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I've got a Dove Pro. Love it, sounds great both plugged and unplugged. Great workmanship, attention to detail and wood selection. Had a setup done even though the factory settings weren't bad. It blows me away what you can get for $300.00!

 

I got one on order still waiting up here in Canada

 

 

 

 

 

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Cupla points on "Beginner" and "smaller" acoustic guitars.

 

I've always promoted use of of the lightest possible strings for beginners - which really nowadays means 9-42 even if you figure you've gotta buy poorer-sounding electric strings.

 

My reasoning is this: Most folks can flap their right hand to some sort of rhythm. It's pretty natural. What's "unnatural" is pushing wires into a board that's marked off with other wires.

 

So, if we can make the "unnatural" part of playing as simple as possible, it offers an increasingly good potential for positive feedback to the student that he/she is doing something right. That's vital for most folks.

 

Yeah, some of "us" have learned all kinds of stuff through some pretty nasty pain. That's not just guitar playing. On the other hand, look at how many folks who started with "us" 5-20-50 years ago who ain't playing... and if they tell it truly, it's 'cuz it hurt and/or the lessons (if they had any) were not "fun" and/or worse, they were told they had to suffer to be a guitar player and that anything less than 19-88 gauge strings were for wimps who shouldn't try to be guitar players.

 

I don't think most folks who start guitar have a drive to play what we would consider good pickin'. It's something to mess with occasionally or to accompany occasional singing somewhere. My Dad, for example, gave up on guitar after WWII and his horrid Stella was in what amounted to be an attic until it was tossed in a 1959 move. So he got a baritone uke that he could do five or six chords on and the strings were gentle so he didn't feel he hadda practice all the time.

 

As for smaller guitars, I think some of the same "gotta play a dread with 19-88 gauge strings" mentality hits many of "us" as well.

 

Guitars as we know them today were originally parlor instruments. They were instruments folks had for playing at home or at small entertainments. Even on a small stage, one expected a quiet audience. Then times changed and more noise seemed to be required. Technique changed too. But who are we to say, "If you're gonna play an acoustic guitar, it's gotta be loud and wear heavy strings" when folks just want an instrument to play some chords on at home every now and then?

 

Yeah, I want more. A lot more. So do most folks nutty enough to spend time on a guitar forum. But I can guarantee that those who want the occasional chording will have appreciation of more serious amateur, semi-pro and pro pickers and that translates into audiences and more positive feedback for "us."

 

m

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12mando-1.jpg

Cupla points on "Beginner" and "smaller" acoustic guitars.

 

I've always promoted use of of the lightest possible strings for beginners - which really nowadays means 9-42 even if you figure you've gotta buy poorer-sounding electric strings.

 

My reasoning is this: Most folks can flap their right hand to some sort of rhythm. It's pretty natural. What's "unnatural" is pushing wires into a board that's marked off with other wires.

 

So, if we can make the "unnatural" part of playing as simple as possible, it offers an increasingly good potential for positive feedback to the student that he/she is doing something right. That's vital for most folks.

 

Yeah, some of "us" have learned all kinds of stuff through some pretty nasty pain. That's not just guitar playing. On the other hand, look at how many folks who started with "us" 5-20-50 years ago who ain't playing... and if they tell it truly, it's 'cuz it hurt and/or the lessons (if they had any) were not "fun" and/or worse, they were told they had to suffer to be a guitar player and that anything less than 19-88 gauge strings were for wimps who shouldn't try to be guitar players.

 

I don't think most folks who start guitar have a drive to play what we would consider good pickin'. It's something to mess with occasionally or to accompany occasional singing somewhere. My Dad, for example, gave up on guitar after WWII and his horrid Stella was in what amounted to be an attic until it was tossed in a 1959 move. So he got a baritone uke that he could do five or six chords on and the strings were gentle so he didn't feel he hadda practice all the time.

 

As for smaller guitars, I think some of the same "gotta play a dread with 19-88 gauge strings" mentality hits many of "us" as well.

 

Guitars as we know them today were originally parlor instruments. They were instruments folks had for playing at home or at small entertainments. Even on a small stage, one expected a quiet audience. Then times changed and more noise seemed to be required. Technique changed too. But who are we to say, "If you're gonna play an acoustic guitar, it's gotta be loud and wear heavy strings" when folks just want an instrument to play some chords on at home every now and then?

 

Yeah, I want more. A lot more. So do most folks nutty enough to spend time on a guitar forum. But I can guarantee that those who want the occasional chording will have appreciation of more serious amateur, semi-pro and pro pickers and that translates into audiences and more positive feedback for "us."

 

m

m, my first guitar was a Stella, great, great guitars. Not "horrid" at all. Where did you get that impression ? You must not have played too many Stella guitars. I have, and I can tell you that they are, great, great guitars. The Harmony Guitar Company was at one time the worlds PB1200082.jpglargest producer of guitars. Stella guitars are fine instruments.

stella-1.jpg

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Does this guitar look "horrible" ? Again, Stella guitars are very fine instruments. msp_thumbup.gif

IMG_0324.jpg

 

 

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Back when "a guitar was a guitar" and "they don't make 'em like that any more"...lol

 

Harmony/Stella

Gibson/Epiphone

Fender/Squier

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I can't remember when I got my Stella 12, but I think it was late '63 or early '64.

 

It, and several owned by friends, wasn't a bad instrument to play, although as with most Harmony brand stuff, had what I considered even then to be baseball bat necks and a bit of overengineering to make up for not the best wood.

 

Most Stellas I saw in stores had poor necks and were almost impossible to play - and I wasn't ready at the time to mess with setups and a more experienced friend helped set up the 12.

 

The 12 was my only Stella, although I attempted to play a number of 'em that acquaintances had in the dorm. Most were wall hangers.

 

OTOH, I had a number of Harmonys, ... solid and IMHO preferable to stuff labeled Kay, but nothing to write home to Mom about.

 

m

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I've yet to change strings on my EL-00 Pro, and it feels quite comfy with the stock 12s - but I almost always go with .011 & .015 on the first & second strings, and will eventually make this change on the EL. A good example of an EL-00 can be one heck of a satisfying guitar & well worth a test spin.

 

I kept the stock .012 strings on my Caballero for quite a while, and just recently switched them out for a .011 set. I'm a huge fan of very light gauge strings, but I decided not to go any lighter than .011 due to the short neck scale and the fact that I use this guitar as my main practice instrument and want a bit of a "workout" to keep the callouses thick and my fingers strong.

 

I've been experimenting with Rotosound .009 acoustic strings (unwound G) on a couple other guitars. I would say they're too skinny for my Ovation with a 25" neck scale. There's just not enough tension on that unwound G and it sounds weird. I had to tune up a half step. My Fender F-210 handled them a lot better due to the 25 1/2" neck scale. The 9s feel perfect on that guitar, and I don't lose a lot of volume since its a huge, loud guitar to start with. I'm not sure what the neck scale is on the new Epi Pros, but I wouldn't run .009 on anything less than 25 1/2" personally. That applies to acoustics only BTW; I use .009 on my Gibson and Epi electrics and have no issues.

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I was going to get one of these for my daughter, but they seem to have disappeared from all the usual sites (Musicians Friend, Sam Ash, Music 123, etc.). [confused]

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Yup... they had a "delivery expected by" that seems to have disappeared and - I thought they were a pretty decent idea worth Christmas presenting ...

 

m

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Different type of model.

 

The ones the OP is talking about is a special "line" of guitars designed to be nice quality special-built for easy playing and ostensibly for beginners. Bikini Epi metal badge, etc.

 

The EL00 Pro is a different critter. An awfully nice one, but a different critter.

 

m

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I enjoyed this discussion. At 61, I'm getting my 13 year old his first accoustic and wanted it to be a Pro-1 but can't find one available anywhere, so I opted for a DR-100. Think the 9-42s would make his learning life easier?

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I just bought an Epiphone Hummingbird Pro for use in venues where I wouldn't wanna take my Martins. It really is a nice acoustic and though I've never liked on board electronics, I've been able to get along with the system on the Hummingbird Pro. Today, 12/16/2014, I had the chance to play a new Gibson Hummingbird. in a local music store. Long story short...I'll stick with my black Epi Hummingbird.

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I enjoyed this discussion. At 61, I'm getting my 13 year old his first accoustic and wanted it to be a Pro-1 but can't find one available anywhere, so I opted for a DR-100. Think the 9-42s would make his learning life easier?

 

No, leave the 12's on there and let him get used to the tension... in very short time he won't notice a thing. 9-42s can be nice on an electric but let's face it it won't drive the top at all, resulting in a tone that's less than optimal. It's nice for a guitar to play easily but I doubt he will want to play it if it sounds bad at the same time.

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I know that opinions are like the terminal orifices of alimentary systems in that we all have them...

 

But with the exception of one dread wearing variously 10s and 11s, 12 strings and nylon strings, all of my flattops unless experimenting with a new kind of string for kicks and giggles, wear 9-42.

 

With how I play 99 percent of the time, the lighter strings work far better for me. I figure after nearly 52 years of pickin', I have a right to my opinion...

 

Then again, I do have heavier strings on the one big body flattop I'll flatpick. Otherwise it's bare hand fingerpicking and playing "out," all my flattops have been AE since I got my first - and among the first - AE guitars in the earlyh '70s, an ovation ae steel string and one nylon. I don't have a flattop that is NOT AE unless you count a flattop 12 I added a mag pup to.

 

I used to teach a lotta "gettin' past beginner" pickers getting into fingerpicking, and I always had them dump the heavier strings for the lightest available.

 

Why? It's a matter of pattern muscle memory and ease of practice. You can always change strings as you develop skills and work your way up into where you think you wanna be for this reason or that. But most folks will practice more with good technique if it doesn't hurt. When it hurts, the body has this subtle way of sneaking in "get arounds" that are less than ideal technique but hurt less. That's true regardless of the skill or sport.

 

And with AE - or even a high quality mike and PA board - the vibrations are being electronically messed with.

 

m

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I know that opinions are like the terminal orifices of alimentary systems in that we all have them...

 

But with the exception of one dread wearing variously 10s and 11s, 12 strings and nylon strings, all of my flattops unless experimenting with a new kind of string for kicks and giggles, wear 9-42.

 

With how I play 99 percent of the time, the lighter strings work far better for me. I figure after nearly 52 years of pickin', I have a right to my opinion...

 

Then again, I do have heavier strings on the one big body flattop I'll flatpick. Otherwise it's bare hand fingerpicking and playing "out," all my flattops have been AE since I got my first - and among the first - AE guitars in the earlyh '70s, an ovation ae steel string and one nylon. I don't have a flattop that is NOT AE unless you count a flattop 12 I added a mag pup to.

 

I used to teach a lotta "gettin' past beginner" pickers getting into fingerpicking, and I always had them dump the heavier strings for the lightest available.

 

Why? It's a matter of pattern muscle memory and ease of practice. You can always change strings as you develop skills and work your way up into where you think you wanna be for this reason or that. But most folks will practice more with good technique if it doesn't hurt. When it hurts, the body has this subtle way of sneaking in "get arounds" that are less than ideal technique but hurt less. That's true regardless of the skill or sport.

 

And with AE - or even a high quality mike and PA board - the vibrations are being electronically messed with.

 

 

 

Milod-there was a time when I would have recommended 12s for a beginner to get used to, but I have rethought that. Today's beginners are a different breed from what I was as a beginner and these are different times for sure. Plus, mass market music often doesn't even have a guitar in it and electrics and pickups have changed the whole concept of what an acoustic guitar is. And., frankly guitar playing needs all the upcoming beginner guitar players it can. So I agree with you. If 9's will help to not scare off a beginner then why not. When the beginner gets a bit experienced they can always try different gauges and make up their own mind what works best after they are a player.

 

Plus, I have heard your playing and appreciate its excellent musicianship. So in my book you have credibility with the approach you've stated sbout 9's.

 

I even recallysrlf once trying Slinky strings when they first came out as a youngun. Course, they wouldn't stay in tune so I went back to 13's at the time. But, they were quite easy to play. They had to be about 9's. But, string quality has dramatically improved since then.

 

Better a beginner sticks with being a player, whatever it takes. We need all the new guitarists we can.

 

A good analogy is it took me a month to get used to wearing hard contact lenses when I was a youngun. Today's young contact lens wearer would never put up with that with more comfortable daily disposable contact lenses now readily available.And, as a result more young people now wear contact lenses. We wouldn't even think to tell them to wear hard lenses (or gas permeable now) when they are learning to wear contact lenses. Your 9s recommendation is a comparable recommendation if I really think about it.

 

 

BTW, I use 12a or 12.5s now,

 

Jazzman Jeff aka QM

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yeah...

 

I think the deal is to hook a new player with success. We thrive on success. Some of us don't mind some pain to gain this or that - but even then, we need to feel some degree of success.

 

Contrary to what one sees in a lot of movies, even traditional martial arts schools for centuries have started beginners gently in comparison to other endeavors of the time. That includes everything from European fencing to many "traditional" Asian armed and unarmed training modes we call "martial arts."

 

I'd be the last to tell Mother Maybelle her piano wire strings were too heavy. She capoed and played those things with a "scratch" similar to playing autoharp and it was wonderful. I was playing 12-string a lot every day at the time. Can't recall how heavy they were, but it was all acoustic and woulda been likely 11s or whatever. Anyway, at the root position I couldn't even play Maybelle's archtop with Wildwood Flower without muffing.

 

But are what musta been 14s or 15s the best for beginners - or even most bluegrassers? Frankly I'd doubt it.

 

Right now I'm in an experimental mood with several "use for experiment guitars" if I can get a break from work to have the time to do things right 'stedda just pickin' to put myself to sleep as in a bit of zenmed.

 

I'll wager most, if not all of us have done the same.

 

So my figuring is letta beginner work toward his or her goals, encourage flattop playing even if the goal is rock lead. Help him or her learn the fretboard, the strings... overcome the cramps in the left hand without the added overhead of blood from fingertips... teach practice until the fingies start to hurt, then back off until they no longer hurt.

 

I think Epi has a winning idea if they'd ever appear; and I think the idea is worth a lotta folks to consider if they're teaching others. You don't teach a kid how to drive in a Formula 1 or Indy car.

 

Again, even those willing literally to have their hands bleed while seeking a goal of picking a certain style and ability, unconsciously will switch the proper physical geometry into a geometry that doesn't hurt quite as much. Then at some time they either keep doing the whatever improper technique as a habitual muscle memory or they'll have to work hard to reestablish proper technique.

 

And that ain't just guitar. Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes habit.

 

m

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