My folk guitar has died. Not the One True Death–the nut(?) at the top of the fretboard has broken badly enough to make playing it a truly frustrating experience. It has a few other minor issues, and I decided it was time to replace it. So this past Monday it went to my local guitar expert (Chuck), and I set him to the task of finding me a suitable replacement. I’m leery of buying a guitar sight unseen on the internet–I just don’t have the requisite knowledge.

This guitar has been with me since I was sixteen. Until then, I’d been playing whatever instruments my folks pointed me at, including stints playing accordion, violin, recorder, and flute. But guitar was something I wanted to play. I was still noodling around on the recorder occasionally at that point (and continued through college and beyond when I joined the SCA–I can play the range from sopranino through tenor) and I was playing flute in the school band. After a few (6?) lessons in classical guitar, I became pretty much self-taught, and I’ve played on-and-off since then. During college and grad school I played enough to do coffeehouse-type stuff, but getting a real job interfered. I’ve been playing again lately, as a break from editing and writing, enough so my calluses are back.

So, Plan B. With the folk guitar out of the picture, I dusted off my Gibson SG. That was an acquisition during my Risley days at Cornell (for you Risloids reading this–I bought it from Vic Venning when we both lived there). What a joy! I’d forgotten what low action the Gibson has, and how easy it is to play. I recently replaced my [huge] old Peavey Pacer, victim of one of our early maine coon cats (who marked territory when she was in season) with a teeny-tiny practice amp that I love. Only thing is, suddenly my music selection is widely different. On the folk guitar, I lean toward 60s and 70s folk/protest songs or soft rock (think “House of the Rising Sun” and “Universal Soldier”). Now, I find myself reaching for the Led Zep songbook and Blue Oyster Cult . . . .

BTW, if anyone hears about a nice nylon-string guitar for sale out there–I’m in the market. If the right guitar (new or new-to-me) doesn’t present itself over the next five or six weeks, I’m seriously looking at the Ovation CC059 as a replacement. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any.

ps. While I wrote some [bad] songs back in my teens, and set some poems to music, I haven’t tried to write (music) since. I started working on a filk song (set to an old folk song) on the way down to Mysticon (it’s a long drive down to Roanoke). Maybe one of these days I’ll do something more than listen at an open filk . . . .

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