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Choosing a Guitar for Liberty Tuning

Liberty Tuning will work on any guitar, but certain types have advantages and disadvantages. If you are planning to buy a guitar for yourself, your family or your school, read carefully.

  • Liberty guitar works best on guitars that have 14 fret necks, and it's even better to also have a cutaway-style body.
  • Full-scale length necks work great, and there is no need to buy a small-body children's guitar. They don't work very well anyway, and once the child outgrows them they are even more useless. If you have one, you can probably use it, but a child may have trouble getting it to work right and they never have a rich sound which can be crucial to sparking a student's interest.
  • Adult beginners may be able to handle lighter-gauge steel-strings, but young fingers need nylon-string instruments. Standard nylon-string "classical guitars" all have a lot of features that make them awkward for beginners and children. The necks are very thick and wide (2"), they only have 12-fret necks and no cutaway, the body is quite thick and hard to hold, and they have no position dots or strap buttons. We recommend a "thinline" body nylon-string guitar with a "low-profile" (thinner and narrower) neck, also with a 14-fret neck and a cutaway. A number of companies, including Ibanez, Ovation, Yamaha, Lag, Takamine, Samick and Rodriguez all make suitable models, though they are currently sold as professional and not beginner models and the language used to describe and sell them may be hard to understand if you are a beginner.
  • If you are using steel strings, make sure you use light-gauge strings, or even silk & steel, and have someone check the guitar to be sure the strings are not out of adjustment and too hard to press down.


© 2016 by Harvey Reid