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I am in my 50s and just started playing guitar in the last year. No music background of any kind. It's pretty tough with short, thick fingers but I am getting to the point where I can play semi-recognizable tunes. (I intend to start actual lessons in the fall) So, now that I know over three chords and can pick the string I am intending over 50% of the time, I have this issue that I want to buy every guitar I see. I have been able to resist this urge until yesterday when I saw this guitar in a antique store window. I thought it had a nice tone and was intrigued by the maple leaf on the label so I bought the damn thing. It is a Norman B-30 and according to the serial # and the internet it was made in 1976. If anyone knows any history or other interesting tidbits about this model I'd love to hear. I wouldn't mind a ballpark value to see if I overpaid at $200 but I'm most interested in what kind of player would have bought this type of guitar. Just the kind of thing you'd buy your kid for lessons or something a more serious player would purchase? Thanx in advance.
 

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Welcome to the forum, I did a few searches for Norman B30 I didn't find any listed for sale, apparently they are one of the less popular of the Godin/Norman models, this does not mean they are not a good useable instrument for anyone to learn on or lust for an inexpensive guitar to play yourself.
 

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Norman has been around for a while and is a well built Cdn. made guitar, even if it is not particularly well know. I think $200 was a fair price. Here are specs on some other Norman Guitars... Norman Guitars Canada - Specs

As far as short thick fingers go, someone else, somewhere, had a similar lament about their fingers and it was suggested that he go to YouTube and look up Johnny Hiland ,......


He is also visually impaired and it doesn't seem to get in his way.
 

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Welcome--not too late to start by any means.
 

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Welcome, Roy. I'm new here too.

For the money, Normans are pretty good guitars, good enough for kids (depending on size of young'un) and experienced players alike. But there are caveats which I'll address.

15+ years ago, my wife and I bought each of our two sons a Norman B-20. They still semi-regularly play them, but I've encouraged them to properly humidify and have a proper setup done...they definitely need it. I say this because although your nused Norman may be fine in this regard, the fact that you say you found it sitting in an antique shop window, generally not a good thing especially if exposed to direct sun, causes me to wonder about its condition where you may not yet have the experience or ear to have thoroughly evaluated it.

Especially for a beginner, sticking with guitar has a lot to do with getting the right instrument in consideration of one's body and hand type, and a good setup. I could be wrong about the B-30, but I know that the B-20 has a narrow neck, not sure what it is, but narrower than a common, comfortable 1-3/4" at the nut. I say this because you say you have short, thick fingers in which case, although doable, it could make your guitar more difficult to play and learn on than a guitar with a more common width neck. The B-30 is a dreadnaught body style which is the largest other than a jumbo. Most successfully learn to play on a dread, but many also give-up due to the size whereas a smaller guitar with good setup may have encouraged them to continue. Not saying this applies to you, but short arm length and larger belly size also make a dread more difficult to play. Don't underestimate the hand/body comfort difference even small increments of measure can make.

If I were you, I would take your B-30 to a reputable shop and have a tech look at it. If it needs work, it could be a simple, inexpensive fix, or a costly one not worth it given the value. At a minimum, I would recommend you put a good set of coated strings on it (like Elixir PBs so as a beginner, they'll last longer). If your guitar has problems, I don't know what your budget could allow, but there are so many good options these days at very reasonable prices. If you haven't determined the best guitar size for you by the time you start lessons, if your instructor is good, s/he should be able to recommend the ideal instrument for you. If you haven't done so already, hit the guitar shops and try many of various sizes and neck scales (shorter, even 12 frets to the body rather than the typical 14 fret).

Good luck, and enjoy the ride!
 

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Norman has been around for a while and is a well built Cdn. made guitar, even if it is not particularly well know. I think $200 was a fair price. Here are specs on some other Norman Guitars... Norman Guitars Canada - Specs

As far as short thick fingers go, someone else, somewhere, had a similar lament about their fingers and it was suggested that he go to YouTube and look up Johnny Hiland ,......


He is also visually impaired and it doesn't seem to get in his way.
JH is a monster picker.

And OP, I'm sorry to inform you, but the urge to buy every guitar won't go away. It may get worse.
 

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Welcome Roy!

Your Norman is about 20 years older than my Norman B15...I hope you learn to love yours as much, if not more, than I love mine!
 

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I am in my 50s and just started playing guitar in the last year. No music background of any kind. It's pretty tough with short, thick fingers but I am getting to the point where I can play semi-recognizable tunes. (I intend to start actual lessons in the fall) So, now that I know over three chords and can pick the string I am intending over 50% of the time, I have this issue that I want to buy every guitar I see.
Well, you've come to the right place. We'll talk you down.........





.......NOT!!!!!

Welcome to the forum!
 

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I am in my 50s and just started playing guitar in the last year. No music background of any kind. It's pretty tough with short, thick fingers but I am getting to the point where I can play semi-recognizable tunes. (I intend to start actual lessons in the fall) So, now that I know over three chords and can pick the string I am intending over 50% of the time, I have this issue that I want to buy every guitar I see. I have been able to resist this urge until yesterday when I saw this guitar in a antique store window. I thought it had a nice tone and was intrigued by the maple leaf on the label so I bought the damn thing. It is a Norman B-30 and according to the serial # and the internet it was made in 1976. If anyone knows any history or other interesting tidbits about this model I'd love to hear. I wouldn't mind a ballpark value to see if I overpaid at $200 but I'm most interested in what kind of player would have bought this type of guitar. Just the kind of thing you'd buy your kid for lessons or something a more serious player would purchase? Thanx in advance.
Norman guitars was started by Normand Boucher in 1972.
They produced guitars in their original factory till it burned down in the 80's and was acquired by Godin.
They are still being made today.
His son went on to starting Boucher guitars and are high end guitars.
The early Normans were hand made and featured solid adirondack spruce tops and mostly maple or birch laminate sides and back.
Some of the b30's had mahogany necks.
The b30 is a cut above the b20 series.
These old b30's are undervalued on the market in my opinion. They have great tone and when set up properly have a low touch that feels like an electric guitar neck.
In very good condition you can get 400$
These guitars are collectable and should eventually increase in value for nice original examples.
Norman guitars have gone through all kinds if changes over the years but the early ones are the ines you want.
<a href="Photo by alainpoole" target="_blank"><img src="http://i347.photobucket.com/albums/p478/alainpoole/20170114_111733_zpsvsprtocu.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 20170114_111733_zpsvsprtocu.jpg"></a>
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Welcome, Roy. I'm new here too.

For the money, Normans are pretty good guitars, good enough for kids (depending on size of young'un) and experienced players alike. But there are caveats which I'll address.

15+ years ago, my wife and I bought each of our two sons a Norman B-20. They still semi-regularly play them, but I've encouraged them to properly humidify and have a proper setup done...they definitely need it. I say this because although your nused Norman may be fine in this regard, the fact that you say you found it sitting in an antique shop window, generally not a good thing especially if exposed to direct sun, causes me to wonder about its condition where you may not yet have the experience or ear to have thoroughly evaluated it.

Especially for a beginner, sticking with guitar has a lot to do with getting the right instrument in consideration of one's body and hand type, and a good setup. I could be wrong about the B-30, but I know that the B-20 has a narrow neck, not sure what it is, but narrower than a common, comfortable 1-3/4" at the nut. I say this because you say you have short, thick fingers in which case, although doable, it could make your guitar more difficult to play and learn on than a guitar with a more common width neck. The B-30 is a dreadnaught body style which is the largest other than a jumbo. Most successfully learn to play on a dread, but many also give-up due to the size whereas a smaller guitar with good setup may have encouraged them to continue. Not saying this applies to you, but short arm length and larger belly size also make a dread more difficult to play. Don't underestimate the hand/body comfort difference even small increments of measure can make.

If I were you, I would take your B-30 to a reputable shop and have a tech look at it. If it needs work, it could be a simple, inexpensive fix, or a costly one not worth it given the value. At a minimum, I would recommend you put a good set of coated strings on it (like Elixir PBs so as a beginner, they'll last longer). If your guitar has problems, I don't know what your budget could allow, but there are so many good options these days at very reasonable prices. If you haven't determined the best guitar size for you by the time you start lessons, if your instructor is good, s/he should be able to recommend the ideal instrument for you. If you haven't done so already, hit the guitar shops and try many of various sizes and neck scales (shorter, even 12 frets to the body rather than the typical 14 fret).

Good luck, and enjoy the ride!
Thank you for your reply. The guitar was only in the store for two days. It was part of an estate and I am the second owner. Now that I can play a little better, it has become my go- to acoustic. The other I have is an Epiphone EJ 200 SCE which, to my untrained ear, seems to have a deeper tone but is harder to play. The highest praise I have received so far was my wife yelling from the next room that she recognized the song I was playing... Baby steps for sure but I'm lovin it.
 

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The other I have is an Epiphone EJ 200 SCE which, to my untrained ear, seems to have a deeper tone but is harder to play.
I had one of those. It sounded good, the neck was nice, but I just found the jumbo too bid and awkward. The first strings I had on it were 13s, too stiff. Put 12s on, Okay. Finally 11-52s worked best for fretting and chords, But it was still too big. So I sold it. I am more of a concert size guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Norman guitars was started by Normand Boucher in 1972.
They produced guitars in their original factory till it burned down in the 80's and was acquired by Godin.
They are still being made today.
His son went on to starting Boucher guitars and are high end guitars.
The early Normans were hand made and featured solid adirondack spruce tops and mostly maple or birch laminate sides and back.
Some of the b30's had mahogany necks.
The b30 is a cut above the b20 series.
These old b30's are undervalued on the market in my opinion. They have great tone and when set up properly have a low touch that feels like an electric guitar neck.
In very good condition you can get 400$
These guitars are collectable and should eventually increase in value for nice original examples.
Norman guitars have gone through all kinds if changes over the years but the early ones are the ines you want.
<a href="Photo by alainpoole" target="_blank"><img src="http://i347.photobucket.com/albums/p478/alainpoole/20170114_111733_zpsvsprtocu.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 20170114_111733_zpsvsprtocu.jpg"></a>
Al
What's with th ' SF' scrawled on the label in the picture? Mine has the same...sort of...I'd add a photo if I could figure out how.
 
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