My name is Dave. An intro is what's asked, so here you go... I apologize for the 'wall-o-words'.I
I am perpetually "coming back" to try guitars..., yet again.
I started playing with the guitar (notice, I did not say 'playing guitar') in my very early teens when my parents gave me a small, tobacco burst painted plywood box with steel strings and a Mel Bay book, but no lessons. It hurt my fingers, but it started me off and I was hooked! The strings buzzed, and it generally sounded horrible to me. I finally broke it once day and it sounded even worse. I told my parents it was broken and I would like a nicer guitar. They grumbled, but sometime later, they gave me a really nice Yamaha classical guitar (still, no lessons...) It was really nice to me anyway. I don't remember the model, and I'm sure it wasn't all that expensive, maybe $100 more or less back in the early seventies. Nice, but you know, not too nice for a teen. It was beautiful to look at though! And it was completely the wrong thing to buy a kid who wanted an electric so he could sound like Jimmy Hendrix or Santana!
Gotta give my parents credit for trying though! My sister's all had piano lessons and a piano, but I had to be the oddball... I went to Villa Music and asked for some steel strings for it. The guy there asked me what kind of guitar it was, what kind of strings it had and then refused to sell me the steel strings. He saved that one guitar! At least for a while... Then I spent most of my time trying to make it sound like an electric worth those nylon strings and failing miserably...
Still, with that Yamaha, I managed to learn a few new things before it retired to sit in its case in the closet only to come out occasionally when I wasn't too... Uuhh... 'altered'... to mess around with it again.
The Yamaha got dragged around with me through a couple of house moves. Then one day someone stole it out of the garage when I left the door open... I went without a guitar for years until I decided to build a guitar for my son from scrap wood and a few special pieces of wood. I guess the right terms these days would be "recycled and/or repurposed" wood and "hand selected". Ok, the top was hand selected cedar siding scrap joined and planed at odd angles and the bracing was mostly Douglas fir. The sides and back were cut and planed from black walnut and the neck was solid cherry. Both of those woods were the best I could find at Paxton that day. I knew I needed help and fortunately the book I followed was Guitar making: Tradition and Technology, checked out from the library and renewed as many times as they'd let me. Of course, I had "better" ideas and designs, so the book just served as a basic map along with shoring up my lifetime of woodworking, carving, and carpentry with aircraft maintenance and metalworking skills thrown in for good measure (aircraft what?!? ...old planes have wood frames and strict guidelines for the wood used...)
None of my "better ideas" were really all that great, but I learned a lot and made a not-horrible sounding guitar. I took it to a real Luthier's shop and he was kind, freely offering suggestions on how to lighten up the bracing to improving the action and intonation! His friend offered some harsher criticisms in the form of "I worked as a cabinet maker in our family's shop and i wouldn't even use that wood for furniture!" Harsh, but I appreciated criticism none the less.
I learned more in that shop in that hour of letting them inspect my creation/wonder/pos, than I would've in a hundred hours of classroom!
Between those 2 guys and my natural "gotta build something" drive, I started purchasing wood and supplies for another guitar build. But then life got in the way for another couple of decades, so here I am,... again..., wanting to finish building that second guitar, and then a third. I'm also wanting a classical, nylon stringed guitar to learn on since my ears have finally matured enough from rock and roll to appreciate the softer tone and nuances of the classics! Plus, it seems that a larger percentage of the guitar players that I personally like the works of are classically trained. I have no formal training... Is 60 too late to begin un-learning 45 or so years of bad habits?
And there you have a part of me in a nutshell. I'm basically here to pick up what I can and maybe pick the brains of some of the Luthiers here. Maybe I can learn some classical playing too!
Again, I apologize for the long boring read, but...., I warned you at the beginning!
Yesterday, I bought a used La Patrie Etude from a nice French speaking girl to resume my journey. Now I have 3 guitars! A cheap Yamaha electric, a cheap Hohner mahogany top, and the new to me Etude that sounds nice to my ear! Let the fun begin again....!!