Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wordy Wednesday #2

I posted a couple of different photos of this guitar on my photography blog yesterday.
I haven't been taking many photos of late, but this past Sunday afternoon some incredible light was coming in through our home's skylights. (We have three)

I thought about what I could place there to take some photographs, and decided on one of my poor neglected guitars.

This is my Les Paul Studio that I bought used several years ago from a friend at work who had quit playing.

A brand new Les Paul Studio is the least expensive "real" Les Paul at $1400 brand new. It's basic, and has no binding or adornments, but it's a real mahogany/maple Les Paul guitar. All the tone and playability is there, just without the flashy looks, and a much lower price of $600 for me, used.
It's a tone machine, with a Seymour Duncan Jazz (SH-2) in the rhythm, or neck position and a Duncan Custom pickup (SH-5) in the treble, or bridge position.

This combination gives the guitar a smooth, mellow tone with the neck pickup through a clean amplifier, yet the hot pickup in the bridge will roar, literally roar, through a cranked up, distorted amplifier.

It's a pleasure to hold and play.
My friend Bret from whom I bought the guitar got a couple of dings in it, but that's ok, it gives it a little character, and lessened the price he wanted for it.

The wood you see in these photos is the maple cap on the whole front of the guitar. Maple is a hard wood that is very resonant and brings out the higher frequency notes better.

The wood on the back and the whole neck of the guitar is mahogany, a softer wood which enhances lower frequencies and lends and overall mellow tone to instruments.

You might think that since an electric guitar is, well, electric, that the wood would have no influence on the sound. You would be wrong. The mixture of the mahogany and the maple on a Les Paul, as well as the geometry of the angled neck on the guitar work together to add a whole lot of pleasing harmonic overtones to the sound of the vibrating strings.

The plucked strings vibrate, which causes the wood itself to vibrate, and then a whole symbiotic thing takes over and the vibrating strings and vibrating wood influence one another, creating a more pleasing tone than if you went to Home Depot, bought some 2x4s and glued them together and carved out the exact same dimensions.

The Les Paul is my favorite sounding guitar, yet I also have cheap knockoff of two different Fender guitars as well, a Stratocaster copy, as well as a Telecaster copy.

They all sound different from one another and are like different types and colors of paints in an artists arsenal.

I'll shut up now.

6 comments:

The Rock Chick said...

Beautiful!! I work for an insurance company and a guy walked in wanting to insure a 1956 Les Paul Goldtop that he bought in 1956, played once and put it in his basement and forgot about it. Fortunately, the case did keep in in pristine condition! It really was a beauty!!!

I never learned to play the guitar, I always stuck with piano and vocals. Never too late, right?

Jessica

Wingnut said...

Jam, you are always so fun! I don't understand a thing about guitars, but I love this post, and the photos are lovely!

Hammer said...

Beautiful guitar. Les Paul's always had the best looking finishes.

JaniceNW said...

Anyone who has the Monster from the Bug's Bunny cartoon is in my book, awesome! I am a huge BB fan

Qtpies7 said...

I can't believe I missed so many posts this week! Its been an insane week.
My dd plays guitar! I saw a WW of a guitar with the reflection of the kid who plays it in the guitar. I want to get that pic of my dd. I don't know how I would manage it, though. Got any ideas?

This Eclectic Life said...

How gorgeous! You and my husband would be able to talk for hours. He collects guitars (I have no idea how many). The two of you would get started, and my eyeballs would cross trying to understand the conversation!