated longer.

On another note, I play a C10 Parlor and love it for it's sound and playability.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
bacsidoan
Posts: 2749
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Ohio, US

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by bacsidoan » Wed May 08, 2019 12:28 am

C10 Parlor FTW.

Bill-stl
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: St Louis, MO USA

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Bill-stl » Wed May 08, 2019 1:18 am

There is a limited selection of classical guitars to try in Saint Louis area. The C7 and C9 are both nice guitars. I have heard good things about Kremona. Will Guitar Center order one to try?
If your daughter prefers the C7 when you go back, it is the guitar for her.
Esteve Fernandez Valencia

Ocicat
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 4:47 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Ocicat » Wed May 08, 2019 2:16 am

Thank you guys.

souldier and bacsidoan, you + Tomzooki (in my intro thread) are kinda making me rethink our decision to get her a full-sized guitar. Although, I don't think I will convince my husband to go a smaller route while simultaneously upsizing our budget...! One of my arguments for getting her a nicer 3/4 guitar is that they are typically cheaper than their 4/4 counterparts.

Bill-stl, that's a good question about GC. I should ask them. I just assumed I'd have to buy it and then return it.

And I totally agree with you guys that she needs to select the guitar for herself (within reason). I want her to be excited about it.

User avatar
Mollbarre
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:10 am
Location: Canada

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Mollbarre » Wed May 08, 2019 3:01 am

I like my Cordoba too :)
2016 Fender CN320AS
2018 Cordoba C10 crossover
2018 Ibanez GA5TCE
...and miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Dave Stott
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:24 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Dave Stott » Wed May 08, 2019 1:18 pm

At her age, I'd like to suggest looking at the Cordoba parlor guitars (C-9 or C10). it'll be smaller than a full size & might be more manageable for her
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

User avatar
Paul Janssen
Posts: 1547
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:05 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Paul Janssen » Wed May 08, 2019 1:41 pm

Firstly, well done to you and your husband for giving your daughter the gift of music. Often parenting can be a thankless job so you deserve to be congratulated for giving your daughter this opportunity.

This might sound like a silly suggestion, but have you discussed this with her teacher? Her teacher might have some suggestions that you hadn't considered. They may also want to have some input into whether they think your daughter is ready for for a full-size guitar. When it comes to these sorts of matters, I would tend to trust a teacher over the sales staff at a music store whose job it is to try and sell products.

Good luck and keep up the great work with your daughter.

User avatar
souldier
Posts: 1370
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by souldier » Wed May 08, 2019 2:04 pm

I think it is important to recognize that a smaller size guitar is not necessarily a children's guitar or an inferior guitar. We wear different sized clothes for obvious reasons and I think the same should apply to guitars. The only thing is guitar makers cannot afford to make their guitars available in various specifications. Many luthiers make expensive high end instruments in all sizes to suit various players. If budget allows, it only makes sense for a player to use an instrument tailored to their unique anatomy than feel the need to force themselves into the "standard". There are professional adult players and amateurs that prefer playing on smaller than "standard" instruments.

On the other hand, If your daughter is perfectly comfortable with a full size instrument, that is completely fine too. I'm just saying, if you're considering a C9, but a C9 Parlor is more playable for your daughter, there is no reason to go with the full size as the C9 Parlor is just as legitimate of an instrument and worth every penny even though priced equally with the full size variant. I personally found a C10 Parlor on reverb for significantly cheaper than brand new, though in brand new condition.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
Beowulf
Posts: 1194
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:02 pm
Location: London, Ontario CANADA

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Beowulf » Wed May 08, 2019 2:29 pm

Perhaps you could ask your daughter what she prefers about the C7 relative to the C9 when she plays them again? This might help to clarify her preferences and wishes. Also, given that she does not favour the appearance of spruce, it may also depend on the other aesthetic differences, e.g., rosette, back and side woods, etc. The last time I compared instruments, I chose the less expensive model...and that may have had to do with the individual instrument. If the store has a few examples of the C7/C9, let her try them out...that first C7 might just turn out to be the winner, or not.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

User avatar
souldier
Posts: 1370
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by souldier » Wed May 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Also try to get her to do a blindfold test and switch back and forth between the C7/C9 to see what she really prefers. It might help as well if you use a blindfold as a listener! I remember a time I compared a C5 to a C10 and was surprised that the C5 was noticeably louder, though I preferred the tonal quality of the C10.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
Tomzooki
Posts: 1625
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Quebec city, Canada

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by Tomzooki » Wed May 08, 2019 4:21 pm

I also think a Cordoba C7/C9/C10 parlor would be a great choice. But I heard that they have a poor quality control, so it is important to try the guitar before buying it, not order it online.
Miodrag Zerdoner 8 string Stauffer-Legnani
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

oc chuck
Posts: 534
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: orange county, ca.

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by oc chuck » Wed May 08, 2019 9:56 pm

This is more than you asked, but you
might try St. Louis Classical Guitar.

You might consider it as a good resource for any guitar questions.

celestemcc
Posts: 1298
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by celestemcc » Wed May 08, 2019 11:02 pm

Everyone's ideas for blindfold tests are terrific, try it! But in the end, all things being equal and price reasonable, let her get what she wants: you want her to stay motivated, and a strong objection to any particular guitar (even if it sounds better to you) might temper her enthusiasm, especially at this age. You set the boundaries, let her choose inside those, and she'll flourish, I'm sure.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

User avatar
bacsidoan
Posts: 2749
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Ohio, US

Re: Choosing an upgrade for my daughter

Post by bacsidoan » Wed May 08, 2019 11:14 pm

Ocicat wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:16 am
Thank you guys.

souldier and bacsidoan, you + Tomzooki (in my intro thread) are kinda making me rethink our decision to get her a full-sized guitar. Although, I don't think I will convince my husband to go a smaller route while simultaneously upsizing our budget...! One of my arguments for getting her a nicer 3/4 guitar is that they are typically cheaper than their 4/4 counterparts.

Bill-stl, that's a good question about GC. I should ask them. I just assumed I'd have to buy it and then return it.

And I totally agree with you guys that she needs to select the guitar for herself (within reason). I want her to be excited about it.
I have played a few C10 parlor myself. Very good guitar for the money. She can play it at least until she's taller than 5'4" or her hand span > 7.5".

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”