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SongwriterFan
12-21-2008, 08:43 AM
One of these babies!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZOaqCxAuOk

Grenvilleter
12-21-2008, 09:06 AM
Much wisdom has been imparted, Grasshopper. FWIW, I have been playing bluegrass, as well as other acoustic music, for around 50 years. I currently use my '68 Martin D-18 and my Blueridge BR140 (both mahogany back and sides) guitars if I intend to be playing more leads. For overall best results in playing rhythm and leads together, my Martin HD-28 carried the load until recently. Spruce top and rosewood back and sides, with big, full sound and booming bass.



Dave

Another die hard bluegrasser here echo's Dave's sentiments. I might add that regardless of the brand you choose, if your standing between a banjo and a fiddle, you gotta be able to hear what your doing. Much to the chagrin of some "purest's", there are a few guitars out there that can do the job other than Martin. Most of the time they can be got for a G note or less but you have to be picky with the one you choose.

As Dave says, flat pickers tend to go for mahogany bodies for its sharper definition of notes. Rhythm players tend to gravitate more to rosewood Dread's for their tendency to produce notes with more complexity and bass.

If I'm with a group of folks jamming, I'll tend to use hog.
If the day is hot and humid, I'll tend to use hog.
If there is no bass player or I'm the only guitar player, I'll use rosewood. Unless it's hot and humid :D.

jlkitch
12-21-2008, 09:08 AM
I prefer acoustic wood guitars.

Actually, my favorite Bluegrass guitar is my 2002 Taylor 710 Ltd. But, I think that my D-18 is better accepted by the average BlueGrasser.

T.L. Buck
12-21-2008, 09:37 AM
I play a Martin SWOMGT. It hangs with the dreads and sounds warmer than a lot of them. A good friend I jam with plays a Proulx.

Glennwillow
12-21-2008, 09:48 AM
If you were to show up with a Gibson Advanced Jumbo, you would be welcomed. When they first came up with the AJ's in the 1930's they were dubbed "Bone Crusher" as it was in direct competition with the HD-28 Martins with the "Herringbone" binding. The other nickname for the AJ, "Acoustic Canon", also explains much about how well a Gibson AJ plays among Martins.

http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd219/lofapco/Peace_Dove_Strap.jpg
Paul,

Ah!!! That looks nice. In fact, it looks a lot like mine!

Great photo!

- Glenn

brianmay
12-21-2008, 10:01 AM
What's Bluegrass? ;)

chitz
12-21-2008, 11:32 AM
Guild D-40 or D-50's are great for bluegrass.
I also Like the Blueridge BR-160-170 up to the 280.

Like many have already mentioned, it's really the one that speaks to you.
There are many, many good choices out there. Must always it'll be a big solid top dread.

Glennwillow
12-21-2008, 12:00 PM
But seriously folks...

Best choice is Martin D-28, Martin HD-28, , Martin HD28V. Basically anything with the letter "D" and the number "28" in the name will be the best choice.

You can buy a brand other than Martin as long as you don't mind other bluegrass players constantly asking you "Why didn't you just buy a Martin?"
HHP's comments are actually pretty accurate, not because you can't use other guitars beyond the Martin dreadnought, but because Bluegrass players as a group are HIGHLY traditional and VERY conservative in what they feel fits in.

Certainly there are exceptions, Ron Block being one that comes to mind. (I REALLY like the sound of one of the Bourgeois dreads he plays.) But my unscientific bet is that if you took a survey of Bluegrass guitar players regarding what guitar they use, 75% or more would be playing a Martin D-28 or D-18.

By the way, I am not a bluegrass player, but I certainly respect their musicianship.

Regards, Glenn

imwjl
12-21-2008, 12:26 PM
Welcome.

I'll second that the best is what you like and can afford, and will point out that some very good members of the bluegrass assoc. in my area have small body and non-Martin guitars.

That said I did hear one non-player in the audience at a jam say "that's what a guitar is supposed to sound like" about my dread from the M company during an intermission when several of us were checking out somebody's guitar from the C company. I will also admit that the two most amazing guitars I've touched and heard among the members and regulars were very old Martins probably with one worth about a near luxury car and the other a modest house. Both copies had runout and cosmetics that most here would not tolerate if they were shopping today but wow do they make the tone.

I suggest lots of listening and playing and enjoy it all.

BaylinerCapri
12-21-2008, 12:26 PM
Ill admit I dont know alot about Bluegrass but Bonnie does.

Check her out playing a BlueRidge BR-140



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7woTm_6gp0&feature=channel_page

66strummer
12-21-2008, 12:30 PM
Ill admit I dont know alot about Bluegrass but Bonnie does.

Check her out playing a BlueRidge BR-140



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7woTm_6gp0&feature=channel_page


GOOD link, Bayliner! Nice little lesson there. Thanks.....

Ryan

dawhealer
12-21-2008, 12:40 PM
[QUOTE=Jeff G;1687955]HERE IS THE TRUTH... IT ISN'T THE GUITAR!!

Yep. I fingerpick my dreads :eek:, flatpick BG with a 1.5 mm pick on my 000 :eek:, and do both on my jumbo :eek: Whatever I feel like at the time. Actually, I've never been too locked any to any particular style on any particular guitar with the exception of my classicals.

I admit it. I'm a heretic. :lol:

:guitar:

dawhealer
12-21-2008, 12:45 PM
Go to as many BG Festivals as you can and look around. When you see guitars with a G on the headstock ask them about their Gallagher.

They're sure good enough for Doc Watson.

hempomatic
12-21-2008, 01:04 PM
Ill admit I dont know alot about Bluegrass but Bonnie does.

Check her out playing a BlueRidge BR-140



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7woTm_6gp0&feature=channel_page

Wow, I have to agree, what a terrific lesson!



ken

drjordan
12-21-2008, 01:10 PM
Bluegrassers are indeed very traditionally minded; however, I'm not sure we are as much a slave to a certain brand as much as we have an idea of what we want a guitar to sound like. Martins are popular, but most of what I see playing are either vintage Martins or a few (e.g. Del McCoury and Clay Hess) play their own signature Martin.

Otherwise, a lot of players are playing other brands of new guitars. For example, Kenny Smith and Jamie Dailey plays Collings; Ricky Skaggs, Cody Kilby, Brian Sutton, Ron Block, and Skip Cherryholmes play Bourgeois; Tony Rice and Booie Beach play Santa Cruz; Clay Jones and Steve Gulley play Mike Long; Tim Stafford plays Composite Acoustic.

I recently bought an acoustic for playing Bluegrass. I went to all of the stores I knew of around Atlanta then I went to Nashville. I played a lot of guitars. Although a lot of players play Bourgeois, I played 10-12 of them and only found 1 that really compared (to my ears) to the Collings that I was playing. I played a 14-fret slope shoulder Huss & Dalton that was quite exceptional. I also played a very good H&D TDR. I played one Ken Miller that Gruhn Guitars had used. Take a look at it on their site...they've reduced the price and it's quite a guitar at any price, but especially at that price. I also played several very good Santa Cruz guitars and a used Froggy Bottom dreadnought at Atlanta Premier Guitars in Conyers, GA.

But in the end, I found nothing that sang to me like Collings dreadnoughts. I bought a D2HG (Rosewood back and sides with a German Spruce top). Play a lot of guitars, there are many excellent guitars out there. But I feel (and it's just my opinion) that Collings are consistently making some of the best Bluegrass dreads available.

Oh, and here (http://69.41.173.82/forums/showthread.php?t=73488&highlight=ultimate) is a similar question that I asked some time ago. There were a lot of good suggestions offered there.

BaylinerCapri
12-21-2008, 01:58 PM
GOOD link, Bayliner! Nice little lesson there. Thanks.....

Ryan

No problem! I send Bonnie a message asking here to do a lesson on BlueGrass Cross Picking. She messaged back saying she would look into it. Her and her family are Gospel BlueGrass singers and performers. They travel around in a bus and perform. She has a few good lessons on her channel.

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Authorized77

66strummer
12-21-2008, 02:11 PM
That's a very COOL story Bayliner...... It's neat knowing people in music.


Ryan

BaylinerCapri
12-21-2008, 02:18 PM
That's a very COOL story Bayliner...... It's neat knowing people in music.


Ryan


LOL I dont know her, just said i messaged her and got a response. She refers to herself as Bonnie so thats about as much as i know about her. Other then what it says on her channel. She does have some cool lessons tho.

brad4d8
12-21-2008, 03:21 PM
If what the pros play is anything to go by: Dan Tyminski and Ron Block of Union Station play both Martin D-28 and D-18 as well as Bourgeois, Santa Cruz and more. Sean Watkins of Nickle Creek plays Bourgeois OMC. Henderson, Nobles and Nashville Guitar Company are popular, too.
And Doc plays, or at least did at one time, not sure about now, a Gallagher. Of course, he's not really a bluegrass picker, plays some rockabilly, too. <G>
Brad

66strummer
12-21-2008, 10:04 PM
One of these babies!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZOaqCxAuOk


YES!!! You said it, Songwriterfan! That is the definitive Bluegrass guitar!! I'm all over that 1! :D I just ordered 5 of them! I'm set for life!!! :roll:

________________________


posted by Bayliner:

LOL I dont know her, just said i messaged her and got a response. She refers to herself as Bonnie so thats about as much as i know about her. Other then what it says on her channel. She does have some cool lessons tho.

Nice of her to do that either way. People who take the time to share music lessons, etc...are Awesome! :up: (even if they don't know YOU :lol:).....

Ryan

dawhealer
12-21-2008, 11:32 PM
And Doc plays, or at least did at one time, not sure about now, a Gallagher. Of course, he's not really a bluegrass picker, plays some rockabilly, too. <G>
Brad

He still plays a Gallagher. Has since the late '60s. So, if "he's not really a bluegrass picker" where would you classify him?

guitar_stringer
12-21-2008, 11:39 PM
"Bluegrass", is a style of music, not the instrument. Just as a mandolin, fiddle, and guitar are multi-purpose, as long as the instrument does the job, that should be all that matters.

66strummer
12-21-2008, 11:58 PM
"Bluegrass", is a style of music, not the instrument. Just as a mandolin, fiddle, and guitar are multi-purpose, as long as the instrument does the job, that should be all that matters.

G.S. ......

I think what a lot of people mean by "Bluegrass guitar" is one that wont get drowned out in a jam by the other instruments (especially a loud banjo). That's where guitars that have a big voice come into play..... Hence, a guitar that doesn't have some "oomph!" to it might get lost in the mix......

Ryan

guitar_stringer
12-22-2008, 12:00 AM
G.S. ......

I think what a lot of people mean by "Bluegrass guitar" is one that wont get drowned out in a jam by the other instruments (especially a loud banjo). That's where guitars that have a big voice come into play..... Hence, a guitar that doesn't have some "oomph!" to it might get lost in the mix......

Ryan

Yes, i believe I stated that fact; as long as the instrument does the job (volume, tone, clarity, projection), is all that matters.

Tsckey
12-22-2008, 06:07 PM
If Doc is not a Bluegrass picker there are no bluegrass pickers. Last time I saw him, about a year ago, he was playing a Bourgeois, and said emphatically how much he loved it.

I'll go along with those who say get the one you like the best, regardless of brand. When I play purely acoustically I play my 32 year old D-35, which is nice and loud. But, when I'm playing plugged in I use my CA Vintage Performer. It has a softer voice, but sounds good plugged in and is less feedback prone that my Martin on a mike.

TC