Joaquin over at Singing in My Sleep gave me a salvaged guitar. A (not bad actually) Yamaha something-or-other that eerily mirrors the white on black American Strat I so long ago betrayed by selling. As a result, I’ve agreed to give Joaq some complimentary guitar lessons, a proposition that may well benefit me more than it does him. By all appearances, it looks like a classic Fender Strat with 2 knobs instead of 3, but it ain’t. The most glaring difference is that the string guides don’t line up anymore, so to restring it you have to unscrew and remove the backplate.
Putting flatwound strings on this thing is a bit like buying a thousand dollar dress for a 5 dollar hooker, but I’m trying to squeeze the best sound out of this thing as I can. When I unwrapped these “jazz light chromes” I was expecting the sense-memories to flood in (restringing is a ritualistic thing, after all) but I got nothing. Nothing. I put them against my nose, desperate to remind myself of I don’t know what… of something, but strings don’t smell like anything, sadly. How can you get good and nostalgic about something odorless? This packaging does bring back memories, though. Did I originally try these out because of the pretty purple trim?
Flat wounds are not for everybody. They’re damn thick, damn heavy, and the action is a lot higher than you’re used to. You’re going to need to finger them pretty hard thats what she said. But god damn do they give out a thick, mellow tone. If you want to sound like Wes Montgomery (aka smooov), these are the strings.
All outfitted now, I found one of those ultra thin, over-sized picks in a closet, but I hate the way they flap-flap-flap. Until I can find myself a couple Dunlop Big Stubbys, I’d rather strum with a nickel.
Next week, get ready for a theory refresher! (If I feel like it)
UPDATE: I didn’t feel like it.