The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

The Guitars Of Early Blues

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I have no interest in calculating anything actually rein. I use medium gauge strings tuned to the usual frequencies and have no desire to destroy a guitar by over tensioning the strings. I told the RJ workshop story as a matter of interest relevant to the archtop in the thread.

I dont think you should, but since you seemed to ask for an opinion on the feasibility, here it is. These calculations can be done to avoid destroying a guitar by over tensioning the strings. In all of my examples, the tension would be less than mediums at regular pitch, which would probably destroy my guitar, but  obviously do work for yours.

Blues Vintage:

--- Quote from: rein on November 21, 2021, 04:36:22 AM ---I don t think there is no one alive now that can know for sure, but we know that he had his picture take with a late 1920s flattop gibson and a later kalamazoo kg-14. So all we know is that he held those guitars and probably played them and owned them. His friends, like Johnny Shines also say he liked Gibsons and Kalamazoos at the time, so it is within reason he used a flat top or even an archtop Kalamazoo or Gibson on his recordings. But you played, did it sound like it could be the same type as on those records ?

--- End quote ---

It's a strong possibility. If you fingerpick (or even strum) this guitar I think the notes fade away a bit more quickly than on a regular flattop.
You can hear it on "Love in Vain" and other later recordings.  I learned that the owner of the guitar shop, who told me the story has years of experience in repairing, maintaining, trading, and selling guitars. He did an excellent set-up on my Martin. He also told me Robert never really played a Gibson L1 (it's quite funny Gibson made a Robert Johnson Signature model out of this axe just based on one picture of him holding it). He stated that the L1 belonged to one of his (half) brothers.

Steven LaVere wrote in the liner notes to The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection) that it sounds like Johnson used an archtop for the Dallas sessions and a flattop for the San Antonio sessions.

The Wikipedia page Edward Phillips (who made the video in my first post) refers to mentions that both Johnny Shines and Johnson used Kalamazoo archtops.

Edward Phillips has a great blues based YouTube channel btw.


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