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Playing a "LOUD" guitar...


onewilyfool

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As most of you may know, I really like small bodied guitars, and I love the sound that these little guys can produce.....I've had the pleasure of playing my friends "Large" body Jumbo for a few days and have noticed some interesting things. I guess this guitar would be called a "cannon" Very loud and heavy bass. Just like he likes them! It took me a while to get used to the SIZE of the beast, and had to experiment with a few body positions, before finding a comfortable way to play...but then settled in to learn from the guitar.One very interesting thing is that I could relax and let the guitar do the work, especially with bass runs.Just relaxing my playing style, because with small bodies, I have to "work" them differently to get out all the wonderful sounds.Being so bass dominant, I could really just lightly pluck the bass strings with my thumbnail.....and get this wonderful bass sound almost for free!!! I've seen a lot of Dreads at jams, where every one was trying to "out-cannon" each other, and was thinking....they are missing the subtle aspects of heir guitar.I was very impressed by this guitar, good for finger style, good for light to hard strumming, AND you can really dig in when you want to. I may have to shuffle my line-up and find a place for a nice big body guitar!!

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Yes, its a completely different approach to playing large and small bodied. The small bodied guitars really need a different attack and as you said often you have to really 'work' the strings to get the tone and dynamics.

 

Regarding your friends Cannon, let me guess, Martin HD-28 ?

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Yes, its a completely different approach to playing large and small bodied. The small bodied guitars really need a different attack and as you said often you have to really 'work' the strings to get the tone and dynamics.

 

Regarding your friends Cannon, let me guess, Martin HD-28 ?

LOL....EuroAussie.....this time I won't mention brand names as it seems to get some people's knickers in a twist......I'm just talking about playing style on the larger body guitar....lol.....By the way ...speaking of "working the guitar.....I find playing archtops REALLY require a vastly different approach than flat tops...E-A did you ever find that? Do you have any archtops?

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LOL....EuroAussie.....this time I won't mention brand names as it seems to get some people's knickers in a twist......I'm just talking about playing style on the larger body guitar....lol.....By the way ...speaking of "working the guitar.....I find playing archtops REALLY require a vastly different approach than flat tops...E-A did you ever find that? Do you have any archtops?

 

Yes OWF , those Estabans can be quite the "Canon" in the proper hands !msp_biggrin.gif

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Hey OWF -- you're bang on re the coaxing req'd with small-body, in my experience (my '67 B-15) -- and the delight in the subtleties found in a "cannon" as well (my AJ). The AJ cuts through in a jam like crazy when I ask her to, but takes me to rapture when fingerpicking solo. And I do love your posts...

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So what is the difference between loud and boomy - both of which I have heard in descriptions of a "cannon."

 

Not just body size but bracing comes into play. Cheapies like the Oscar Schmidt Stellas and Kalamazoos were usually built lighter which, although a cost saving measure, sometimes produced a guitar that was louder (as opposed to boomier) than many of their higher priced counterparts. Most 1970s Gibsons I have played - no matter how big the body - just ain't got the volume and presence because of the heavy bracing which does a good job of muffling the top.

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Not just body size but bracing. Cheapies like the Oscar Schmidt Stellas and Kalamazoos were usually built lighter which, although a cost saving measure, sometimes produced a guitar that was louder (as opposed to boomier) than their higher priced counterparts. Most 1970s Gibsons I have played - no matter how big the body - just ain't got the volume and presence because of the heavy bracing which does a good job of muffling the top.

Zomby I agree...my buddy has a '20 Stella, small, light and REALLY loud!!!Plus has that almst "resonator" sound that is perfect for the blues.....the finish looks like an alligator..lol.....so he doesn't worry about scratches....lol

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It's a noticeable trait in really high end boutique builders work, structural integrity/longevity Vs lightness of build. Some of these guitars are so light it's incredible however some are not built to be knocked about much. I suppose you have to consider how careful you are as well as how deep your wallet is when considering a guitar of this ilk.

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So OWF....do you find you have to sing louder to try and be heard over the "louder" guitar?

 

Maybe easy on the fingers, but does it then strain the vocal chords?

 

It's a noticeable trait in really high end boutique builders work, structural integrity/longevity Vs lightness of build. Some of these guitars are so light it's incredible however some are not built to be knocked about much. I suppose you have to consider how careful you are as well as how deep your wallet is when considering a guitar of this ilk.

 

ParlourDude.... Yes I have a John How Ladder Braced Concert that also very lightly built.. I ended up putting Newtone Heritage Low Tension strings on it. Partly because the standard strings felt too taut and to give it that more subtle "couch guitar" sound and feeling. Otherwise it has the "Mouse That Roared" feeling!

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So OWF....do you find you have to sing louder to try and be heard over the "louder" guitar?

 

Maybe easy on the fingers, but does it then strain the vocal chords?

 

 

 

ParlourDude.... Yes I have a John How Ladder Braced Concert that also very lightly built.. I ended up putting Newtone Heritage Low Tension strings on it. Partly because the standard strings felt too taut and to give it that more subtle "couch guitar" sound and feeling. Otherwise it has the "Mouse That Roared" feeling!

Node....I was just enjoying being able to soften my touch and letting the guitar do the work, I tried to keep my voice the same....lol....such as it is.....lol......but the one "concern" I have is those deep bodies and any shoulder problems.....having played my Harmony Sovereign for over a year now.....I'm thinking I can put that concern to bed.......not a problem

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He makes a few lovely looking parlours that John How. msp_thumbup.gif

Node let me use his How for this recording......just a great guitar.....you can finger pick OR strum....ladder braced.....very lively......I've tried to get him to trade me many times for it, and he won't even discuss it....lol

 

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E-A did you ever find that? Do you have any archtops?

 

I played a few in guitar shops but never owned one. I found theyre a whole different kettle of fish, generally I played them quite softly, was a bit scared Im going to break something .. ;-)

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I played a few in guitar shops but never owned one. I found theyre a whole different kettle of fish, generally I played them quite softly, was a bit scared Im going to break something .. ;-)

EA....My 1923 Gibson L-2 has nary a crack.......not bad for almost 90!!! The small body archtops can take a lickin'!

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