Greetings from the humble land of India!

TheBeerSurgeon
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:59 pm

Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by TheBeerSurgeon » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:51 pm

Hi everyone,
I am a 20 year old med student from India and have been playing the classical guitar for a little over 2 years now!
After browsing through this forum for the invaluable information i have gained i finally decided to join it :P

My musical journey so far
My introduction to music was in the form of Indian classical music at the age of 7 and I spent several years playing the harmonium.
After that I played the keyboard till about grade 6 and violin till about grade 5(Trinity levels)
I also played the euphonium for my school brass band.
My love for classical guitar first started when i watched a video of a recording of Bach's Chaccone which I think is the greatest piece of music ever written for a single staff.
I do have a teacher and have been taking weekly lessons since i started.

As for my method according to my teacher I learnt through the carcassi method and a few ponce preludes along with the sor op6 studies and that is pretty much all the technical work i have done :P(I do plan to do the villa lobos etudes, However i would be really grateful for suggestions for technical work)
As for pieces i would usually play small "study" pieces but the only major pieces i can play(although not performance level) are Bachs prelude BWV 999 prelude from the cello suite , weiss's fantasie and am currently working on villa lobos prelude 1(Although i am struggling quite a bit :P )

The biggest predicament i find myself in right now is getting an instrument. Classical guitars are almost non existent in even high end shops with a huge collection of Steinway and sons' pianos. There is a guitar luthier whos not very well known but hes well known in the local acoustic guitar circles and has made a dozen or so classical guitars too. He does not have any signature style and basically makes replicas using classic guitar plans such as the Hauser and Ignacio Fleta and generally asks for what woods and other specifications the customer would like and then builds to order. Due to the lack of playing availability i am at a total loss of what guitar i should order. My only way of comparing seem to be youtube videos and they honestly dont sound a lot different than each other(Probably because of the mp3 compression :P) I would be eternally grateful if someone can help me with this. I just want a warm sound with good note separation. Projection is not an issue as i wouldn't be performing.( I really like how the torres guitars look though :P )

All in all thank you for having me here and i look forward to learning a lot about this beautiful instrument from you guys all around the world!

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:01 pm

Hello TheBeerSurgeon and welcome to Delcamp forum! Enjoy yourself and see you around!

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Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

celestemcc
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by celestemcc » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:55 pm

Hi TheBeerSurgeon,

Well, you're in the land of rosewood, so for sure you might as well get rosewood sides and back! Broadly (and I do mean broadly) speaking a cedar top makes for a warmer sound than spruce, but spruce does "play in" and warm up over time. Some will say it has better separation of notes; my luthier calls it a more "noble" sound. It is somewhat brighter than cedar. Cedar is warm and lush, a little darker, but not muddy. Both make excellent tops. Basically ask the luthier. Don't worry about projection, you'll still get plenty with a traditionally braced guitar like the ones he's replicating. Options to consider depend on how long you may want to keep the guitar and what you're spending. If you've got a pretty regular hand size, stick with a 650 mm scale (go to 640 IF your hands are small) but keep to aq standard-width fingerboard. If possible you may wish to ask for a slightly radiused fingerboard (as opposed to dead-flat) but not as much as steel string guitars have. It just makes barres a tiny bit easier, but in truth that's just my own experience/opinion.

If you can, play some of your luthier's replicas to see what you like and work from there. You can't go wrong with a traditional classical guitar, and have him guide you.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

TheBeerSurgeon
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:59 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by TheBeerSurgeon » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:44 pm

Hi ,
Thank for your amazing response. I think I have decided on getting a cedar top with Indian rosewood back and sides. Are there huge perceptible differences between different models by the same luthier in terms of tone ? He asked me to choose between a Hauser, Ramirez, Fleta or a Torres . I really like the aesthics of the Torres but is there an inherent disadvantage to a small bodied instrument like the Torres ? Which one would be a better bet the la leona or the fe 114?
Thank you again for your reply !

celestemcc
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by celestemcc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:53 pm

I for one can't answer that question, but others here probably can. If you don't get a lot of response, start a new thread with the title "Hauser, Ramirez, Fleta, or Torres?".

However, I can answer re the Ramirez. If the luthier's copy is of a Ramirez 1a, consider carefully. (I have one from 1978.) When they were good, they were very good indeed and have a distinctive and beautiful sound, the essential "Spanish" sound. Larger than a Torres with reasonably good projection. But they are also very difficult to play for many people. They have a very wide, very flat fingerboard with a thick D-shaped neck and a slightly high action. Older models (1960s - '70s) have a long, 664mm scale. If you have smaller hands you may not find this the best choice, though many people adore them, and I loved mine for many years until it stopped me from progressing. This is why I encourage you, if possible, to play some of the luthier's instruments; it's really the only way you'll know for sure. You can certainly listen to recordings and videos but it's still not the same as playing the instrument yourself (if you can).
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

TheBeerSurgeon
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:59 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by TheBeerSurgeon » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:27 pm

Thanks for the response !
I would have loved to try out his instruments but classical guitarists are a rare breed here and so the luthier does not keep any in stock. The only ones he has in stock are a couple flamenco guitars so I really have no benchmark !
I am supposed to meet him in a week or so to commission the instrument so I guess I ll start a new thread !
Thanks again

celestemcc
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by celestemcc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:28 pm

Best wishes! BTW, if you do love the Ramirez sound, bear in mind that modern models are 650 scale, and you can always ask the luthier for a radiused fingerboard and modified neck shape. But listen to as much as you can, even if only on-line, and yes, start that new thread! You'll get lots of opinions for sure.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

celestemcc
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Greetings from the humble land of India!

Post by celestemcc » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Posted to wrong thread, sorry!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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