I’m writing about my quest for a good working guitar before my official posting of Las Vegas.  I’ll admit, this is mostly for my own recollection for the future, so sorry if this bores you. I figured I’d share my insight since I spent so much time on the journey.

For those of you that don’t know, I’ve always been secretly jealous of my brothers astounding ability to play music.  He’s always been amazing at guitar and can pick up other instruments like the piano/keyboard and then record music with that as well.  I’ve always been a jock versus artistic and musical but this trip I really want to learn the guitar and at least be able to play along with a song in a similar resemblance.

I’ve been on and off with my (now previous) guitar.  It’s a Jasmine Takamine and seemed to have a good sound.  I had the guitar with me at the Shaw’s in Phoenix in case I wanted to continue with practicing.  Turns out Joe Miller, that was also in the home, plays the guitar and was looking for a guitar.  So, just as it happened, I had one and he played.  He was helpful to me as I asked some questions and in particular how I could learn cords and play better.  He mentioned I should really get the action lowered– the strings distance off the neck.  The closer, the easier, so you don’t have press down as hard to get the string to ring through.

So, I waited through Lake Havasu until we got to a bigger city with guitar stores.  I took my guitar into Sam Ash near our site and got a really helpful repair guy that stayed well past his shift ended.  Long story short, he told me the guitar was bowed a little since it was a cheaper beginner guitar, it wasn’t worth it to put any money into it.  So, I decided to see about a replacement.

I shopped at the Sam Ash a little longer and continued shopping late into the night on Amazon, Google, and other sites.  I even talked with my brother, Greg to see what he thought and other ideas to look for.  He let me know a few tips and that he has a Yamaha.  Ultimately, I decided to go to Guitar Center to shop as well before making a final decision.  They had a slightly larger selection as I was looking into Ibanez, Breedlove, Yamaha, Fender, and Epiphon.  I’ll make a long story short, but I disliked the agonizing help of not one, not two, but three different sales people.  One which was the store manager.  I was so frustrated at the lack of help and slow progress until we decided we would ask the instructor that was in the room.  He was a huge help and ultimately helped me shy away from one that may have worked but didn’t fulfill my needs of a lower action guitar.  I weeded out most of them and pretty much decided on the Yamaha FG830.  I just couldn’t help but love the sound and it’s known for a lower action.  It’s a higher quality guitar at the beginner price level but I wanted to get a little better guitar that sounded great, looked great, made well, and makes me excited to play it.  So, after some horrible service….we left.  My money was more deserved at Sam Ash.

We made our way back to Sam Ash and again received excellent customer service from a sales guy that could play very well!  He pretty much confirmed for me that the Yamaha FG830 was the best bang for the buck and a really nice guitar to play.  After he made it look and sound good, I traded in my older guitar (only getting $40 for it) and bought my new toy.

It’s now been my second day with her and……….well, she doesn’t play herself.  It’s easier on my hands, sounds way better, and I’ve got a lot of learning to do!



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