This video just came out and I believe this is one of the most important topics in music. He is speaking mostly about ebony, but it is all about sustainability. You can see that he cares so much about wood. I greatly respect Bob Taylor. This isn’t just a topic for music and guitars but for conservation in general.
Since I opened up on guitar stores I have to talk about my favorite guitar store of all. Chuck Levin’s in Wheaton, Maryland. Chuck Levin’s has been around forever, and by forever I mean the 1950’s. I have gotten most of my big purchases from Chuck’s. My tele, my taylor and the amp I used to have the Peavy Bandit 112. If you read my blog you know how much I love my telecaster and I like to use my Taylor as a default picture.
Not only do I love supporting local music locations, but I also grew up a few miles away in Maryland and they have the lowest prices. I have seen them under cut craigslist. I don’t have to any comparison shopping. Also their employees have always been nice, which is not the norm. When the Johnny Marr Jaguar came out I wanted to play it immediately, and one day I ended up at Chuck Levins and they actually opened up a new case for me to try out. It was amazing. Also very knowledgeable, these guys have been in business for decades and are always willing to talk about guitars. They also have an extensive PRS section because of that special MD connection.
They also deal with other instruments besides guitar, bass and drums. So if you are in the market for a violin or cello, or maybe a trumpet you can pick one up along with the guitar you are most likely buying. I tried to get into violin, but it was not my destiny.
Here is the link and if you are ever in Wheaton, Maryland stop by. I don’t think they know who I am though.
A few items I have gotten there
This is a quick one.
For all of you song writers out there there is a recording competition going on through Hello Music and Indaba music. For those who don’t know Hello Music is a discount seller like woot.com. They sell a few music items every day like guitars, processors, pedals, amps, basses and services. Unfortunately no banjos which I happen to be in the market for right now. They started sometime last year and so far I have been following them, but I have yet to buy anything. They do repeat, especially Orange amps, Les Paul studios and american standard strats. Inbada music is like bandcamp.com where you can sell or disperse your music around the internet. right now there is a contest to win $2,000 worth of recording gear for writing original songs. I know I’ll be entering. I have a couple new songs up my sleeve, and I am still a total stranger to home recording. Good Luck.
Here are the links
Also I am looking for a new banjo so if anyone has any suggestions or good sites to buy from I am all ears. Musician’s friend and guitar center are not that good selection wise, but I have been looking at banjo.com. I had to step up from my Epiphone because it was too unbalanced and I like to play clawhammer.
The site is good, it has a lot of articles on differences that are being made in the music industry. One feature I thought was cool is the interactive map that shows which woods come from and which woods are used on which parts of the guitar. They *are also working on a documentary, which will be out in 2012*. I think it sends out a good message. I usually am a Sierra Club and Conservation International man, but this definitely makes me like Greenpeace more. Now if only they could stop asking me for my credit card number on the street.
On the other hand I have been seeing more sustainable resource guitars and instruments. I saw a bamboo guitar and there are a lot more carbon fiber guitars coming out now. I haven’t played any bamboo ones but I have played a RainSong carbon fiber. I like it, it sounds pretty good and it is not sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. I still like my Taylor but if I lived in Arizona i would consider it. However, I’m not ready to give up on wood.
* I edited this thanks to Josh G. He pointed out the documentary is not out yet. So don’t fret if you thought you had missed it.
Today I posted another 4 songs on Myspace. They are Stranded, The Wandering Biker, General Store and Illusions. These are all done by just me on a Zoom h1 recorder so the mixing is as I sing and play it. I tried to work on doing a multi-track version of Heist! but I am having some sound issues. Hopefully, I can fix it and put some more instruments down and maybe have a lead guitar in there too. I’ll keep you posted.
My Page is http://www.myspace.com/572609954 . I put my name as the rockridge railroad rider, because I like alliteration and I’m not sure if I want my name all over the internet, yet. All of the songs there I wrote except for one. Desolation Row, where they sell post cards of the hanging.
Anyway I hope you enjoy them and I probably have another 15 songs in the process. MySpace has a data max so I can only put down 9 songs at a time because it adds up to 50 MB. One day I’ll get my music out there.
I love electric guitars, but some times plugging that amp is so time consuming, those heavy patch chords and pedals. It can take minutes to set everything up. Then there is the tuning.
So with my acoustic guitars I just have to open up that case and then I can start tuning right away. It took me a long time to find this guitar. Four months of travelling up to Wheaton, MD and the longest escalator in the world. I played Martins, Guilds and Eastmans. I played some Gibsons and if they weren’t out of my range I may have gotten one, but the guitar that stole my heart a Taylor. My only real criteria was a solid top and solid sides and back, and make sure you don’t mind going over your initial price. I thought $600 to $1000, but I wasn’t impressed until I played a Taylor, more specifically that DN3e.
The guitar is a loud dreadnought and clear. It has all the highs I want but if you are looking for a warm low sounding guitar I would probably go for a Martin. What really sold me on the Taylor was the neck, its the part of the guitar Taylor has poured so much time and research into and its worth it. It it fast and smooth and I love a maple fret board but this black ebony is beautiful. I know this is at the lower end of the Taylor series but I think it is a work of art. I think also for its price it is worth it. Street price is $1400 with electronic system.
I got the internal pickups/pre-amp system and its worth it too. I haven’t used it to play live but it makes life a little bit easier when you want to record.
Some more close up shots
Pick up system
Just three dials Volume, Bass and Treble. No build in tuner but by now you’ve learned how to do it by ear, you musical bastard.
The tuners are amazing they will keep this guitar in tune for months and they have a nifty shine to them.