#1
Hello all, first post.

I recently decided to pick up guitar again, decades after my first couple of lessons. I bought this Fender DG22S over the weekend at Guitar Center. It was used but at $175, it was a good deal I think.

I also had my first lesson last night. I learned Em and Asus2 I think... and the pentatonic scale. Needless to say, my 1 and 2 fingertips are numb this morning.

The action on this guitar is a little high, and my instructor agreed. While he didn't suggest that I lower the action, he stated that I could if I wanted to.

My question is would it be better to lower the action a little, and restring it with thinner steel strings because my fingers are still weak, and I apparently have very FAT fingertips? Or should I leave it as is because it would be better for learning?

Any advice is appreciated.

Fender DG22S by Christopher Coy, on Flickr

FenderDG22S by Christopher Coy, on Flickr

FenderDG22S by Christopher Coy, on Flickr
#2
I'm going to give you honest advice based on years of experience : sell the guitar and get a Yamaha with great action. An acoustic guitar with bad action is a recipe for disaster. Don't waste money getting that guitar adjusted, use all your money towards a properly built guitar.

A guitar with bad action will dissuade you from playing and make more difficult songs near impossible to play. I would wager that the intonation on that guitar is probably terrible as well, which is common for acoustic guitars with bad action. There is no advantage to playing on a terrible instrument - it will simply make you want to stop playing.

Yamaha makes great guitars on the bottom price tier, but make sure you get one with good action. Fenders are a mess in the acoustic world - there is zero quality control there.

Action, intonation and the ability to stay in tune are the primary and absolutely basic necessary characteristics of a guitar - get one that has those characteristics and you will have a guitar that will last you a lifetime.
#3
Quote by reverb66
I'm going to give you honest advice based on years of experience : sell the guitar and get a Yamaha with great action. An acoustic guitar with bad action is a recipe for disaster. Don't waste money getting that guitar adjusted, use all your money towards a properly built guitar.



Thank you for the advice. I'll look into Yamaha's.
#4
I find the nut action too high on my Fender Malibu as well. It's a little annoying, but even worse is my old man's Fender (forget the model). The action is so high.

A good trick that I use is to capo on the first fret. Not ideal, but if you are just learning open chords then it will help until you pick up a Yamaha (or whatever). I often move the capo up as I play throughout the day as it relieves the amount of pressure required by the left fingers.
#5
Quote by reverb66
I'm going to give you honest advice based on years of experience : sell the guitar and get a Yamaha with great action. An acoustic guitar with bad action is a recipe for disaster. Don't waste money getting that guitar adjusted, use all your money towards a properly built guitar.

A guitar with bad action will dissuade you from playing and make more difficult songs near impossible to play. I would wager that the intonation on that guitar is probably terrible as well, which is common for acoustic guitars with bad action. There is no advantage to playing on a terrible instrument - it will simply make you want to stop playing.

Yamaha makes great guitars on the bottom price tier, but make sure you get one with good action. Fenders are a mess in the acoustic world - there is zero quality control there.

Action, intonation and the ability to stay in tune are the primary and absolutely basic necessary characteristics of a guitar - get one that has those characteristics and you will have a guitar that will last you a lifetime.
Shoosh! This particular model is MIK, between 1995 & 2004. It has a solid top and nato neck. It's also supposed to be a lot better than the more recent Chinese Fenders.

Here's a review, (Amateur), of the guitar right here: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/acoustic_guitars/fender/dg-22s

The resale value on these is fairly high. However, somebody qualified should look at the guitar to check the action, and due to its age, how far away from a neck reset it is.

Besides, as it's a solid top, it should have "opened up" by now. At least if you believe in that sort of thing...
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
Shoosh! This particular model is MIK, between 1995 & 2004. It has a solid top and nato neck. It's also supposed to be a lot better than the more recent Chinese Fenders.

Here's a review, (Amateur), of the guitar right here: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/acoustic_guitars/fender/dg-22s

The resale value on these is fairly high. However, somebody qualified should look at the guitar to check the action, and due to its age, how far away from a neck reset it is.

Besides, as it's a solid top, it should have "opened up" by now. At least if you believe in that sort of thing...



I'm assuming that this is a positive review?

While I was in the store, I had a couple people play it for me, and all of them said that it had a great sound. I had one of the Guitar Center guys play it as well and told him of my intentions. He stated that for the price, and the fact that it was a solid top, I couldn't beat it. I also asked my instructor to play it during my first lesson, and while he said that there were some tuning issues, he said that it did have a good sound.

The only reason that I question the action is that he was using a newer Ibanez, and I tried it. The action was significantly lower than my Fender, and it seemed to be easier to play, although I'm not skilled enough to actually know better.

Where would I take it to have an overhaul done? Are the people at Guitar Center usually skilled enough to do this, or should I search out an actual repair technician?
#7
Quote by PhotoStrings
I'm assuming that this is a positive review?

While I was in the store, I had a couple people play it for me, and all of them said that it had a great sound. I had one of the Guitar Center guys play it as well and told him of my intentions. He stated that for the price, and the fact that it was a solid top, I couldn't beat it. I also asked my instructor to play it during my first lesson, and while he said that there were some tuning issues, he said that it did have a good sound.

The only reason that I question the action is that he was using a newer Ibanez, and I tried it. The action was significantly lower than my Fender, and it seemed to be easier to play, although I'm not skilled enough to actually know better.

Where would I take it to have an overhaul done? Are the people at Guitar Center usually skilled enough to do this, or should I search out an actual repair technician?


1)I don't believe in salvaging improperly built cheap acoustic guitars - it's not like an electric, where the hardware allows for that quite easily.

2) It's a common mistake to buy the acoustic guitar that "sounds" better. For most people all that means is that it is louder than the others ( it's a perception issue). A Guitar with higher action will be louder. Sound quality comes AFTER tuning, intonation and action in order of importance.

3) You mention two things that are huge red flags for me - "tuning issues" and "significantly higher action" - those are more than enough to get rid of a guitar. If you don't believe me now, you will after a year of playing when your ear develops and you will constantly be hearing notes out of tune - it will drive you crazy and it will annoy anyone listening to you play. Even guitars with higher action are somewhat playable for basic beginner chord strumming - the problems become more apparent when you start doing more advanced techniques higher up the fretboard, bars, slides, hammer ons , pull offs etc.
Last edited by reverb66 at May 13, 2015,
#8
Quote by reverb66
1)I don't believe in salvaging improperly built cheap acoustic guitars - it's not like an electric, where the hardware allows for that quite easily.

2) It's a common mistake to buy the acoustic guitar that "sounds" better. For most people all that means is that it is louder than the others ( it's a perception issue). A Guitar with higher action will be louder. Sound quality comes AFTER tuning, intonation and action in order of importance.

3) You mention two things that are huge red flags for me - "tuning issues" and "significantly higher action" - those are more than enough to get rid of a guitar. If you don't believe me now, you will after a year of playing when your ear develops and you will constantly be hearing notes out of tune - it will drive you crazy and it will annoy anyone listening to you play. Even guitars with higher action are somewhat playable for basic beginner chord strumming - the problems become more apparent when you start doing more advanced techniques higher up the fretboard, bars, slides, hammer ons , pull offs etc.



While I don't know much about guitars at this time, I can certainly understand your point. As a photographer, I've learned my lesson over the years with inferior lenses. When it comes to buying new gear, these days I always buy the best that I can afford.


However, I question your comment about build quality. You're assuming that this is a cheaply built guitar, what are you basing that assumption on? Or what makes you believe that this is a cheaply built guitar?
Last edited by PhotoStrings at May 13, 2015,
#9
Quote by PhotoStrings
While I don't know much about guitars at this time, I can certainly understand your point. As a photographer, I've learned my lesson over the years with inferior lenses. When it comes to buying new gear, these days I always buy the best that I can afford.


However, I question your comment about build quality. You're assuming that this is a cheaply built guitar, what are you basing that assumption on? Or what makes you believe that this is a cheaply built guitar?


An acoustic guitar with high action and tuning issues is by definition poorly built. It's like having a warped lens on your camera, assuming that makes any sense.

I am not very forgiving of instruments that are in a store and not properly setup generally. With electric guitars a proper setup can completely change an instrument, but that's because many of the parameters can be adjusted easily via the hardware ( action can be adjusted by simple screw turns on the bridge for example). The intonation can be adjusted similarly as well.

An acoustic guitar is a whole other beast - raising or lowering the action isn't just a few screw turns, you need to file a saddle and maybe mess with the nut - the new string height may also affect intonation, so you may just be compounding problems by trying to fix it. It may be worth a shot in your case, but the fact that you already have tuning issues leads me to believe it would not be worth the trouble.
#10
Quote by reverb66
...but the fact that you already have tuning issues leads me to believe it would not be worth the trouble.



Well, the only tuning that has been done on this guitar is what I've been able to accomplish with my handy dandy Guitar Tuna smartphone app. Perhaps by "tuning issues" my instructor simply meant a turn of the tuners. We didn't do any of that at the beginning of the lesson, and instead went right into reading music and chords. So perhaps thats what he meant.
#11
Quote by PhotoStrings
Well, the only tuning that has been done on this guitar is what I've been able to accomplish with my handy dandy Guitar Tuna smartphone app. Perhaps by "tuning issues" my instructor simply meant a turn of the tuners. We didn't do any of that at the beginning of the lesson, and instead went right into reading music and chords. So perhaps thats what he meant.


Get him to check the intonation ( if he doesn't know how to do this you may need a new teacher!) and to play for a few minutes to see if the guitar keeps in tune ok.
#12
Quote by reverb66
Get him to check the intonation ( if he doesn't know how to do this you may need a new teacher!) and to play for a few minutes to see if the guitar keeps in tune ok.


Or do it yourself? Play the string while fretting the 12th fret and see if it's still in tune.