I've been looking for an acoustic guitar for quite some time. The old acoustic I used was my wife's and went with her, so I don't have one around anymore. This is fine, but it's hard to write music in a quiet apartment when there isn't a no-nonsense acoustic around to use at moments of melodic inspiration.
The fact is, however, that I'm really, really picky about acoustic guitars. I hate the "dreadnought" design and avoid most crisp-sounding instruments. I like old, plunky, parlour-sized styled acoustics, and those seem to be getting harder to come by. Also, I've started looking for an acoustic with on-board electronics so I can easily plug in for live shows. So I'm more picky than usual.
There are plenty of acoustics I'm interested in. I tried out a few here:
And what I liked the most was this Gretsch archtop... that isn't really much of an acoustic in the first place. Go figure.
I broke down a few days ago and bought a cheap guitar of off of Craigslist. I bought it for $40, but already regret it. It's a dreadnought, so it's way too big. And it doesn't sound a thing like I want an acoustic to sound like. Because it's just plain a terrible guitar overall.
Here's my first half-assed attempt at making it sound respectable.
Its action was way too high. But that's not what the guitar is for.
But I still hate it.
So today, after a meeting, I went out and got it some new strings. And I almost tuned it and tried again:
So I did it. I have an acoustic guitar to try to write again.
But all it makes me want to do is get a better acoustic so I can actually enjoy it. Today, it was this one, which sounds almost exactly like the guitar I picked for my wife:
But really I want this not-quite-an-acoustic that is much more my style, but a little too delicate for my to use at school or for campfires. This one:
And I'm super-duper interested in this one, despite its lack of on-board electronics.
When I lived in Egypt, within the first couple months I'd grown pretty sad that I didn't have a guitar. My wife graciously allowed me to put some of our earliest cash towards one, so we went down to Mohammed Ali Street in Cairo and I bought the guitar you see below: an Axl Badwater. I think. I mean, it's not like it came with a label or anything. But I think it's a Badwater of some sort..
I took it apart and planned to carve it up a bunch, but like most of my guitar customization plans, I still haven't made that happen. I thought I'd brought home a unique guitar, but found a very similar one in a guitar shop in Victoria. That kind-of took the wind out of getting it ready to rock.
So yesterday I put it back together and walked over to Long and McQuade and bought some regular old nickel-wound strings for the first time in a decade or so.
I fiddled with it a bit, but didn't quite want to plug it in yet.
But after a lone "heart" from Tinker McJingles, I decided to make sure I made the promised video.
It's not entertaining, but I have to admit that the guitar sounds better than it ever sounded in Egypt. That's partly due to the brand new strings, but definitely also due to the fact that I'm using my Marshall now. Middling guitars can sound pretty good with new strings and a good-enough amp.
It's not an overly comfortable guitar, at least in comparison with The Crow. But it's sure nice to play with a humbucker for once. And it could be a lot worse. And, as I've learned with most of my judgement calls, there are millions of players who will make this guitar sound much, much better.
Sounds great with that distortion and tremolo.
Two Fridays ago, my wife took this photo of me practicing at band practice. I think it's pretty good. So here it is:
A couple notes about the photo:
Last night while jamming with Adrian, I put together a basic I-IV bassline on the JamMan. I then started fiddling with the knobs on the green Line 6 Delay Modeling pedal and found this ridiculous, nearly space-like effect. Thinking it was funny, I played a little with it, but tired of the tone in moments.
When I bent down to change the tone, however, Rosita was laying down, nose to the amp. And she kept laying there as if she was totally and utterly invested in the tone. It seemed to soothe Rosita, who is, on any given day, as neurotic as shit.
Yes, I'm fully aware that I'm a boring product reviewer. But the tone's all that matters here.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas