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More on Collecting

Once you really have caught the collecting “bug,” you’ll see that it can also go hand in hand with your expansion and further development as a player. Sometimes, it was literally the discovery of another instrument itself that would help put me into another realm of playing! This has been true about steel guitars, dobros, baritone guitars, 12-strings, and on and on. Sometimes, it’s the guitar itself that will change your approach, whether you were aware of the new sound before or not. And the line can get even finer between one instrument and another, such as now, I have 2 baritone guitars; one that is a full octave below a normal guitar, and another that is a fifth below. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it’s enormous when talking about baritones, for sure!

When I became really interested in various steel-string acoustics, for example, I also was amazed at the difference between 000 sized guitars compared to the larger and boomier “dreadnaught” guitars. I also became further aware of the sensitivity of the real small-bodied “parlor” type guitars, which offer an entirely different kind of sound and playability.

As you move on to the various electrics, you’ll be attracted to the many different kinds of sounds and instruments that are available to you! The line between them again, can be very subtle; such as a chambered Les Paul verses a traditional all-solid Les Paul. Also, if you compare a semi-hollow guitar such as an ES-335 with the all-hollow ES-330, the difference is so enormous it belies the fact that these guitars seem so similar at first impression. One will certainly feedback a lot more than the other, but most of all, the tone will simply be warmer on the all-hollow 330.

Playability is always a big factor, and an SG for example, offers unlimited access to all frets, as opposed to a Les Paul or other Gibson which will make reaching the highest notes quite a bit more difficult. This also makes the SG perfectly suited to slide playing, as that all-access approach really makes a big difference to the slide guitarist.

The same is true of acoustic guitars with the “cutaway or non-cutaway” issue….some say even though a cutaway gives you much better lead guitar high-note access, I feel that losing some of the top wood results in less overall volume and tone. Still, for many, it’s a necessary trade-off, and I don’t mind it, as I have a few cutaways at my disposal, even though I definitely prefer normal flat-top guitars with non-cutaway designs.

So of course in the end, it’s up to your own personal preferences, but I would definitely say that you should leave yourself “open” to as many types of instruments as possible. It will only help broaden your musical and guitarist horizons, for sure! Happy searching and discovering!

Posted: 3/2/2011 3:46:45 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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