Take a Break, Tele

 

I've been cutting back on my guitars. I decided some time ago that I had enough guitars, and if one came in, another would have to go. But a funny thing happened about a year ago. I parted company with my Gretsch Country Classic, the reissue of the guitar of my dreams. Not too long before that, I did the same with my Taylor T5, a perennial disappointment.

They were the two most expensive guitars I ever owned, yet I saw limited use for them. The T5 never found a niche. A semi-hollow electric, I tried it at one gig and it simply sounded bad in the mix. I'd pull it out occasionally, but it never ceased to disappoint. Goodbye.

The Gretsch was sometimes heaven, but sometimes it just didn't sound right. It made a great visual impact, but no longer being a performer (not to mention that when I was, I always went for sound over appearance) I eventually said goodbye to this dream and haven't looked back.

I also found that 12-strings aren't for me. Some time ago I got rid of my Hagstrom electric 12 and my Gibson acoustic 12.

So I'm down to two electric guitars and 2 acoustics. The acoustics are a Martin which I've loved since day one and a Taylor which is a more than satisfactory backup. The Martin uses extra light-gauge strings, the Taylor more conventional gauge.

The electrics are a pair of solid bodies, a Telecaster (pictured here) and an Anderson, which is pretty similar to the Tele except that I don't like it as much. If I decide to lose another guitar, the Anderson would be it, but not yet.

For most of my needs, two guitars, one acoustic and one electric, is fine. But while COVID rages and since I've been away from bands, my beloved Tele is getting no use. It will, but when I was gigging regularly I played it until the frets (that series of metal bars running across the neck) started wearing out. It was causing buzzing and even a couple of missing notes. I'd seen the need to have the work done for some time, but needed a break in my schedule to take care of it.

 

It dawned on me that now would be a perfect time to take care of my beloved Tele. Besides, I figured my guitar tech of many, many years could probably use the work. After all, bands aren't performing!

I was wrong about Chris needing the work. It turns out that some musicians (like me) are attending to long-deferred repairs, while others are switching emphasis from live performances to recording, and want / need to "tweak" their gear accordingly. Good for him. I told him that If he needed to do some emergency work for someone else, he could push my job back. We've had this arrangement before, and he's never abused the leeway.

Shin the Musician

Last update: December 31, 2020

The John Shinnick Web Site

My baby!

If I need an electric guitar for some reason (perhaps just to work on some song that requires an electric or whatever) I still have my Anderson. Perhaps by the end of COVID, my Martin will have gotten so much use that it will need a similar procedure. I'll have my Taylor for backup. (I may decide to make another stab at slide guitar, and the backups would be good for the purpose.

Through the years I've probably owned maybe 25 guitars. I've never really counted. But only a small number have survived the years. I need to take good care of them!

The recording, lyrics, and back story to "My Brain Is Too Small", a song I wrote and recorded in 1990.