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Fingerstyle on a J45TV?


Rambler

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Hola, all. I'm looking for input on your experience with a J45 TV as a finger-style guitar. In particular, do you find yours balanced or too much on the low end? How about treble cut and punch? Point of reference: I tried out a J45L that I really liked for this style, but got rid of an AJ because it had too much in the bass/low mids and sustain generally. Owners of SJ TVs or WGs, feel free to chime in. The J35s I know will cut it for this style, so looking on input on these other ones. Rambler

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Hi Rambler,

 

I know that you've heard the clips I've posted here in the past made with my J-45 TV. I fingerpick pretty much exclusively and wouldn't have bought the guitar if I felt that the bass didn't "play nicely" with the rest of the tonal spectrum. To me, one big issue is how articulate the low end is. On a lot of guitars, the low E in particular is too rounded, rubbery, or "thudish" to blend in nicely with the other strings. So instead of getting that instant impact from the clean initial attack of the string, you get a loud, drawn out thud instead that tends to muddy things up. In my experience, this has more to do with each individual guitar than any particular design. I passed on a few J-45 TVs for this very reason before finding the one that I purchased.

 

I also get plenty of punch/attack from the mids/trebles. For whatever reason, I've found that a lot of guitars might respond well to a flatpick, but not so much with fingerpicking (even though I grow my nails out to create that additional emphasis). My J-45 TV is very responsive to my playing style. To me, that crisp initial attack is part of the attraction of what I call a dry, woody tone and I want that characteristic to be exhibited by all of the strings, not just some of them. Consistency of tone across all strings and up and down the neck is a big deal to me. Some guitars have it and some don't.

 

As an aside, the AJ that I ended up buying also exhibits these same qualities to a certain extent. I've owned other rosewood guitars in the past that had too much sustain and too many overtones for my preferences. My AJ actually has quite a few of the positive qualities that I normally associate with mahogany guitars.

 

Examples such as these are why I've always wanted to be able to play a guitar before I would consider a purchase, even if it means a decent road trip to be able to do so.

 

All the best,

Guth

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Judging by the style of music you're into (wasn't it you that had passed along the Weenie Campbell Country Blues forum link?), I thought you'd be all set in that dept. What guitar are you now playing for that sort of thing?

 

The J-45 can do warm & mellow for late night sounds, whereas the 1930's L-00 that I'm the current steward of becomes a Pre-war Martin 'bone wannabe.

 

The TV's will give you some of what it sounds like you're looking for (in the way that it's the singer, not the song), but there'll be some considerable compromise for the greater versatility that the J-45 True Vintage offers over a small-bodied vintage blues box.

 

Speaking of SBVBB's, I'm constantly amazed by the sound of all of the other, more obscure guitars that are out there. Have you checked out the guitar sound test recordings at Little Brother Blues dot com? Click on the Sampler medley mp3's:

 

http://littlebrotherblues.com/Gear/SoundTest1/index.htm

 

The idea of buying a shiny, brand-new guitar (especially the expensive boutique guitars) for playing country blues & ragtime is lost on me. The very nature of that music is aching to come out of a guitar that has actually been there.

 

 

A more authentic sound can not be had than the real deal, for the same, and in most cases, less money.

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The idea of buying a shiny, brand-new guitar (especially the expensive boutique guitars) for playing country blues & ragtime is lost on me. The very nature of that music is aching to come out of a guitar that has actually been there.

 

A more authentic sound can not be had than the real deal, for the same, and in most cases, less money.

 

As a dissenting voice, I'm of the opinion that most of that authentic tone/sound comes from the player, not the instrument itself. Not that I wouldn't love to have an old L-00, because I would. But it would have to be the right one — I've played plenty over the years (they used to be considerably cheaper not all that long ago and I was on the hunt) that were fairly disappointing. Sometimes I'd find a real sweet one, but the neck would simply be too beefy for my smallish hands. I recently found a new Martin 000-18GE and love playing county blues inspired music on it. It fits the bill just fine. Dry, with plenty of punch and nicely balanced without the scooped mids that so many Martins exhibit.

 

No matter what your tonal preferences are, some of those old guitars are really special and then again some of them aren't. In my case, I'm by far the biggest limiting factor as to how "authentic" a piece of music is going to sound when being played by me.

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Speaking of SBVBB's, I'm constantly amazed by the sound of all of the other, more obscure guitars that are out there. Have you checked out the guitar sound test recordings at Little Brother Blues dot com? Click on the Sampler medley mp3's:

 

http://littlebrotherblues.com/Gear/SoundTest1/index.htm

 

The idea of buying a shiny, brand-new guitar (especially the expensive boutique guitars) for playing country blues & ragtime is lost on me. The very nature of that music is aching to come out of a guitar that has actually been there.

 

A more authentic sound can not be had than the real deal, for the same, and in most cases, less money.

 

Seriously good, seriously authentic. You can close your eyes, and imagine yourself on the front stoop of a tired old weathered house on a dusty Delta road during the Depression. Magic sounds, both from the guitars and the player.

 

The bluesmen didn't have the money for fancy boutique guitars. They didn't even have the money for an upscale guitar like a Gibson, for the most part, until they were "discovered" by white folk looking for "authenticity". But they still made great music for anyone who would listen.

 

It sort of embarrasses me looking at my collection of fancy guitars, none of which I can play with any real skill.

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Hi Rambler, I know that you've heard the clips I've posted here in the past made with my J-45 TV. I fingerpick pretty much exclusively and wouldn't have bought the guitar if I felt that the bass didn't "play nicely" with the rest of the tonal spectrum. Guth

 

Guth! I'd forgotten about those. Think I have a bookmark. Will check that out.

 

Aha, found it. More resonance than the OJs & J35 fvgs Ive encountered. Or the 45L,I think (its been awhile, now) but manageble. Thanks for the reminder. Rambler

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Judging by the style of music you're into (wasn't it you that had passed along the Weenie Campbell Country Blues forum link?), I thought you'd be all set in that dept. What guitar are you now playing for that sort of thing?" That's me, and not all set (go figure). 60's J50 and a Martin 000. Neither quite gets it. J50 has that skinny neck. 000 has too much hi-lo separation.

 

"The TV's will give you some of what it sounds like you're looking but there'll be some considerable compromise" Burst, I appreciate your chiming in. What you have to say is true, but at these stage, I am looking for a compromise. As a singer, I'm more comfortable with the extra resonance from a wide body. And I need a piece that can hold up in some other situations. And can't keep a herd. So there you go. Cheers.

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As a dissenting voice, I'm of the opinion that most of that authentic tone/sound comes from the player, not the instrument itself.

Fair enough. Hence the inclusion of

 

...in the way that it's the singer, not the song...

 

So, Rambler, it does sound like a True Vintage J-45 might give you the most versatility for the broadest types of music you might be doing. And the steep V neck of a vintage L-00 is strongly averse to heavy chord chunking.

 

Give the TV a closer look, then. Love those strong mid's; really does work great with vocals, too.

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It is absolutely forbidden to play blues on a Martin D-28. And lightning might strike you where you stand if you play bluegrass on a J-45.

 

A whole bunch of pickers love to fingerpick blues on small ladder braced guitars. A whole bunch of others don't. Different guitars suit different players. Bob Brozeman would tell ya to grab a resonator. Stefan Grossman would urge you to get a Martin. Alvin Youngblood Hart might say go get yourself a pre-War Regal 12 string or Stella six string.

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Hola, all. I'm looking for input on your experience with a J45 TV as a finger-style guitar. In particular, do you find yours balanced or too much on the low end? How about treble cut and punch? Point of reference: I tried out a J45L that I really liked for this style, but got rid of an AJ because it had too much in the bass/low mids and sustain generally. Owners of SJ TVs or WGs, feel free to chime in. The J35s I know will cut it for this style, so looking on input on these other ones. Rambler

 

 

 

 

Hi Rambler,

 

Do I suspect a Gibson J45 TV in your vicinity somewhere? Or is this just a general type inquiry?

 

I don't have a TV because I bought the J45 Standard that was on the wall next to the TV - I really wanted the TV but my Standard called me instead.

 

BluesKing777.

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Rambler,

 

Put together a few more clips tonight with the J-45 TV. These are pretty crude, but on these clips the strings have been on the guitar for quite some time and might give the tone a bit of a different vibe. I get where you're coming from regarding the resonance though.

 

Clip #1

 

Clip #2

 

Clip #3 (Sorry, the recorder either ran out of memory or it simply got tired of my attempt at Hesitation Blues.)

 

One way or the other, hope this helps,

Guth

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Rambler,

 

Put together a few more clips tonight with the J-45 TV. These are pretty crude, but on these clips the strings have been on the guitar for quite some time and might give the tone a bit of a different vibe. I get where you're coming from regarding the resonance though.

 

Clip #1

 

Clip #2

 

Clip #3 (Sorry, the recorder either ran out of memory or it simply got tired of my attempt at Hesitation Blues.)

 

One way or the other, hope this helps,

Guth

 

 

Guth, What strings are you using on your TV in thes clips? Really nice treble ring. Thumbpick, fingerpicks, or bare fingers?

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Ramber,

 

No problem, good luck to you with your search.

 

j45nick,

 

I'm using D'Addario EJ17 strings (phosphor bronze, medium .13 - .56). I use a Fred Kelly "Slick Pick" thumbpick and grow the nails out on my picking fingers instead of fingerpicks. I've tried growing out my thumbnail in the past. It seems I have fairly short thumbs which doesn't help matters, as a result I prefer the angle of attack I get with the thumbpick.

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