Bard Dance My Instruments


blue tanglewood guitar photo Rainsong
A Tanglewood TM 07 electro-acoustic, in blue. Never let it be said that the look of a guitar is unimportant. Yes, it has little effect on the sound but I love blue things and just seeing the guitar sitting on its stand, all gleaming blue with the smooth fingerboard and curved headstock makes me want to pick it up and play. It's a shallow bowl back type, one of those with the man-made material comprising most of the body. The shallow bowl lets it rest comfortable against my rather large stomach, and the plastic takes on my body heat: after a while the guitar feels almost alive. Rainsong gets his name from the way the light reflects off the speckled finish of the bowl back, like raindrops on rock after a storm. If it's possible to have an affair with one's guitar, this is the one I'm addicted to for sure.

cittern guitar photo The Cittern Guitar
My latest baby this, and a lovely little treat of an instrument, it's not clear from the photo but the entire instrument is only inches in length. Yes, it is an ordinary guitar, albeit small, the body shape is reminsicent of a cittern. It's very plain, although close up the wood has an attractive grain, and it plays like a dream. Sounding like a cross between a guitar and a mandola, the high notes are sweet and ringing while there's a nice amount of resonance in the bass. And it nestles in my arms very nicely, has a gentle action and an unexpectedly loud voice! I keep this guitar tuned to FACGCE, as the open strings lend themselves well to rich harmonies which work well inside the smaller resonant chamber. I can't recommend this inexpensive little creature enough, it would make a great travel guitar or just something a little different to have in the collection. It's manufactured to order in Romania on behalf of Troubadour Guitars

backpacker guitar photo The Backpacker
A Martin Backpacker, a weird looking travel guitar that has the rather groovy accolade of having been in space. Well, not my particular one but an astronauts packed his and took it up to the International Space station as it was so light and portable. For a while this was my only steel strung guitar, and I'm still very pleased with it. I got it first and foremost as a travel guitar, and its small size and light weight mean it's perfect for taking out on trips, it's also very easy to hold and play, although you definitely need the strap as its a little top heavy with the neck having more weight than the body. The sound isn't as full as a normal large-bodied guitar, but it has an endearing mandolin-like quality. I've played this in hotels and carparks and various places without disturbing anyone too much. Strung with light gauge strings and with quite a low action, it sits in the corner of the room in its stout case, ready to be grabbed up and played at a moments notice and is perfect for practice sessions with TablEdit as there's room for guitar, keyboard, mouse and me without us all getting tangled!

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