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Things with Strings...

I have a half dozen guitars and a number of other "things with strings." Since I play exclusively in DADGAD intervals, all of them are kept tuned to variations of that tuning.

I've had my '89 Larrivee J-09 Jumbo since 1991. While living in Texas, I had it refretted and setup as a "short-scale" baritone and I still keep it tuned to C (specifically CGCFGC). I had this done shortly after I discovered Tacoma guitars. At one time or another, in Texas and in Nova Scotia, I have owned a C1C Chief, a C2C Chief, a P1 Papoose, A BM6C Thunderhawk baritone, a JM9 jumbo, an EM14C "little" jumbo, and a precious ECM38C, Number 5 of a 100 instrument limited edition series of "little" jumbo guitars (essentially OM or 14 size), with an ancient cedar top (from a tree that was more than 2000 years old) and figured Honduran mahogany back and sides. All but the Papoose (kept mostly for sentimental reasons, but still played as a "couch guitar," tuned GDGCDG) and the ECM38C, usually tuned EBEDBE using a custom set of extra light string gauges, are gone now.

Crosby JE Multiscale

Shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia, and after playing through a succession of Tacoma instruments in DADGAD (before finally acquiring the cedar/mahogany ECM38C), I decided it was time to get a professional-level guitar to play as my main DADGAD instrument. What would be better for a Nova Scotia musician to play than a guitar made in Nova Scotia? That's when I discovered Nova Scotia luthier Russel Crosby and Crosby Guitars…

Russel has built me three different instruments in the past few years. The first, one of his Fingerstyle Elite models, built with a redwood top and curly black walnut back, sides and neck, with a Manzer wedge and soundport, is my main DADGAD guitar. I got it in summer 2010 along with a Bouzar, an 8-string instrument, tuned GDGC, that is the bastard step-child of a 1940's era Martin tenor guitar and an Irish bouzouki. Finally, wanting a baritone that would tune lower than the Larrivee, I asked Russel to build me a fan-fret, or multi-scale, baritone. I took delivery of the instrument, based on his Jumbo Elite model, and like the earlier DADGAD guitar, also having a redwood top, curly black walnut back, sides and neck, Manzer wedge and soundport, but larger-bodied, varing in scale from 26 inches for the treble string to 27.25 inches for the bass string, and can be tuned as low as AEADEA (though I prefer to keep it tuned BbFBbEbFBb), in spring 2012.

Most recently I have acquired what has always been my dream guitar: A '91 Lowden O10 (cedar/mahogany "mini-jumbo" size). I think I'm done now (but that's what I said after getting the Crosby fanfret!). I also have an all-mahogany Kala UBass that, through a Sansamp Bass Preamp/DI, records wonderfully (and sounds pretty damn fine amplified), a 25-string Celtic harp made by Ontario luthier Roger Muma, and an old Weymann Keystone State tenor banjo. The guitars are strung in various gauges of D'Addario EXP strings, optimized for the instruments tuning, and I use (and cut and modify) Planet Waves dual-action and Shubb capos.