Oh acoustic guitars…

Way back in the day I started playing guitar. All electric, none of that acoustic “crap” for me. Many years ago my brother got a crappy parlour-sized acoustic from a shop that’s equivalent to a Goodwill just because it was cheap. It was difficult to play, so we basically tossed it in the corner and paid it no mind.

A couple years down the road I decided all guitar players should indeed have an acoustic. After a very short un-informed search, I got a cheap Fender acoustic. The neck was nice, action was fine, but the body was so huge it was hard to play.

Years pass and now to present time. I live in an apartment where cranking guitar amps full and playing into the wee hours of the night just isn’t going to happen. So I conceded that I can’t play guitar anymore, except on weekends when I can travel to my guitar amps and play loud. Then I got to thinking about the Fender acoustic. Sure the body made it a bit uncomfortable to play, but it would be a fine volume for an apartment. This is when I realized I can cut the volume a bit more by playing with my fingers rather than a pick. Soon I had a fingerpicking style, and even better I was learning a completely new style of how to play.

I like to search craigslist for random instruments. I noticed a bunch of old Harmony/Stella guitars going for $100-$200. They were everywhere. And sure enough, they looked just like that little parlour guitar my brother got years ago for $5 for that 2nd hand shop. So, I picked it up, dusted it off, and gave it a play using my newly developed fingerpicking. Even though the strings were pure rust the guitar sounded decent. More so, the V-neck shape felt great, and it was easy to play due to the small overall size. The only bummer was the insanely high action and tiny tiny frets. Oh well, throw a capo on it and you’re good to go.

I recently put a new set of strings on that Harmony/Stella/whatever it is. If I dated it correctly it was made in 1955. Yes it’s beat up, warped, there’s a crack going from the soundhole to the neck, and the tuners are difficult to use, but I can’t get enough of playing that guitar. Sadly, it sounds amazing compared to my Fender. If only I had known all those years earlier how great that guitar is.

Written by majafa