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Desolationrow

Guitar for singer songwriter

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Hi guys, i’ve been saving for two years and it's time to choose my new guitar. 
Currently I have these guitars: Gibson J45 ,Gibson J200 and Gibson hummingbird. I’m a singer songwriter, I’m only strum chords(I don’t use picks)for voice accompaiment(I have a very low/deep/dark type of voice). Any ideas of guitars for that purpose? Thanks a lot for the help.

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Toss up, really.  Being a singer/songwriter kinda guy myself, I'd say any of the three would suit the genre just fine.  The only caveat I'd toss in is to know that the 200 is a long scale instrument while the other two are short.  The 200 is known as one of the finest strummers around, true enough, but do consider the scale and body size difference in your decision.......not an issue for many but can be for others.  While not as loud as one might think, the 200 being maple is certainly brighter of tone, which may or may not work well with a dark voice........perhaps too much contrast between the voice and guitar, perhaps not.  Maybe the instrument you've been playing will provide you a point of reference in this regard.

Happy hunting!  😎

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Yes, there is a Gibson guitar specifically made for that exact purpose and more, and it's this guitar of mine here:

3GhwR51.jpg

Good luck finding a J-180 these days, though. And even though I'm 6′ 2.4″ I still deem Gibson's minijumbo the perfect breed of a guitar for singer/songwriters.

Any of the SJs (SJ-200 & Co.) and round-shouldered dreadnoughts (J-45 & Co.) may qualify as well depending on the player's build and vocal prowess and/or recording/performance setup. A Hummingbird I would categorize as the perfect second guitar for the high-register parts, solos, and for rhythm backing or track doubling, less so for the singer/songwriter himself as his accompaniment guitar since it's too overpowering.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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J-45 is the singer/songwriter's  guitar.  Since you don't use picks, you will want to experiment with strings to find the tone that works best with your voice for your playing style.  A J-45 played this way will not overwhelm either your song or your singing.

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I don't think you could go wrong with anything listed above, but looking at your current guitars - I'd really be interested in trying to find a  J180, or even go small body with an LG something or other.

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It all depends on what works best for you.  I don't see anything wrong with the three you have.  There's no magic to it, aside from  the guitar and you being "one."

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I’ve owned two J200’s, several J45’s and never played a Hummingbird (prefer Martin dreads for the square-shoulder thing).  One J200 was glorious while the other was a dog, but man, the good one was amazing and wish I never parted with it and that could easily be my singer/songwriter strummer.  My current singer/songwriter guitars are a J45, Martin D18 and D35. All are great for a singer/songwriter, but there’s something special about the J45. Although it has a somewhat smaller sound than he two Martins, it’s low end is growth and thunderous and the guitar overall just has “that” sound where the guitar just sits in that pocket and messes wonderfully with my voice when I sing, never competitions or overpowering.  J45’s are short scale, and I kind of think of my J45 as a smaller body guitar trapped in a large body guitar. 

My vote would be for a good J45. 

Edited by sbpark

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On 5/26/2019 at 2:35 PM, Desolationrow said:

Currently I have these guitars: Gibson J45 ,Gibson J200 and Gibson hummingbird. .

 Do you mean you own the three or have them on your shortlist? 

I have those three, too. I also have a J180, Maple Advanced Jumbo and '41 Reissue SJ100. 

If you have Maple and Mahogany in the stable already, why not go for an AJ in Rosewood? It will have greater volume and projection than any of your current crop, and will give you an extra voice to play with. An AJ will improve you as a player-they're an amazing sounding guitar, but what you put in is what you get out. They're not soft and forgiving like a Bird or 45, they force you to up your game. Wonderful instruments.

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11 hours ago, Jinder said:

 Do you mean you own the three or have them on your shortlist? 

 

Yes, my question as well. Where is the OP for clarification?

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3 hours ago, bayoubengal1954 said:

Yes, my question as well. Where is the OP for clarification?

Hi thanks for the answers. I mean that I have the three Gibsons in my arsenal, I’m happy with all but I search something different. I am interested in Martin sound now. People say that the. Martin D 35 is the best Martin for singer songwriter stuff. Opinions? Thanks a lot.

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I have a D-18 and a D-35. Both are great singer/songwriter guitars. The D-18 is a little more punchy and projects while the D-35 blooms and is more enveloping with less projection than the D-18. The D-35 sounds big, but isn't overpowering, but again, it's a BIG sounding guitar but still pairs well with (my) voice. The guitar sounds like it has built-in reverb. If I want projection, like when playing fiddle tunes I'll reach for the D-18, when I'm doing the singer/songwriter stuff there's something about the D-35 that just always makes me sound better when singing. It's a very rich sound that just sounds like a band is playing with you. Hard to explain, but there's something a nice D-35 has that the others don't. 

 

I've also owned a few D-28's and an HD28 and never been a fan of either. I greatly prefer the D-18 and D-35 over those other two. D-28's always sound stiff and choked to me, and HD28's always sounded unbalanced with boomy lows and thin highs. The D-35 sounds much more balanced to my ear and the highs sound richer on the D-35 compared to the 28 series dreads. 

Edited by sbpark

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3 hours ago, sbpark said:

I have a D-18 and a D-35. Both are great singer/songwriter guitars. The D-18 is a little more punchy and projects while the D-35 blooms and is more enveloping with less projection than the D-18. The D-35 sounds big, but isn't overpowering, but again, it's a BIG sounding guitar but still pairs well with (my) voice. The guitar sounds like it has built-in reverb. If I want projection, like when playing fiddle tunes I'll reach for the D-18, when I'm doing the singer/songwriter stuff there's something about the D-35 that just always makes me sound better when singing. It's a very rich sound that just sounds like a band is playing with you. Hard to explain, but there's something a nice D-35 has that the others don't. 

 

I've also owned a few D-28's and an HD28 and never been a fan of either. I greatly prefer the D-18 and D-35 over those other two. D-28's always sound stiff and choked to me, and HD28's always sounded unbalanced with boomy lows and thin highs. The D-35 sounds much more balanced to my ear and the highs sound richer on the D-35 compared to the 28 series dreads. 

Thanks for your answer! Lot of help! Other guitar I am looking is the 15 series Martin(all hog) because the general opinion is all hog is good for singing. perhaps it’s other league compared to a D35 no? Thanks again

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1 hour ago, Desolationrow said:

Thanks for your answer! Lot of help! Other guitar I am looking is the 15 series Martin(all hog) because the general opinion is all hog is good for singing. perhaps it’s other league compared to a D35 no? Thanks again

All Hog will give you a tight, focused tone, woody midrange and a slightly "agricultural" and less refined overall sound. A D35, on the other hand, will sound huge, loud, lush and dropping with overtones. My favourite D35 recording is the studio version of 'Rake' by Townes Van Zandt, from the Delta Momma Blues album. Incredible tone. His was early '60s with Braz back and sides, but contemporary 35s don't sound far off.

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5 hours ago, Desolationrow said:

Thanks for your answer! Lot of help! Other guitar I am looking is the 15 series Martin(all hog) because the general opinion is all hog is good for singing. perhaps it’s other league compared to a D35 no? Thanks again

 

Ive also owned a few 15 series Martins, specifically a couple 000-15m’s and a custom 00-15m. Again, all were great, but I’m a dread guy and prefer a bigger guitar both in feel and sound, but with that said the 000-15m would be my choice. Not even close to a D-35, but that has nothing to do with quality, they just sound vastly different. I love a big, rich, complex sound, and although I’ve tried to like smaller guitars with several Martin small bodies, a few Waterloo’s, etc., I always go back to dreads.  I still think it’s pretty darn hard to beat a good D-35 as a great all-arounder. I think it’s touch-sensitive enough to be a great finger picker, and a wonderful strummer that just blends really well with a singer. I always feel like my D-35 compliments my voice while my AJ, which is a monster, always seems to compete with my voice if I’m not careful. 

 

Really though, any guitar can be a singer/songwriter guitar. 

Edited by sbpark

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nobody mentions the best pencil/paper for the songwritin' part of singer/songwriter...another forum, i reckon

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3 minutes ago, scriv58 said:

nobody mentions the best pencil/paper for the songwritin' part of singer/songwriter...another forum, i reckon

#2, dixon ticonderoga

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