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  1. #1

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    I've never paid much attention to the gear sections on this board.

    It amazes me that on a jazz guitar forum there are so many posts about gear.

    After all playing jazz is what it's all about, right? Some gear posts are fine of course.

    I noticed that few of the members who post in the gear threads post in the playing sections.

    I recall another guitar forum where one poster had something like 40 guitars but never played. Never. Had no interest.

    He just liked collecting guitars, which is okay I guess, but also a bit odd to never play.

    There are probably people who collect barbells but never lift them. They just go and stare at them a lot.

    How about people who collect tools but never use them? They just like to admire their hammers and saws.

    I had a friend years ago who owned a late 70s Pontiac Trans Am. He wouldn't drive it. Too afraid of something happening to it.

    Lost touch with him but I wonder if he still has that car in his garage?

    Collecting guitars is easy. Playing jazz is hard.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    With my current financial condition, collecting guitars is real hard.

  4. #3

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    I've got a room full of guitars, amps, and gizmos bought with money made from playing music for people to listen to, or dance to, or ignore, if they wish. You could fill another room with guitars and amps I provided to (usually younger) aspiring (or accomplished) musicians to facilitate their art. A surprising amount of that music was jazz. If I feel like discussing these tools of the trade with like-minded individuals, that's our right. It's yours, as well. These are tangible things- concrete, visible. The finer points of theory are abstract, ethereal even; and their consideration is edifying. The history and lore of the art is fascinating, if not always uplifting. These areas have their own sub-fora.
    There is plenty of space here at JGO for everyone to speak. We've all got guitars, or want one. We're not all Berklee grads or what ever. G, A, & G are what we have in common. That is something to celebrate, as we do with NGDs and NADs and so forth. We are fortunate that some of our members have the means and desire to support some of the fine luthiers who make the wonderful instruments we sometimes see here. You can't hammer a real nail with an abstract hammer. You need something you can swing with.

    PS - I've enjoyed your posts for many years, Drumbler. Your point of view is always interesting. Thank you!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 02-11-2020 at 01:12 AM. Reason: punk2ationz

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    ......snip....

    Collecting guitars is easy. Playing jazz is hard.

    So Drumbler... there are several pro players on here that have amazing jazz skills *and* have a collections of wonderful, very, very, expensive guitars. They even like talking about them. Go figure.


    If I've learned one thing around here, it's to not worry about what other people enjoy or how they go about enjoying it. If someone likes to play jazz and is into gear, great. If they feel anything beyond a MIM Tele and Fender Champ is superfluous distraction.. that's fine to. Nobody is any more special because of what keeps their interest in playing music. Even if they just stack guitars in their garage and talk about them online. In a forum format it's easy to find the things you want to talk about and things you don't care about.
    Last edited by Spook410; 02-11-2020 at 03:10 AM.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    I had a friend years ago who owned a late 70s Pontiac Trans Am. He wouldn't drive it. Too afraid
    I can relate, I found a late 70's Snickers candy bar, but I wouldn't eat it. Too afraid....

  7. #6
    Thanks for being sporting gents.

  8. #7

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    Playing jazz is not hard. But you can make it hard if you want to.

    More people talk about gear than playing because there really isn't much in playing jazz to talk about. But I guess some people like to talk about playing jazz because they want to make playing jazz sound hard.

    Jazz is a broad church. Make it as hard as you want it to be. Speaking for myself, I don't enjoy hard as I have a day job. So, I make it simple for meself. My personal touchstone today is Bireli Lagrene. I try to steal his licks. I am a thief. I steal licks and cop changes off records. There is nothing much to talk about when I steal. My mânouche playing guitarist friends seem to have a really good time. They don't like to talk. They play. You can't talk about duende.

    But some people get hard talking about hard jazz. That's cool too, but I won't be sharing a beer with them. Insufferable bores. I prefer talking about gear because that is easy. I find other people who like to talk about gear. There are simply more of them.

  9. #8

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    this forum reflects the reality of the current concerns around the jazz guitar, there is no one to be offended

    given the large number of members and visitors, it is rather an excellent object of "field studies" or "field survey", as sociologists and psychologists say, provided that we avoid analytical biases that can distort this reality, and observe it in its purity, which is just as social and commercial as well as musical
    Last edited by Patlotch; 02-11-2020 at 08:50 AM.

  10. #9

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    Branford Marsalis Redux: Branford Marsalis: The Problem With Jazz | Seattle Weekly

    All in good fun, Drumbler. I leave my Jazz Theory tome in the toilet as reading material. I use the material sometimes; it is missing a few pages.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky

    ". . . what are the things that normal people like about music and can we incorporate those things?"

    Liked the article. Thanks.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    I've never paid much attention to the gear sections on this board.

    It amazes me that on a jazz guitar forum there are so many posts about gear.

    After all playing jazz is what it's all about, right? Some gear posts are fine of course.

    I noticed that few of the members who post in the gear threads post in the playing sections.

    I recall another guitar forum where one poster had something like 40 guitars but never played. Never. Had no interest.

    He just liked collecting guitars, which is okay I guess, but also a bit odd to never play.

    There are probably people who collect barbells but never lift them. They just go and stare at them a lot.

    How about people who collect tools but never use them? They just like to admire their hammers and saws.
    Actually my other hobby is woodworking and I am a bit of a tool hoarder. But once I came across an auction for items from a guy who bought literally every item out of the Lee Valley catalogue, and almost all of the items were NIB. He passed away and of course found out he couldn't take it with him. Sometimes people just like to have THINGS for the sake of having them. Personally, if I have a tool--a guitar or a handplane--I like to put it to the use it was meant for.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I can relate, I found a late 70's Snickers candy bar, but I wouldn't eat it. Too afraid....
    I should tell you my story about bringing home 300 bottles of wine (most from the French Bourgogne region) when I moved back to the States from Germany in 1998. I decided I would only drink a bottle for special occasions. You can guess the rest...the special occasions were few and far between, and when I got around to drinking them most of the bottles were BAD (because they were shipped and stored in suboptimal conditions). However, I drank the last bottle I had just a few months ago--a German Auslese--and it not only didn't suck, it was surprisingly good for a 20-year-old wine that was nothing special.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 02-12-2020 at 09:03 AM.

  13. #12

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    I have eight guitars, but I only play three of them. I also have around 50 effects pedals of all sorts and I use three of them regularly.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    I have eight guitars, but I only play three of them. I also have around 50 effects pedals of all sorts and I use three of them regularly.
    so why is it written Take five?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    I have eight guitars, but I only play three of them.
    hence take five

    8-3= 5..for the taking?..haha


    cheers

  16. #15

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    People get into gear.

    I fly fish. It's just as bad. All kinds of gadgets. Equipment at every price level. Reviews and magazines touting all kinds of fantastic stuff. Fishermen drooling over fancy gear. Instructional videos. Clubs. Camps. Guides. Elite outfitters. Fly-ins to remote corners of the planet. Star fishermen. Same thing as guitar.

    And, you can catch plenty of fish with very inexpensive gear. In many, maybe most, fishing situations the expensive gear barely helps. And, a skilled fisherman will be able to get great performance out of inexpensive equipment. It's all human nature.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    People get into gear.

    I fly fish. It's just as bad. All kinds of gadgets. Equipment at every price level. Reviews and magazines touting all kinds of fantastic stuff. Fishermen drooling over fancy gear. Instructional videos. Clubs. Camps. Guides. Elite outfitters. Fly-ins to remote corners of the planet. Star fishermen. Same thing as guitar.

    And, you can catch plenty of fish with very inexpensive gear. In many, maybe most, fishing situations the expensive gear barely helps. And, a skilled fisherman will be able to get great performance out of inexpensive equipment. It's all human nature.
    so funny...one of my meditative/art spots is among practicing fly fishermen..and always am amazed when i hear their banter about wood (rods) and string (line)...i have told a few, it reminds me of guitar love!!

    wood and strings..and all the little details

    funny, you made same association!

    cheers

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    People get into gear.

    I fly fish. It's just as bad..
    I'm lucky to have retired in a house situated on a very fish-able part of the Rogue River in Oregon. Before I was in Texas and I have a lot of 6-8wt gear for the coast. For the brutal saltwater environment, not to mention Redfish, top quality gear made sense. So can I use it here? Not really. A 5wt in the riffles and Spey set ups to reach across the river. Sigh.

  19. #18

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    the only common thing I know about fishing and guitars is that nylon fishing wire was used for very fine strings, for example tuned in A above E (like the 8 strings guitar Renaissance or Lenny Breau)

    or when I was a little boy, I made my "guitars" with a cardboard box and fishing wire

  20. #19

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    Gear is fun, it's what we use to make music. And especially with jazz guitars, they are pricey and not that common, so it's not that easy to check out and play many of them for most of us. Or vintage ones. Same with good amps more or less.

    Knowing gear is one part of sounding great. The players that had the opportunity to check out and use many different kinds of instruments, amps, speakers, pickups etc, or have really great gear.. I've benefited greatly from taking advice from people like that. And it's not so much about money as it is about experience and knowledge.

    It will make the difference between sounding good on gigs and between having musicians come up and tell you the guitar sounds perfect, or exactly as it's supposed to sound etc.. I'm probably never going to play much of the great stuff out there, so I'm very interested in hearing opinions from people that do.

  21. #20

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    Lots of good gear is really cheap for past decade or two. Over time, it's easy to accumulate quite a collection of decent stuff without intending to, because it was so inexpensive. I don't need fancy gear to sound good or validate my status.

  22. #21

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    Hey, leave those fish alone. Imagine a Super 400 is hanging over your garden, and you run to grab it; next thing you know there's a hook through your hands and some alien in his UFO (with outboard motor and a box of beer) is showing you to his friends. Bonus humiliation: "Ah Zbeebooh, throw that runt back". But you'll still have holes in your hands.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    so funny...one of my meditative/art spots is among practicing fly fishermen..and always am amazed when i hear their banter about wood (rods) and string (line)...i have told a few, it reminds me of guitar love!!

    wood and strings..and all the little details

    funny, you made same association!

    cheers
    Hehe I fly fish too. And cycle. The only reason I don’t obsess about these hobbies is because I’ve got limited funds and other hobbies that occupy my time—guitar and woodworking.

    Come to think of it, my GF gave me a decent tie-flying kit a couple of years ago “for something to do in the winter” and I haven’t tied a single fly with it. Yet.

  24. #23

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    [QUOTE=Zina;1007997]Hey, leave those fish alone. Imagine a Super 400 is hanging over your garden, and you run to grab it; next thing you know there's a hook through your hands and some alien in his UFO (with outboard motor and a box of beer) is showing you to his friends. Bonus humiliation: "Ah Zbeebooh, throw that runt back". But you'll still have holes in your hands.[/QUOTE

    great!! haha

    very sci-fi!! rod serling would be proud-twilight zone!

    agree!..

    funny!

    cheers

  25. #24

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    I fish, fly fish, tie flies. Worked one day a week in a fly shop. Yes, a love affair with equipment is worse with fisherman. At least from what I've seen so far in the guitar world.

    I was a golf pro for 10 years and the love of equipment may be the strongest of the 3. The major golf forum "GolfWrx" makes this site look Kindergarteners discussing Crayons. The amount of minutiae discussed on "GolfWrx" is something else.

  26. #25

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    Supposing there are collectors (who are not interested in playing) they are still doing good thing by collecting and caring about guitars. Those guitars will be saved with better chance for future, maybe future musicians will glad to have them and future listeners will enjoy their music.

  27. #26

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    finally, on reflection, - it has prevented me from sleeping since the opening of this topic -, those who are more interested in material than music are right: no forum of jazz, guitar, or both, no theories of jazz and perhaps even no jazz or guitar teacher won't teach them how to have talent

    this is what makes the tragedy of those who strive to make it seem otherwise, either that they must show that they are indispensable, or that they are not persuaded themselves

    Hey, don't commit suicide, jazz guitar teachers, isn't it important to make a living, not your death?

  28. #27

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    Having a great passion for music and having an interest in the gear to make that music usually go together. They are certainly not mutually exclusive pursuits.

  29. #28

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    in any case, most of the answers to Drumbler are beside what he sees, and what everyone can see, the disproportion between interest for music and interest for the gear, in which it would still be necessary to distinguish the questions and answers that are legitimate for musicians, about such qualities expected from a guitar, a pickup or an amp, and a form of fetishism for this material, the ultimate trademarks...

    in short, we pretend to be concerned about this disproportion amounts to criticizing the legitimate interest of musicians in their tools, which is not the spirit of these critics

  30. #29

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    When we talk about gear is the only time we agree with each other.

  31. #30

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    A few years back, my quartet was playing an outdoor gig at a country club. It was a family event, so they had food, drinks, bouncy-houses, music (us!), and a couple clowns doing tricks with the kids. We took a break, and our drummer walks up from getting some food (since drummers are always eating and/or drinking!) and he said, "I just walked past the clowns over there: they were talking about oversized shoes and make-up!"

  32. #31

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    I come here mainly for the music talk (probably 90% of my activity here and it's been a while), but it's nice to have a page dedicated to Jazz gear. (The regular visitor of TGP knows nuthin' about Jazz).

    By the way, I'm also into fly fishing It takes a lot of patience and practicing. Just like guitar playing. Most people don't have that focus and commitment, but express their love for the art by buying and collecting gear. Unfortunately it's not always that harmless, because collector mentality introduces a lot of BS and myths related to gear that have no reality substance. People are too eager protecting their investments rather than making music.

    Musicians like to play and collectors like to talk and show off their collection, therefore many discussions get unbalanced favoring the point of view of the collector.

    Now, you may argue that also famous players have a guitar collection. Of course they do. That's a pretty easy way of making money, since the true collector pay premium for a piece of "history" and a certificate stating that this guitar once belonged to the famous Mr. Player. Some players probably make more money on trading gear than making music.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    That's a pretty easy way of making money, since the true collector pay premium for a piece of "history" and a certificate stating that this guitar once belonged to the famous Mr. Player.
    so if I want to sell my guitar, I must not say that it belongs to me

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    so if I want to sell my guitar, I must not say that it belongs to me
    Just tell them that you are the custodian of a very rare piece that belongs to the house of <player name> that you need the cash now and that you're willing to give them 20% discount provided you don't have to produce the paper work. Works every time

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    When we talk about gear is the only time we agree with each other.
    Not so sure !
    We've seen strong arguments about neck heavy guitars, pros and cons of tubes vs SS, the "muddiness" of such a speaker or such a pick up, the comparison of different thickness of guitar tops in the ages, headstock shape of a certain guitar brand, ….
    Never say : "Gibson quality control" in a thread !
    Ouch ! Sorry I did !

  36. #35

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    It takes a lot of work to be even able to play jazz shittily.

    I own too many guitars, really. Nothing particularly expensive though, and they all get played.

    I think talking about guitars and gear is fun because everybody get in and get nerdy on it, no matter what their level of play.

    I saw a pretty funny clip of a comedienne the other day where she talked about how if a woman wants something expensive, like say, a diamond ring, it's customary to have a relationship, fall in love, and have the guy buy it for you...she wondered aloud how funny it would be if guys had to go through the same process to be bought something expensive they want, say, a big screen TV.

    The same I suppose could be said of guitars.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    It takes a lot of work to be even able to play jazz shittily.
    Yes, this I can confirm first hand...
    I find this place a very valuable resource for playing/theory discussion. However, one person can show one concept in a single post that can send us to the shed for months or more. So I don't talk too much about the next concept while I am still drilling the last concept.

    Gear talk however is much less demanding of my time. I think to a large degree this is why the percentages look as they do.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    When we talk about gear is the only time we agree with each other.
    Guitars and Gear-48081f1c-ceb2-4730-9770-7c7719bcad26-jpg
    Last edited by grahambop; 02-13-2020 at 01:06 PM.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I saw a pretty funny clip of a comedienne the other day where she talked about how if a woman wants something expensive, like say, a diamond ring, it's customary to have a relationship, fall in love, and have the guy buy it for you...she wondered aloud how funny it would be if guys had to go through the same process to be bought something expensive they want, say, a big screen TV.
    Facetious, fickle, flippant female:

    Her ring is not any object, but a symbol of union between people, on the basis of which (that union) lives are built, children are raised, etc.

    Also, if that is her chronology of event she is a monster. "I want a ring, I'll find someone to buy it for me, pretend to love him in return". Bah.

    And what when the ring is scratched or outmoded; does she put it by the rubbishbin with the old television? And who paid for BOTH? Right.

    I've 2 of those X somochromes myself, but loud vulgar women aren't "feminists" but hags, harpies, harridans, and I can't think of more Hs.

    Mr Beaumont: am not ranting against you, just dumb wimminz

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    Facetious, fickle, flippant female:

    Her ring is not any object, but a symbol of union between people, on the basis of which (that union) lives are built, children are raised, etc.

    Also, if that is her chronology of event she is a monster. "I want a ring, I'll find someone to buy it for me, pretend to love him in return". Bah.

    And what when the ring is scratched or outmoded; does she put it by the rubbishbin with the old television? And who paid for BOTH? Right.

    I've 2 of those X somochromes myself, but loud vulgar women aren't "feminists" but hags, harpies, harridans, and I can't think of more Hs.

    Mr Beaumont: am not ranting against you, just dumb wimminz
    No offesnse taken--but it was a comedy act...she was poking fun at all of it.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Guitars and Gear-48081f1c-ceb2-4730-9770-7c7719bcad26-jpg
    You win the internet today...


  42. #41

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    Actually those guys probably weren’t arguing about gear. Took me ages to google that picture, I’d seen it before but couldn’t remember any details. It shows a supposed ‘discussion’ between the followers of Carulli and Molino. Apparently the former said it was ok to use the left hand thumb over to fret bass notes, the latter said it was a no-no. So possibly they were fighting over technique!

  43. #42

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    Been looking at Treniers and Comins and other proper guitars for grown up jazz guitarists.

    the money you pay for one of these instruments is obviously no small amount (but still less than a top of the line cello or something, well ok maybe Benedetto is similar) but I feel that when I choose to have something like that made for me I’d like it to be more than a financial transaction. I get a feeling there should be a connection between player and instrument maker...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Been looking at Treniers and Comins and other proper guitars for grown up jazz guitarists.

    the money you pay for one of these instruments is obviously no small amount (but still less than a top of the line cello or something, well ok maybe Benedetto is similar) but I feel that when I choose to have something like that made for me I’d like it to be more than a financial transaction. I get a feeling there should be a connection between player and instrument maker...
    I play a Comins GCS-1 and had occasion to contact Bill Comins about it. He was great. If I were to have a guitar made for me I'd be very happy to have him do it.

    But, I'm scared to do it. One of the features I'd want is a very thin neck. But, I'd be concerned that I'd get a similarly thin sound and not like the guitar.

    How do players handle this sort of issue?

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I play a Comins GCS-1 and had occasion to contact Bill Comins about it. He was great. If I were to have a guitar made for me I'd be very happy to have him do it.

    But, I'm scared to do it. One of the features I'd want is a very thin neck. But, I'd be concerned that I'd get a similarly thin sound and not like the guitar.

    How do players handle this sort of issue?
    could swap you my late 60’s 175 haha? Or do you mean like thin as in depth?

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    could swap you my late 60’s 175 haha? Or do you mean like thin as in depth?
    My favorite neck is on my Yamaha Pacifica 012, which is their cheapest instrument. It's thin in every dimension. Small nut width, thin back to front, and thin width at the higher frets. I find it very comfortable to play - feels great. There's a bit of trouble with certain grips (because things are so close together) but the advantages outweigh this problem. It's a 25.5" scale, but it feels smaller than the GCS-1.

    If I had a luthier build a guitar with those neck dimensions would it sound good?

    I did do something helpful with the GCS-1 which might be of interest to somebody. It comes from the factory with 11s, not sure of the low E but probably somewhere between 46 and 52. I went to a custom set, 11 13 16 (or 17) 24 32 42. Buy a set of 9-42, discard the 9 and add a 13. I didn't have to adjust the neck. I was concerned about tuning stability at first, but that settled in and is now okay. Intonation is fine. The advantage is that the action feels much softer. Since I don't like a lot of bass in my comping sound, I don't miss the thicker low strings. The top three strings aren't hugely different than the factory strings.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    One of the features I'd want is a very thin neck. But, I'd be concerned that I'd get a similarly thin sound and not like the guitar.
    Why? I have some guitars with fat necks and some with thin necks and I can see no such correlation. And a rosewood fretboard doesn't sound darker than a maple neck. That's just collector rubbish.
    A fat neck guitar could potentially take heavier string gauge, but you can still get fat tones using light strings. Medium gauge 11-52 should be fine on a thin neck.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    Why? I have some guitars with fat necks and some with thin necks and I can see no such correlation. And a rosewood fretboard doesn't sound darker than a maple neck. That's just collector rubbish.
    A fat neck guitar could potentially take heavier string gauge, but you can still get fat tones using light strings. Medium gauge 11-52 should be fine on a thin neck.
    Interesting. Thanks for posting it. My thinner neck guitars tend to sound thinner. But, obviously, it could be due to another factor.

  49. #48

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    the Jacobacci Brothers had a reputation for very narrow, very thin and fast neck

    I saw one of the two, Roger, specialized in this problem, make the neck of my guitar with a two-handed wood chives [french plane de charron, varlope], an impressive show!






    in addition to the zero fret, for the sound of the open strings, they made very flat and soft frets on the neck, the fingers never hung
    fret zero

    I no longer use mine because the neck is too narrow for the chords played in fragments and the passage of the fingers of the right hand

    Last edited by Patlotch; 02-14-2020 at 05:33 AM.

  50. #49

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    Can you post a photo of it, please? I only learned of their existence a few days ago, and really like those guitars. They never made a non-cutaway, did they?

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Interesting. Thanks for posting it. My thinner neck guitars tend to sound thinner. But, obviously, it could be due to another factor.
    Rp, what's really important are the slots at nut and saddle for the treble strings as well as the bridge mechanical coupling from the string all the way to the top. When the slots are too wide or the bridge is not seated properly, treble strings sound thin. Light gauge strings require more precision in these areas. Also light gauge strings make less downforce on the bridge, so you may opt for an adjustable tailpiece to make a steeper break angle if required.

    Then pickup adjustment, a proper pick and a nice amp will provide glorious Jazz tones.