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Beginner looking for advice on guitar and a bit of direction on learning   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mar. 6 2018

Beginner looking for advice on guita... 

Hi guys

After many years of appreciating and wanting to learn the guitar (flamenco of course), I think it's time I finally take the plunge and join everyone on this wonderful journey ahead.

I have no prior experience with guitar however, so there's still a few lingering questions I would like to ask in regards to people's opinion on the instrument, learning materials, method of training, etc.

1. First guitar:
I was initially very keen on getting a Francisco Navarro Student Flamenco Guitar after reading so much positive comments on the forum, but having moved recently and no longer living in the U.S. at the moment, the cost of the guitar + shipping has made this options less appealing as the cost would be rather high for an entry level guitar (especially after reading some of the comments on the forum that mentioned the quality of $1,000 range guitars are not particularly worth the price; that perhaps it's best to just get a good factory grade entry level guitar and hone your craft and save up for a $2,000+ guitar in the future when ready.)

Now, the other options, probably saner options would be to just go for either Yamaha or Cordoba? These being big name brands, I can easily purchase and perhaps even find a store and test out a few in person.

Yamaha cg182sf at $350 - $400
Cordoba F7 at $500 - $550
Cordoba F7 Paco ?

Are there any others that are worth looking at at this price range? I browsed a bit online and on the forum and these two guitars came up quite a lot. Does anyone have any opinions or experience with theses guitars? Is Cordoba F7's slightly higher price indicative of its sound quality when compared to Yamaha cg182sf? or the Cordoba F7 Paco compared to the F7?

2. Learning:
I know there are a number of very qualified teachers available for online lessons, and this is something I am definitely interested in in the future, but at the moment, singing up to such service, I am probably not going to be able to get the full benefits out of it as I will most likely be wasting a lot of the valuable time (1 hour typically i think) trying to figure out how how to navigate the fretboard.

With that said, for the time being, is it better to just learn the basics of guitar and THEN find some materials on Flamenco to learn from? Essentially, separating the process into two parts. Maybe get a book for learning the basics of guitar music theory and start playing some pop songs, getting more familiar with the notes, scales, chords, etc.

Or is that not necessary at all and I should just find a good Flamenco learning material and start straight away?
If so, what would you guys recommend? are there any good books, dvds, websites that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance!


Life is for the living. Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2018 13:39:09


Posts: 27
Joined: Sep. 29 2016
From: Vero Beach, FL

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

Hi there, I was in your shoes a few years ago and think that I am now an advanced beginner haha. So I have a few tips from my point of view. A lot of regular posters on this forum are advanced and will also have some tips but this is my perspective.

-Guitar. I started with a Antonio Hermosa model for under $200, I now have the Cordoba F7. The F7 is nicer and has a more comfortable feel in the hands. It sounds OK. Good enough to start with. My suggestion is that it all comes down to your budget. That Navarro sounds very nice from all indications and videos I see online but is more expensive as you mention. Plenty of beginners start with a F7 or Yamaha. Most important part is setting up guitar for a nice comfortable action (you can read about that on this forum too) and also getting some medium tension strings. My F7 came with hard tension strings and honestly made guitar a little bit harder to play.

As you said if you can go to the guitar store and pick up the Cordoba or Yamaha that is a nice option to have. If you continue with flamenco you can pick up a nicer guitar down the road or browse for a used one as your playing gets better and your ear. One of my favorite posters on this forum RombSix (who also has a nice youtube channel to check out by the way) started and used for a long time a cheap classical guitar and he made it sound good and now is a very good player! So Conclusion, buy the Yamaha or Cordoba and have it set up properly and you are on your way and buy something nicer in the future.

Learning. Obviously a teacher in person is the best but not practical for most people. As a complete newbie there are some resources online for general acoustic guitar to learn some things but you would be learning with a pick so its not the same as flamenco. You got to remember Flamenco has a lot of right hand techniques that you won't find in other guitar genres.

I would say go to the u tube and look up 'atrafanaschool' and look up his Flamenco Guitar 101 series. 38 videos. Excellent presentation and videos that you can copy his hand positions and gives tips. Also gives you some tabs to practice and goes through some basics. Also it's FREE. That is always nice. If you like his style he had videos that increase in complexity, online courses, etc. This is just one example but I really think this will help you get started off nicely.

If you start liking those and getting into it you can also search some books suggestions on here that come with DVD's that will help also.

Good luck and have fun. Learning the guitar has kept my sanity over the last few years and I try to play every day, sometimes 1 minute sometime over and hour. It's fun to learn something new and it helps keep your mind sharp. Just remember you will get FRUSTRATED at times trying to learn new things. Sometimes you got to just take a break and put the guitar down and come back to it at a later time. Also it seems you will think something is very hard to do and you work on it and suddenly you get this AHA moment and that's will keep your motivation going.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 2 2018 14:35:59


Posts: 389
Joined: May 14 2017

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

Had an F7. Sounds good -for the money- and neck is comfortable. Fine with medium tension strings which is easier to play. Only criticism I'd have is that strings are a fair distance from the top so tapping is a little tricky.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 3 2018 13:33:42


Posts: 140
Joined: Nov. 29 2012
From: San Francisco

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

I'd go with the yamaha. Just make sure the bridge level is at a comfortable position and if not, you could shave lower the bone. This guitar will get you through the first few years, if not more.

In regards to lessons, you could hold off for a few of months (but not more) and learn about the fretboard, basic chords, reading tab/notation, etc. After that, find a teacher online or in person. A great beginner book/cd is Juan Martin's El Arte La Guitarra...Here, you will get a lot of important basic material that could span over 1-2 years.

After 5+ years, I am still at the beginner level and inching towards intermediate, but am really enjoying the journey.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 3 2018 18:58:48


Posts: 34
Joined: Jun. 9 2016

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

I started learning about 4 years ago.

I have a Francisco Navarro Student guitar which is quite good. That said, I haven't played other guitars so can't say where it stands in comparison to others. But, sounds like it is a no go in your current situation.

I spent one year with (owned a crappy steal string jasmine guitar bought from amazon in the beginning) and then some time with pumping-nylon ( ) for some basics.

After that I started with flamenco stuff with Juan Martin's El
Arte La Guitarra.

you can also check out the playlist that did not exist back when I started but looks pretty good. has some good material as well and I did subscribe to their flamenco lessons.

But, I have to say I started making any real progress after taking few lessons from teacher. Books and online material supplements that well. There is too much information on internet but it is too scattered as well.

I am still a "beginner" though :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 5 2018 19:06:28

Posts: 11960
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos


Or is that not necessary at all and I should just find a good Flamenco learning material and start straight away?

What you might perceive as “navigating the fingerboard”, might not be necessary. It will certainly help to know, before your first flamenco lesson, what the open chords are, perhaps a couple basic barre chords too, and be able to change them in rhythm with a metronome. That is a major obstacle for us teachers to move past before we can get on with any serious flamenco. But beyond those basic chords, you have to keep in mind that different music genres have different disciplines for learning that specific style. It isn’t like pop chords, classical scales etc are some kind of pre requisite for learning more advanced music like flamenco or jazz. It’s a common misconception. Once you can do some basic chord changes, it’s time to get on to the proper path for which ever style you are trying to learn. If it’s rock, you get some guitar tabs. If its jazz, you start learning to read charts. If it’s classical you learn to read open position notes using a method book. If its flamenco, you start learning compas strumming patterns and simple falsetas.



CD's and transcriptions available here:
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 6 2018 16:56:19

Posts: 55
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

Hello formos!

This is my first year to study flamenco guitar, so wellcome to club! :)
At the moment i practice with classical Admira A2, cause its only guitar i have now (i sold my steel string guitars). Its ok guitar to play,but its not flamenco guitar. I will also buy about 500€ more flamenco style guitar for christmas. :) I want solid spruce top, so i am thinking Raimundo 126 negra or Prudencio Saez 17. There is also Paco Castillo 214F all solid wood available about 500€, but i think laminated back and sides are better in that price range. Also i like GK Studio...i dont know.. :)

Studying...I am using this Still learning basic technics but Orhan-school its good in my opinion. Just made my first purchase from there. I am going slowly cause of long day at work as lorry driver (yada yada :) ). Main thing to continue even sometimes comes breaks.

This forum is great place for info...just read ALL messages. Takes a while..hehe..i did so.



“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” -Tom Waits-
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 7 2018 10:00:01


Posts: 54
Joined: Dec. 27 2010

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

Most of us are former beginners, so, my thoughts to add to the confusion:
How do you know if you are going to stick with flamenco, or move on to something else? Of course you want something cheap that sounds good, so buy a used instrument if possible. Reselling is always a problem and when or if it comes time to move up, the less financial pain the better, unless your ears are always telling you, "man if I just had that...model I played at....
As far as practice, my advice is right hand, right hand, right hand. The left hand can adapt, but the right needs technique, which needs repetition. I would even practice rasqueado's while driving.
There is so much **** on YT it can be overwhelming. I ended up buying a zoom camera (or your cellphone) and I record of the screen and transfer it to DVD via my computer and watch it so I have it all in one spot. This helps a lot, when I'm not too lazy and end up falling into the YT vortex.
There are also other websites such as ravenna flamenco that have a lot of helpful info.
Also, listen to as much flamenco as you can. Good luck!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2018 14:16:31


Posts: 440
Joined: Jun. 14 2014
From: Encinitas, CA USA

RE: Beginner looking for advice on g... (in reply to formos

Guitar- since you will want to upgrade later don’t buy something you will loose a lot of money on reselling it unless you want to keep it as a second guitar such as for travel. Used guitars are probably a better value than new.

Learning- Atrafana,, Juan Martin


Ah well, there was a fantastic passion there, in my case anyway. I discovered flamenco
very early on. It grips you in a way that you can't get away - Paco Pena
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2018 15:42:15
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