Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Rainsong Black Ice Jumbo guitar . . .

(UPDATE 9/5/18 - The deal fell through.  Trade-in was good, but not quite good enough. Another day ...) 

A couple of years ago, my lovely (and very patient) wife kindly accompanied me to the Guitar Sanctuary store located in McKinney, TX.  Guitar Sanctuary is a really great guitar store, with a very eclectic feel.  The reason we went was that I wanted to play a Rainsong Black Ice Jumbo electric/acoustic guitar.  They were the only dealer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that had one at that time.

Yep, a Rainsong Jumbo. 100% carbon fiber.  No wood. Light and loud.  Very loud.

I played that guitar for about an hour.  Honestly, I wanted it, pretty badly. However, I knew that I didn't have the funds and at that time I didn't want to part with any of my guitars.  So, I left the store sad, but at least I wasn't whining.  I did put it in the back of my mind that one day I would try and get one.

I will admit that I am drawn to the concept of carbon fiber guitars.  I've had the opportunity to play a Rainsong Jumbo as well as a RainsongWS model.  I was blown away by their tone and volume.  Admittedly, I am not a purest when it comes to guitars.  I am brand loyal to Guild and Martin because their guitars have served me well the past 15 years.  I don't have any kind of real relationship with any of my guitars.  They are tools.  Each one works better in certain situations.

A carbon fiber guitar makes sense because I play in mostly walk-in venues like nursing homes, rehab centers and senior activity centers. There are times when I get to play outside, such as the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, as well as outdoor settings here at the church (Vacation Bible Camp).  A carbon fiber guitar is supposedly impervious to heat, cold and humidity.

All guitar players know how humidity affects a guitar. My Guide F50R (my Philmont Scout Ranch guitar) has to have at least two Humidi-Paks inside the case when I travel to New Mexico just to survive the up and down humidity levels. Dry in the morning and damp in the evening.  My Guild F50R has fret buzz like crazy in low humidity.  I wouldn't dream of subjecting my Martin's to that kind of weather and environmental conditions.  And my Guild 12-string . . . nope, wouldn't even consider it.

To be honest, I wouldn't be thinking about a Rainsong Jumbo until sometime next year.  And then a few things fell into place, and I might have a opportunity to acquire one of these guitars in the next week or so.  A few "boxes" still have to be checked first, but a Rainsong could be in my hands by next week if I decide, and if I'm able, to pull the trigger.

It all boils down to making a decision that I can live with.  Trade-in value these days are only about 60-65% of what a guitar is being sold for on e-Bay.   The old saying, when trading in a guitar, is "walk in with two and walk out with one."  I would be able to get the Rainsong and walk out with a pretty nice check.  But I would be trading in two guitars.

As usual . . . we shall see.   It may happen, and it may not. A lot of things have to fall into place.  It's a process, and the process builds patience.

Oh, the Martin M-36 I wrote about earlier didn't pan out.  I just couldn't find one to play.  I know I would have loved it . . . but it's just a thinner Martin J-40, and I already have a J-40. 

Funny, I really haven't shopped for a new guitar in over five years, and until two days ago, hadn't gone into a Guitar Center in almost two years.  And now this opportunity drops into my lap. 

Rick ><>

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fred Kelly "Slick Pick"

A couple of years ago, I wrote about finding some Fred Kelly Slick Pick thumbpicks at Craig's Music store in Weatherford, TX.    I bought some yellow Delrin, large sized, in light guage as well as some Poly large sized in medium guage.

This style of thumbpick is more comfortable for me than National and Dunlop brands.  And, they are my favorite thumbpick for strumming, especially in a band situation when I am not the main rhythm guitarist.

Interesting thing, the body of the pick is thick, but the tip tapers down and has a slick edge.  It's been fun to play.   It's not my main pick (Dunlop Nylon .73mm or Dunlop Tortoise in medium gauge can always be found in the pick pouch on my key chain).  When playing through my amp or PA, the yellow Delrin in Large light guage are often my first choice.  For old fashioned camp fire boom-chucking, I will stick with Dunlop Nylons.

How about you?  What is your favorite pick and why?   Let me know!