I happened upon this forum when digging around for the origin of a classical guitar song, “The Frog Galliard”. As it happens, my curiosity about classical guitar has been recently piqued.
Although I played some guitar as a teenager, I stopped for many years and picked up a Stratocaster on a whim a few years ago and started trying to learn using various resources. It quickly became apparent that I needed some proper instruction.
As such, I found a good electric guitar teacher and took lessons for about six months. This gave me a good basis on which to proceed on my own. Unfortunately, my instructor left SF for the East Coast and Skype lessons just aren’t the same.
I tried another instructor some time later that immediately turned out to be kind of a jerk. I’m learning to play for my own enjoyment and this guy made me feel like a little kid getting rapped on the knuckles by an ornery piano teacher. The last straw was when he asked me to play the opening riff of Day Tripper. I played it pretty darn well, but he immediately shushed me and told me I did it all wrong. Then he proceeded to play it completely off. The dude then asked me to give him a yelp review, but if it wasn't going to be five stars, not to bother. Well, later dude.
I’ve been mostly been practicing on my own and with friends. I play in my office/guitar room at home and simply derive great joy from playing riffs and songs I like. On the electric side, my favorites are Johnny Marr, Albert King, David Gilmour and many others. My kid tried to get me to come up with a favorites list over the holidays, and I forget half the people I like.
Anyways, I got my kid a Big Baby Taylor steel string acoustic for a birthday. I didn’t bother actually playing it until a few months ago. First, I tried it with an ultex pick and it sounded awful. The raspy sound of the pick on the wound strings made me cringe. Then, I tried the few finger style melodies I sort of knew and it sounded incredible. This is only a $500 guitar, but it sounded beautiful. I know this is a cliche, but the feel of my fingers dancing on the strings was sublime. I knew at that point that I needed to learn some kind of finger style or classical method.
So, therein lies my quandary. I’m not sure if I want to get a steel string acoustic, a nylon string acoustic or full on classical guitar. I’ve looked at and played some very nice Taylor, Santa Cruz and Martin steel string acoustics and dig the way they feel and play. Coming from electric, it’s not much of a change for the fretting hand. I’m mostly interested in playing melodies. Strumming chords is necessary sometimes, but it’s not what excites me about playing guitar. Even on electric, I’m more interested in playing scales, lead parts, etc. Nylon string and classical guitars have some appeal to me as well, because I like a lot more than just classic rock.
I love stuff like guitar intro to “Yo Me Llamo Cumbia” by Toto La Momposina, the melodies of “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac, various things by Dominic Miller., some things by Larry Carlton, and then I also like some classical guitar by various artists. That’s a pretty random list off the top of my head, but the point is I’d like to be able to play a wide variety of music.
The other thing is that due to my job as a programmer and various hobbies like rock climbing, etc. and also in large part to it seeming like a massive hassle, I don’t think proper nail maintenance is going to be a reality for me. So, from what many people seem to say, nylon string guitars, and classical in particular are not ideal for someone that doesn’t play with their nails.
So I’m honestly not sure which way to go. I’d like to buy an acoustic of some sort soon as I’ve only got electrics now. I don’t really have a budget it mind, but would be fine spending whatever I need to for one or two nice, solid back and sides acoustic guitars. I’ve found a new classically trained instructor that I like to work with. He’ll teach me whatever I want to learn, but also agreed that for playing with fingertips, steel string might be best for me. Nonetheless, I'm still curious about maybe getting a nylon string acoustic, classical or otherwise, but am not sure what to look at.
In any case, this seems like a cool forum, so here I am.