Who doesn’t love the sound of Free? And when it’s in conjunction with the words Banjo and Workshop, it sounds even better.
Tom Nechville of Nechville Banjos will be doing a free workshop here at our store on Tuesday, November 24th at 7pm.
Learn from Tom how to get the best sound out of your banjo! So bring your picks and even your banjo!
Wanna see what Nechville Banjos are all about? Go here.
Last night was fantastic! Great evening with Craig Thatcher and our Martin rep, Jim. Thanks for coming out and making it a fun night, bringing lots of awesome guitars, free shirts and other Martin swag! Here’s a quick video of Craig Thatcher playing our Martin Custom Shop OM – it’s Adirondack Spruce top, Guatamalan back and sides with koa binding. She’s gorgeous, you can find her here: http://bit.ly/1ZwuQ26 Sorry for the shakiness… we’re musicians not videographers 😉
A thorough understanding of humidity and how it affects guitars is essential to guitar care and maintenance. Your high-end acoustic guitars are at risk when your humidity becomes excessively low or high.
So how does relative humidity affect guitars?
Every organic, porous substance tries to equalize to the surrounding air, both in temperature and humidity. Wood also equalizes to the surrounding conditions. When wood takes on moisture, it swells, and when wood gives up moisture, it shrinks. This is a physical characteristic of wood.
Forty-five to fifty percent relative humidity is considered optimum for effective preservation of wooden objects like guitars. If the humidity where you store your guitar stays around 45% relative humidity, you minimize the risk that your guitar will become damaged. At the Martin factory, they maintain a temperature of 72° Fahrenheit and a relative humidity level of 50%. They believe that if these levels are maintained where you store your guitars, then your instruments will benefit by remaining stabilized and close to factory specification.
What Can You Do?
Guitars will display symptoms of improper moisture content, and these symptoms can be detected. Remember, just because a guitar has not yet cracked doesn’t mean that it is in good condition. Use the information below to determine the condition of your guitars.
Keeping a watchful eye on your guitar inventory will help you maintain proper humidity and keep your guitar stock in perfect shape.
Low humidity is usually more of a problem. The guitar slowly dries, the wood slowly shrinks and the top slowly lowers, bringing the strings along with it. With no other way of relieving the stress, the wood cracks.
The obvious answer is to use a humidifier. The largest problem lies in determining how humid you should make the air, so you will need a hygrometer to measure humidity. Hygrometers are available in various price ranges with less expensive models sacrificing accuracy. For players with extensive inventory, a professional humidity monitor is probably more appropriate.
Guitars that are exposed to excessive humidity begin to swell. When they reach their limit, seams separate, bridges become loose and action is unbearable. Humidity can be subtracted with a dehumidifier. In the summer, when it is humid outside and you air-condition your home, you are in effect dehumidifying your home. In some areas additional dehumidification may be required, and there are desiccant and refrigerant varieties of dehumidifiers available.
Typical Effects of humidity changes on guitars
At 60% Relative Humidity or Above
High levels of humidity can be detrimental as well. Typical symptoms are tarnished frets and strings, corrosion to nickel, chrome or gold plating material on tuning machines, swelling of the top and other wood components, high action and loose braces and bridges.
At 45-50% Relative Humidity
All guitars are in good condition.
At 40% Relative Humidity
Guitars may begin to show sharp fret ends. The area of the fingerboard that extends over the body may begin to develop a small crack from the 12th or 14th fret down toward the soundhole.
At 35% Relative Humidity
Tops begin to shrink; the surface of the soundboard may look and feel rippled or “dried in.” Sharp fret ends will be more evident.
At 30% Relative Humidity
A guitar may crack, but even those that are not cracked have lost a considerable amount of moisture and the tops are sunken. Often a higher saddle is necessary to make the guitar playable.
At 25% Relative Humidity
The day after Steve Martin purchased his ML-1 (Béla Fleck Baritone Banjo) he called Gold Tone to tell co creator Wayne Rogers that he was so inspired by this instrument that he had already written a song. A few months later it became the title track of Steve and Edie Brickell’s new album “So Familiar”. The album comes out October 30th by Rounder Records.
Steve Martin, as you know, is an accomplished comedian. However, a lot of people do not fully realize that he is also a longtime and very accomplished banjo player. As of late, Steve Martin has been very involved in his musical efforts, particularly with his bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers. This record album “So Familiar” is a follow up to a previous collaboration between Martin and Eddie Brickell on their 2013 debut “Love Has Come for You”.
“All my banjo playing friends agree, when you get a new banjo there’s always a new song in it waiting to be discovered,” says Martin of the genesis of “Won’t Go Back.” “I had just acquired a new baritone banjo — one that’s pitched lower than a regular banjo, and uses thicker, wound strings. I was introduced to it by Béla Fleck who spearheaded its invention. I picked it up and started noodling on it, and this banjo tune came out. I sent it off to Edie, and she worked her magic on it. ~ Steve Martin
“I took a long walk one morning listening to Steve’s banjo track playing on my phone and heard myself singing this song as I walked along,” Brickell recalls of writing the track. “I realized I was determined to leave behind a painful way of thinking and move on to better times. So grateful Steve’s banjo melody inspired me in this way.” ~ Edie Brickell
Watch the video below or Learn more about the Gold Tone ML-1 Bela Fleck Baritone Banjo.
Stop by our shop on Tuesday, November the 3rd from 7pm to 9pm for the Martin Experience. Craig Thatcher will be bringing along some awesome Martin acoustics for everyone to play and buy. Even if you’re not in the market, this is a fun and free event that you don’t want to miss because we will also be having a Buy One Get One Free sale on Martin SP Lifespan Strings! (our personal favorite)
We’ve got some cool news to share with all you banjo loving folks! Deering has announced a new program they are launching to help you reach that goal of getting your dream banjo.
If you’ve purchased a Goodtime or Goodtime 2 Banjo between January 1st and December 31st of 2015 and you sign up on www.deeringbanjos.com to register your banjo, you can receive up to $599 towards any Deering or Vega Banjo of your dreams. All you have to do is bring in (or ship) your Goodtime banjo to our store within one year of your original purchase.
Bernie and Kathryn sportin’ the new Acoustic Vibes Music swag. Super soft Port Authority brand shirts and hats with that vintage washed look showing our new logo. Represent your favorite music store and support small business owners!
Shirts: $20 each
Hats: $22 each
Shipping: $4.95 USPS Priority Mail (1-3 day)
Yeah, we’re super stoked too!
Matt McPherson and his team are introducing a smaller body Touring Guitar that uses high-tech construction techniques and advanced materials that will change your perception of how good a carbon guitar can sound. Matt has partnered with Ellis Seal, an aerospace engineer, to create a carbon fiber instrument that is not only resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, but is designed with a patent-pending carbon fiber body material and bracing system meticulously fine-tuned to produce tonal warmth and dynamic range that, until now, were only available in high-end wood guitars.
Matt McPherson, founder and designer of McPherson guitars said: “In an acoustic world filled with so many options, the Kevin Michael Carbon Fiber Guitar is designed to stand apart rom the rest. We took our years of experience innovating and building world-class wood guitars and blended those technologies into this new guitar. The Kevin Michael series represents a new day for carbon guitars.”
Aerospace engineer Ellis seal says: “In my 16 years of building carbon fiber instruments, Kevin Michael guitars are by far the most advanced and best sounding carbon guitars I’ve ever experienced. Being part of the McPherson team has allowed me to really take the carbon fiber guitar to a while new level.”
Believe it or not, this model also comes with 2 cases: A hardshell case clad in a tough, carbon fiber look exterior, and a durable, canvas gig-bag with straps for extra light, backpack style transport.
We can’t forget about the pickup! Kevin Michael uses the LR Baggs Pickup and Preamp. It’s an under saddle transducer with a discrete, class A endpin preamp, custom voiced for Kevin Michael Guitars. The perfect compliment for such a sleek looking guitar
Check out their website to learn more and see the specs – just click here
Here’s a great sounding banjo. It’s considerably light, which is what John wanted and it also happens to be a preferred banjo by a lot of women because of it. Have a look at this video below to hear more about it and to hear that awesome tone!! You can find the banjo HERE on our website to see a bunch of photos and a link to the specs!
This past March we donated an Eastman AC 520 Dread to our friends at the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 8 for their “Freedom Spring Fling Benefit Concert”. This benefit was to raise money for our honored Veterans.
Our friend and vet, Carey, dropped by today to deliver a plaque to us and share her thanks. We’re quite honored and fortunate to have had the opportunity to give back to our heroic vets!
This great non-profit organization, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), is dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. They accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
Wow..super awesome! To read more about what they do, just click here!
After an all too long pause we are starting to see the very popular Cervantes classical becoming available again. Below is a sneak peak of the Crossover 1 PE from the Avant-Garde Series with striking cocobolo back and sides and next to it the Millennia IR-C Concert with a rich Indian Rosewood. Come on by to check them out… pictures coming soon!
Introducing National Reso Phonic Instrument Serial #20,000! A beautiful Reso Rocket body joined/mated antique brass and German silver with a hand engraved wine and barrel theme! Mahogany gloss neck with ebony fingerboard, brass inlay-ed vine and grapes with bell brass frets. Topped off with a brass inlay-ed ebony headstock overlay!
Check out the National Resos we have in stock. Better yet, stop in and play one!
“The new Martin Vintage Tone System (VTS) is a process
developed by the Martin Research & Development team with
its foundation rooted in the historic torrefaction process.”
Were you ever curious as to how Deering makes their tasty Goodtime Banjos?
Check out this short video from Chris Martin. He explains the history of the use of elephant tusks in the craft of making guitars and how Martin Guitars made the decision to step away from that in the 1960’s. Martin is the founding sponsor for The Nature Conservancy and they continue to fight to protect and save elephants from the disturbing slaughter for the harvest of ivory that is still going on today. Martin Guitars no longer uses ivory of any sort – instead they have substituted a synthetic for the ivory used on their instruments.
“This is a terrible shame and it should stop.. and the only way it’s going to stop is if people stop buying and using ivory.” – Chris Martin IV
Share this with your friends and family to bring awareness!