Timo N. wrote:Is it thinkable that a cheap guitar could actually impede me in my playing (aside from sounding bad)?
And if so, what would I have to check for? Again, that would be kind of more comfortable for me than looking for a used one online.
I'll confess that I'm not an expert in these things, but after reading some discussion in this forum and based on my own experience, I would say that a cheap guitar might be lacking in these areas (aside from the actual goodness of tone): sustain, responsiveness to tone production techniques, sympathetic ringing of bass strings, evenness of notes through the fretboard (dead notes, wolf notes, buzzing), action cannot be lowered to comfortable level without introducing buzzing, intonation.
If the guitar is at least half decent, I don't think it would seriously impede your progress. Short sustain could mean that you aren't forced to develop your damping skills, unresponsiveness to tone variation would mean that you wouldn't be experimenting that much with tone color, aside from playing near the bridge / over the sound hole. In some ways that could be even a blessing, letting you concentrate on the most important things first.
If I was testing a guitar, I would play every note on the fret board to check for wolf notes, and also that there are no severe intonation issues. The latter can be a bit difficult, because worn out strings usually intonate badly, and sometimes also the new ones do, at least with certain string manufacturers. So if possible, I would restring the guitar first with D'Addario EJ-45's, which is a kind of neutral string that intonates well. They're also widely available and cheap.
I would advice that you spend some time reading 'Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar' -subforum
. Once you get to try that guitar of your friend, you could post specific questions there. People are very helpful in that part of the forum particularly.
Timo N. wrote:
Edit: One other thing: I'm always reading that tone production on Cg is very different from steel-string. I get that the sound itself is different, but i the right hand technique all that different as well? I'm used to playing with long nails and using things like rest stroke or string dampening, so am I still in for a load of readjustment? sounds kind of scary
You probably won't need much readjustment. The feel of the nylon strings is naturally different from steel, and the tension much lighter. I'm afraid that I'm not too familiar with steel string tone production finger style, so I don't know for example whether it makes a difference with steel strings whether you aim the free stroke inwards as you do with rest stroke. With classical guitar it makes a difference between a thin and a full bodied tone.
I made the comment about possibly different techniques, because my understanding is that with steel string finger style there is a lot more individual freedom with the right hand technique than there is with classical, or at least what is considered a 'good classical technique'. I could be wrong though.