Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When a guitarist gets an instrument

I've thought for months, maybe years, that I should probably consider getting an electrified acoustic guitar. I've played guitar for some time, yet always an acoustic, and when I play for church it's always been on that same acoustic, with a little passive pickup fitted into the soundhole.

That's changing.

I finally went out and bought an acoustic-electric from one of the local pawn shops (the reputable one). The shopkeepers told me they'd just put out a lovely Washburn acoustic-electric that day (here's specifics about the model), and when I played around with it, I realized it would be a good bet for what I was looking for. Good acoustic sound that still sounded acoustic when plugged in (at least, more than some acoustic-electrics).

Sometimes I wonder how to tell the difference between simple serendipity and genuine Providence. Is there one? This was one of those times I wondered if God hadn't inspired me to look for an acoustic-electric at just that time, in just that shop. Because it was even better than I had originally thought of seeking. The sound is just right. It had an extra touch of decoration, subtle, to make it more elegant in a way I didn't even know guitars were made. It even came with exactly the kind of case I wanted -- a hard-sided case with shoulder straps. I could ride my bike with my guitar on my back. I've heard from a fairly reputable source that the guitars at this particular pawn shop hardly ever have cases.

(It was the same way when I bought my house. I had thought and thought, then all of a sudden went and checked a house out, and it was perfect. I'm a case study in the exceptions to the rule about not buying the first one you look at.)

On top of all that, I can't find this model of guitar even online for less than twice what I paid for it. And that's not counting what a case would have cost.

I won't be getting rid of my first guitar. No siree. It was a gift from my grandmother on my mom's side, who died my freshman year of college. It was my great-aunt's before it was my grandma's. There's some sentimental value in it.

I've picked a couple of new songs to practice playing and singing: "Wild Montana Skies" and "Darcy Farrow," both by John Denver (links go to YouTube videos). I'm highly pleased with how this new guitar handles finger-picking (the technique I chose for my rendition of "Darcy Farrow") but I'm looking forward to trying out the built-in pickup when I next play guitar for the church worship band -- Jan. 26, I think.

An electrified guitar is a whole new world for me. I'm just now learning what to do with a preamp and how to use it to make the guitar sound acoustic even when it's plugged into the PA system. And I'll have to bring an extra 9-volt battery with me like I bring picks, since the built-in tuner and preamp runs on that size battery.

So many things to learn. Such a pretty instrument to learn on.

5 comments:

da_baum said...

Full picture, pretty please?

Unknown said...

Yes, the Lord even cares about what musical instrument we get--nothing happens by chance when you're walking with Him! Don't forget to thank Him for it! How about a link to a video of you playing the new guitar??????

Sarah said...

John: As you have found what you wanted on my Facebook page, you are satisfied. :)

Carol: I dunno about the video, but you're absolutely right about thanking God for this little find!

Abby said...

But, but, but...school started and I'm not on facebook because of school...full picture pretty please? :-D

Looks like a hippie guitar. ;-D

Sarah said...

Abby - Your wish is hereby granted. Aren't you glad your sissy wuvs you? :D

Nah, hippies play electric guitar these days.