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brundaddy

Who made you want to play an f-hole guitar?

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I don't remember why an "f-hole guitar". I know I walked in this small music store (Wehr's Music City) 44 years ago and saw it hanging. Small store by today's comparison. I guess it picked me...and I still have it! Only a handful of guitars back then; and it can take months to get one ordered. Bought it for $375. I didn't even know the model.

 

I had an used Les Paul at that time that I gig. Come to think of it, we played and got paid fairly; enough to go through college and live on it. Hmmm, how much do people pay nowadays with all the bands around?

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Django Reinhardt, (love his electric sound), Philip Catherine, Ted Nugent and good old Jan Akkerman, who plays beautiful archtops by Heins, Robberts and Gibson of course, from time to time

 

Grtz Richard

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My mom played an ES-125. It's what I learned to play on. I also loved Don Gibson, Chet, Hank Garland, and lots of the old Nashville cats who rocked an f-hole model.

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Originally, George Harrison, Clapton, Chet, Chuck Berry, and later on, Brian Setzer, George Thorogood, and seeing the 'Big body' guitars others were playing at the time. Went looking for 335 in 1985 and found a 1978 Fender Telecaster Thinline instead...which has been my number one for many years. Later on, I got a Strat added to the arsenal, and this past year, finally went back to get my original dream guitar, ES335, a 2001 in Vintage burst that had been bought by a lady for her husband that was basically put under the bed and left unplayed...until now. ;) Former guitarist for The Clash, Mick Jones is playing a '72 Tele Thinline these days, as is Jonny Buckland of Coldplay...but I don't recall seeing anyone of note playing one when I found mine in '85. I basically settled on that when I couldn't find a 335 in cherry like Clapton's.

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well for me it was BB King, Alex Lifeson, that guy from U2 (whats his name??), Clapton n Sebastien Lefebvre (HE plays punk rock in a band named Simple Plan), n that guy in Green Day

 

Since I play live a lot, my Schecter 006 (now discontinued) used to give me a lot of back pain (9 lbs...DUH!!!!). Then I started checking out chambered LPs, and my gaze fell upon the ES n hollowbodies...LOVE @ FIRST SIGHT!!!!

 

well sound too, the hollows sound great anyday, especially the ES 335 n ES 339

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I came very close to getting an Alex Lifeson ES-355. But the 339 felt more comfortable to me, so I got that instead. I guess it was Alex who made me want to play one originally but the many others listed here certainly influenced me too.

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For me it was Malcolm Young, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, whatshisname from Bow Wow Wow, Izzy Stradlin, and other rock and roll hoodlums. How about you?

 

 

Thats easy! George Harrison. In the fall of 66 my Grandmother bought me a Gretch Tennessean (even though the F-holes are painted on)and a Fender Vibrolux amp. They both were about $325 new. I own a 339 now which to me is a better guitar than the Tennessean was. But I did learn to play I`m A Loser on that guitar. I still have the Vibrolux. K

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"Way back" in the early 80s I got to know the Chicago blues clubs and the players of that era from a fan's perspective, heading out nearly every weekend to see and hear what I could see and hear. Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins and many, many more were all still playing regularly in small clubs. But not as often as some guys... there was something about Jimmy Johnson, and you could find it almost every weekend then: his voice, his enthusiasm, the ease and conviction of his licks that really floated my boat then. On tiny stages at B.L.U.E.S. and elsewhere he could really bring it. Back then he played a walnut-colored ES, and that's when I decided.

 

Not sure you'll get what I got from this example... It's an earlier model ES-336 or 346 I think, with that straighht-pull headstock... but the playing feels a bit like it did back then. One of the greats, imho.

 

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Barney Kessel, BB King, Eric Clapton, John Mclaughlin but realistically it wasnt the player but the guitar that got me to play one. I saw that Beale st Blue on the wall and went thats the one. I will never sell it. it has more subtlety than most other guitars yet the power and sustain of nearly all the solid bodies. To me there is no greater all round guitar it truly is the players guitar.

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For me the f-hole guitar has always had the historic connection with orchestral strings

 

Violin, viola, cello, bass

 

So early exposure to String Quartet music etc stirred the initial interest

 

In that most beautiful of instruments

 

The f-hole guitar.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Larry Carlton.

 

Interestingly enough, the day I picked up my first 335 from Valley Arts Guitar back in 1983 the owner, Mike McGuire, introduced me to Larry.

 

I had been been having repairs done at VA and hung around the shop when I could at that time. Larry stopped by the store frequently and I got to see some of his instruments up close, but never got to meet him. I was in the Navy at the time and usually somewhere else floating around the planet. I was making payments on the 335.

 

I made the final payment and stopped by to pick up the guitar. While I was there Mike said to stick around, Larry was going to stop by. I got to meet Larry and found him to be a great guy, very approachable. Mike said Larry's going to be playing at the "Potato" tonight, why don't you come by and watch the show. The Baked Potato is/was a tiny club in Hollywood/North Hollywood(?). (Guess what's on the menu?) They said get there early, the line will be down the street even before they open. I got there a couple of hours before they opened and was 3rd in line behind a couple of Larry's greatest fans. We talked for the entire time about Larry's music, guitars and my new 335 I had just picked up earlier in the day.

 

When Larry showed up he walked up the sidewalk, greeted and chatted with all the people in line. When he got to the head of the line he said something like, Hey Bill, how's it going? Good to see you made it. Needless to say the two guys ahead of me were floored. After Larry went inside they turned to me and said, "You know him?" I had to explain that in addition to picking up the 335 I did get to meet him.

 

Fun times back then. :)

 

Bill

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All the jazz cats. Barney, Joe, Wes, Larry (both of them), Kenny, Charile, Django, Herb, Tal, Johnny...You get the idea.

 

Confession: I play a Guild X 700 mixed in with three 335's, a L4C and a 330. Just never found the right Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery or L5 but am still in the hunt.

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It was a combination of things. I'm tall and rangey, and solid bodies -- although I loved the Les Paul gold top and the SG w/Bigsby I had -- just don't fit me. The ergonomics of a 335 are a lot better, as far as I'm concerned. My first really good guitar was a '63 Chet Atkins Country Gent. I played it steadily for 25 years, and I didn't know what I was missing until I got the LP. Hello, upper frets! But it was a boat anchor, so I added the SG. Much easier on my shoulder, but still too small. At last I found the 335 for a remarkable price and that did it for me: feel, sound and looks.

 

Pics are always nice:

GretschChetAtkinsCountryGentleman.jpg

GibsonLesPaulDeluxe.jpg

GibsonES-335-1.jpg

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It was a combination of things. I'm tall and rangey, and solid bodies -- although I loved the Les Paul gold top and the SG w/Bigsby I had -- just don't fit me. The ergonomics of a 335 are a lot better, as far as I'm concerned. My first really good guitar was a '63 Chet Atkins Country Gent. I played it steadily for 25 years, and I didn't know what I was missing until I got the LP. Hello, upper frets! But it was a boat anchor, so I added the SG. Much easier on my shoulder, but still too small. At last I found the 335 for a remarkable price and that did it for me: feel, sound and looks.-1.jpg[/img]

 

Was there a player who made the f-hole guitar cool to you?

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Not any one player, but had I seen the EC clips posted earlier, that would have done it! F-hole guitars just always seemed to be in the hands of knowledgeable players, while solid bodies belonged to guys who jumped around a lot. But mostly I guess I liked the traditional look of the f-hole. I've never tried to emulate other guitarists, for some reason, and I've never thought of myself as a "guitarist." I play electric bass, and electric guitar, and harmonica --almost forgot, Dobro -- with different lineups, so I think of myself as a musician who plays guitar. Sorry 'bout that.

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When I was an undergraduate in the early 70s, studying late into the night, I used to tune in to a very mellow jazz program called Music to Midnight where I heard the likes of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, George van Eps and (gulp) Tony Mottola. The latter's arrangements were often schlocky but, like the others, he had that great archtop tone. (So were a lot of Wes's by this time, sadly.)

 

This didn't translate into buying records by these guys except for a couple of Freddie Hubbard CTI albums featuring George Benson, where I would listen to George's solos over and over again. And I had a tape of Joe Pass's Intercontinental.

 

Despite this early exposure, I failed to take up jazz guitar at this time (d'oh). I even ignored a divine intervention in the form of being able to try out a Super 400 on sale for $AU400 and noticing how easy it was to get that great tone; the guitar spoke to me and I wasn't listening. I was young and easily seduced by Led Zeppelin, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report.

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