I have heard this many times, however, I'm here, or should I say, I came back to the banjo hangout to tell you all in my case not true.
I quit banjo and then acoustic western style guitar because no fun to play and I was not improving.
Well, I recently bought a Yamaha acoustic FS800 guitar and I love this guitar so much that it don't matter if I don't have any
musical talent. My other guitar, a dreadnought, was heavy and rather low quality and just no fun to play and I didn't like the sound.
My new Yamaha FS800 is smaller with a great sound and so much fun to play that I just don''t want to put it down.
So, even if I'll never be as good as some of ya'll, I'm getting better.
Playing a descent instrument makes a huge different. It's hard enough to play well without the added challenge of playing a badly set-up instrument. Get the best you can afford, and then get it set up properly!
Bill Rogers (Moderator)
You’ve discovered the answer. A better instrument does not magically make one better, but it often does inspire the enthusiasm and willingness to practice that can improve playing significantly.
What Bill said.
A good instrument not only encourages the player to practice more, it develops healthy expectations for knowing what your hands can expect. A bad instrument is played well only by someone who already knows what it's supposed to feel like. But for someone who is still learning, I'd always advise to get a better instrument, one you can afford, because it will allow your hands to fall into place and do things you're supposed to be doing.
Couldn't agree more. I went from a $200 Epiphone I bought in the late 70's as my first guitar to a Taylor 400 series around year 2000 or so and my progression, for me, skyrocketed. Taught myself fingerstyle and have learned to play my favorites songs in the world. Never thought I'd be able to achieve that. So a fine instrument may not make you a better player, but it dang sure makes you want to be.
I got my first guitar when I was around 10 years old. It was one that I got with my grandmother's S&H Green Stamps she gave me. It was a smaller, beginner, cheap, badly set up guitar; but I was proud to have it and it did get me started.
However, when I was older and bought a "better" guitar from a local music store and the guys set it up right, I was amazed at how much easier it was to play and learn the things I was missing. In addition, it made me WANT to learn more.
Then, I got my first electric (an American Tele) when I was trying to get into a Southern Rock band. That, along with playing a lot with guys who knew how to play much better than I, was another step up for me!
That said, I'm just beginning with the banjo and mandolin, but I want to start at some point to get with some good players in my area to jam and learn tips and tricks from them once I'm more comfortable with my abilities.
Some folks may think listening to a song with an old AM transistor radio is just as good as listening to the same thing through good speakers or headphones... But it's not. Same goes for learning an instrument. The better equipment you have, the better time you will have.
A good instrument doesn't make you a better player but a bad instrument can be an obstacle. An experienced player can compensate for the obstacles, but for a beginner, they're just obstacles.
A good instrument does make your playing sound better instantly, but won't instantly make you a better player.
The playing comes from your hands, mind, and heart. The instrument may inspire you. A badly set up instrument (like my first electric guitar, which I returned to the store) can put you completely off playing. You'll return to a good one, over and over.
My cheap Epiphone AJ-220 is an exception. It doesn't have great tone, but it is set up for ease of playing, which gives great relief to my arthritic hands. Therefore, I play it a lot at home and occasionally when I play out.
'Morrocan lotar' 4 min
'Good Saturday Morning' 4 hrs
'I'll Fly Away.' 8 hrs
'The man with the banjo' 9 hrs
'Johnson Boys (TOTW)' 12 hrs
'Loose screws in box' 12 hrs