Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Epiphone EJ-200CE

Question - What does a hack guitarist who owns four guitars and can barely strum a few chords need?

Answer - Another guitar, of course.

In fairness, to say I am a total hack would be an overstatement of my ineptitude. "Competent beginner" might be better. That being said, it is still hard to justify owning four guitars on any other grounds than I really really like guitars. So adding a fifth was, well, completely necessary. From a certain point of view.

Epiphone EJ-200CE acoustic electric
in vintage sunburst
Of the guitars that I own, the one that gets picked up the most often, because it leans against a chair in the living room, is a beginner Yamaha acoustic hand-me-down that Brother Dave was kind enough to give me. It is a very basic guitar, with some fret buzz and a tendency to not want to stay particularly well in tune. It's fine for what it is, but it is a beginner guitar and nothing more. But there is definitely something special about an acoustic versus an electric, and I love picking it up for a few minutes here or there and just noodling on it. So it's been a blessing and a curse; great to have, but leaves me wanting a better one.

Which is where the new guitar comes in. I have been wanting an intermediate level acoustic for a year or more, but have found it hard to justify. In the meantime I have spent a lot of time researching, reading reviews online, and trying out various things in my price range at the local Guitar Center. Having sold a bunch of hobby related stuff, I finally felt like I could get a new guitar since I could make it a net-zero proposition. I settled on an acoustic-electric Epiphone EJ-200CE, their version of Gibson's legendary J-200, a classic guitar known as the "King of the Flat Tops". It's a jumbo sized guitar, but I don't have any intention of taking it anywhere, so size doesn't matter (fill in your own joke here). I like the versatility of an acoustic electric-compared to a plain acoustic, and I like the cutaway shape versus a dreadnought shape for better access to the higher frets (I can't play Brown Eyed Girl on a dreadnought...).

Having decided what I wanted, I remembered that Brother Dave had bought an Epi acoustic-electric a while back, in a pale blonde "natural" finish, so I went back through his guitar blog to see what his was. To my surprise, I had selected the exact same guitar. While that made me feel lacking in originality, it also gave me some confidence that I had picked a good one, as Dave knows a lot more about this stuff than me.

So on Friday after work, I went to Guitar Center for a capo (to play Whiskey Before Breakfast in "D"), and came back with a new guitar instead. In a beautiful (!!!) vintage sunburst finish. It sounds fabulous. And gets picked up and played up a lot. Strangely enough, I sound better already.

And I bought the capo too...

1 comment: