I had an epiphany about traditional guitars in the last few weeks... and it came from the most unexpected of places: the Yamaha Corporation. I never in my wildest dreams would have expected the company who builds the >200€ laminated box for the beginner student and motorcycles would also have the wherewithal to be able to construct such a beautiful, balanced, and rich instrument as the GC-70. What a masterpiece. I had just about written off the traditional build after playing a guitar filled with bells and whistles (from nomex to port holes) for years. This instrument has heavenly overtones, the top register sounds for days, the basses are strong (the candidates hair strong), the vibrato is a wild beast, the color changes are immediate and intense, and for pure aestheticism the back and sides are made of a gorgeous flame red brazilian rosewood that makes me gooey inside. I don't know where I've been for the last few years, but I feel like I've finally come up for air.
This kind of turn around has left me with a bit of whiplash. Not only have I been underwater mentally, but I feel it in my hands as well. I'll be the first to admit that the effect of a double top with lattice bracing is akin to taking steroids and protein shakes. You feel so pumped up on your own volume that you don't notice that not a soul can tell what you're trying to say. And that's the thing right? As musicians we're also story tellers, and guitarists are the kings and queens of articulating the meaning of those stories. So now that I recognize the power to communicate that meaning, I'm a little devastated that my hands aren't nearly as capable as I thought. It's time to leave the Matrix and enter the Desert of the Real.
The other side of this epiphany is not only that I get to play on this queen among teeny boppers- but that Vinícius is playing on one as well. We are so fortunate to be able to play on these instruments, and for that I have to call out to Thomas Kirchhoff and Dale Kavanagh for lending them to us for these next few weeks. Without your generosity I would have never come to this realization. Vinícius and I wouldn't be able to work on our balance, grow as a duo and develop as musicians as fast as we have been without these instruments.