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Cheap Toys - RonO's Ramblings

Sep. 5th, 2009 05:21 pm Cheap Toys

On Thursday, which was his birthday, Derrick talked robot_grrl into buying him what he thought was a cheap ukulele. In fact it turned out to be an equally cheap toy guitar -- it has six strings not four.

Derrick didn't care, he was enthused about playing it (and has been convinced for two days he was playing "Silent Night" on it). However, by this morning I'd had it with listening to an out of tune (actually never tuned) guitar. So with a bit of google-fu and some playing I determined that it was keyed one octave above a standard guitar and proceeded to tune it.

This tuning wasn't going too badly other than the fact that the strings tended to go from sharp to flat with just a few arc-seconds of adjustment. But then I got to the 3 string (I was tuning starting from the 6 string, since the website I found for reference couldn't give me the up an octave, but could give me an E up an octave). The 3 string was staying flat, so I kept adjusting it a bit tighter -- until it broke.

The guitar came with one replacement string -- a 1 string. So now we are stuck with a partially tuned guitar (without a guide I cannot tune the 2 or 1 strings) with a broken string. And I have no idea where to get replacement strings for a 25" guitar. I don't know if regular strings would work (and would a regular string cost more than what Tara paid for the whole guitar -- ~$10.00 or $20.00).

During the tuning exercise, I quickly determined that I couldn't play this even if I knew more than a dangerous amount about playing a guitar. The strings are so close I couldn't get my finger on just one, which makes many, if not most, chords rather difficult to strum.

Of course if I thought he'd actually stick to it enough -- and would perhaps have time for lessons -- I'd probably be willing to invest in the not much better guitars that they are selling at Target for about $70.00. I know that those aren't much better than the cheap toys, but at least one would probably survive for more than one tuning. And at least in the same octave I might be able to tune easier and might also be able to do some of my own playing.

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