Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

name, city, instrument, years of playing, current band, gear
 #62435  by mole
 Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:42 am
Hi everybody,

I'm a 45-year-old Deadhead who has finally decided to learn how to play guitar...just for fun, no other ambitions. Acoustic, and eventually I'd like to learn a bunch of Dead and traditionals. One week in and I know a few chords and have started picking out the intro to Ripple. I knew of this site but never joined since I didn't play, but I was searching for tabs for Jerry songs and found these and thought I'd join you good folks. I've been using my daughter's piece of garbage $75 guitar and now that I'm getting going I'd like to buy my own. Any recommendations for a good acoustic in the $300 range? I don't want to spend more than that at this early stage.
 #62441  by wisedyes
 Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:37 am
A very quality built low priced acoustic is the Seagull line by Godin Guitars out of Canada. You can't get a brand new one for $300, but used ones should be below that. They pop up on eBay. They are short on frills like inlay work, but high on tone, playability, and build quality.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of playing music!
 #62453  by NashvilleMike
 Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:36 am
Get a friend that plays and check out all the pawnshops in your area. 10 years ago Find a diamond in the rough.
 #62505  by jackr
 Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:35 am
I've got some B-stocks that will fit the bill. Brand new that are either overstocks or may have an extremely minor blemish. PM me if you want to talk about it more.

Another good source is that if you have a buddy that plays, you can look on your local craigslist for some bargains. Be careful though, that is why I suggest you take some one experienced with you.
 #62535  by dleonard
 Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:31 pm
I have to second the Seagull recommendation. I bought a $300 Seagull Entourage when I was first learning and still play with it at bluegrass jams.
 #62581  by mole
 Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:47 am
Thanks for the recs everybody. I'm going to take my time and visit a few guitar shops and see how things sound. And get a little better in the meantime so I can justify buying something good!
 #62969  by mole
 Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:08 am
Thanks everybody for the recs and the welcomes! After doing a lot of looking around and playing of different guitars, I ended up buying a Blue Ridge 160 at the Old Town School of Folk Music here in Chicago. I love this guitar--it's based on vintage Martin designs, it looks and sounds great. Now comes the fun part--learning how to play it! So far I'm learning very simple chord progressions--Helpless, Franklin's Tower, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, each of which is just a few chords over and over. And playing scales. I can't believe I waited so long to do this, it's so much fun.

The Old Town School of Folk Music has classes in flatpicking, bluegrass, and even the Grateful Dead, so once I get some basics under my belt I will be checking that place out some more too.
 #62970  by strumminsix
 Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:28 am
mole wrote:The Old Town School of Folk Music has classes in flatpicking, bluegrass, and even the Grateful Dead, so once I get some basics under my belt I will be checking that place out some more too.
Congrats, Mole! OTSFM is a great place! Did a show there a few years back and a few sessions too!

Come check out my band since I see you are a local guy!
 #62972  by jackr
 Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:35 am
NICE!! Let the obsession begin!
 #75333  by TheOtherJuan
 Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:50 am
Congratulations on your first guitar. Although you're getting to the party a little later than some, I know several guys who have just started learning to play, including one professional type who got into it by taking his kid to guitar lessons and apparently got bit with the bug there. He's just recently bought his second guitar and is progressing well. Hang in there, don't forget to have fun, and the best advice I ever got is to find people who are better than you and play with them as much as you can. Find someone who is working on their lead playing and just create a rhythm for them. I can't tell you how many hours I spent pounding out "Not Fade Away" for lead players, and it was invaluable training. Strong rhythm players make the best lead players eventually. Good luck!
 #75340  by hotasaPistol
 Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:44 pm
You are never too old to learn....The guy who started the Suzuki Violin and Piano Method didn't pick up an instrument until he was 47 years old. Played until he died in his nineties and created that method. Pretty incredible
I am 56 been playing since grammar school on and off but didn't get serious until about 6 years ago and now it is an obsession...playing with my band and feeling like I am actually a musician now instead of a wannabe hack.....nothing left to do but :smile: :smile: :smile: and practice practice practice
 #75351  by billy_v
 Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:19 pm
I got lucky with a Silver Creek for my campfire guitar, and it would make a good first decent guitar. Mine's the size of a Martin 000, spruce + mahogany, all solid wood, with a girthy but very comfortable V-profile neck, and it was $269 new a year ago. The lower priced Chinese guitars, like these, can vary a lot in sound and playability, even among examples of the same model, but I like mine a lot.