Last week I was playing at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth, Birmingham when a guy from one of the other acts (with a very impressive acoustic guitar collection) totally shocked me by telling me he thought my cheapish English made Tanglewood was better than a J-45…?
The Gibson J-45 is the classic all-round ‘workhorse’ acoustic that’s been used by people like Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Paul Weller, Laura Marling and er, James Blunt. Before I’d even passed it over for him to test out he’d made my night by assuring me that the standard £1600 model isn’t always as good as you think it’s going to be. I suppose like a lot of handcrafted instruments you get good ones and bad ones that come out of the factory.
But I must admit the unmistakable appearance is why I bought my more ‘budget’ look-alike in the first place. The fact it was for ‘cosmetic’ reasons rather than playablility or sound would leave many a guitarist less than impressed, but then where would music be without a bit of image eh?! (Having said all that it does boast a good bass response and boom nicely on those low chords). Anyway I’ll be the first to say that I’m not really a ‘guitarist’ as such… more someone that dabbles with different ways of making sound as a bit of a means to an end!