As with the rest of the site the following pages are mainly intended as a personal record and for the benefit of family and friends.
If you have stumbled upon it I hope you find it interesting, or even useful, and if you would like to make a comment you will find my email and a Guestbook page at the foot of the Home page - and of course you are welcome to browse the rest of the site.
Like Land Rovers ‘it all started in Africa’. The evenings in the bush were quite long and I am not much of a ‘reader’ – this was in 1967. So, I bought this old beat-up guitar and a book (I now have no recollection of where I acquired these) and started practicing. I think, when I shared a camp sites with others, it nearly drove them mad. Eighteen months later however I felt I reached a reasonable basic competence although no doubt my technique had a lot to be desired.
I learnt from others when I returned to London (Keith in particular) and I purchased my first decent guitar by Ryoji Matsuoka; I still have it although it looks a bit used.
I then played quite a lot in my youth, that is up until my mid-thirties, but then family life and a career took over and the guitar was put to one side. I did however play quite a bit, but only briefly, when we lived in Bahrain and took lessons from semi-professional Bahraini guitarist but my enthusiasm waned and I think he was disappointed with my lack of competence/dedication.
When we returned to UK again family life and the career took over and when I retired in 2000 we bought South Low and manual/building work and guitar playing don’t mix. However, in 2016 I decided I had had enough of ‘heavy’ work – we would pay for anything that still needed to be done on the House.
So, I joined the South Lakeland Guitar Club got some lessons from Derek and started again. It has taken a couple of years (now mid 2018) to get back to where I was before and I still can’t play some of the pieces that I was reasonably comfortable with half a century ago. But - we progress!
Keith didn’t think much of my Ryoji Matsuoka (more later). I’m not sure why, it seemed alright to me. However, it was getting old and a bit worn.
On our regular trips to Spain I had toyed with the idea of buying a Spanish guitar, as much as a memento of our travels, and in 2016 we visited Salamanca where I had discovered there was a small guitar workshop http://www.guitarrasmarce.es/index.php. I bought a Flamenco 1 guitar that was the top of their ‘production’ range. We also had a guided tour around the small factory that I found of particular interest and, when I was doing Spanish classes in Kendal, I gave a short talk on our visit. Click below for my ‘Charla’.
The Flamenco 1 is quite a nice guitar. However, it is a flamenco style and has a somewhat narrow neck. Also, I think it was a ‘factory second’ as the fretboard is not quite flat and they are a few other minor irritations; however, it does have an easier action than the Ryoji Matsuoka and quite a bright tone.
But I was not satisfied and Keith recommended that I should have a look out for a Yamaha. A decent one came up on eBay in March 2018, a Yamaha CG-170SA, and I won the auction; I am well pleased with it.
A gallery here when I get around to taking some photos