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Old 12-31-2010, 05:12 AM
chum66 chum66 is offline
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Default Best Martin for finger picking

what is the generally accepted best Martin model for fingerpicking?

I just started playing guitar (few months ago) and figured I am mostly a finger picker.... Have a D-16.. love the sound of it.. would love to shop for a good Martin finger picking model if D-16 is not it. (have some difficulties picking it as the strings are quite close to each other.... what's the term.. nut width??!)

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Old 12-31-2010, 05:28 AM
Garthman Garthman is offline
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There really isn't any such thing as a "fingerpicking" guitar - you can fingerpick on any guitar. Some people prefer a wider neck - 45mm is often cited - but I fingerpick on all my guitars with neck widths ranging from 40mm to 52mm.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:32 AM
lennylux lennylux is offline
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As said there is none, it's a personal choice thing.... If you feel that it's a bit narrow for you you may prefer to seek out a Martin model with a wider neck, if you like playing it and are comfortable with the spacing then it's the model for you.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:50 AM
teleguy teleguy is offline
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Default OM Baby!

Something in an OM or 000 size with a 1 & 3/4" nut - IMHO. Spruce top and mahogany body - also IMO. Cut-away or non-cutaway.
'98 Gibson WM-00 LS
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:51 AM
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rmyAddison rmyAddison is online now
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Congratulations on taking up the guitar, don't give up, it can be a lifetime joy!

There is no "best" fingerstyle Martin, and you certainly can play any style on any guitar, they just have different strengths and weaknesses, it all comes down to preferences and opinions.

Martin has over 200 models, the only thing there might be "general" consensus over is a Mahogany dread, with the D-18 Authentic, but best anything else will give you 10 different answers from 10 different people. Also budget comes into play, Martin's "best" of any body style can be pretty expensive.

With only a few months under your belt your best move is patience and auditions (coming from someone who started playing in 1966), respectfully you "don't know what you dont know", and we all tend to buy impulse guitars when we first start playing and make mistakes that hit us in the wallet.

I believe Martin's OMs are the most versatile for folks who strum/flatpick and also play fingerstyle and they have the wider nut. Some 000's like the 000-28EC Clapton also have the wider nut, but you're talking a bump in price from your D-16.

If I were your teacher I wouldn't recommend doing anything unless the nut width really is a problem and you know you will concentrate on fingerstyle playing. Just to give two recommendations, but again they jump in price, I would offer the 000-28EC and the OM-21 Special, both wide nut but very different guitars.

Patience. After only a few months you really don't have great mechanics and the D-16 may be fine for you as your skills improve. I play fingerstyle on my dreads at times even though I have small bodies too, work on your skills and audition when you have the chance, take you time..........
Rich - rmyAddison

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Some Martins..........
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:19 AM
mmasters mmasters is offline
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OOs and OOOs

Some would say OMs too.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:21 AM
Chordpounder Chordpounder is offline
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+1 on the OM/000, and +1 on the give-it-time-with-what-you-have.

Paul fingerpicked a D28 on Blackbird, IIRC.

That said, I don't care for the large body of a dread if I'm sitting in a comfortable position for fingerstyle.

That D16 you own could do you just fine after a while. I have an old OM16GT that I love.

Richard in Neenach, California
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:22 AM
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M19 M19 is online now
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I think my 00-18 (1-11/16" nut) is a wonderful finger-picking guitar.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:42 AM
HHP HHP is online now
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If you've only been playing a few months, it's doubtful that you are being limited by your equipment. Keep what you got, concentrate on your technique and learning some music, think about changing your equipment after you have developed to a point where you can appreciate and take advantage of different designs.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:38 AM
gamabry gamabry is offline
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Being primarily a fingerstyle player, I recently went shopping for a "fingerstyle" Martin. I had never played a guitar with a 1 3/4" nut so I headed off to the local Guitar Center to see how they played. One of the first that I picked up was the Martin OM-1. I found that the wider nut makes it only slightly easier on the right hand. There is really not that much difference to me in the feel of a 1 3/4" nut and the standard 1 11/16" nut. So to make a long story short, after about a two week search, I ended up buying a Martin with an 1 11/16" nut. The sound and feel of the guitar outweighted any difference a nut width would make.

My advice to you would be to get out and play some of these wide nut guitars and see what you think. Epiphone has an EF500R and Guild makes a GAD30R. Both are 1 3/4" nuts and sell for less than $1,000.. Martin make an OM-1 that sells for about $900-$1,100 and has the wide nut. I liked the size and feel of the OM-1 but it sounded a little thin compared to some of the other models. Taylor also makes some wide nutters that can be had for about $1,000 new. In my shopping, I only looked at guitars in the $700-$1200 range. I really liked the OM-1's feel but there were just too many other guitars that sounded better.

Good luck to you,

Richardson, Texas
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:21 AM
zmf zmf is offline
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Chum --

When you do get around to another fingerpicking guitar, the short scale on the OOOs does make playing easier, particularly if you pick with flesh/nails.

At the moment, my best Martin guitar model for fingerpicking is a Santa Cruz VS.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:35 AM
Rob Martin Rob Martin is offline
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I have read that the Martin 0,00,and 000 models are ideal for fingerstyle, but I own a D35(dreadnought), and play all styles on it. It's true, the dreads are larger and deeper than the 0 series, but you have to feel comfortable with the instrument, and it's dimensions including the string spacing and nut width.
Good luck with your playing, and above all......ENJOY!!!!
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:36 AM
gitardude gitardude is offline
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I like my 00-18V for that.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:42 AM
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kscobie8 kscobie8 is offline
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If I were to get a Martin for fingerstyle playing, I'd go with an OMC-Fingerstyle 1. They don't have a ton of unplugged acoustic power (not that you'd need it), but the tone is sweet and they play nice. Spanish cedar b/s and an Adi top, ooh la la!

Here's the one that Wildwood Music (near me!) has. I played it and I want it.

Bel isi,
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Be sure to check out my brother's music:
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:46 AM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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the one that's most comfortable, and, sings to you.

2010 Martin 0015M
2008 Martin HD28
2007 Martin 000-18GE
2006 Taylor 712
2006 Fender Parlor GDP100
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