This is a guest article written by one of our long time friends and local contributors, Peter Renfield, who was so ecstatic when his son announced that he wanted to take up guitar after seeing some of the locals in a blues band. This is his story below.
If there’s one thing we love more than food here in the south, it’s our music. Music is a huge part of American culture and southern life, so when my son came to me and said he wanted to learn guitar, I was simply overjoyed. The guitar is a great instrument to learn, and I have dabbled in a bit of guitar myself, so I wholeheartedly supported my son’s decision. We looked at local tutors and looked online at a few guitars, before settling on the Yamaha C40, a nice entry-level nylon-strung classical style guitar. Its great for blues due to its powerful sound and the nylon strings are quick forgiving so good for a beginner.
The Yamaha C40
A good acoustic guitar is an essential musical instrument in the acoustic guitar family of instruments. There are many kinds of guitars out there and they differ in the way that they resonate and how they produce sounds. The reason we went for a Yamaha C40 is because it is a well made Japanese instrument that is pretty versatile, so if my son decided he wanted to go in another musical direction then it would be fine for that as well.
Choosing a 3/4 Size Guitar
The size of the guitar is quite important, as too large a guitar could be tricky to play, and a small guitar will generally have a smaller sound that a full size guitar. In general, acoustic guitars have been found to be between forty and fifty centimeters long. The size of the sound box is crucial for beginners, as younger players may not have the reach to be able to play the guitar properly.
There are four basic parts that make up an acoustic guitar. These parts are the body, the neck, the headstock and the tuners. The headstock connects to the headstock nut and also contains the tuning pegs. The tuning pegs are small devices that are mounted on the headstock or on the neck of the guitar. They are used to tune the guitar by moving the tuners with your fingers. The next part is the neck. It is made of mahogany or rosewood. It is shaped like a ‘U’ and it extends over about ten inches to allow for easy strumming and release of strings. The neck is also the biggest component that gives the sound of the guitar.
We didn’t want to spend too much on the first guitar, since there is always the chance that he would drop out of his musical practice, but still it is always good to have a reasonably good first guitar so that you can get a taste of what it is like. The C40 was a great choice, and thankfully our son has not given up yet!