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 Post subject: Acoustic/Unplugged
PostPosted: 090607 03:49 
Legendary Overfiend
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Some of you may not be aware of this, but of the two regular Open Stages I had been attending, one of them closed down due to lack of interest (the Primatives' one). In its place, The Primatives are starting up a different kind of thing, sort of a folky "music circle" type of get-together. Each occurrence will be "hosted" by a different member, and supplemented by the other musicians, and will be held at a place of the host's choice (like, either their house or a coffee house/park/something near them that's convenient). And, of course, the basic idea behind the music is for it to be a more intimate, unplugged, acoustic sort of thing as opposed to the "staginess" of the Open Stage.

So here's my concern. I'm an electric guitarist. And while it was made clear that amplified instruments are not strictly prohibited (probably strictly for my benefit), a) it's still important to maintain a certain volume level considering the nature (and likely the venue) of the get-togethers (and it's difficult to get a good sound out of an amp at low volumes), and b) I really don't want to be the odd man out who has to be accommodated for.

Now it's not like I can't play an acoustic guitar. But it's true that I can't play well on an acoustic guitar, specifically my acoustic guitar. It's not that I'm completely averse to playing unplugged, either, since when I'm practicing (and playing for myself) I almost exclusively play unplugged these days (and not just because it doesn't make as much noise). However, playing an electric guitar unplugged, without amplification of any kind, is not very effective when playing for other people, because it's just not very loud, compared to an acoustic instrument which is built for unamplified playing.

So what's the problem with my acoustic guitar? I was really happy with it when I bought it because it had a really nice tone. It was fully acoustic - no plug-in capabilities, full body to provide a rich sound. But now I just find it really hard to play, despite how nice it might sound. The main three problems I've noticed are thus: 1) thick strings (can be exchanged with thinner strings, I'm sure, though I'm not sure what effect that would have on the sound - it's ironic, I knew a guy in college who wanted to string his electric guitar with acoustic strings to get a fatter sound, and here I'm thinking about stringing an acoustic guitar with electric strings...), 2) the neck is really thick - this is a big problem, makes it very hard for me to play the way I'm used to with my electric guitar's thinner neck (my other electric guitar has a neck thicker than my first electric, but thinner than the acoustic, fyi), and 3) being full bodied, the acoustic guitar does not have a cut-away and thus it is practically impossible to play above the twelfth fret - which is more useful for the type of electric-ish songs I play as opposed to simply chord-only acoustic type songs.

So I'm wondering if maybe I would actually be better served by getting a new acoustic guitar. I'm not sure if this is possible, but if I could get a relatively small one with a nice, thin neck, with easy access to the higher frets - in other words, a guitar that feels as close to my electric as possible, but with the sound of an acoustic - that could be amazing. But I wonder if they even make acoustic guitars like that...

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 Post subject: Re: Acoustic/Unplugged
PostPosted: 090609 10:16 
Interactive Blogger
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Don't you have spare strings? Try putting one on and see how it sounds. If it sounds decent, put the rest on.

As for the neck thickness, think of it as gravity training... you get used to it with the handicap and you'll be that much better on an electric!


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 Post subject: Re: Acoustic/Unplugged
PostPosted: 090609 11:20 
Legendary Overfiend
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Scott wrote:
As for the neck thickness, think of it as gravity training... you get used to it with the handicap and you'll be that much better on an electric!

That argument won't work on me. If it was valid, then I might as well use the thicker strings too, right? But getting used to playing on a thicker neck (assuming such a thing is possible) isn't going to make it easier to play on a thinner neck. It'll screw up my perception and make me play worse on the thinner neck, and I still won't be able to play as well on the thick neck as I did on the thin neck to start, before I started screwing around.

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