Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Kenny Hill New World



Well... the Kenny Hill New World guitar is here. I love it. It has not been played a lot so it will open up considerably as it gets played but already the bass notes are rich and full and the trebles are sweet and warm.



It has a nice spruce top and Indian rosewood sides and back. The fingerboard is wider than a typical steel string but still more narrow than a classical plus it feels as if it has a slight radius - typical of steel strings and not found on classicals.

The next steps are to get a pickup for it so I can amplify it and use it to play out and to get the finish fixed. The previous owner had an unfortunate accident with the finish and a bit of it pulled off by the endgraft. I think the finish is French polish, an old method of applying shellac that is only used these days on high end classical guitars and in restoring antiques. The finish is extremely labor intensive and fragile but it sounds great on a guitar. The other upside is that it is relatively easy to repair. I'm waiting to hear back from the company before I move ahead with getting anything worked on.

In the meantime, I've started through a book on Brazilian guitar called Guitar Atlas: Brazil from Alfred Publishing. I'm learning all of these wonderful chord voicings that were previously completely outside of my guitar vocabulary. They sound great but boy is my hand getting tired. And the rhythms are a little different from anything I've done before too. Once I have a sense that I've got much of this under my belt, I'll try their book on African guitar and they even have a book of Japanese style guitar... I'm hoping it is reflective of koto playing. That would be fun too.

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