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Just want to wax philosophic about my Midtown Custom for a moment


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I remain an initiate in the world of guitar (particularly the electric variety), despite my 20 odd years of playing acoustic guitar off and on.


Frankly it always took a back seat to my piano playing, with which I met some measure of success and played professionally for 25 years (I started quite young, I hasten to add).


I entered the world of electric guitar 3 years ago, with the purchase of an Ibanez RG321EXFM (say that 3 times fast). I have since owned six electric guitars, and have spent many YouTube hours with Marty Schwartz and Justin (god love them both), and have fiddled with a fair share of Solid State amps and computer modeling and pedals. And Sennheiser headphones. Almost always.


My academic knowledge seemingly ripened at a quicker pace than my ability, and a month ago, I found myself in possession of what has thus far proven to be a magical trio: a Gibson Midtown Custom, a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver 2, and a Blackstar HT-5R.


In the past month, I have proverbially 'turned the corner.' Undoubtedly due to the inspiration provided by this "perfect storm" of musical tools, I find that I am, at long last, able to get lost in the music, and play blues solos over a jam track that leave me breathless and awestruck.


Despite the relative simplicity of my phrases, I finally feel that same "I'm in command of these sounds" feeling that I get whenever I sit down at the piano. And this beautiful, ebony Midtown makes my rudimentary yet immensely satisfying expression come alive, aided doubtlessly, by the BD-2's sexy growl and the Blackstar's warmly reverbed rendering.


I'm reminded, at this 34-day mark of ownership of my Midtown, of that moment when I sat at an unoccupied Yamaha baby grand that I discovered on a cruise ship when I was 13 on vacation with my family. I sat in a deserted bar in the middle of the day, and turned the corner. I started to emote, effortlessly through the 88 keys for the first time in my life.


This, my first Gibson, has given me that same feeling. I took my headphones off today and cranked up the Blackstar. Not just impervious to my neighbors, but feeling like they would be insane to call the cops on such a killer tone.


I now feel confident to roam the fretboard, inspired by the notion that this axe is almost incapable of sounding bad. I'm learning new tricks as I experiment with this baby grand of a guitar and it has opened a new vistas that I am fully ready to explore.


Is the ES-335 better at the blues? A Les Paul variation perhaps? I shudder wonderfully at the thought. I know that I'll get better and better -- I've seen myself transform on another instrument, it just takes time. But the idea that there are other guitars out there that sound sweeter and more emotive than my Midtown...I'm as incredulous as I am delighted.


Just wanted to share that, the determined hope that others can relate.


I'm now a guitarist. And my Gibson Midtown Custom is my first love.

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I own a Midtown Standard w/ Bigsby among many other slectric and acoustic guitars. The Midtown has a unique voice that I feel is a blend of a Les Paul and a 335. It's a simple but great playing and sounding guitar.


Is a 335 better at blues? Is it better at Jazz? None of that means anything. Mike Stern, a great jazz player uses a Telecater. That guitar is not normally associated with jazz but it works for him and the sound he is looking for. John5 also uses a Tele but for a metal sound. Ted Nugent uses a Gibson Birdland (a totally jazz type of guitar) to play heavy rock stuff. Go figure!!

It is a personal choice. Try a bunch of different types of guitars and see what works for you. I love my LP Standard and it covers a lot of bases but sometimes a Strat or Tele is indispensble.

That is all a part of the fun. After all it's the journey that is important not the destination.

Enjoy the ride.

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