Cranky’s New Toy
Forty years ago I bought a brand new guitar. At the time I had two children and one on the way. I figured I wouldn’t have the time or money to continue playing golf, I needed something new to play. I thought guitar would be cool. I spent $125 for a Yamaha dreadnaught model, a fortune at the time for a financially struggling cranky young man.
|40 year old clunky twangy Yamaha |
does not sound great, but gets terrific mileage!
In 1975, if you told someone you bought a Yamaha they asked “How many CC’s.” I still don’t know what a CC is, but I know they meant motorcycle.
I played for a year or two and learned maybe six chords, a few songs and some bluegrass picking. I also learned that though I thought I could sing, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. I also learned no one wants to listen to mediocre blue grass picking. I put the guitar away for 38 years.
Fast forward to today (picture a calendar ripping off months and years) and I decided I had the time to again try and learn to play guitar. I pulled out the old Yamaha.
After several months playing, I have learned a few new chords and a few new songs. I still can’t carry a tune, but in my basement venue with no one around, it is kind of like a shower, it sounds pretty good to me. The only problem was some chord changes were extra difficult, my strings did a lot of buzzing, and my finger tips hurt like hell after about a half hour of playing.
Someone suggested that maybe a forty year old Yamaha, produced when Yamaha meant motorcycle, might not be the best guitar. Better guitars are easier to play, will not hurt your fingertips and will just sound better.
So I went to the guitar store armed with very little guitar knowledge but intent on upgrading my ax (that’s what we musicians call our guitars.) I spent a few dollars that I can currently afford more than I could when I bought the Yamaha forty years ago. I bought a Martin concert style, a legendary guitar brand considered to be among the best quality guitar you can buy.
|Sweet Martin. Does not look much different, but |
it is night and day in play and sound
Martin X1-000E Custom Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Solid Spruce Top
I don’t spend money easily; I generally cringe at anything above $19.95. Nineteen ninety-five is my “no problem” price; anything else makes me think twice. Regardless, I decided my children could each do with $125 less when I kick the bucket. I bit my lip and went for it.
It is a low-end Martin to be sure; they commonly sell for $1500 and can go to “The sky is the limit.” Still, my new ax (that’s what we musicians call our guitars) is very pretty, it is a more comfortable size than the Yamaha, its tone is beautiful and it is just easier to play. I still do not play well enough to come out of the basement, but my fingertips don’t hurt and there is less string buzzing.
I had to post this, because no one else cares. Mrs. C gave me a “Whatever” and barely even looked at my beautiful new Martin.
I did call my friend Frog to tell him the news. Frog is, among other things, a music nerd who used to play banjo and now is a bagpipe fanatic. Frog was very excited and wants to see my beautiful new low-end Martin. He told me the next time I visit to bring my new ax (that’s what we musicians call our guitars.)
|Music nerd (among other things) "Frog"|
That’s what friends are for.