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Dottie

Old guitar

I was planning to buy a guitar and asked my brother who plays to look for one. Turns out he had two! I knew he had my mother’s old guitar but his girlfriend apparently bought him another one so he brought my mother’s old Yamaha for me to use. I was wondering how it compares to guitars being sold today. I think it's a 1970 Yamaha 180, my mother thought very highly of it when she played.

It’s been 30 years since I’ve played and I can actually remember what little I knew. I am very excited about playing now. :)

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Well, that sounds like good news, Dottie! :)

I would restring it and see how it feels and sounds. It would probably be worth having a decent guitar tech have a look at it (check for any luthiers near you). Get a decent set-up and have them check it over. Don't just trust whoever the local guitar shop uses.. some are good and some are awful. Do a little research first.

I picked up an old guitar of mine a while ago. Unfortunately, the neck had twisted a little and the action wasn't great. A little investment with a local luthier and I had a nice-sounding guitar back.

You may find it needs some adjustment of the action and/or the intonation, and it may be worth replacing the saddle and nut with bone (but the latter isn't necessary), but there is no reason why this shouldn't be a nice guitar.

I think these were mass-produced, but well thought of. It should be a good guitar for you to get going on again.

Don't clean it with any furniture sprays! If you use anything other than a (slightly) damp rag, use naptha. It works much better.

I hope it works well for you! There is nothing wrong with an old guitar. In fact, some get better with age (though it does depend on how well cared for they have been. Get a case and a humidifier if you live anywhere with humidity issues.

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I'm excited for you, Dottie! There's nothing like reconnecting with past musical skills. And using your mom's guitar is like reconnecting with her on a whole new level! Alistair's right about getting it checked out, and a new set-up. Otherwise, it could be really frustrating, and you might not know why. (I've made that mistake in the past!)

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Yeah I'd go with what Alistair has suggested, well worth the cost, some people say old acoustics age like fine wine, something to do with the wood jelling as they say.

As for myself, I've always liked the tone and ring of a Yamaha, and I can't help but think they only improve with age.

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Thanks!

I will get it checked out but I believe my brother has taken very good care of it. He wasn't even going to let me use the guitar until I bought a hard case (he only had one) I couldn't decide for sure what size to get so I borrowed one that he said was a soft case and gave me his. It sounds pretty good, even with me playing!

It will be a little while before I'll post a song, LOL, thank God for ya’ll!

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Congrats Dottie......never too late to start up or restart! As for the guitar....my first guitar purchase almost 18 years ago was a mid-priced Yamaha acoustic....still got it, still use it for every acoustic guitar track I've ever recorded. It's the only acoustic I own. Don't get me wrong, it's not Martin or a Taylor, but it serves my purposes just fine. Have fun with it!

Tom

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Congrats !! Yamaha has always been alot of bang for the buck.. My advice would be since it is an older guitar take it to a music store who does set ups and have the truss rod adjusted to get the strings as low as possible and some light gauge strings for your hands.. maybe even a fret dressing if needed...

A poorly set up guitar has caused more folks to give up on playing than probably anything else.. Simply because it makes it more difficult to play..

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Thanks for all the great advice!

Does anyone know an easy song to play? I'm anxious to start playing a song. B)

So far I know c, d, g, a, am, em, is there a song I could play with this?

Thanks!

Dottie

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Hi Dottie. Welcome to the world of callouses, cramps, and never having a presentable manicure ever again. :lol:

I agree with everything said above, especially Alistair's recommendations re: luthiers, and particularly, humidifiers. A 40+ year old acoustic can begin cracking if it isn't properly humidified. And you don't want that to happen.

As for songs to play using the open chords you posted, go to YouTube and type in "guitar lessons" and be prepared to spend the next 6 months sorting thru all the video lessons available for free. I strongly recommend the following YouTubers who post lessons and keep adding to them all the time:

Marty Schwartz whose YouTube handle is "guitarjamzdotcom" - he is great for beginners who want to jump right in strumming along to all the songs they've always wanted to learn as well as providing more intermediate and advanced lessons as you progress.

"deltabluestips" - A bloke from Liverpool who is great for learning fingerpicking techniques and teaching yourself a solid foundation in blues music. Try not to let his accent and occasional 4 letter word sidetrack you.

"creativeguitarstudio" - a Canadian fellow who is very good at teaching assorted playing techniques as well as music theory.

"tonedr" - a down to earth Southern gentleman who mostly posts song lessons and does a very good job of walking the viewer through each song, step by step.

"robbourassaguitarist" - excellent teacher and player who has developed an extremely good beginner's course of videos. I recommended these to my 14 yr. old nephew 8 months ago when he was just beginning to play. He played for me two weeks ago for the first time since my recommendation and the lil' bugger astounded me with his playing ability.

And finally, not on YouTube but a free lesson site that has hundreds of very good lessons, is Vanderbilliy.com. Just go to the main page and click on the video vault link. Once in the video vault, click on "instructional" under "Video Selections", then sort by "Top Rated Contributors" under "Video Quick Search" and browse your life away.

I'm so happy to hear you have picked up the guitar again. Writing song lyrics will get even easier because you'll have song structures in mind as you write, and those structures have time constraints that force you to really pare down what you want to say by making what you say as perfectly clear as you can be with as few words as possible. Just gut out the first few weeks of callous building on your fingertips and you'll never look back.

Peace,

J.

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Let me add the excellent http://www.justinguitar.com/ - free lessons, with videos, and very well done.

As to those chords.. there are plenty of songs! In fact, you could probably do a version of most songs with just those chords .. especially if you add F to that list!

With what you have:

Tambourine Man

Heart of Gold

Hurt

Add that F and the list gets endless.

A decent site to pick up songs is http://www.chordie.com (which also has pictures of the chords).

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Nice catch, Alistair. I forgot all about Justin Sandercoe and the chordie sites. Dottie, both of those sites are treasure troves as well.

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Wow! That should keep me busy a while. :D

See I had this great idea (since I'm just a bum now, not working) I figured I play 3-5 hours a day! Well I did that for the 1st three days and it's hard to type now. I have blisters on my blisters. Today was my 4th day with my new toy and I wanted to play with it so bad, I tried holding the chords ever so lightly, LOL. Should I give the blisters a few days off or just keep playing? My husband thinks I'm crazy to try to play like this, and I don't want the skin to fall off but I don't want to wait!

Alistair, F will be my next chord. Right now I love the way g sounds especially with d. I plan to add a chord a day because if I try to learn too many too quick, I'll forget them all.

Midway, thanks for all the great info! I will go through all of the names you listed and check them each out.

My goal of course is to play my own songs. Thanks for all the wonderful help!

Dottie

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Play little and often. Give the blisters a day to heal, maybe.

Practice is good. Good practice is better. You won't be able to play properly if the pain is too much.

Surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) can help with the fingertips. A couple of days off wouldn't hurt, either.

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Amen Alistair. Careful Dottie, trying to bang away 3 - 5 hours a day at the beginning is a sure road to acute tendonitis that will cost you valuable learning time and strength building time needed during the first few months because your joints and fingertips will take longer to recover. And your fingertip callouses will peel off some at the beginning as the skin cells die and tougher, leatherlike cells replace them. Like Alistair said, "little and often" is better than "longer and always" at the beginning. Stamina, strength, and timing will come with time if you keep at it steadily. I believe someone mentioned going with light gauge strings, also a good tip for beginners that will ease you over the pain hump (especially for bending notes). Try to get the lightest you can find. Once you find yourself breaking the G or B string on a weekly basis, then it's time to start moving up to heavier gauges.

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p.s.

DON'T FORGET TO STRETCH!!!

Before, during, after, and in between playing sessions. Spread your fingers apart from each other, bend them back toward the back of your hand, hold your arm out in front of you like you were holding a waiter's tray and use your other hand to press the fingertips back towards the back of your hand using your other hand - rotate your forearm so your hand is pointing to the left and press your fingertips down again and hold it a few seconds, rotate your forearm so your hand is pointing straight in front of you and press your fingertips down again and hold it a few seconds, and rotate your forearm so your hand is pointing to the right and press your fingertips down again and hold it a few seconds. Now switch arms and do the same stretches again. You will really feel it in the forearms and the wrist.

When playing becomes acutely painful, you've played too much. Soaking your hands and wrists in hot/warm water will ease some of the stiffness, the same as for any other joint. Treat visible inflamation with cold packs. (I've never had to use the cold packs myself because my knuckles and joints have never swollen from playing.) Use your common sense and and listen to your hands and arms and treat them accordingly.

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Thanks for all the great advice!

Does anyone know an easy song to play? I'm anxious to start playing a song. B)

So far I know c, d, g, a, am, em, is there a song I could play with this?

Thanks!

Dottie

as Alistair said add an F to your chords and the list is endless here's a link that will help http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/IVviIV.html

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Thanks for all the great advice!

Does anyone know an easy song to play? I'm anxious to start playing a song. B)

So far I know c, d, g, a, am, em, is there a song I could play with this?

Thanks!

Dottie

as Alistair said add an F to your chords and the list is endless here's a link that will help http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/IVviIV.html

hi dottie

welcome to the guitarist club!!

the first easy songs that sprung to my mind with those chords was:

knocking on heavens door

G D Am

G D C

that's it!!!

Stand by me

G Em C D G

learn F, it opens up a lot of posibilities - and you're half way to a bar chord - it'll help with finger strengthening.

All along the watchtower

Am G F G

this a good site for guitar tuition:

http://www.justinguitar.com/

some good you tube lessons on here and also an easy songs for beginners section. Keep it up,

andy

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Hi Soddy,

Let me go see what f looks like, lol! Seems like I thought it was impossible but it could have been a different chord. :)

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the heads up, I'll check out the songs you mentioned!

Dottie

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no problem dottie

sorry i missed that alistair had already mentioned justin's site - but it is very good.

have fun

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Congrats !! Yamaha has always been alot of bang for the buck.

Gotta agree with that! I have never come across a "bad quality" Yamaha product of any kind - whether it be musical instrument, Hi-Fi gear or motorbike. They might not be at the very leading edge of the fields they work in, but they are consistently well above the average in every respect.

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Thank for all the great advice. :) I can play my 1st whole song now! I still mess up sometimes but the mistakes are beginning to be fewer and further apart. My fingers are toughening up very well so I can play for longer periods now also. I want to get to the point that I don’t mess up on this song at all before I start on my next one, I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not but that’s my plan.

It looks like F is impossible! My fingers can’t reach that far, is there an alternative to F?

Thanks,

Dottie

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An F can be tricky at first.

You need to hold down the 1st and second strings on the first fret with the same finger. Keep trying!

If you struggle, you can just about get away with just playing the 2nd string on that fret (and let the first string do as it will, trying not to play it at all.

However, persistence is the key :)

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You've learned the open C correct? Just add your pinky to the 3rd fret on the 4th string (where your middle finger is), that's an F chord (I guess it's Fsomethingsomething) that I use quite a bit. It sounds good when you get into hammer ons and such.

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Since you are starting over ..I would recommend you learn open G using your middle , ring and pinky instead of the usual index finger style.. my version lets you go to a G7 fast and easy in the future..

also learn your open E and A minor using the same three fingers I mentioned,, in the future it lets you move to other bar chords faster

another is learn A7 using your middle and ring finger instead of the standard way of index and middle.. in the future this will allow you to move the a7 chord scale up the neck easier

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