What kind of guitar do you need if you are going to study at the Conservatory or a Music Academy?
In our shop in Dedemsvaart we see a lot of students who study guitar at a Conservatory, Music School or Music Academy ,,And we notice we see them very often," says Maarten Dispa of the Fellowship of Acoustics. ,,Usually they buy a very nice guitar at first, and after several changes, they finish with something really, really special. This raises the question: why do many students not choose this special guitar straight away, at the start of the course. That saves a lot time and probably money, and gives them the joy of that great instrument straight away."
We ask Henk van Benthem (52) Head Teacher in Guitar at the Artez University in Zwolle. According to him, this search for the right guitar is simply part of the development of any musician. ,,The ultimate guitar simply does not exist. So most students start here with a different guitar than they graduate with. If you spend five to six hours playing music every day for years, you'll learn what you like and don't like. That usually includes a slight change in taste, and often a different guitar to go with it."
With which guitar students finish the conservatory, varies greatly and depends on the musical direction ,,If you choose Jazz, it is simple, because you are more or less naturally steered to an archtop. If you choose Pop and Rock, a Stratocaster is a good option, due to its versatility. Especially with a humbucker in the bridge position you can play almost anything. A Telecaster is also a good option. And a Les Paul, but they have a more dominant sound and are therefore slightly less versatile."
Over the years, many students have chosen big names like Fender and Gibson. And because pop musicians have a greater need for variety, they often end up with different guitars.
The direction Pop definitely includes buying an acoustic guitar somewhere along the line. Van Benthem himself plays a Maton due to its excellent amplified acoustic sound. "That really is a major change I have noticed over the past decade: it is much easier to buy an acoustic guitar that sounds good on stage at a very reasonable price."
The Head Teacher hints at another important issue: budget. Because how much do you have to spend as a student? At the start of a study a thousand euros is a fortune, while the guitars with which many students graduate are more likely to cost 3,000 euros. During the study, most conservatory students manage to save such amounts, but at the start money usually is a lot tighter.
Van Benthem: ,,You don't have to have a very expensive guitar to be able to study at the Conservatory. The instrument must be well-intonated, have a straight neck and must be easy to play. A good set up can help enormously to achieve that. With any guitar that meets these requirements, you can get started. Once you find out more about your musical personality and wishes, you can always switch to something else later.”
And what about a second-hand guitar to buy something more expensive with a serious price cut? ,,That may sound like an obvious choice, but you always have to ask yourself why a guitar has become second-hand. That's usually because someone wants to get rid of it. That doesn't mean second-hand guitars are always bad. Not at all. But you have to know a little bit about what you're buying and pay attention to the condition it is in. That's why I'm always reluctant to buy through Marktplaats or eBay and I prefer to buy in a store. That’s more expensive, but you get service in return."
At The Fellowship of Acoustics we know that many students are short on money, so we are happy to offer all Conservatory students a 7.5 percent discount.
We always have top of the line acoustic and electric guitars for professional musicians in stock and dozens of second-hand guitars that we check closely. In addition, we have a wide selection of affordable budget guitars and it is good to know: our 10 percent student discount applies to everything!
If you choose to buy a guitar at the Fellowship of Acoustics, you'll get a free setup in our workshop before your guitar leaves our store. And we'd love to see you back in Dedemsvaart within a year for a free additional setup. Because no matter how expensive or cheap a guitar is, they will always change a bit over time and that sometimes requires some professional attention to get your guitar back in shape.
So are you looking for that one guitar for the rest of your life as a musician or just for an affordable guitar to start as a student? Feel free to stop by Dedemsvaart.
No matter how many times you visit our store, our free coffee awaits!