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jberringer

 

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun. 30 2021
 

Advice for buying a guitar 

Hello,

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here I don’t remember my login info, and I created a new account! I hope I am back for good.

After a long break from flamenco I am playing a lot and taking lessons again. I am still playing a Spanish classical guitar, but I’m hitting the limitations of the guitar and I’d like to buy a good one now. I can afford to spend some money on one that will satisfy me for many years. I’ve been looking at the guitars on http://flamencoguitarsforsale.net/ to get a feel for some of the sounds I like.

So my first question is, do you all usually buy one that’s already built, or do you contact a luthier to build one for you? I mostly play the style from around Sevilla, so I’d like to consider a guitar from a Sevilla maker. I’m just looking for some info about common practices, and I may have follow up questions. Thank you!

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JB
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2021 3:55:49
 
FelixH

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr. 19 2018
From: London

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

Don’t do what I did, I’ve owned 10 flamenco guitars over the years ranging from cheap “factory” flamenco guitars up to a Manuel Reyes. I ended up selling most of them to upgrade or because I need the money. If I could start over I would probably have one made for myself by a maker whose guitars I had already tried and liked.
Sounds like you are on the right track knowing the sound you are after, can’t say I know anything about the Sevilla school of makers so I can’t really help you there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2021 17:35:06
 
AndresK

Posts: 159
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
 

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

Hello. Luciano Ghosn plays a guitar from a guitar maker from Sevilla, Antonio Bernal. He seems very happy in his videos with this guitar. Here is his site https://www.guitarreriaalvarezybernal.com/

You will go for his higher end I suppose. If you want you can also contact Luciano for an opinion. Check his video for some help on choosing what is best for you. It has some basic useful info.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2021 19:13:11
 
Schieper

 

Posts: 198
Joined: Mar. 29 2017
From: The Netherlands

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to FelixH

Hi FelixH

But you probably needed to own and sell most of them and play them for a while to find out what works for you. :-)

In my humble opinion, your technique evolves when you play different guitars. So for that reason, having owned different guitars, has been part of your journey and contributed to your skill.

Finally, some people say that the nice thing of having a guitar made for you is that you can consult with the luthier what suites you best. But I would not know what to ask for given my limited experience.

Now slowly, after playing for 4-5 years, I start to gain sufficient skill to adopt my playing to a specific guitar to get "subtle" different effects that make me like some of my guitars more, and others less.

Finally, and this is the same old, same old answer, you need to go to some stores and play some guitars. The right guitar will come to you and you will instantly now it. And you will play her for some years and you will discover things that you do not like and what to look for in your next step.

If you can not go to stores to play, get an entry level real Blanca in the € 500 – € 1.200 range. From for example camps (I personally like them ). Play it for 2-3 years and then step up to a student level (1.500-2.500).

I had the chance a year ago to spend an evening at the warehouse of www.vintage-guitar-world.com (who gets mixed reviews on this site but I was welcomed with warmth). An for example the Valeriano Bernal guitar I played was so soft, really not to my liking. And the Jeronimo Perez was just heavy and needed to be played really hard. For me, at that time, disappointing.

Its all about the journey mann! :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2021 7:47:18
 
FelixH

 

Posts: 30
Joined: Apr. 19 2018
From: London

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to Schieper

That is true Scheiper, every guitar played and responded differently which definitely helps develop techniques and tools. Sometimes an instrument that initially I didn’t get along with can grow on you as you adjust your style to get the best sound out of it and bring out the subtle nuances. There is even often differences between guitars from the same maker so it is often a good idea to try more than one example before making a decision particularly if it’s a high end expensive guitar.
I have always wanted to try a Gerundino but have never had the chance so far.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2021 12:18:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13409
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

quote:

I mostly play the style from around Sevilla, so I’d like to consider a guitar from a Sevilla maker.


The best guitar for Sevilla style is Conde Hermanos.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2021 15:13:25
 
jberringer

 

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun. 30 2021
 

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

I kinda feel the same as Schieper, I love the idea of getting one made for me, but I don’t know what to ask for - just make it … sound good?

Lower action and narrow neck than my classical would be a good start. I’ve been playing for decades on and off with the last decade mostly off until the start of 2021, and now I’m back on fully.

I want something that is currently out of my league so that when I grow into it I won’t have to run to a new guitar immediately. There generally aren’t places where I am to go and play guitars made by mom and pop luthiers from Andalucía. So if my best course of action is to wait until I can play a bunch of them and compare, then that’s what I’ll do.

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JB
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2021 17:05:40
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

What are your preferences for the wood, scale length, set up etc? I would get clear on that first then approach a luthier to discuss further. If you’re not sure about those things then a good luthier should be able give you some advice but the better informed you are, the more likely it will be that you get a guitar to your liking.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2021 18:04:45
 
jberringer

 

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun. 30 2021
 

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to agujetas

I like a Spruce top. I have a spruce top Martin guitar that sounds great. I’m not sure what concerns there are with scale. The neck of the Martin is about 2” wide while my other classical is 2.25. I think somewhere in the middle would work well for me. The string distance to the 12th feet is almost 5mm on the classical that I most often use. It makes it difficult to do clean picado runs. I know I can get as low as 2mm, but I’m not sure why I’d need to go that low. Another question is Blanca vs Negra - I don’t know. Both my classical have dark woods on the back and sides, and I play solo only, so perhaps negra is right for me. I don’t know what my other concerns should be though.

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JB
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2021 19:55:14
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Advice for buying a guitar (in reply to jberringer

The classic flamenco combination of course is spruce top and cypress back and sides but many players like negras and also cedar tops. If you’re not sure then maybe think about what players you like or some recordings or videos where you like guitar sound. You’d probably want a standard scale of 650 or 655 and nut width of 52mm but it would be best to try some guitars to get a feel for what you like. Most luthiers will have a demonstrator guitar you can try. You don’t need the action to be as low as 2mm. Around 3mm will be fine, especially if you’re used to a high action classical guitar. 3mm is going to feel low to you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2021 9:28:52
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