Last week or so my dad picked up a cheap guitar. Their long time neighbors are packing up for a new locale and were downsizing their stuff. An old classical nylon string guitar and hard case, among loads of other stuff, made its way into my dad's possession.
Dad has expressed interest in getting a guitar and learning to play, as I did about a year ago (hard to believe - time flies!). After a small mishap of accidentally buying a 3/4 scale guitar, my dad is back on the pursuit. It will be fun to watch him learn. He has the potential to pick it up faster than I did if he has the desire to. I have been taking it very slow this last year and still can only play a handful of chords - and not all that well.
I got to see the "new" guitar on Sunday. At first glance, it doesn't look like much, but I don't like to judge a book by its cover. Sometimes the cheapest guitars sound great to me (what's the opposite of "money talks"?). It's pretty old and was in need of some repair and much dust removal/polishing (still needs that bit). The two of us took the instrument down to the local guitar store, and my dad paid to get new strings installed. It was missing 3 strings, so it needed to be done.
The guy at the store did a weird job tuning the strings. When I got back to my parents' house, it took me a while to figure out how to tune it so I could actually play it. I guess it must have been an alternate tuning because all the chords I know didn't work. In general, the strings were horribly loose, and I had to wind them up a ton before my dad's electronic tuner even registered sound, let alone the correct notes. I also noticed that by the time I tuned 3 strings, the first one was out of tune again. I suppose that is probably just a "virtue" of new string adjustment and stretching. As of yet, I've not had to replace my own strings, so I hadn't experienced that oddity. We also had to fix the head of the guitar, where one of the plates that holds the tuning pegs had stripped its screws and was prying itself free. Thicker screws did the trick. It's not the most elegant solution, but it worked!
I tried out Dad's new guitar and liked it quite a bit. While it is likely no rare find, I think it has a very nice, rich sound. Often when I play, I rest my chin on the body of the guitar and kinda stare at the floor. When I did this with this guitar, I could feel the vibrations run through my core. The bass tones are very powerful - I think "better" sounding than my mediocre steel-string guitar. I've always wanted to feel a classical guitar. I like the nylon strings, and the wider neck/fingerboard is interesting. One of these days I'll have to find myself a cheap nylon string guitar. Then my set will be complete. I already have a dreadnought steel-string, a basic electric and weak amp. Fortunately I have cheap taste, and this hobby is not overly expensive for me.
I wish my dad well in his guitar playing. I'm sure he'll do fine, and I think he will enjoy his new guitar. Because of this tiny bit of musical activity, my interest has peaked again. I put a few guitar books on hold at the library and will hopefully learn something new.
By the way, now that I look at that picture my mom took for me... the shape looks as much dreadnought as it does classical. I'm not sure what it is, to be honest. It definitely had nylon strings on it when my dad got it (and that's what the guy replaced them with), but is it possibly a steel string guitar? How does one know such a thing for sure? The wider neck and head are definitely signature classical, but the body looks dreadnought. Perhaps it is a custom-made weirdness. It doesn't have any brand labels anywhere to be seen. Karl, if you're reading, help me out here... or any of my other guitar slinging friends.