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Alby Guitar

New Member - Old Guitarist - my Journey

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I started playing cheap copy guitars in my teens and finally treated myself to a USA fender strat sunburst maple neck , playing through a Marloboro? amp - a rebranded Gibson solid state amp - it was a great combination for the covers band I was playing in , amp was stolen and guitar gathered dust under a bed whilst i got on with life , kids etc . 15 years later I picked up the strat again and bought a marshall JTM30 2X10 combo amp , played it for a few years , but could not get the sound I was after so traded the strat for a Gibson Nighthawk standard 2 pick up , played for a few more years then bought an Acoustic a Guild dreadnought DV-52 - tried martin Gibson and other top acoustics but this was the one i fell in love with - and is still my favourite. A few years later I auditioned for a band and was pleased to be taken on , i played with my Nighthawk and the Marshall , and whilst the combination worked well for rehearsals , when I pushed the volume for gigs I could not get a good clean sound , after a lot of searching and trying I bought a second hand Mesa Boogie mark IV - a truly flexible amp all the sound you need at almost any volume . I was called upon to play amplified acoustic so put a Baggs pick up on the Guild and bought an AER 60 to cover the amplification duties , I got a bit precious about the Guild so bought a Crafter electro acoustic for band duties and a  Fishman Aura pedal to deal with any feedback issues and to model the acoustic sound.  I had always wanted a Les Paul and bought a Classic 1960, I used it at rehearsals occasionally but never for gigs. I used this set up in the band for a number of years , but found the weight of the Mesa too much , so bough a Mesa express 5:25  1X10 and only used the Mark IV for outdoor or large gigs. On a whim I bought a Gibson Les Paul acoustic (yes really) , thinking I would use it for gigs , but the Crafter produced a more authentic acoustic guitar sound so i continued to use that. Over 15 years or so we did many gigs and moved through a number genres but the band folded a few years ago and I have yet to find a new band to join. I have always enjoyed Jazz and wanted to learn how to play so looked out for a Jazz Guitar , I bought a Japanese Vestax D'angelico NYL-2 - it had the Jazz guitar sound I had in my head , played this for a couple of years but found the body size a bit large , and was recommended a fender D'aquisto Elite and eventually these two guitars through the Mesa and AER ( both have great clean Jazz sounds) are my main go to guitars.

So here I am at the autumn of my playing life - but still loving it and I thought I could give some advice and words of wisdom

It is emotionally easier to buy gear than it is to sell - GAS is real - although i do realise that I am going to have to thin the herd

Don't buy on a whim, research and try to find the guitar set up that gives you the sound and feel you want - read advice on forums

You do not have to spend a lot to get a good sound

In the hands of a good guitarist a poor guitar can still sound great , but a great guitar will only sound great if you get your skills to the right level - its all about practice

If you are not happy with a guitar or amp for example , there are always a number of cheap tweaks you can do , valves, pickups, strings etc again read advice on forums

The best way to improve your playing and enjoyment is to play with others - try different genres - it all about learning.

A great way to improve your skill is to play along to the radio - try to accompany whatever track they play its great practice for improving your ear

If you are not enjoying it , stop and think how you could do it differently and more enjoyably.

Best wishes










Edited by Alby Guitar
missed a guitar
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Good evening, Alby, and ...


Plenty to read and amuse you here, and lots to learn and share. rWNVV2D.gif

Another vote for the Nighthawk, a very versatile guitar. Our Eldest has had his for decades, now, and; although he now builds his own, still has a soft spot for that Gibson. B|

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Hi Alby

An interesting journey, thanks for sharing.

I had a Nighthawk for a while and really liked it. In fact, I’m now wondering why on Earth I sold it....


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