"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood, and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Please support your local guitar store . . .

OK . . . I may be sounding hypocritical since I just purchased a djembe at Guitar Center in Dallas . . .

But please consider supporting your local guitar store.

I have been helped in many good ways, and been blessed to form some unique friendships with some great people who own/work in local guitar shops. Shops like Grapevine Guitar Works in Grapevine, Texas . . . Murphy's Music in Irving, Texas . . . Heart of Texas Music in Temple, Texas . . . and Sound Vibrations in Corpus Christi, Texas.

These people are in business and make their living serving the musicians, performers and students in their local communities. What you can count on from them is "individual" service.

Not only buy your guitars and amps from them, but all your accessories as well. They may not match the prices at Guitar Center Stores or the Musician's Friend website . . . but they will be pretty close. And, they will look you in the face, and take care of you.

My experience over the years with each of the shops listed above have been all positive. Sean's support of my theraputic music entertainment ministry these past five years through Grapevine Guitar Works has helped get me in front of a lot of people . . . with instruments that truly enrich the sound of what I do when I sing and play.

I believe in saving money, don't get me wrong or misunderstand me. My experience is that when I deal with a local guitar shop, I get to form great relationships that usally work both ways.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Taylor Guitars Road Show report

Wow!

Here, let me say it again . . . Wow!

No, that does not come across right . . . . Wow Wow Wow Wow Awesome Outstanding Great Magnificent Wow Wow Wow.

In other words, Wayne Johnson was the featured artist at the Taylor Guitars Road Show that Sean hosted this past Tuesday evening at Grapevine Guitar Works.

Oh my goodness!!!!

Probably 100+ showed up and stayed the whole time. I helped Sean and Charlie set up about 50 chairs, and Sean went and rented another 30. And people were still standing along the sides and in the back.

We all came away with a lot more knowledge about guitar shapes, woods, tones, etc. And it was awesome to hear Wayne wail on the new Taylor solid body, T3 and T5.

After my no new guitar pledge is fulfilled, I am going to look at a T5. I may not get it, but I am going to look long and awfully hard at one.

If you get the chance to attend a Taylor Guitars Road Show, please consider it worth your time, and worth the effort to get there . . . and . . . do consider supporting your local guitar stores like Grapevine Guitar Works in Grapevine, Texas . . . Murphy's Music in Irving, Texas . . . Heart of Texas Music in Temple, Texas . . . and Sound Vibrations in Corpus Christi, Texas. These people are local to the their communities, and serve their customers. Not only buy your guitars and amps from them, but all your accessories as well. They may not match Guitar Center Stores or the Musician's Friend website . . . but they will be pretty close. And, they will take care of you!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taylor Guitars Road Show is TONIGHT . . .

If you are into guitars, or wanting to learn more about them, or hoping to score big time on a great deal for a Taylor acoustic or electric guitar . . . then the place to be at tonight is the Grapevine Guitar Works showroom located upstairs in the Grapevine Antique Mall beginning at 7 PM.

The Antique Mall is remaing open extra hours tonight, so bring your spouse and let them tour the great selections of antiques and unique one-of-a-kind items.

1641 W. Northwest HighwayGrapevine, TX 76051(817) 329-2124. The Antique Mall is located to the left of the Bealls Department Store. When you walk in, take the stairs to your right.

See you there!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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 . . . ><>

Ah ha ... now I am beginning to understand ...

Several months ago, I made a pledge that I would not purchase or trade for another guitar until January of 2012.

Please, stop laughing. I am going to do it!

I said "PLEASSSSSSSSE" stop laughing!!!

Oh go ahead and laugh. Everyone around here is as well. No one in my family, or my friends think I will come close to pulling this off.

However, be for warned!!!!!! . . . I have discovered the secret of how to keep this pledge!!

Seriously.

I have, over the past 5 years, purchased, traded and worked for a dozen different guitars. But only a few weeks ago did I understand one of the reasons why.

The reason I was always purchasing, trading or working for guitars . . .

Really, this is going to blow some people away . . . is that I didn't know how to take care of the guitars I had!!!!

Again, seriously . . . if a guitar developed fret buzz, or couldn't keep intonation, or if the action was wrong . . . I simply got rid of it and got something else.

In the past several months, perhaps as a result of rereading my copy of the little Martin booklet, "The Care and Feeding of Your Martin Guitar," along with a long conversation with the Taylor rep who works with Sean to support Grapevine Guitar Works, I came to realize that I did not know the first thing about properly taking care of a guitar.

And, I have to give Bob Taylor himself a bunch of credit. I believe I have watched every single "how to care for your Taylor Guitar" video on the Taylor web site that Bob has done. And I learn something new every time I watch them.

I have now learned a great deal about intonation, humidification, action, proper choosing of string type and guage, and so much more.

As a result, I am taking 100% better care of my Martin DC-16gte and D-12-16, my Taylor NS74ce, and my 1989 Alvarez/Yairi DY-38. I have humidifiers in all the cases now. Weekly I check on the humidity level. I use the Planet Waves humidifier that has the little sponge. I wipe down the strings, both on top and in between the frets after every time I play. I wipe the guitars down every time I play. I keep each guitar in it's case at all times. I have a tuner, can of String Eaze, a Planet Waves pro guitar tool and capo in every case, along with a good quality wiping cloth.

I have the right strings on my Martins and my Yairi, and that means they all have phosphor-bronze strings. I like the Cleartone brand phosphor-bronze coated strings . . . the ones that Martin is starting to market as SP long-life. If Elixir has a phosphor-bronze nano-web, then I will give them a shot as well.

These new habits, and more things I will check on as I learn how to do them, have in a strange way, brought me closer to my guitars. I guess it is true in all relationships, the more you put into it, the better the relationships.

As a result ... I really think I am going to honor my goal of no new guitar until 2012. Come to think of it, I will have plenty of time to play and try out other models, most especially a Taylor CS-7 or 716ce. But in the meantime, I have acknowledge that the guitars I own now . . . I am becoming closer to. And I play them now with much more appreciation than I have in the past.

And appreciate them I should. They all gifts and blessings to me in some unique way.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Taylor Guitars Road Show at Grapevine Guitar Works . . .

Tuesday night, November 16th, the Taylor Guitars Road Show will be in the Grapevine Guitar Works showroom, located upstairs in the Grapevine Antique Mall. There is info at the Taylor Guitars Road Show info page.

I will be there helping Sean and Charlie take care of the crowd. We anticipate over 150 people.

The Taylor Guitars Road Show is a great way to learn about all the Taylor Guitar models, the different woods they are made of, and also hear some great guitar playing. There will be special models available in the Taylor "Petting Zoo" for playing and examination, in addition to the models Sean regularly carries. There will also be some chances to win some prizes.

Hope to see you there!

God's grace, and friendships like Sean's, still amaze me . . . ><>