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Martin and Taylor are part of my guitar family . . .

Someone asked me recently, "I thought you were an exclusive Martin Guitar guy?"

Well, the answer is "Yes", but it is also "No."

Yes . . . my first choice in guitar is a Martin. I have a DC-16gte. I named it "Marty." It is a pleasure to play, and has that Martin sound I want coming out of a guitar with the Martin name on it. When you hear it . . . you know it is a Martin. This is the guitar I most often use when playing in our band. It handles anything you throw at it, especiall rock-n-roll.

My first true love in terms of musical instruments is the 12-string guitar. I had the chance to get one of several very nice Taylor's, but held out for a Martin, finally locating, after a long search, a brand new J-12-16 at Sound Vibrations Music Store in Corpus Christi. I love this 12 string, and it is what I take when I play and sing at hospitals and nursing homes. It has the best action of any guitar I have every owned or played in my life. Without exception. Pete Seeger would be proud of this guitar. I know I am. If ever a guitar spoke to me . . . it is this one. I named her "Christi."

I started looking a year or so ago for a decent nylon string to use when doing solo stuff, as I have been hoping to get a restaurant gig in the area on Friday nights. I actually got to play a 1980 Martin N-20 at an old music/craft store in Jefferson, TX of all places during the Thanksgiving Holiday a year ago. Same model as Willie Nelson plays (his is a 1979), but with a more classical head stock. I would have named it "Butter" if I could have purchased it . . . however, I didn't have $3,500 at the time . . . and in truth, I would have been afraid to take it anywhere and even more afraid to ever let it get out-of-my-sight.

Since Martin no longer makes a classical . . . I gave Taylor a shot. And Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works helped me get into an NS-74ce.

Mercy, what a guitar!
The Taylor electronics are simply outstanding . . . and it's a 14 fret neck! Western Cedar top. What a great guitar to have playing when I sing solo.
Love it Love it Love it Love it Love it!!!!
I named her "Butter." She handles, sounds and plays better than the Martin N-20, which to tell the truth, I would buy if I had $3,500 lying around, if for no other reason than to have it as a collectible.

My Yairi DY-38 just sort of fell into my lap, again thanks to Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works. I was visiting with Sean at the store one day, and he says, "You need to play this guitar." I have learned to listen to Sean. Doing so pays off in many ways.
It's now my acoustic back up guitar, and its the one I take to camp grounds, or when I play out-of-doors. Classic dreadnaught folk guitar shape ... and I hope that my Martin DC-16 sounds as good as this one in a year or so. No, the Yairi does not sound like a Martin, but it has this full "older guitar" sound. I am not worried, because "Marty" will get there soon enough.

I was recently informed by a good friend that they have ordered me a Taylor GS Mini for Christmas as a gift.

Wow! Now that's a GOOD friend.

And, to be honest, before I recently took my "no new guitar pledge," I wanted a GS Mini to take the place of the Little Martin I got rid of. I truly have never ever been as disappointed in a Martin product as I was in that Little Martin. I ended up breaking even on it. The Taylor GS Mini will come with the Taylor sound hole pickup designed for it. It's going to be a good travel, hospital, nursing home and song writing guitar. The two I have been able to play both amazed me with their sound. And since it is a gift, my pledge is still in tack.

So . . . "Yes," I am a Martin man. However, they don't make a classical nylon string, so the best option for me was Taylor, and that NS74 will end up being a guitar I pass down to a grand child one day. Martin makes a small travel guitar, but I just don't like it. Taylor makes a travel size guitar that sounds like a full size guitar, one that will fit the bill for me very well.

Now, do I not like Taylor steel string acoustics? I sure as heck do!!!! But, I like the Martin sound better. Ah, but I have been warned ... that the 900 series model Taylor's sound even better than Martins. But then, we are talking $4,000+ . . . an amount I don't ever see myself paying for an instrument, and then using it a lot. But, one can only dream and think of the possibilities down the road . . . maybe in 2012. Perhaps a 716ce (CS body / western red cedar top)????
Am I a project or what??
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…