Friday, 24 July 2009

Guitar shopping for beginners

School holidays, and first family project was getting Nick a proper guitar. He's had an OK but not great MFI Plywood special for a while now, but not full size, and now friends were bugging him at parties and putting it on YouTube, and he’s spending hours with his guitar, he really does need a half decent one. So, armed with wee pot of dosh from an amazing and beloved aunt who died in 1999, we headed for Britain’s own Tin Pan Alley.

Contrary to expectation this is not a fantasy location off Harry Potter. Guitar shops proliferated, more than wot we’d had hot dinners, so we nuzzled round with the whole family (minus Catherine) in tow, sizing up possibilities, then zeroed in on Wunjo Guitars in Denmark Street to see what they could do for us. Brian was amazing — no silly sales pitch; just sized up the job, sat Nick down, tried a few possibles, narrowed it down to two, then one ideal guitar — an entirely Nick led process. He than did us a doable deal and banged a bit of dosh off. This was helpful, as when you go to a world class place to buy anything you get an amazing selection of good stuff, but you can end up paying through ye nose. Not here.

So, for the family record, here’s the dream Machine — a Cort MS710 — Flamed Maple, rich tone, and a bit of welly especially with pick-up. It will only get better with age and constant playing. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever! Topped off with a celebration meal at the Rainforest café and, don’t laugh, a Snog in Brewer Street this has to be one of the more amazing family days out for a while...


JohnG said...

Delighted to hear your account of Guitarists own Diagon Alley. I bought my beloved Takemine there and still remember the process. I also get my various instruments set up there every couple of years. I love the way the luthiers fuss over you and ask you lots of questions so the set up of the instrument matches your playing style. Rather like a makeover for girls I suspect.

While we're on the subject of alleys - I wrote a humourous piece for the Lay Reader magazine about the CofEs own Diag Alley - aka Whipples and co round the corner from Church House. They haven't published it yet - I don't think ecclesiastical publishers know where to file funny but never mind. Alleys have a special place - I think what the sociologists would call liminal.

Happy playing!

Al Mellor said...

Very nice! Getting a great guitar that suits you is just magnitudes better than an 'ok' or 'make do with' guitar. Especially so for acoustics. Here's hoping this one is a lot of fun.

Al 'Best thing I ever did was buy a Lowden' Mellor (from Yuuguu).

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