Music Therapy and different guitars

Multiple Instruments

Being a music therapist, I love using a lot of different musical instruments. Buying and having a lot of instruments can be very expensive. That’s why I love going to garage-sales, thrift-shops, flea markets and so on to buy my instruments.

This way I have already gotten quite a nice collection of old, modern, strange and interesting instruments.

I love to let the clients play the “unknown” and “strange” instruments. With the not so expensive instruments I don’t have to be afraid for damage. And I am very careful with the more expensive instruments.

Guitars

I also bought several very low priced second-hand guitars, acoustic (spanish and classical) and electric, and me and my clients play a lot on them during the therapy sessions.

With one client who always plays on a saxophone, I love to use a small, easy transportable spanish guitar.

With a group of clients I used to play on a classical guitar, with a more full sound.

 

Need for a new Guitar

But sometimes the sound of my guitar was drowned by the music (or sometimes noises) the clients were making. That’s why I had to buy me a new guitar.

A couple of weeks ago I bought me a very nice new guitar to play during sessions and for performances.

I went to a good guitar-shop, and the shopkeeper helped me tremendously with my search of the best fitted guitar.

Two weeks after that I bought another guitar for one of the places I give music-therapy, and again the people in the shop helped me to find a good guitar for those clients.

 

 In the process of trying out guitars

 

Requirements

Guitar 1

For the first guitar to play during music therapy sessions, for myself and for performances.

My requirements were:

  • full sound
  • round sound
  • semi-acoustic
  • good quality
  • sounding nice with strumming
  • sounding nice with fingerpicking
  • easy playable (saving my fingers because I play a lot of different instruments)
  • complementary with my voice

I started with the search of which sound I liked most. I love the sound of spanish and classical guitars, but I needed something with more body. That’s why we choose to look for a western. A lot of western guitars did not fit me, for their sound was too sharp.  After this search we looked pricewise (the more expensive category, up to the price I wanted to pay max) which guitar suited more. And the last in the process was to figure out which guitar sounded complementary and best with my voice.

Guitar 2

The second guitar, to be used for and with multiple disabled people, I told them it had to be: 

  • max a certain price (the place I work for provided a certain price)
  • sturdy, 
  • I must be able to drum on it, 
  • let the clients touch it, 
  • and it has to give a full sound
  • sounding nice with strumming
  • sounding nice with fingerpicking

The shopkeeper helped me to find a guitar that met all my requirements. He did even outdo himself by giving me several guitars to try that were above the required price. He told me that he would compensate the difference. Now I have a Jumbo guitar made out of solid wood (no fineer) to work with the clients.

Conclusion

  • Different situations may ask for different guitars. If there is an opportunity to purchase more instruments, try to get some for special use. Buy a good one for yourself, or for the therapy sessions when the clients don’t play on your instrument, a sturdy one for the use with clients, cheap or secondhand ones for less careful clients, maybe a lightweight or smaller one for working with children.
  • try to take advantage of all the help and expertise you can get from the salesman.
  • make a list of all your requirements, it makes all the difference in the process of buying a guitar. The salesman will lead you to the ones that will be sufficient and it will take a lot of time away from the process.

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