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Salfromchatham

Play out in bars with your Gibsons? Or buy $600 Takamine?


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I am on a journey, and just starting to do what so many of you regularly do... get paid 17 cents to play out in bars :)

 

Looks like our pace is 4 times a month - once a week.

 

Honestly, its not really a money issue... but what would you do? What would you play out with? One of your beloved Gibby's? Or buy a Takamine for about $600? My Martins are pickup-less. Honestly I do not like the plugged in sound of the LG2, so it is not a choice.

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Should've kept that SJ. [biggrin] I drag my J45 TV with me everywhere. Mountain huts, open-mics at bars and bowling alleys, Barn jambs, top-shelf wine bars, and tony private residences. If ya got 'em, ya might as well fly 'em.

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While I don't play anywhere, I have done gig or 2 previously! [biggrin]

 

 

Use it or lose it!

 

 

Precious vintage exempt, but replaceables - show the audience your best!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Much of it depends on the bars themselves. How secure is your guitar when it's not around your neck?

 

I've always looked at my high-end equipment as my 'recording' equipment. (Of course I haven't done any 'recording' of note in years.)

 

If we were talking electrics, I wouldn't hesitate to break out a Gibson or Fender and wouldn't be looking for a low-ender to make the show.

 

However, with weather changes (especially in winter) and acoustic instruments, I'd be a bit more cautious. I don't know that I'd buy a $600 Tak. I think there are cheaper alternatives that will get you that far. (Check Washburns at the lower reaches or a used Taylor.)

 

Knowing a tiny bit about your situation and knowing you're not shy about selling one guitar to fund another and even at the worst--having a guitar stolen--it wouldn't end your career, I'd be more inclined to live a little and take out a mid-level Gibson. (I'd keep the fancy Hummingbird at home.)

 

If you were someone who'd saved up his entire life to get that one Gibson and affording another wasn't likely, I'd steer you away from bringing it out in public.

 

Hope this helps.

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I love the feel and sound of the J45 plugged in. It goes without saying I love it at home just picking unplugged. This guitar is "playing with my best".

It stays close at gigs... During the 15 minute breaks between sets, it is on a stand, but nobody comes up to mess with it... Yet.

I've heard so many say that Taks are great plugged in guitars, and you don't freak out if they get a ding... That's why I mentioned the Taks.

Thanks for playing along!

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I don't play typical bars anymore, but when I did I took my Garrison as many times as all my Gibsons added together. I wanted to take the Gibsons, but I worried about smoke and drunks. If I were to make the choice today, I'd likely go with an Epi or my Garrison for the bars. Around here they don't allow smoking indoors, so bars are better than a few years ago. I do play a Salty Iguana Mexican Restaurant every couple months and I sit about thirty feet from the actual bar, but it's in the middle of a family restaurant and there's no smoke, no drunks, no loud noise. Brought my Dove the last time and "the bird" the time before that. Plus, I'm on an elevated (2ft) platform, so not much chance of someone crashing into me. But, if I were playing "bars," I'd likely take something beside my Gibsons.

 

Regarding "live venues"----checkout buffets, and fried fish places. The places were the older folks gather are good. They like the old country/folk/classic rock stuff. I suspect you'll find that most of them will pay and many have a music license and you can do all the covers you want.

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Like another post stated -- it depends on the environment. For places where I'm close to a rowdy audience, I leave the high end guitars home. If I'm playing on a stage that is away from prying hands, then I may bring one of my Gibsons.

 

That said, my typical gigging guitar is my Alvarez Yairi -- it has the best of both worlds for gigging -- it isn't as valuable of guitar as my higher enders, yet it sounds better than my high enders when plugged in. The built-in pickup system on the Yairi is great. I've been on the lookout for a used Tak pro series due to their pickup system. They are rare around here though.

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Playing in front of any audience isn't occasion to buy a $600 Takamine to leave the Gibson's at home. It's occasion to buy a Gibson to replace the $600 Takamine.

 

If you have a good sounding instrument, it's a crime to not share it with others.

 

If your ethic is to give an audience the best performance you can, then it also includes giving them the best possible sound you can playing the best sounding guitars you have available.

 

Music lovers DO appreciate good sounding instruments, no matter where the gig is.

 

Y'all who play the cheap stuff to leave the precious stuff at home, SHAME ON YOU!!

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I Like Gibson guitars. I am lucky enough, fortunate enough, that if you come to my house I have one that you can play and one for me. Or we could trade. I put my best foot forward. I would play a Gibson in a bar, in a car,on a train or in a plane. Glad the instrument is of concern when it probably does not have to be. I worry more about the shirt I wear ;)

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Playing in front of any audience isn't occasion to buy a $600 Takamine to leave the Gibson's at home. It's occasion to buy a Gibson to replace the $600 Takamine.

 

If you have a good sounding instrument, it's a crime to not share it with others.

 

If your ethic is to give an audience the best performance you can, then it also includes giving them the best possible sound you can playing the best sounding guitars you have available.

 

Music lovers DO appreciate good sounding instruments, no matter where the gig is.

 

Y'all who play the cheap stuff to leave the precious stuff at home, SHAME ON YOU!!

 

Been playing gigs for several years and, with all due respect, most people could care less about guitar tone. Plus, my "beater" guitar sounds better plugged in than my SJ-200 or Hummingbird plugged in. Just because it's high end unplugged don't make it high-end sounding plugged in.

 

Give ya an example: Last year I played a small town dive bar just a few miles outside of my city. Was a great night -- place was jumping and fun to play. But toward the end of the night, couple drunk guys looked at each other the wrong way and an all-out brawl started. It eventually spilled out into the street while I was loading my gear out. Yeah no thanks -- I'll leave the J-200 at home for those gigs.

 

Shame on me for that? -- Good by me. Like I said, it depends on where you play. When I play a winery, the good stuff has a better chance to come out.

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No way! You can pick up an Epiphone for $500 or less new! I took me 50 years before I could afford a Gibson!

Just because you own a cabinet full of fine China doesn't mean you should take it to McDonalds to eat off of it!

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Hi I mostly play in our local churches most weeks and I take both guitars my 45 and my GS Mini E . I made the choice a few years ago not to play in Pubs anymore so I don't have that problem . The only problem I will have this winter is as follows , my local church is St Mildreds on the Isle of Wight ( Queen Victoria's church on the Island ) and we have no heating so in the winter months I will for humidity reasons take the GS if required . But I must admit I did at first intend to use the J45 at home but it has sneaked into the car lately since new in August

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Now that you are already convinced, all I can add is that's what I do. No choice really, the national and Gibson are what I have.

 

As for the comment that audiences don't care about guitars.... they may not, but I do. And If I don't have the tone and feel, its hard to play well. And they'll pick up on that.

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Been playing gigs for several years and, with all due respect, most people could care less about guitar tone. Plus, my "beater" guitar sounds better plugged in than my SJ-200 or Hummingbird plugged in. Just because it's high end unplugged don't make it high-end sounding plugged in.

 

 

I respect a guy who is playing out. So I mean respect to you when I say "with all due respect":

 

I don't believe people could care less about about guitar tone. The average audience is not picking apart the sound or taking any notes on why or how a certain player sounds good or not, but they CAN hear. Good sound vs fair sound is something everyone hears.

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I gig regularly with my 2011 Southern Jumbo, that's what I bought it for. It's got a few knocks and scratches now, but I made them so it doesn't bother me. Certainly from playing 3 or 4 hours a night its opened up the guitar very quickly and it sounds better now than when I bought it. I also bought a J15 for gigs so I do now alternate between the two. First night I played the J15 a guy came up to me and commented on the tone of the guitar. (he was a player though). Not sure if I'll take out the J185 just yet, probably though after the honeymoon. A good pick up system (I really like the LR baggs) and a good amp or PA is going to help your sound so much. I use a Roland AC90 and get so many comments on the clarity and quality of the sound.

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I figure my guiars are there to be played. Would seem like a shame to leave the "better" ones home and only take the el cheapos out for an airing. So one night I will walk out the door with an all-birch Schmidt Stella and the next with my 1942 J-50. It depends on my mood more than anything. Sometimes it comes down to which guitar has been restrung recently.

 

As I use old Dermond and Kent soundhole pickups I can slap them on anything I own. The easiest for me to use though is my 1946 LG-2 as somebody had already replaced the endpin with a jack when I bought it so I do not have to deal with a chord dangling out of the soundhole. I keep saying I am going to pull the jack out and go back to an endpin but it seems to be one of those chores that always gets put off till tomorrow.

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Depends if you wanna collect 'em or use 'em for what they were made for. My old HD-28 has been all over the country with me and been on stages from Texas to Minnesota and PA to Arizona. Only once on an airplane though; I was trying to get the flight attendant to let me carry it on and she was insisting I had to check it. The captain came out of the cockpit and said "What ya got in the case?" "Martin D-28," I said. "Better let it ride up here with me," he said. He handed it to me after the flight, said "Nice guitar." Never did know if he opened the case or not.

 

I very seldom play out any more, but when I do, my current favorite (my J200) is right there with me.

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I voted for the J 45, but I think there are a lot of other choices between the Tak and 45. I think it depends on where you are in life. I sort of think of my J 35 as the one I would take to play out, but other people would consider that their best they will ever have guitar and not want to chance it. I still don't think I would take it to a bon fire, in that instance it would be Masterbilt time, but the same thing applies there too, someone might concider that their best and not risk it. I am fortunate enough to be able at some point to replace anything I have, but at some points in my life I wouldn't have been able to look at it that way.

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To be honest, the only way I can justify having such expensive instruments is by playing them as often as possible, so if I have an acoustic gig I usually take my 1939 L-00. I know the audience don't care either way but I feel better playing my best instruments, and if I feel better I'll probably play better.

 

As an aside, I once left that guitar with a tech whose workshop was broken into and the L-00 stolen - then recovered the next day from a neighbouring back garden Our best guess is that the thief made off with the guitar in its case, opened the case as soon as they got a safe distance away and decided the beat up old thing inside couldn't possibly be worth trying to sell. The other guitar they took was a '40s 000-18 with a load of top repairs - that ended up in the neighbour's yard as well. Thieves are going to have to start carrying a Gruhn guide with them... but it makes me feel better gigging that guitar, because I realise that to most people it's just a beat up old instrument.

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I was trying to get the flight attendant to let me carry it on and she was insisting I had to check it. The captain came out of the cockpit and said "What ya got in the case?" "Martin D-28," I said. "Better let it ride up here with me," he said. He handed it to me after the flight, said "Nice guitar." Never did know if he opened the case or not.

 

 

Get outta here

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