Day: December 6, 2009

Meet Oscar.

I was just thinking the other day about how many guitars I have, how I never thought I’d have anywhere near as many as I do now, and how I really don’t see myself ever needing any more of them. I definitely don’t need any more variety when it comes to acoustic guitars. I have dreadnoughts, big fat things, parlour guitars, a twelve-string, an old archtop, a National Resophonic, and the list goes on. Any flavour I can find a need for, there’s an axe somewhere around here to cover it.

If anything, somewhere down the road another electric guitar might make sense. I always wanted a Telecaster. Those old Harmony Bobcats are cool little things. And an electric twelve-string would be fun to try.

Still, sometimes you come across something that’s so cheap and so much fun to play you can’t resist. That happened today. I picked up a cheaper than cheap classical guitar just to kill time, and found not only was the intonation decent and the neck not horribly uncomfortable, but after five minutes had passed I was still playing the thing, in no hurry to put it down.

That usually spells trouble. And a classical guitar is one acoustic flavour I don’t have at my disposal.

And here we are,

One of the nice things about cheap-ass guitars — and yes, there are expensive asses that need pampering, but we’ll discuss them some other time — is they don’t mind so much if you throw them in a strange tuning one day and then decide the next day you’d rather return to standard tuning. Another nice thing: you don’t have to make sure they’re in a humidity-controlled environment. This thing started out in a warm place, then spent hours in the trunk of a car the December cold has turned into a makeshift refrigerator, and by the time it was transferred to another warm place the body of the guitar felt like it had been sitting in a meat freezer for a few days. It didn’t care. Didn’t even go out of tune a little bit.

Try doing that with an expensive new acoustic guitar and watch what happens.

I’m not saying high-end guitars aren’t worth the upkeep. But there’s a time for cheap guitars to strut their stuff. And this is Oscar’s time.

By the way, check out how messed up my ponytail is in the video. It looks like a small octopus has decided to make its home on my head. And part of what I was playing while I was filming decided to become a proper song about two minutes after I turned off the camera, complete with a different vocal melody. I would have recorded its inception, but it happened too fast. I’m recording it right now and thinking it might be album material.

Next up, electric guitar and pounding drums. Because every delicate classical guitar-based song needs a big noisy climax.