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Guth

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  1. I used to struggle with questions like this as my answer was typically something like 9 if I was lucky. But "poorly" would not be the proper choice of words. Instead I would say that the tone of most of the J-45's I've played, Bozeman-made or otherwise did not appeal to me. In your scenario if I was lucky I might find 1 out of 10 that did appeal to me, but not likely. I passed on a lot more than just 10 before finding "My" J-45. This line of reasoning is actually pretty sound unless you are dealing with someone like myself. What I finally figured out years ago here on the forum (after frustrating many here with my so called "dud rate") is this. I simply don't like the "Gibson thump". If there is one thing that people here are apt to say is that they love the "Gibson thump". Not me however. Here's the thing, I love so much about the Gibson tone, but I don't want my guitars to thump. Most J-45's that I've played had it to some degree. The thing is, I've heard a few Gibsons (and a few J-45's in particular) that didn't have it and those were some of the best sounding guitars that I know of. That was the Gibson tone that "I" was looking for. The bottom line is that I prefer a nice articulate low-E string, one that clearly allows me to hear the leading edge of the note when the string is picked. This might be in part due to the fact that I am a fingerpicker almost exclusively. I want the notes coming off of the low-E string to blend in tonally with the other five strings. The thump just doesn't work for me in this case. Putting on a brand new low-E string could mask this to a degree for a short while, but I didn't want to have to frequently keep changing out my strings all of the time as a workaround for something that I thought I could avoid if I kept looking. So that's what I did. I kept looking for years until I found exactly what I was after in a J-45 — as opposed to what everyone else seemed to be looking for. When I found it, I quickly new that I had found THE guitar (the guitar for me that is). I've owned my J-45TV for more than a decade now and it is the last guitar that I'll part with. Never say never.
  2. Man, what a crap shoot. I wouldn't even begin to think of attempting such a purchase without being able to first play any guitar for myself before committing to it. Short of actually being able to play any guitar yourself before buying, I would suggest that you at least consider shopping with one of the dealers that have a solid return policy and who feature videos of each individual guitar being played so you can get some idea about the tone of each guitar before purchasing. I have two AJ's, one rosewood and one maple — they are like night & day. I enjoy them as much for their differences as I do their similarities. I feel very fortunate to own them along with a few other guitars. It's likely that I enjoy the differences between the two different AJ's in part because I favor my J-45TV over both of them. In my case the AJ's represent guitars that I picked up along the way that I just never felt like parting with. But if push came to shove they would both be gone before the J-45. In turn, I have a much easier time imagining replacing either of my AJ's with similar examples than I do the J-45. You are likely in just the opposite situation. I certainly wish you the best of luck with your search.
  3. To expand on what rustystrings said, I'll add this: Surely pretty much everyone here digs guitars. Most all of us likely dig Gibson guitars in particular. But we definitely don't all tend to like exactly the same guitars or even the same Gibson's for that matter. Only you can know what it is in a guitar that appeals to you. What might appeal to me or anyone else would hardly seem to matter by comparison. What defines the difference between a guitar and THE guitar for you is likely different than it would be for me or someone else. Generally speaking though, whenever you happen upon THE guitar, you'll know it and won't need to confirm it with anyone else. If you are searching for a guitar then don't sweat all the details quite so much. If you are searching for THE guitar then you'll know when you're done looking, but it might take some time. There's nothing wrong with either approach. Look at how many guitars some members go through compared to others who might only own one single guitar for their entire adult life. One way or another, everyone manages to find their own way through the guitar gauntlet.
  4. Agreed. But in this particular case, I would automatically rule out Option 1. The way I look at it is that no matter how good a guitar sounds with fresh strings, if it sounds dead with old strings then I know that I can obtain better.
  5. In my experience, a great sounding guitar only continues to improve in appearance over time while most any guitar, no matter how beautiful, with tone that is less than satisfactory will become one that you never want to look at anyway. It is great to play and hear a guitar with a fresh set of strings, but I've always found it to be just as important, if not more so, to get the chance to play them with a much older set of strings. This will tell you just how much of any responsiveness, vibrancy and resonance that you detect is in the guitar itself as opposed to a fresh set of strings. In my opinion, the great guitars still manage to play and sound rather lively even with old strings. The tone will obviously be quite a bit different, but the guitar itself will still seem plenty "alive" on it's own as compared to those guitars that are totally dependent on a fresh set of strings to sound decent.
  6. Buc, I am glad I finally saw this thread as I had missed it earlier. I subscribed to your YouTube channel a while back, partially in hopes that I would be notified when you uploaded new videos. I'm guessing that maybe your channel does not send out such notifications, or else I don't have something set up correctly on my side of things (highly plausible). At any rate, I LOVED this one. When I saw this song included amongst your set list songs on the back of your headstock earlier I was immediately curious how your cover would sound. Rarely do things exceed my expectations when my expectations are high, but you've managed to do so. Thank you so much for sharing this one. I brought a grin to my face that made it appear as if I'd gotten away with highway robbery. I suppose that wasn't too far off of the mark. I feel pretty darn lucky to have viewed this one. Well played my friend!
  7. So Buc, does this mean that we can now request these tunes on your YouTube channel? I do have a number that I'd want to watch for myself (any originals never before posted, plus Rikki Don't Lose That Number, Ramblin' Man, Carmelita, etc, etc.) Shoot, I guess I'd want to watch 'em all. But I will note that Melissa is my wife's name so that'd definitely be my first request as I always share your videos with her when I watch them. Our common love for music is what brought she and I together in the first place. I actually played what I could of that tune for her back when we were still just friends — before we started to date. It has never been clear to me whether doing so might have been one of the reasons that we ultimately did end up dating, or if that only caused the actual occurrence of dating to be pushed further back, lol.
  8. Buc, Et al., I have had a life-long fear of playing in front of other people. Fear probably isn't quite the right way to describe it as it is not like I lose any sleep over the matter. Nor do I develop any uneasiness when thinking about. I suppose that for the most part I simply do not enjoy playing in front of others and it does tend to make me feel awkward (hell, I feel awkward amongst large groups of people even if I'm not playing guitar). Sadly, I even feel much the same way when I get around to recording my playing. At this point in my life I'm okay with playing for a few friends, or family and certainly for all of the neighborhood cats who seemingly always find their way to our front porch should I be playing outside. I'm okay sharing my recordings with the folks on this forum because everyone tends to be so kind. (Don't think that I don't appreciate this.) At any rate, I have played in front of a crowd of people that I didn't know a total of four times. Out near our cabin there is a cool, funky restaurant/bar that has an open mic on Thursday nights. One night while I was there having a beer, no one had yet signed up on "the list". So the host was up there playing. Not singing, just playing acoustic guitar (except he would capture a portion of his playing and then place that recording into a loop so that he could solo over it). Nice playing and a pretty fancy presentation. After he finished I asked him if anyone else ever "just played guitar" and he replied that, every once in a while someone would get up on stage and play instrumentals. At that point I decided that I would give it a try if for no other reason than to make myself suffer, lol. Somehow I thought that I should at least try to face my "fear" of playing in front of others. I practiced a variety of my tunes for a few weeks until I felt plenty comfortable with a half-dozen or so of them. One of the beautiful things about being a newbie at an open mic playing instrumental tunes of my own creation was that I knew there would only be so much that the audience could take. The first night I showed up to play I was pretty damn nervous. I wouldn't let myself drink a beer beforehand for fear of really messing things up. When I asked the host how long or how many tunes should I play, he told me to play as much as I wanted as there wasn't anyone who had signed up after me. Right after making it through my first tune, I acknowledged those in the crowd who were clapping with a very low-key "t h a n k s" (I don't think I even looked anyone in the eye). As I was re-tuning my guitar for the next tune the amplification cut out. The host came up to check on things and it turns out that the battery for the internal pickup in my guitar had gone dead (it was the same battery that came in the guitar when I bought it years earlier and I never had thought to check it as I never even used it before. So the host set up a mic for me and cut me loose again. I made it through four or five more songs. By then I decided that I had had enough for that night and I figured that I likely wasn't the only one. Right after that I slammed a couple of beers (I never slam beers) and then began talking to the owner of the place *who I already knew) after I finished. He started telling me about his acoustic guitar - an old Gibson. Cool, I was all in on that conversation. Then he asked me if I wanted to see it. "Sure!" He and his wife live in the space above the restaurant so he went upstairs and retrieved it. He brought it over to me and I could see that it was an old LG-2. He saw the smile on my face and then asked me if I wanted to play it. "Absolutely! Are you sure?" He was sure. He told me that he was going to grab his harmonica's and would meet me up on the stage. At that point I felt obliged to tell him that I do not know anything about music or how it is constructed. I can only identify a handful of cowboy chords by memory and I have no idea what key I might be playing in or what notes I might be playing for that matter. He told me not to worry about it. Had I not slammed the beers a little bit earlier I likely would have walked out, but we got up there and he told me just to play whatever I wanted. He then pointed to his binder of poems he had written that he had with him and once again told me not to worry. Now I don't really know how to come up with any kind of an "intro" to anything I play. While I have heard of these things, I couldn't tell you whether or not any of my tunes have verses or choruses or bridges (or overpasses, tollways, onramps and offramps for that matter). This is why I always refer to my guitar-based creations as "tunes". The only time that I call anything that I've created a "song" is when I've done so by mistake. Trust me when I tell you that I was plenty nervous. We "played" maybe five "songs" in total and I still had absolutely no clue what I was doing. The crowd loved it because Tom (the owner) almost never get up on stage and his poetry was totally off-the-wall. He was having a great time. I was just glad that all eyes weren't on me, this tended to make things a bit easier. Oh, and I truly enjoyed his old LG-2 that had such a massive repair history I could hardly believe it. But it played and sounded great. That was the highlight of the evening for me. I would end up going back to the open mic three more times in total. Tom and I performed together once again during one of those evenings. Each time I went back to play things got harder, lol. There were a variety of reasons for this, and they don't really matter in the context of this story. Four times was enough for me. I had proven whatever it was that I needed to prove to myself by then. I was good. I don't retell this sequence of events to distract from this thread. Instead, I am reliving this experience so that you'll know I mean it when I tell you what I'd like to finish up with below. To all of you on this forum who make a habit of getting up and performing in front of other people, whether it be for their benefit, your benefit, or both, know that you have my deepest respect. I am making no references to to the level of skill involved, or whether or not money is involved, the size of the audience, or anything else for that matter. If you perform for others I tip my cap to you. My appreciation doesn't just come from the experience I've replayed for you above, although that had deepened the feelings that I have had for a long time. For me it has always primarily had to do more with the fact that at some point early in my life I developed an appreciation for the fact that while making music might come easier to some than it does to the rest of us, those who wind up deciding to perform for others end up putting in the work in order to do so. What drives someone to do so does not matter to me — be it notoriety, money, picking up chicks/dudes/trans/whatever, I don't care. This is why ever since I was young almost any time I have gone to see live music in my life if I had the opportunity to thank the musicians involved for playing I have made the effort to do so. The appreciation in my case is truly genuine. That's really what I wanted to get across here. It just doesn't seem to carry the same weight without the full backstory. It is kind of like when you watch someone play guitar before you've tried to do so yourself. You can still enjoy it greatly and also have a great deal of appreciation for at the same time. But once you've started to play guitar yourself the enjoyment and appreciation only grows. At least that's how life tends to work for me. All the best, Guth
  9. Greetings Jinder! "The Silver Age" managed to reach me today. Thus far I've only had the chance to play this recording serving as an accompaniment to the other activities of my day. I'll set aside some time later on dedicated to giving your work the attentive, focused listening that it deserves. However my first impression is a positive one — consider me impressed. If I might offer one criticism it would be this: The white type looks beautiful set against the blue appearing on the inside of the CD folder. However, placed against the light grey (silver?) that appears on the backside of the cover as well on/in the bi-fold insert the matter of contrast (or in this case, the lack of it) becomes an issue. You were kind enough to provide us with your lyrics in the bi-fold and it's a shame that they are so hard to read because of this. On the bright side, and this is obviously much more important, the quality of the recording sounds wonderful and I can clearly make out your lyrics simply by listening - what a novel concept, lol! Kudos to any and all who were involved in the recording process. With that in mind, should you find the time I would be interested to learn more about the recording process itself and the tools/methods used. Not that I would likely understand it all, but as someone who uses nothing more than a small field recorder to capture my tunes, I would no doubt find those sort of details incredibly interesting. Please know that my criticism above is presented purely in the constructive sense. Also know that I am glad this recording has made it's way from your life to mine. All the best, Guth
  10. Your use of the adjective mere in this case seems questionable. A 1/2" difference might not seem like all that much when measured in two dimensions, or viewed from the side of the guitar only,. But taking into account the internal volume of the guitar in three dimensions, the impact made by that 1/2" difference would seem fairly significant to me.
  11. Guth

    John Prine

    Jinder, I’ll apologize in advance to yourself and the others for the lengthiness this response is sure to reach, but you’ve struck a chord inside of me and I’m going to take this opportunity to “spell some things out” as much for my own benefit as anything else. Much like yourself, I often tend to process such emotions in a very inward way, although much more privately and far less productively in my case. I can say for a fact that when I was younger I never once took Stevie Ray Vaughan himself, his abilities or his music for granted. I say this despite the fact that I was able to watch him play many times in a venue smaller than the unassuming house that I now call home for only a few dollars each time. I still count being able to talk with him for a minute, shake his hand and thank him for sharing his music with myself and others to be a fairly significant moment in my life. (Later on, watching him overcome the demons that he happened to be battling back when I met him was something that I felt was every bit as worthy of celebration as his music itself was.) Another significant moment in my life would come on morning of August 28, 1990. When I arrived at work very early that day, the security guard at my workplace who shared a mutual love of blues music, asked me if I had heard the news. I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he handed me a copy of that day’s Dallas Morning News that he had obtained for me. Plastered on the cover was the news of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death — a victim of a helicopter crash the night before. I was almost speechless, having a very hard time putting my thoughts together in a way that made any kind of sense. Later I was sent home early, still with the newspaper in my hand . I would need the remainder of the day to begin to recover from the impact this news had on me. I still have that very newspaper to this day, packed away with other items that serve as reminders of what my life has been. In many ways I took SRV’s death harder than that of my own father which also occurred around that time of my then relatively young life. That is in no way to say that my father was any less significant to me, as few things could be further from the truth. I have thought about this very topic previously. Other than the fact that I was truly in a deep state of shock when my father died, this is what I’ve come up with.,. No one has meant more to me in my life than my father, even though our time with each other was cut far too short. With that said I would point out that for many of us on this forum there likely exist few if any triggers that impact our memories more than music. In turn, the people who are responsible for creating the music that we each connect with have the potential to dig deeper into our souls by way of our attachment to not only the music they create but also to them as individuals as part of the process. So in my case when someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away that left a really deep, complex hole inside of my psyche — the path of which was determined by a couple of things. The first was by the many different ways his music connected with me over the course of a few years. The other was the the intensity of that impact itself at various points in time. Such holes can not truly be examined until we are fully aware of their existence. In my case, when it came to facing the loss of Stevie Ray Vaughan, exploring such emptiness was both immediate and concrete. I felt that I had no choice but to face such things head on even though I had little clue as to how to proceed. In the case of the news regarding John Prine, the impacts that it might be having on yourself and others becomes a bit more complex. I feel this way because those connections that I’ve just mentioned are still being created, continuing to grow. Yet you find yourself peering into that potential void without any solid understanding of just how complex or just how deep that void might really be. In my case, I was dealing with events that were in the past, reaching up to and including the death of SRV. That was incredibly depressing in nature. In the case of trying to come to grips with John Prine’s situation, things are still developing, continuing to move forward (fortunately with some good news apparently now mixed in). The difference here is that your concerns regarding JP’s health involve looking forward in time and that generates anxiety. That anxiety might very well exist (and likely does) right on top of any depression you might be feeling as well. That is a lot to contend with. Add to this the mix of everything else going on in the world today (including that which impacted JP himself) and you have the perfect storm for a very emotional roller-coaster. The likes of which few of us have the necessary mental capacity to deal with head-on at this point in time. I find this to be one of life’s great ironies. To me this is what is meant by taking the bad with the good. Just as music has the capacity to take us to heights seemingly unimaginable, so it goes that the absence of such music (or those responsible for creating the music to begin with) similarly has the capacity to sink us to unimaginable depths. In my case, I found that listening to the very music that impacted me to begin with was the best way forward. Not so much for the relief it brought (it really didn’t at first), but more as a way of honoring the musical legacy that was left behind. One that I knew I would be able to tap into in more of a uplifting manner at some point in my future. I can’t imagine a better time to honor John Prine than right now while he is amongst us. I know that I’ll be spinning some of his music again this evening. I like to think that the act of doing so fills the world with a bit more positive energy, no matter how immeasurable it might be. So many of the truly best things in life are beyond measurement, it should not surprise me that this would be any different. Thanks all for letting me spill my emotions out all over the floor. Take care and be well.
  12. Actually Buc, when I speak of powdery as it relates to guitar tone, and to sharply strummed chords in particular, I wasn't referring to the angle of attack (the tonal impact of which I can hear separately on it's own). Instead "powdery" is a quality that I happen to love and one that I usually associate with some mahogany guitars. It's hard to describe, as you might expect, but a powdery sounding chord just sort of dissipates as if the sound coming from the guitar is made up of light fluffy snow (powder) or even dust. In other words, the sound of a chord starts out almost dense sounding but finishes incredibly dry & light. Powdery = good stuff. By the way, what exactly is that guitar you are playing I know that I've been out of the guitar loop for quite a while but that guitar is not like any I've seen before. A custom Gibson obviously. A variation on the Hummingbird? Texas pickguard = something from Fuller's maybe?
  13. My goodness Buc, just like so many of the other truly finer things in life, you only continue to get better with age. Your rendition of this tune has such a wonderful organic quality to it. As far as the "guitar angle" is concerned, I really love the powdery quality that the sound of the chords take on when forcefully strummed. Good stuff! When it comes to being locked up and passing time, such experiences are always better when they include your music videos. As always, thanks for sharing! All the best, Guth
  14. Oh man, that’s really unfortunate. I’ll let others who are more knowledgeable about damage such as this chime in with actual informed advice. In the meantime I literally just finished creating and posting a thought elsewhere on this forum regarding anyone who might find themselves unable to play guitar right now at a time when it would likely be most helpful. You have my sympathy.
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