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|Recommendations on the easiest playing guitar|
In your opinion who makes the easiest playing guitar in regards to fingerstyle? I have an awesome Taylor 814CE and a older Martin D28. The Taylor was my go to gig instrument and the Martin who I'm proud to say was dubbed "The Banjo Killer" by Tony Rice is very loud and has great tone. Here's the problem...these great guitars tend to sit in the corner as I play my nylon instruments simply because the nylons are easy to noodle on and I can do the more difficult arrangements pain free. I am selling these guitars and a few others with intentions of getting the easiest playing best sounding fingerstyle guitar. I have reached out to a handful of other players who have been kind enough to give feedback but they also tend to point me to whoever is currently endorsing them. I'm looking at the Clapton Martin, Kirk Sand (steel string models) and The TE Maton but I have always valued your opinion and your abilities. Look forward to hearing from you.
Well, really, you won't find any guitars that play any better than a Taylor 814 that has been set up well. No steel string guitar will be as easy to play as a nylon string, of course, and no steel string guitar comes from the factory set up extremely low. So... you have to find an excellent guitar tech and have him set up your Taylor (or whatever) to play as easily as possible.
When you start really knit-picking about action, the measurements get down to thousandths of an inch and the fret job has to be perfect. Worn or uneven frets will show up with buzzes when you lower the action. Just to give you an idea, when I set up a Taylor for the lowest reasonable action without buzzes for someone with a medium light playing style, I start with a perfect fret job and then have the neck rod adjusted for no more than .002" to .004" relief, just as near flat as I can get it without rattles in the first few frets. The saddle then must duplicate the fingerboard radius exactly and the string height is set at .070" on the bass side and .060" on the treble side (distance between the strings and the 12th fret). I cut the nut slots down just as far as they'll go too, just so they clear the 1st fret by ever so slightly more than the fretted 1st fret note clears the 2nd fret. Anyway, when this is all accomplished you end up with an action that is as good as it gets. The only thing that would help further would be a shorter scale length (my main 3 guitars are 25”). Doesn't make a lot of difference what brand or type of guitar you start with, but I much prefer smaller bodied guitars because the fingerboard widths are a little wider and the neck shapes are better feeling (hence, I wouldn't do this to a Martin D-28 with the skinnier neck, not to mention that it wouldn't be as loud for bluegrass anymore since you can't beat on it at all with a low action).
Solution: If I were you, I wouldn't go searching for a new guitar solely for the purpose of improving the action. Just get your Taylor set up. Look for a well-established, highly recommended guitar tech / luthier to do the work. If you lived anywhere around Vancouver, WA I'd do it for you. By the way, depending on the condition of your frets and other issues, this could be as cheap as $50 or as expensive as $350. It just has to be looked at to tell.
Hope that helps...