#1
Hey everyone. As title mentions I am a complete rookie. I have never played the guitar before in my life, which I however do plan to change sometime this month.
Currently I have set my sights on the Epiphone Hummingbird after a long time of perusing google, although I do have a few problems. 
I do not have access to a shop that has the Hummingbird, as the ones who do have it are at the other end of the country. I am buying the guitar online for this reason - and also because it is cheaper online. 
This means I do not have the option to try it before buying it, which I understand is (potentially) a big no-no. Should I instead look for other guitars that I'll actually be able to try out beforehand? 
Thanks in advance!
#2
Ideally you should try the guitar you are going to buy.

Since you are an absolute beginner, I recommend that you go to a local store and try a variety of different guitars that are of the style you think you are interested in. That way, you can get an idea for what you like, since you don't have the experience or knowledge to really know what you're looking for. 

Play a wide variety of types within your price range (and even outside of it) to build that baseline feeling for what you want. 
My God, it's full of stars!
#3
Buying online can be OK if you have some experience, but as Dreadnought says, a beginner is far better off going out and trying as many as he/she can, including some that you can't afford. Remember that feel and playability are mostly a function of set up these days, and that can be easily fixed in most cases. In any event, be sure to budget for a set up, because I don't think that there is anything more discouraging for a beginner than a guitar that is difficult to play.

What attracted you to the Hummingbird? Anything more than looks?
#4
Quote by bordiga
This means I do not have the option to try it before buying it, which I understand is (potentially) a big no-no. Should I instead look for other guitars that I'll actually be able to try out beforehand? 
Thanks in advance!

I sympathize with you, as being a lefty forced me to buy every guitar I have online. The 2 acoustics I'm most happy with, are both Epiphone EJ-200-SCE. Those are basically the "Hummingbirds's" big brothers.

Both of the guitars were setup perfectly out of the box, no so for my Fender and Ibanez acoustic, also purchased online.

So, I suggest buying the A/E version of the Hummingbird if possible. You could also consider the Epi AJ-220 acoustic, as they're now being shipped with solid tops. That is as low in their line as I would consider buying.

IMHO, the newest Epiphone acoustic offerings are not a terrible risk buying online, and most of the US dealers offer at least a 30 day return policy.

You should however,. at the very least check out guitars of similar size and shape at a local store, to see if that meets with your needs.

Acoustics today have a virtually standardized 1 11/16" neck width along with similar neck profiles. Also, most guitars are "14 fret", meaning the necks join the body at the 14th fret. Assuming a comparably good setup, you would most likely  be able to move from one to another without much hassle.
#5
Thank you for your response.
In my still ongoing confusion regarding which guitar I want to purchase I have also come across the Yamaha FG800 which I understand is also a generally well liked acoustic for its price range. 

I can get it for around the same price as the Hummingbird Pro so I'm trying to decide which I would prefer. From the videos and sound tests I've heard I like the sound of both. 
I've tried to e-mail a music chain store in the city about whether or not they'll be ordering some guitars to that store - but either way I'm definitely going to at the very least try out their dreadnought guitars to get a feel for the size and type of guitar.

I appreciate your answers and again thanks in advance. 
#6
Quote by bordiga
Thank you for your response.
In my still ongoing confusion regarding which guitar I want to purchase I have also come across the Yamaha FG800 which I understand is also a generally well liked acoustic for its price range. 

I can get it for around the same price as the Hummingbird Pro so I'm trying to decide which I would prefer. From the videos and sound tests I've heard I like the sound of both. 
I've tried to e-mail a music chain store in the city about whether or not they'll be ordering some guitars to that store - but either way I'm definitely going to at the very least try out their dreadnought guitars to get a feel for the size and type of guitar.

I appreciate your answers and again thanks in advance. 

I am going tell you get the hummingbird. Also, I going recommended this book: https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Handbook-Professional-Acoustic-Electrice/dp/0679742751. That book has helped me a lot with setups along with some other things. It is a great book and for a beginner looking to buy offline, it going help you a ton. I been looking at that hummingbird as well. It is not going be a guitar that you out grow quickly and Epiphone are badass at everything they do. The only other things I would say is this, check out some Takamine in that price range too, they are good guitars as well.  I have bought most of the guitars that I have own offline. Mainly they are cheaper there. Most of my others ones I got from Pawn Shops. Hunt pawn shops to see if you can find an hummingbird in there.
"Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family." Eric Clapton
#7
Quote by bordiga
Thank you for your response.
In my still ongoing confusion regarding which guitar I want to purchase I have also come across the Yamaha FG800 which I understand is also a generally well liked acoustic for its price range. 

I can get it for around the same price as the Hummingbird Pro so I'm trying to decide which I would prefer. From the videos and sound tests I've heard I like the sound of both. 
I've tried to e-mail a music chain store in the city about whether or not they'll be ordering some guitars to that store - but either way I'm definitely going to at the very least try out their dreadnought guitars to get a feel for the size and type of guitar.

I appreciate your answers and again thanks in advance. 

Yes, Yamaha is a definitely good choice in this price range. But again it's a matter of personal preference. I don't know, where are you from, but musical stores usually have some Yamaha guitars in stock.
#8
You can't go wrong with the Epi Hummer or the FG800, both excellent guitars for the price.  As mentioned above visit your local store to determine what SIZE/STYLE guitar is comfortable for you.  Make sure when you get one that you check the string height at the nut carefully, it should be nice and low, if too hard to play take it to a tech and get it lowered.
High nuts are the #1 reason why people stop learning guitar.
#9
If you're looking in the $300 or so category, as big a fan as I am of Yamaha's FG guitars, and FS (folk sized, slightly smaller, great guitars, especially for a beginner!), you might want to check out an Alvarez AD60.  They are awesome sounding for the $300, real rock n' roll guitars.  For a couple hundred more, though, you can get a new Leho LM14R, with a grade A sitka spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, designed by Jean Larrivee of Larrivee Guitars, and it comes with a hard case.  I just bought one, and can't believe how much guitar I got for that much money.  They retail for about $750, but there's a shop on Reverb right now selling them for $500!  Usually just the upgrade to rosewood from mahogany runs you half that, or more, on most quality guitars.
Last edited by relayer1 at Mar 30, 2017,
#10
You may want to consider buying locally from a brick and mortar music shop, even if it costs you a bit more than what you would pay online.
If you buy locally, they will take care of you with all things great and small should something seem amiss with your purchase.
And they shouldn't charge you for an initial setup.
I suggest bringing a friend with you who knows something about guitars. Between him/her and a member of the sales staff, you should be able to walk out of the store with a good guitar suitable for your needs even if its not one of the offerings you found reviewed online.
#11
Hey folks, I visited a shop in the city a week ago and after a back-and-forth with an assistant I/we decided that a Yamaha FG800 would be the best option for now. I've ordered one and I should be able to get it in a couple of days.
Pretty damn excited! Thanks for all your responses. I will return in a while when I've (received it and) hopefully managed to learn a few chords.
#13
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/A1R

Not going to find a better guitar for the price than this IMO. I've bought several guitars from sweetwater and they all came set-up perfectly. This guitar was $699 a year ago. When I saw them at this price, I bought a second one. Easiest playing acoustic I've ever played, the electronics are topnotch and the tone is better than my seagull(all solid wood) and breedlove guitars. Not sure if they are discontinuing the model(would be shame) or what, but I'd grab one while you can at this price. If you prefer mahogany(A1M) instead of rosewood for the sides and back, they are on sale for $298. Nobody does budget and mid-level guitars better than Yamaha IMO.
#14
Ooops, guess I'm late to the party. The FG800 looks like a nice guitar too, updated version of the highly regarded FG700. Congrats! Like Tony said, a set-up may be required(maybe not). If you know someone that plays, I'd take them with you and play it to test the set-up. Maybe the shop will throw in a set-up if it needs it. A lot of them will do that for free to make a sale. A good comfortable low set-up is important for a beginner to learn, or anyone for that matter. Have fun and be patient. It will come with practice.
#15
I loved my FG-800! The 80-20 strings on it gave it a really unusual sound, and the scalloped bracing gave it deeper bass than the FG700s. I don't think anything else at $200 can touch it. If I was a beginner, though, I think I would have preferred the FS-800, just slightly smaller and easier to play. Yamahas come with a really good set-up from the factory usually. I'm thinking about buying a FG-300 Nippon Gakki next. Although prices on FG-300s and FG-180s have just gone through the roof lately.
#16
bordigaWhere do you live? Just wondering where a FG-800 and Hummingbird Pro go for the same price, and it's so hard to find someplace to test them. Here, the Pro would cost at least $100 more.
#18
I've heard it's best to always buy use used guitars. I don't know this from experience, but from some guitar major at a college and a couple of friends. I usually buy new though, just because I don't trust Ebay...
#Acoustic Life
#19
Quote by awesomehuggles321
I've heard it's best to always buy use used guitars. I don't know this from experience, but from some guitar major at a college and a couple of friends. I usually buy new though, just because I don't trust Ebay...

"Reverb.com", (I'm guessing), would be a better, more trustworthy source for a used instrument.

With that said, using a combination of "show rooming", and the internet to make actual purchase, I'd say new is the way to go.

Most acoustic guitars will come to a point in their life where they need a "neck reset". Broadly generalizing, the older an acoustic is, the closer it comes to that  expensive procedure. A neck reset is obviously only a suitable recourse for a high dollar value instrument.

Going to lower priced "starter guitars", they could be badly treated, or for one reason or another, (wrong neck angle perhaps), unable to be made playable which was the reason they're on the market. (The beginner gave up)? Obviously, a great deal of experience and prudence is required to make such a purchase. IMHO, it's a bad precedent to send a noob out looking for a used guitar on his or her own.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 21, 2017,
#20
bordiga I would never buy any guitar without playing it first. That is just because even the same make and model guitar can have differences.
With that said it is also an issue of budget. https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwjrldSXisXTAhUOgbMKHbsRCW8YABAHGgJxbg&sig=AOD64_2ahYytY-K1dRKp25Ctm8wVfW40KQ&adurl=&ctype=5

There is another Yamaha that is $200 used and brand new...I think its the FG500 (but i could be wrong), they are good brite sounding guitars. 


Spending more before you know how dedicated you are going to be is a risk. My thinking is that I will buy a guitar to be proud of when people actually start inviting me to play. Until then its more about the sound and ease of play.  Of course I now have a beautiful Martin (my first) and I love it, but I had a yamaha at first, then a $400 Ovation (that I still have) and then moved to a great Ovation Custom Legend ($1,900) that I sold when I got this Martin  for $1700.

I bought and sold others quickly because they just turned out not to be for me. 
#21
brettzel71  You said, " There is another Yamaha that is $200 used and brand new...I think its  the FG500 (but i could be wrong), they are good brite sounding guitars".

The latest model of that instrument is now numbered "FG-800".
#22
awesomehuggles321  There are some good deals to be found buying used but there's also a bigger risk. You really need to know what to look for - cracks, neck, fret wear, etc. Your local Craigslist is probably the best place to look so that you can actually go play and inspect the guitar before buying. Problem is most people are asking way too much for their used gear and the good deals go fast. I've had good and bad experiences buying used. If you are patient and know where to look, you can find incredible deals on new guitars. Musicians Friend stupid deal of the day and Sweetwater deal zone are good places to check and 2 trustworthy on-line vendors.
#24
brettzel71I never had any luck with Ovations. I heard one that was being played by a local group called Over The Rhine, and even played it shortly, that sounded amazing, and I thought I have to get an Ovation. So I bought a couple, one cheap Applause, and another expensive Anniversary Edition with fancy wood inlays and stuff, and both of them sounded lame unplugged, especially the Applause. That's what I get for buying guitars online without trying them first, I guess. I still can't understand why the Anniversary Edition Ovation Celebrity CC-148 sounded so lame. I ended up selling it at a huge loss, but the guy who bought it thought it sounded wonderful. In fact, when I posted it on Craigslist, I had people trying to buy it out from under the first person who called to look at it, like I was selling a Martin D-28 for a hundred instead of an Ovation. My brother-in-law really hated it. He said it was my worst sounding guitar, ever.
#25
Lol, not all Ovations are equal that is for sure. I have bought a few of them over the years only to basically give them away....I have to say though that the Custom Legend I had was one of the best sounding guitars I ever played. It was made of very heavy materials especially the neck. The heaviness of it offset the flat sound you get from many others. I hate how the Adamas style sounded the most. It's almost as if you have to spend over $1500 to get a good sounding ovation...not that I believe price equals sound quality. I have a celebrity that is over twenty years old that actually sounds pretty full.

With all that said, my Martin plays and sounds superior to anything I ever played...
#26
My suggestion would be to look at the new Yamaha's.  Do some research on the FG800 series and FS800 series.  Same guitars basically just the FS are a smaller body.  The 830 can be had for around $299 and is a loud, crisp and clear sounding instrument.