Apple Valley Guitar and Piano Academy





Guitar Recommendations


The guitars below are recommended for students whose hands are the size of the average adult's, and who are at least 5 feet 5 inches tall. (This limit is an approximation; ask your guitar salesperson for their opinion.)



Martin Dreadnought model DX1-AE steel string

Martin Dreadnought model DCT-85 steel string

Cordoba model C-5 classical/nylon string (budget)

Cordoba model C-10 classical/nylon string (best investment)


For students with smaller hands or shorter torsos:


Martin 000X1AE steel string

Cordoba "Dolce" 7/8 classical/nylon string (budget)

Cordoba "Parlor" 7/8 classical/nylon string (best investment)


For children:


Martin dreadnought Junior model DJR steel string

Cordoba "Cadete" 3/4 classical/nylon string




1. A spare set of strings matching the ones on the new guitar. 


This ensures that when the strings need changing (after about six months), the guitar will sound exactly the same as when it was new.  Nothing is more disappointing than installing a different set of strings, finding that the guitar no longer sounds as good, and having no idea what the original strings were.



2. A Tuner-Metronome


Without a tuner, most beginners will be unable tune their guitars properly.  A metronome is essential to keep a steady beat and to calculate basic rhythms.  Our recommendation, which we use, is the Korg TM-50.


3. A hardshell case for full-size guitars


Under no circumstances should you purchase a quality guitar, made from fragile wood, and keep it in a plastic gig bag or other soft case.  If you do, expect it to be seriously damaged, and in some cases, beyond repair.


The best option is an arched top hardshell case, which Schmitt Music can special order for you.  These cases are heavier, providing more overall protection for the guitar.  Specifically, the most fragile part--the top or soundboard--gets additional protection.


Unfortunately, hardshell cases for 7/8 and 3/4 guitars are difficult to find.  For the 7/8 Cordoba "Dolce" and "Parlor", you can use a full-size hardshell case and add padding to keep the guitar from shifting longitudinally towards the head or base.


4. "Dampit" brand guitar humidifiers.


These keep the guitar from cracking and warping due to dryness during the indoor heating season. If the guitar is un-humidified, any damage that results is NOT covered by the manufacturer's warranty. 


Proper humidification also prevents the guitar's sound from dulling or losing volume.


If you have a tight hardshell case (like most), you need a large guitar dampit for the sound hole, and the medium size dampit to be placed underneath the headstock of the guitar. 


This dual humidifier configuration is the recommendation of expert guitar salespeople.  It allows the body of the guitar to receive humidity, as well as parts of the neck.  With just a sound hole humidifier, because of the tight design of most hardshell cases, no moisture from this humidifier would reach the far end of the neck.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Check the humidifiers dryness frequently, and always keep the lid of the case tightly closed


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