You have musicians, sure, people who play music. As we break it down a little, going through the type of instruments musicians play we get to, finally, guitar players.
For most of us it could stop there: Some people play music, a lot of those people play guitar, end of story. For those on the inside, however, it doesn’t end there. Guitar players get around other guitar players and it becomes a question as to what sort of guitar player one has become.
Obviously style of music gets in there somewhere, rock, blues, jazz, whatever, but somewhere past that, down deeper in the hole, is the question of electric or acoustic guitar? And granted, even there it doesn’t stop, because in all but rare cases if a guitarist plays one they also, play the other, but it’s about preference, do you lean acoustic, or lean electric in your musicianship?
So let’s say, just for the sake of conversation here, we’ve got a guitar player in front of us, they play some type of music we recognize. (And, trust me, this is not always the case. “He plays pop-fusion shoe-gaze jazz!” Yeah, the kids today, I don’t even). And we are having a guitar-nerd conversation with them and find out they lean acoustic.
And now comes the question which applies to, oh let’s say 80 percent of the acoustic-leaning guitar nerds: “Taylor or Martin?”
Arguments, loud arguments, have come from that answer. Ask a samurai who their preferred sword vendor is and it could just as easily become as heartfelt a debate. (I’m just guessing. I’m not a samurai, I do play guitar.) (Lean acoustic, thank you for asking.) So do you, hypothetical musician who plays acoustic guitar, prefer Martin or Taylor guitars?
And with that, a long-time Taylor Guitar dealer in Conway, Palmer Music, will begin selling Martin Guitars this Saturday, Nov. 17.
This, for guitar-nerds, is big news, huge. For those of us who wanted to see a new Martin guitar a trip to Mountain View was in order – the nearest dealer. Our hypothetical guitar-nerd would then have to turn around and drive elsewhere, Conway for example, to compare what s/he’d discovered against Taylor guitar offerings. Now, beginning this Saturday, comparisons can be made side-by-side.
This is no small change in the guitar scene as to a guitar-nerd every guitar, every single guitar, has its own unique qualities. Hence despite manufacturing controls a true aficionado would have a favorite of a given model guitar. And it goes further from here, as Taylor and Martin guitars have different construction methods, Taylor with a bolted-on neck, Martin’s being glued on (and here again nerds would debate the pluses and minuses of these two points for, well, they, nerd-like, would never stop).
(In fairness, Taylor, with a more-automated production process and actually does a pretty good job of keeping the same feel within a given guitar series – but here I’m worried of going hyper-nerd.)
So yes, this Saturday I’ll be at Palmer Music in Conway, pawing the various makes of guitars, guitar-nerd that I am. Preston Palmer is planning a big roll-out for the introduction of the Martin line, with representatives coming in from the company’s Pennsylvania headquarters and that-weekend-only displays of some of the more exotic guitars available.