View Full Version : Getting back into steel string guitars again...

10-25-2010, 10:06 AM
So it's been years since I've played a steel string, and I got rid of my steel string guitars years ago. But then one of the kids wanted to get into them so the requisite Martin OM was bought and is being played real regularly. But then my daughter wanted to get a smaller parlor guitar too, so I went trolling for one for her and found one I think that will be great for her - a Larrivee mahogany top gutiar.

And now I find myself thinking, hmmm, I wonder if I'll be getting back into steel string thing again after all...

10-29-2010, 03:42 PM
Be careful!

I had an old Framus acoustic when I was 19. Very narrow neck as I recall. It was adjustable but I didn't know how to set it up. No internet, no YouTube. High action played hell on my fingers! Later on in my 20's -30's I messed around with classicals and learned a little bit. Read some music. Then gave that up when I busted up my hands and because I could never get the time to stick with it for long enough stretches to learn more before that. Then I discovered ukuleles and they are much easier on my hands. Now have too many!

Then last week I got a bee up my rear and since I've decided I have enough ukes I was looking through Craigslist for parlor guitars since my hubby is disdainful of his baritone uke. Saw a 1959 flat top Stella made by Harmony. Old blues style beater I thought. Of course it had dead strings and an unplayable action, but when I met the seller in the garage at a Guitar Center, and gave him $50 for it, I already had a couple sets of strings from the shop and the next day made a new nut for it since the original had a chip on the bass side. My hubby was blown away by the sound when I first got the new strings on it. Next day he came into my office to casually sneak it out and when I said, "forget it, the nut is out of it", and he said "oh darn!" I thought hmm. So I finished it an hour later and gave it to him. The guitar lived on the couch with him all last weekend and his days off Monday and Tuesday. Then I started filing slots in the wood saddle and bridge combo. I didn't care what it was going to look like but I was careful how I did it, by degrees. A week later I finally had time today to tweak the saddle and the nut some more, and voila! the action is playable! It sounds really pretty.

Because I had decided that the Stella was likely going to be a piece of junk before I saw it and got a straight edge on the neck, etc, I had my sharpshooter program set up to bid on an earlier model solid birch natural color Sivertone. Because the guy with the Stella was so late, by the time I got home I'd won the Silvertone. I am hoping it will be here tomorrow so I can play with that one next.

I am watching like 20 more on eBay for education purposes but I have decided a guitarlele is likely going to be better for me. But I am still wondering if I can get a small parlor sized arch top custom...

And I thought it ended at UAS! ;)

10-29-2010, 04:10 PM
Be careful!

My back screams when I pick up one of those six-string gizmos. And steel strings affect the plate in my headbone.

11-03-2010, 03:58 PM
Too late!!!!!!!

I've got the bug!

And I'm on the hunt...

11-08-2010, 03:30 AM
Once a guitar a player, even preferring Uke... I learned that keeping one around is always good idea for that "itch" as well as avaialble for jams when you are trying to compete with a Martin HD28 or other tone monster. I keep a Seagull mini jumbo on hand and try and play it about an hour each week.

Teek... your projects sound intriguing! I have done a bit of restoration myself. Keep us informed of your projects!

12-15-2010, 08:19 PM
Loma...I just went thru the same thing. I recently bought a (baritone uke sized) Tacoma Papoose guitar and I am loving it. My callouses have even returned rather quickly.

I hadn't played a guitar for the 4-5 years since I had gotten into uke.

Let us know what you end up getting.