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Whats your favurite Gibson for fingerstyle ?


EuroAussie

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As I continue on my pickin journey and start to get some competence I'm enjoying trying the different patterns on the different guitars in the stable, its been a fun experience.

 

My initial assessment and preferance is like this so far with the Gibbys.

 

1. J-150 I find this a great pickin guitar. The clarity of the notes from maple coupled with the bass and depth of the jumbo body is a winner.

 

2. Songwriter - the richness and sustain of rosewood, coupled with the clarity of 80/20 strings is a classic combo.

 

2 SJ - the great allrounder. Very honky tonk and when I start to get some competence in delta and country bues pickin could well jump to the top of the pack.

 

4. The two Birds. Probably the weakest link thus far, but still with a lot to ofer. I find the dampened glazy tone o the TV sort of doesn't project as well when picked compared to the others. But I've heard what Del, Bobby and Em7 can do with their TV's and it sounds great in their hands. While the 69er with the thicker bracing doesn't offer the same depth, but on the other hand offers that dry, woody, grumpy vintage tone.

 

Special mention must go to the OO-15 which has been with me here in Croatia for the past week and I've really grown fond of this little chocolate box.

 

What about you, what's your favourite Gibby pickers?

 

EA

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Guest J-Doug

Very happy with my J-100 Xtra for fingerpicking. I fingerpick with bare fingers exclusively (haven't used a pick in 10 years). The J-100 has a great big round bass, shining trebles and excellent balance. I think the bubinga has a role to play in this. I know this body style doesn't get a lot of good press for this style but if it worked for Rev. Gary Davis, it works for me.

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Since I only play with my fingers I do not have a lot of choice. If I own it that is how I play it. I basically just look for two things - I like a wider nut and a good thumping low end. While my favorite nut width is 1 7/8" the 1 3/4" nut on my 1947 LG-2 is easy for me to play. I can handle the 1 11/16" nut on my 1960 J-200 although it seems to take me a bit of time to adapt to it after playing the wider nut guitars. I also tend to sound somewhat sloppier. A nut any narrower than that though gives my gorilla hands trouble.

 

Sound - no matter which guitar I play I just sound like me. Where Gibsons work well is they have that percussive bass. When I play my recently aquired 1957 Martin 00-18, as example, I have learned that I have to work the low strings just a bit harder as it is more difficult to get what I want out of them.

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I like all my Gibsons for f-picking. The not so loud H-bird also. In fact the lesser volume/fine note-separation of the Bird works good when I want to get an overview of what I'm doin' – f.x. while creating/learning new stuff. The not so loud voice is also very good for some recordings – not least talking band-blends. Obviously the volume then lies in the desk, which allows the engineer to concentrate on the basic sound, not the power, of the guitar. And with lesser box-volume - less 'food' to administrate - more order and precision (to use 2 rather militant terms) in the overall picture.

 

Yes I like all my Gibsons for f-picking. Some of them are heaven.

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I like all my Gibsons for fingerpcking too, but which is your fave Em7 ?

 

I like all my Gibsons for f-picking. The not so loud H-bird also. In fact the lesser volume/fine note-separation of the Bird works good when I want to get an overview of what I'm doin' – f.x. while creating/learning new stuff. The not so loud voice is also very good for some recordings – not least talking band-blends. Obviously the volume then lies in the desk, which allows the engineer to concentrate on the basic sound, not the power, of the guitar. And with lesser box-volume - less 'food' to administrate - more order and precision (to use 2 rather militant terms) in the big picture.

 

Yes I like all my Gibsons for f-picking. Some of them are heaven.

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Don't know if I really have a favorite for fingerpicking. All three of them are very easy to play and I don't think I've ever brought a particular one to a gig because it was easier than another guitar. But, there have been times when my fingers were a bit sore from playing several hours during the day, with an evening gig to follow, so I intentionally brought my Garrison G40 for the evening gig. [thumbup]

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I like all my Gibsons for fingerpcking too, but which is your fave Em7 ?

 

Yeeeh, but now you touch a deeper nerve. Not sure I'm too keen on the term 'favorite' in any field at all. Favorite beatle, favorite Beatles tune, favorite Dylan album, favorite guitar brand, favorite Gibson. It's as if picking a fav. per definition underplaces the rest, which philosophically can be seen as a subtraction. Now basically I'm not foreign to subtraction or reducing, but it has to be in connection with reaching some essence. Else the opposite is preferred. As said many times here, I'm a 2 sides of the coin man. Beatles and Stones. Electric and acoustic Dylan. Dylan and Donovan. Laurel and Hardy etc.

Ergo it all depends on mood, task and direction of lust.

I really like to be contradicted in what I thought yesterday. As long as it doesn't confuse me off the floor, it makes me feel alive.

"You can't bathe 2 times in the same river", as Socrates stated – only to be trumped by his pupil : "You can't swim 1 time in the same river". Now that's too far when it comes to guitars, but you get the point.

 

All that said, the 2 most intriguing 6-strings this period is my relatively new Dove and the recently re-necked Country and Western.

The latter being scary good.

Will write about them when they are sunken in.

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Sensitivity is a big issue for fingerpicking, especially if you are a beginner and haven't yet built up a lot of right hand strength and control. All else being equal a small guitar tends to feel more sensitive to right hand touch because you are putting in motion a smaller mass of top wood. This results in a perception of faster bloom of the sound and a sense of responsiveness. Rar's Kel Kroyden is a very good example of this: the guitar plays itself, you just touch it and loud sounds come out. On the other side, sometimes and for certain pieces I get pretty aggressive with my right and a bigger, less sensitive guitar works. I have played some big guitars that were amazingly sensitive and those make good fingerpickers too. I've been playing a long time and can work with whatever comes to hand. Overall the L-00 size and shape is probably my favorite for fingerstyle.

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Lots of love here for the L-00 in all its incarnations......

Nick - Must say I haven't got over looking for psychedelic clues whenever I see pics of your gentle green garden.

There's not many this time around, but of course the clay-bell has direction. The wire in the wall basin seems slightly surreal and what a lovely little flower by the square jar corner.

The guitar to me is a Siamese cat, , , fingerpick it and I'm sure it will purr. . . .

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Nick - Must say I haven't got over looking for psychedelic clues whenever I see pics of your gentle green garden.

There's not many this time around, but of course the clay-bell has direction. The wire in the wall basin seems slightly surreal and what a lovely little flower by the square jar corner.

The guitar to me is a Siamese cat, , , fingerpick it and I'm sure it will purr. . . .

 

 

The wall fountain installation is incomplete. In fact, it is now temporarily filled with a variety of anthurium until I get the installation completed, which probably won't be until this winter. It all looks completely different from this photo today, however, because nothing is static in the flower girl's garden of good and evil. The fountain is home to a large Cuban brown lizard whose tail was chomped off by an equally large and aggressive green anole. This is Florida, so we have reptiles of all sizes, including ones big enough to eat you.

 

The Cuban brown used to be called the Fountain King (lizards are very territorial), but now he's referred to as the Tail-less Wonder after his losing battle.

 

At night, the fountain is a perch for a small screech owl who dines on almost anything with scales or feathers.

 

It's a jungle out there......

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EA, your pinky anchor tip was a big help! I don't claim to be much of a finger picker - yet. I like each of my Gibbys but the Sparrow is the best of my lot. At least to me. A little more defeined and clear. Could be just my lack of technique though.

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I guess after years of percussive flatpicking, I find the hardest thing to do with fingerpicking is to set down a hard beat and drive a song through to the end. BK has it down in his samples. I'm fine with just the flatpickin' but wish I could further develop that 'push'. Maybe it's in the emotional as much as the technical.

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If you spend a few thousand hours keeping that oom-pa um-pa thing going with your thumb it becomes very natural and you can even put spin and edge on the alternating bass so it sizzles and pops. I started out studying Mississippi John Hurt and still play the style. After a couple decades of oom-pa um-pa and same with 3/4 on the 1 and 3 beats that started to seem robotic to me and I try now to have somewhat more fluid bass lines. Rather than an alternation like a tuba, I'm looking for walkin' a double-bass.

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Since I really only tend to fingerpick, all of my guitars work well for that style or they wouldn't have come home with me.

 

Like many, I don't know that I could name a favorite. For tone alone, it would be my J-45 TV. I like the short scale, but I wouldn't mind a wider neck. That said, it's probably the last guitar I'd part with, so perhaps it's my favorite guitar overall. When it simply comes to playing the guitar however, I seem to have the most fun with my AJ. It has a beefier neck that works well for me and I do tend to dig in a bit much at times which that guitar just seems to relish.

 

LIke zombywoof mentioned, when I switch back to playing the J-45, it takes me a while to get used to the narrower and less full neck profile. That makes my playing a bit more sloppy initially, but it doesn't take too long before it all feels familiar once again. I might have to work at it a bit harder with the J-45, but I sure do like the resulting tone.

 

With that in mind, for better or worse, I think my guitars probably sound much more similar than they do different when I'm playing them. Once again, a nod to zombywoof for pointing out this phenomena.

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More or less what I see. . . .

 

Yep. That would be a Cuban brown atop the angel's wings.

 

We're ecumenical here: we've got yer angel, we've got yer Buddha.

 

thebuddhaandthebeast.jpg

 

And we've got Bacchus over in the corner somewhere.

 

We've even got Martins and Gibsons living in harmony. The only thing that doesn't live in harmony here is the flower girl and the bloody squirrels.

 

Actually, this is a peaceful place in the evening for a glass of wine and a good guitar. Particularly lends itself to gentle fingerpicking.

 

Maybe not as nice as Jannusguy's dock (at least before the storm), but nice.

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