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Old 01-09-2011, 04:27 PM
jgeary jgeary is offline
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Default "Best" small 1/2 size or 3/4 size guitar; need advice please.

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum and boy, could I use your advice!

I'm dealing with recurring injuries, both to my upper back as well as my thumb joints (overuse injuries from cello playing). I'd really like to pursue studies with a nylon-string guitar and I'm certain I'll need to begin with a smaller guitar.
Does anyone have a comment on some of the smaller guitars? I have a Cordoba Cadete (the 3/4 size) which I just purchased, but it may be too big (for the near future). My physical therapist has approved my playing (a little) but only if I feel no pain. The full size (and possibly even the Cadete) causes strain on my upper back (due to my right arm across the ribs and around the 'larger' instrument), and the scale length causes stress to my left hand.
Are there any 1/2-size guitars which are very good quality? I believe the Cordoba Requinto won "best in show" at NAMM in 2010. How is the sound in the 1/2 size guitars? Are they tuned E - E, or A - A, or??? Are good strings even available?
I've also been reading about the 1/2 sized Kremona (see link):

One note: a "wider" guitar (like with a deep rib) is also a problem for my back. I need to stay within the 3 1/2" rib depth, or even less I'd say.

Thank you in advance. This is very frustrating. But I really don't mind playing a small guitar. It's better than not at all!

San Diego
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:32 PM
GuitarVlog GuitarVlog is offline
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Jill, the Cordoba Requinto is tuned ADGCEA but you can convert it to EADGBE if you use hard-tension strings. The strings will end up being close to medium tension. I haven't played one yet.

If you can spare maybe an extra $200, I would contact luthier Kenny Hill by phone and see what he or Larry Darnell might suggest from their Estudio line. They carry a greater variety of different scale guitars (not just the 1/2 & 3/4 or 7/8 scales) and some different nut widths.

They might even have used instruments in excellent condition if you are on a tight budget. It doesn't hurt to inquire.

Kenny's guitars come from the same factory as Cordoba. Kenny introduced the folks at Cordoba to his joint venture operation in China. But Kenny's Estudio guitars use different woods and are set-up/inspected at Kenny's workshop in Ben Lomond. For me, those value-adds and Kenny's counsel were worth the premium. I bought his Estudio 45S which has a solid Engelmann spruce top and figured Bubinga laminated back/sides.
What matters is not your guitar but what you can do with it.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:50 PM
jgeary jgeary is offline
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Could you expound a bit on the High tension/medium tension regarding the strings? If a High Tension string is used, would that not possibly damage the small instrument? If the tone/outcome is medium tension, is that okay or would the effect be an atrocious sound?

I emailed Kenny as well.

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