Electric guitars and tough decisions

American Thinker:

By Michael James

I write about music to offer a fleeting digression from the unhappy news of the day.

You should interpret this blog post as well expressed opinion rather than absolute fact.  I recommend a tempo of adagio; you may go off the path for a moment if you like.

An electric guitar, like a fine-looking woman, should have a neck that is proportionate and comfortable.  Guitars vary in the qualities and styles that catch an individual’s attention and later devotion.

In stating this I mean absolutely no slight upon the many marvelous instrumentalists who play, say, an oboe or a tambourine.  Deft description should run in an open pasture of personal application.

For those who have not spent the last 60 years ruminating upon electric guitars, I will offer a short primer.  There are two basic models; everything else is of attractive hybrid.  There is the bolt-on neck and clean pickups of a Fender model or the glued-on neck and less ethereal sound of a Gibson.  After that, it is all proportion, individual recipe, and feel.  more

31 Comments on Electric guitars and tough decisions

  1. I’ve played electric guitar most of my life. Could not have written any better tribute. My first was one I cobbled together from parts I found, similar to the style of the author’s first. I’ve had some really nice guitars in my life, but long after only bought what sounded best and gave me the most control, mostly Fender style, and cheap so if they were stolen from a gig I didn’t need to worry much.

    Don’t play much anymore. 😕

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  2. My two go-to electrics
    1966 Gibson ES-125. Hollow body, twangy.
    1964 Martin F-65. Also hollow, also twang.
    on deck
    1959 Martin 00-18E. Basically a 00-18 with a factory DeArmond pickup.

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  3. I could not agree more with the author….
    In my short 55 years I have managed to amass a collection of fine instruments. ….mostly acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos and currently…43 violins…. ok, Im a hoarder…
    If my bluegrass contemporaries knew I played electric……just sayin’
    Anyway, I’m a Tele guy. I have even made a few… but I have a 7o’s Gibson SG that is just my best electric…Now, when I make a neck for a Tele, I make it as close to that SG neck as possible. At the end of the day, it’s about personal preference.
    Oh, and BTW, I’m always buying… in case anyone has something they wanna get rid of. 😉

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  4. As the wife says… How many guitars do you really need?

    My reply always… 1 more than I’ve got.

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  5. I saw a hilarious meme, where a credit card reader is printing out a receipt that says: “Purchase denied: you already have too many guitars”

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  6. I only have one guitar and it’s an acoustic, :>)

    A Martin 000-15, mahogany matte finish, the whole guitar, which I am very happy with and proud of! It’s called an Auditorium style or when originally created they called it a parlour guitar.

    Took some lessons as a teen and then about 20 years ago I took lessons in the Country Blues style, the below became my idols at the time and well still do.

    Elizabeth Cotten:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43-UUeCa6Jw

    Big Bill Broonzy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm1qtX7Mz5w

    John Hurt:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85BvT5X6WSo

    Maybe one day an electric one…

    Oh, fave electric geetarists, Harrison, Knopfler and Gilmour.

    @The Claw of Bluegrass – should I want something custom built, I certainly know where to go now! And when that time comes I will get in touch with ya through @BFH. I like Rics, the tone, the design, but I have always like the Tele, again tone and design! Anything with a slide or lap steel in the back round will ALWAYS catch my attention. Any suggestions?

    Check out this, it’s ‘old’ already but great none the less.

    Jeffrey Foccault, Train to Jackson:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viRwqWIHmpg

    GHOST Repeater:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSBJwlfhg0

    Ghost

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  7. Got a 67 tele and a 68 sg. Either one works. Play em both through a music man hd 250, my biggest regret is selling my es 335.

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  8. One of the dumbest things I ever did was sell an acoustic Martin D 18 guitar so I could buy a 1975 Honda Civic CVCC in 1977 before my wife and I were married. My wife played the guitar and when she found out that I had sold the Martin D 18 she wasn’t very happy with me. The Honda gave up the ghost about 1981 and that Martin guitar is probably still worth $4 – $5,000 dollars. I should’ve kept the Martin and never have bought that POS Honda. I bought the Martin originally from a friend when I was in the Navy for cheap because he bought an electric guitar thinking he was was God’s gift to rock and roll, he wasn’t.

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  9. “I have too many guitars” said no one … ever!

    … & I miss every one I sold, traded or gave away

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  10. Fun stuff. I have piles of them. I fell in love with the look of a Stratocaster from the photograph on the back of the Layla LP.

    Jimmy Vaughan model
    random 3 tone sunburst
    SRV model
    John Mayer model
    2 black random Strats
    70s reissue Strat
    baritone Strat
    Les Paul 1960s (not reissue, but the Paul with the hot Flying V pickups.
    SG
    Epiphone Sheraton
    Epiphone viola bass
    SSH Strat
    PRS CE-21
    Fender 12 string acoustic
    Taylor acoustic
    another 3 tone Strat with a cellulose finish and a custom neck with compound radius

    Prolly missing something… yeah, I had a Telecaster semi-hollow with humbuckers and the CBS Strat neck. Haven’t seen that one in a while.

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  11. My stable:
    Gibson ES 347
    Rickenbacker Tom Petty 12 string
    Guild F50R (1975)
    Cordoba Hauser
    Crappy Jap 5 string banjo
    Yamaha Yari 12 string Acoustic
    Started out with a 1965 Airline until dad bought me a Gibson ES 125

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  12. I’m just getting started here I guess. A 4 string Schecter Stiletto bass, a PRS Angelus acoustic and my baby an Olympic White Fender Johnny Marr Jaguar.

    My father played semi professionally for a few years so he has four Martin HD28s and a 1961 cherry Gibson Les Paul SG. ’62 or so was when Les Paul had his name taken off of them. Had it appraised at Gruhn’s in Nashville a couple of years ago. Had a 64 Gibson Dove he sold a few years ago.

    1 or 2 of those Martins are for sale btw for anyone in the area.

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  13. Man….string monkeys like to talk about their guitars. It’s like yo-yo nuts.

    I mean I’ve never sat around with any drummers and extolled the virtues of specific drum sets other than “yeah, that looks cool.” They’re drums.

    Same with keyboards, horns and even bass players.

    It’s only guitar players and they’re completely unaware of how they come off. I gots 3 axes. 2 drum sets, pianer, and various horns. Oh yeah, and the full set of Lee Oskar diatonic harmonicas. Major AND minor keys.

    Never heard coletrane or mingus or baker talk technical about their instruments…. just this weird thing string monkeys do.

    Never change, my git fiddle twanging friends. It’s slightly endearing.

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  14. I guess you haven’t talked to Sax monkeys, Aaron.

    THOSE clowns.

    “You use a No1 rubber coated fletch! You facking FAGGOT!”

    “No, uhh, I use a No. 5 reed in a 4C Meyer, you FAGGOT!”

    “No, YOU’RE A FAGGOT! I USE A 5 on 5 with a fucking Couesnon!”

    “You FAGGIT! Only Faggits don’t play Selmers!”

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  15. “My horn is mostly copper!”

    “My horn has a gold wash in the big hole!”

    “My horn has SNAP ON PADS AND ROLLED HOLES! YOU ARE ALL FAGGITS!”

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  16. “My horn has lamb skin pads!”

    “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY A SAXOPHONE!”

    “Because you are GAY!”

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  17. I can clearly remember rehearsals. Smoke break. Lead guitar starts talking about guitars. 10 minutes later he asks bass player about his bass. Bass player holds up bass. IBANEZ 4 strings,2 pickups, frets. Never said a word.

    The other standout memory, bass, drums keyboards….all look at each other. Guitar player usually has eyes closed, or is looking somewhere else. When he does look at us he makes big exaggerated movements to give us cues…..as if we haven’t been chuggin’ along all night making his primadonna ass look good. You just roll with it and collect your pay at the end of the gig.

    Guitarists versus vocalists is agonizing. It’s a competition. ALWAYS.

    Guitarists who sings. Insufferable but at least his battle is internal.

    Horns get paid for….not much. Great gig if you can get it.

    Drummers. Let me tell you the secret of life. You get paid the same no matter how many fills you cram in there. Less is more grasshopper, Your sting monkey master only wants a back beat. Give it to him while smoking a cig or reading the racing forum. You still get paid. It’s astonishing, I know. But true nonetheless.

    Keyboards…we all know you’re the only one with any musical training. Thank you for you patience and transposing skills.

    But I’m still not buying you a drink. Nerd.

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  18. Sax players?

    I learned on a clarinet. Pick up sax, adjust mouthpiece. Play regular clarinet. Suddenly it’s a sax. Sax player is demolished.

    However, yes. Sax players are very opinionated. Depends on saxophonist they are trying to copy. Tom Apple guys seem douchey.

    Parker guys are usually stoned out of their minds. But if they’re a lead instrument, they’re the same as singers or lead guitarists. Do your thing buddy, I’m in the back with the working stiffs, could care less how they warble or twang. Intro bridge break do it again,and we’re done. Nothing changes for us.

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  19. You all own NOTHING unless I can see you live….at this point Bad_Brad will call you all pussies for being Anonmy….

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  20. Willy, you’re a mule drinking beer. I can’t trust your musical opinions.

    Much less trust you behind the wheel.

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  21. It’s the “Paul Desmond” guys who will cut your throat.

    Pretty fucked up since Desmond was a pretty laid back dude. He did his work on the Sax — a masterful cat — and really wanted to write novels.

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  22. Some of my guitars used to be red.
    They’re brown now.
    Looks like they were dragged behind a truck through the mud.
    Still sound good, though. You don’t play the looks.

  23. “Willy, you’re a mule drinking beer. I can’t trust your musical opinions.” Very astute….Who buys your CD’s?…Short answer…us mules…Thanks for delineating us that have no musical talent from those that know everything musically….

  24. Every guitar I ever sold, I later regretted selling.
    Every single one.

    NEVER SELL: give it to someone, instead. At least you’ll never COMPLETELY regret losing it.

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