I am about to receive one of Taylor’s new 600-series guitars, the 614ce specifically. Although long-time readers of this blog know that I am a Martin guy to my bones, I certainly respect and have interest in and experience with Taylors. What attracted me to this new series from Taylor are their “torrified” tops (a process to dry and season the wood used for the tops, which is supposed to yield a broken-in sound) and re-voiced bracing system. Bodies are made of maple, which is not my favorite tone wood but Taylor claims the re-voicing combined with the torrified tops yields a much more complex and resonant sound compared to the sometimes dull sounding maple bodied guitars of days past. We’ll see. Also, maple is a sustainable and readily available wood compared to what’s happening with premium rosewood and mahogany and this can only be a good thing from an environmental standpoint. In any case, I’m psyched to try this one out.
Boutique guitar maker Dana Bourgeois introduced his aged-top guitars a year or so ago using what I understand is a similar process and the reports on those guitars are very positive. Unfortunately, with a price tag north of $5000 those guitars are out of my price range but one of these days I’d like to play one. Perhaps this treatment of wood used on guitar tops is the wave of the future?
A reminder to budding guitarists attempting to learn barre chords. I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating as I see it on a weekly basis with some of my students. Always remember to DROP your wrist and place the pad of your thumb directly beneath your 1st finger, centered behind the neck. Then of course the other fingers used in the barre chord you’re attempting must arch and separate, just as they do with regular first position, non-barred chords. This way your 1st finger will be straight, not bent. This is vital for a clear, clean sound. Ideally – although the human hand was not built to do this! – that 1st finger is slightly turned toward its side rather than being flat. This makes use of the harder side of the finger, which in turn makes for a more solid application of force. But remember – those other fingers still have to arch and come straight down using only the tips of the fingers, and those tips need to be close to the appropriate frets. See what I mean? Totally unnatural and downright painful at first! But learning barre chords is absolutely vital to becoming a more advanced player. Look, we all hate them. But they open up the rest of neck beyond first position so if you’re serious about taking your playing to the next level, struggle through. They will get better, if not easier, I promise!
And finally, a request. I have begun delving into recording via my MacBook Pro, using Garage Band. I have a Tascam DP-03 on which I made my first three CDs but from everything I’ve learned in researching computer based recording I should have better control of the recording process in Garage Band, especially in the mastering stage. I have good quality mics and a decent space in which to record but any tips from long-time users of Garage Band are greatly appreciated, keeping in mind that this old dog is somewhat technology-challenged! Thanks in advance.
Peace & good music,