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  #1  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:48 AM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
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Default Fingerstyle players, how do you enjoy unplugged playing sound?

Hey, fellow members,
Greetings from southern CA!

I was wondering how acoustic fingerpickers who use nails and flesh enjoy unplugged sound while playing.

I'm from classical guitar world and for the first time in my life, trying to get an acoustic guitar.

I've visited nearby GCs and tried many steel string guitars.

But whenever I play them, I feel the volume is pretty small and doesn't produce subtleness and responses that I get from my classical guitar when playing fingerstyle, especially on high notes.

I really love acoustic sound from steel strings, from albums and youtube videos.

But it looks I can only get that sound when plugged in-either from guitar amp or through recording devices.

Just wondering if I'm missing something-please understand I'm new to acoustic world.

Thanks in advance for your inputs!

Last edited by bluesky2015; 07-19-2018 at 10:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:59 AM
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Well, if you're used to playing a high end classical, it is likely that nothing at Guitar Center is going to tickle your fancy. I'm not saying there aren't nice guitars there. But nothing that is going to replace that sound.

A high end steel string should give you a good sound and volume.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:06 AM
downtime downtime is offline
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A sound port on a quality steel string built for responsive fingerstyle might be what you need to get the aural feedback you're desiring.
Not something you'll find at Guitar Center. Depending where you are located you might be close enough to a high end guitar dealer for a visit.

You'll find lots of information on this forum about luthier built guitars designed specifically for what you are looking for.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:20 AM
HeyMikey HeyMikey is offline
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Hi and welcome bluesky

I’m new to finger style and find that unplugged I need to use finger picks to get a sound that I like in terms of tone and volume. They are still awkward for me, but until I can grow my nails long and strong enough that is what I do.
- Mike
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:29 AM
tadol tadol is offline
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You’d be best off going to a high-end guitar show, and playing a number of different hand-built guitars. There are some builders who can really build outstanding instruments that can allow you all the finesse and subtlety that I think you’re looking for, but its gonna be a search, and not one that you’ll be able to do at GC or some general music store. And, it won’t be cheap.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:35 AM
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Your ears adapt over time.

Guitars vary. Lots of flattops do sound thin and lack in volume while others
are pretty darn good. Try another venue other than GC - a smaller higher
end shop that has some good guitars you can play and play them in a quieter
and a more acoustically favorable space.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:43 AM
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Yes, a nice higher end OM or similar will give you all you need. I do not need nails or finger picks to make my Webber sing, whether playing softly or digging in. I also have a Larrivee L-30 classical (about the same size), so I have a very nice nylon string to compare the Webber to.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:56 AM
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What classical guitar do you have?
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:59 AM
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I have a Córdoba Pro Negra crossover nylon that is loud but what it lacks compared to my steel strings is sustain and resonance. You can coax a lot of volume from a a good steel string flattop with nails and flesh, it just takes a bit of time and technique. I use Alaska Piks and get great results without feeling the need to plug in.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:08 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
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Thanks for the responses. My classical guitar is a cheap but well opened Yamaha, not a very high end classical

I just wanted to ask how people are enjoying unplugged fingerpicking sound from acoustic guitars. Or if top opens after some time, volume may get louder, I guess?

Or maybe because of ambient noise in the store, I felt the volume was small? I'm not sure..
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:09 PM
Imbler Imbler is offline
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I'm a classical player, and last year I built a 00 12 fret Martin style guitar and it sounds great fingerpicked. My wife often comments on how rich it sounds.

So maybe as others have suggested, you just haven't found the right guitar. I bought an Eastman 805ce arch top, and love the amplified sound, but it is horrible sounding when I fingerpick it acoustically, so I know what you are describing.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:18 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
I have a Córdoba Pro Negra crossover nylon that is loud but what it lacks compared to my steel strings is sustain and resonance. You can coax a lot of volume from a a good steel string flattop with nails and flesh, it just takes a bit of time and technique. I use Alaska Piks and get great results without feeling the need to plug in.
Thanks for the info!

I've seen videos that people use these sort of piks. Do they feel comfortable when you play? I'd definitely try that.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky2015 View Post
Thanks for the responses. My classical guitar is a cheap but well opened Yamaha, not a very high end classical

I just wanted to ask how people are enjoying unplugged fingerpicking sound from acoustic guitars. Or if top opens after some time, volume may get louder, I guess?

Or maybe because of ambient noise in the store, I felt the volume was small? I'm not sure..

My experience with classical guitars is limited, but I'd say in general, they tend to be louder than steel strings, and have a warmer tone, but have less sustain. They're just different instruments. Switching between steel and nylon may require some adjustments to your technique. I suspect most steel string players have a stronger attack than many classical players. Many (tho not all) steel string players also use acrylic nails, thumb picks or finger picks to get more volume. The specific guitar also matters a lot. I've heard classicals that have nearly the sustain of a steel string, and there are steel strings that are louder than others (we just had a thread on "what's the loudest guitar").
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:34 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
My experience with classical guitars is limited, but I'd say in general, they tend to be louder than steel strings, and have a warmer tone, but have less sustain. They're just different instruments. Switching between steel and nylon may require some adjustments to your technique. I suspect most steel string players have a stronger attack than many classical players. Many (tho not all) steel string players also use acrylic nails, thumb picks or finger picks to get more volume. The specific guitar also matters a lot. I've heard classicals that have nearly the sustain of a steel string, and there are steel strings that are louder than others (we just had a thread on "what's the loudest guitar").
Hi, Doug,
Thanks for the info.

I'll definitely check the thread!
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  #15  
Old 07-19-2018, 12:38 PM
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Loud isn't necessarily a virtue :-) If you need a guitar to be louder, you can use a mic or a pickup. My criteria is good tone, and sometimes that comes from quiet guitars.
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Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
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CDs: Closing Time, Laurel Mill
Pickup tests: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/

Last edited by Doug Young; 07-19-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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