Collecting Antique Maps - A Beginner's GuideWritten by Neil Street
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Armed with a little guidance from these excellent books, new collector is likely to focus on a particular niche within map collecting field. This is an important step, since it is by narrowing focus that a beginner is able to most quickly gain necessary expertise for successful, and enjoyable, collecting. However, new collector should also take some time to look around before jumping into a chosen area. There are as many collecting “areas” as there are collectors, and a little time and effort spent exploring field may lead to surprising and unique choices.
What can a person expect to pay for an antique map? The price range is as wide, or wider, than almost every other field of antique collecting. Perfectly acceptable antique maps can be had for as little as $50. For those with a deep pocket, rare or hard-to-find maps can easily run into five or six figures. With relatively low cost of entry, antique map collecting is an ideal choice for many individuals, combining wide opportunity for research and learning (history, geography, art, engraving, printing, politics, to name but a few) with opportunity to display one’s prizes in an attractive way. And for those who truly “catch bug,” antique map collecting can become a passion that is limited only by imagination.
Neil Street is the owner of VintageMaps.Com, which he founded in 1997. His website, an online destination for the antique map and antique print enthusiast, is at http://www.vintagemaps.com Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org He can also be reached at (203)762-3474.
Buying the Right GuitarWritten by Michael Setz
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Always buy a case! There are two types: Hard-Shell and Soft-Shell. You should opt for hard-shell. New cases can run between $50 and $75, and sometimes you can get them thrown in deal, it’s always worth asking salesman. If you do not buy a case you can rest assured that you will get dings and scratches, and it is also more difficult to safely move your guitar from place to place. Choose a guitar that has strings close to fretboard or playing will be difficult. However, if they are too close then they will produce a buzz and affect tone produced. Be sure that it produces a clear sound, with no buzzes at any of frets, and that guitar is constructed of high quality wood, so neck doesn't "warp”. Woods to look for include hardwoods such as Ash, Mahogany, Cherry, Maple, Rosewood, and Birch. These are some of more common, and key is looking for hardwoods. Not only does this help to resist dings, it also improves tone. Generally, my recommendation to beginning guitar players is first learn on a nylon string acoustic guitar. These are also called Classical Guitars. The reasons I recommend nylon acoustics are first, Classical guitars use nylon strings, and nylon strings are easier on fingertips than steel strings. After you've played an hour straight you'll know what I'm talking about. Imagine a thin piece of wire being pressed against your tender skin and then moved back and forth like a saw. Ouch! Now imagine a soft nylon string and you can easily see why I recommend nylon. Don't get me wrong, your fingertips will hurt regardless, and that's ok. All guitar players need calluses on fingertips. And you will very quickly develop them if you persist in your playing. But nylon strings will make a significant difference in how painful it can be, and it will ultimately let you practice a little longer before you can't take anymore. Second, neck is wider on classical style guitars. Although this may seem to make playing more difficult initially, it actually helps with finger placement and always troublesome issue of fingers touching other strings and muting them. This is especially true on electric guitars which have a much narrower neck. By having more space between strings you have less chance of this occurring. In addition, wider necks will help build dexterity in your fingers quicker too. Finally, when you start with a nylon acoustic guitar you don't need to buy an amplifier or any other accessories to go with it. You can play it anywhere and hear it loud and clear, thus saving you money, allowing for more mobility, and producing clear sounds to hear your true playing style and progress. All these add up to my recommendation that beginner guitar players start with a classical style guitar. If you must buy an electric guitar first time out, and you have no interest in an acoustic, you will be faced with many choices of guitars, amplifiers, and hordes of other pieces of equipment. While much of gadgetry is fun, SINGLE most important part of your setup is still guitar itself.
Regardless of how much money you have to spend, try to get best guitar you can - even if it means not being able to afford an amplifier to begin with! Unless you are playing in a band, you don't really need an amp to start off with, and better your guitar is, easier and more enjoyable your learning experience will be!
Remember how it is in most cases - you generally get what you pay for! However, with these few key points in mind, you can have confidence that right guitar with right price and right quality can be found. Get guitar lessons at www.guitars-on-line.com, Home of guitar lesson: Play Guitar in 7 Days.
Founder of Guitars-on-line.com and author of the eBook "Play Guitar in 7 Days". Award winning guitar player and professional musician for over 20 years.