How far is to far?

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

How far is to far?

Postby cj440 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:02 pm

Hey Guys- Just got a Johnson J-535S 00 size, GREAT sound, sloppy nut, saddle and glue work inside, still she plays nicely and sounds great. Whaddya want for 150$? I'm replacing the nut, saddle, and pins with Tusq parts.

Here's my problem, been playing 25 years, but have just started with Fingerpicking and slide in the past year. At some point I'm going to be playing acoustic and slide live. Should I blow 200$ on a pickup for this thing, or should I trade it in for a more substantial guitar like a seagull or an Epiphone? I can't believe how much I enjoy this style of music after playing Electric all these years!

No pun intended but I feel I'm at a crossroads, I've got 3 great Electrics-2 Gibbys and a Strat-But I can't go 1500 bucks for a Gibby L-00 - 6-700 is my top end budget wise. I wish I knew who make new ladder braced guits! My God! I NEVER obsessed this much with my Electrics!!!! Someone Please Help Me!!!!!
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby lorilu » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:16 pm

I can't answer any of this stuff but am starting to get really curious about all this obsession about these resonators and brass slides and stuff like that. I may have to look into this some more.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby cj440 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:33 pm

Lorilu' Yes it's VERY bad! I wake up screaming at night! (I'm Kidding) It is really weird. I've learned some pretty basic fingerpicking, and I'm doing pretty good with the slide but it's like a whole new instrument and the whole fingerpicking thing has opened up a bunch of possibilities for different types of music!

I've never been so on fire to learn.. and listen. I have hit a "learning curve" and want to absorb as much stuff as I can before it goes into remission!!!

My main problem is how far does one upgrade a cheap guitar before you've hit "fool" country?
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby allanlummox » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:41 pm

Which is a tough question to answer; I paid 225 for my Gibson l-oo about 20 years ago, but I'be spent at least 1300 on repairs and modifications since. I have a '64 Melody Maker - a cheap student guitar - that has had the bits upgraded and is a phenominal piece of Mahogany. (no money spent on this one - the guitar was a gift.)

It's hard to tell whether a new guitar is worth while, though -especially with acoustics. Only the wood really knows.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby cj440 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:02 pm

Sorta like the old joke-

Someone asked a Farmer why he never got one of those new fiberglass hammers= the Farmer sez- I done replaced the handle on this one 3 times, and replaced the head on it twice! best hammer I ever had!

really not the same hammer anymore is it?

I guess my questions can only be answered by me. It is a nice sounding guitar. and I suppose that is the important thing.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby allanlummox » Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:00 pm

Well - my old Gibson Flat top is certainly not the same guitar it started out as - the top is so open and light that it practically hums to itself when it's not being played - something that only comes to a guitar with age, and being played regularly.

That's the thing; many of these new el-cheapo solid top guitars are liable to wind up as really great sounding instruments - with time, and care, and lots of playing.

It's just like talent; you never know how far you can go, how adept you can become, unless you invest the time in developing yourself.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby cj440 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:04 pm

Playing is not, and hasn't been a problem, my job has me on the nightshift, I spend a lot of time basically watching charts and meters. Had to quit the classic rock band because of the job, been there 15 years, I've spent the last 1 1/2 woodshedding like a maniac! Just eating up instruction books and listening to House, Waters,and St. Robert. Lately though really been digging Corey Harris and Blind Willie Johnson. I been listening to Blind Blake and Rev. Gary Davis, and I think I may be getting fairly serious about this acoustic Blues thang!

For all the books I've bought, I wish someone could point me towards the one that will help me get down this alternating thumb bit! I'd really like to develope a style along the lines of Lightnin' Hopkins.

I know I'll never learn it all, I just wanna get competant.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby allanlummox » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:30 pm

There's no instruction I've found on the thumb thing that doesn't come down to "do it a few thousand more times - you'll get it".

I don't really play after much of the Ragtime guitarists - more Son House and Booker White, although I also arrange more recent, non-country blues stuff for Alternate Tuning and Slide guitar.


But I started out playing folk music - sorry - and then discovered blues - which immediatly ate my brain.
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RE: How far is to far?

Postby panhead74 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:57 pm

CJ:

There are some luthiers building ladder braced guitars:

http://www.fraulini.com/main.html

http://www.hauverguitars.com/home.html

but they're a little more than your price range.

You could go vintage:

http://www.stellaguitar.com/inventory_o ... ge_gui.htm

and I've heard good things about the Epiphone masterbuilts, especially the AJ500RC 12 fret, which should retail right at your budget:

http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?Pro ... ctionID=15

I think Dan is right about the instructional material, though it seems to be taking me MANY thousands. I've been using Stefan Grossman's DVD's.
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