Getting a new guitar is exciting, so I just wanted to share with you all. Your favorite Portland guitar teacher got a new guitar!
Actually, it’s a really old guitar, but it’s new to me.
I mentioned in the post about buying a used guitar that when you buy an instrument, it should have that “it” factor. Call it “mojo,” “vibe,” or whatever you want. This guitar definitely has “it,” as far as I’m concerned.
It’s an old Stadium-brand archtop acoustic. It looks to be from the 1940s or 1950s.
I tried out some old Harmony guitars before picking this one up. One looked great, but had some serious buzz on the 13th fret. I don’t use the 13th fret that often, but you never know when you might need to, so I had to pass. I was told that fixing that buzz would have required a neck reset, because these old cheapo guitars don’t have truss rods. That would be a really expensive fix, and I wanted something cheap.
The other played pretty well, but was really beat up. Looks aren’t the most important thing when it comes to guitars. Actually, I really like old beater guitars that, by some strange magic, sound amazing and play like butter. But, I decided to pass, and keep looking.
And I’m glad I did. I immediately liked the looks of this one. Check out the painted-on “inlays” on the fretboard and headstock! Classy. The aftermarket art-deco pickguard? Nice. The wood on this thing is really pretty, and I think it has a nice patina to it.
But what really got me about this guitar was its playability.
Old cheap guitars like this one tend to have serious issues. They usually have bad frets, warped necks, terrible intonation, and action so high it will make your fingers bleed. Not this one, though. The action (the height of the strings from the fretboard) is super-low. The intonation (how it stays in tune as you move up the neck) is also spot-on. It has a little bit of buzz to it, but just enough to give the sound some bite.
Cheap, old, student-model guitars like this one can be a lot of fun. They don’t have the broad, resonant tone of a good-quality dreadnought acoustic; they tend to be more focused and nasal-sounding. But “good guitar tone” is a subjective thing, and sometimes a guitar with a unique voice is great to have around.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my latest score with you all. I hope you enjoyed reading.
If you’ve recently picked up a new instrument that you’d like to tell us about, or have some relevant comments to share, feel free. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Portland guitar teacher who can help you make that guitar sing, hit me up.