The Delta Snake Review

The Delta Snake Review

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Handa-McGraw International American primitive music field recording tour: day 11



Using Vintage Instruments In The Field:

One of the earliest technical questions dealt with was, what kind of instruments will we use for these upcoming field recordings on Periscope next week?

That is to say, do we use our actual instruments or buy cheaper guitars for outdoor road tour use.

Instrument theft and damage is a big enough problem that many artists, particularly in the rock genre, rent instruments to take on tour and leave their rare and expensive stuff home.

I decided to take one or two of my personal instruments into the field at a time, and not buy/rent cheapies. The main reason being that there's a difference between relaxing by the campfire with a guitar and doing a live video segment in the field. Sound quality will be an issue, and there's no point in exacerbating the problem with instruments I don't enjoy playing.

I figure playing live into my iPhone will be difficult enough without getting used to new instruments, and in the case of my old Gibson six string acoustic, it's the only guitar of that type I've kept around (as a rule, I've preferred to use 12 strings). 

The risk of theft or damage should be minimal as the video segments will be from various locations in the wild away from large groups of people, and the obvious types of live shots like busking on street corners have been ruled out for safety reasons. 

I might do an entry on that in the future, as busking is an interesting subject and has realities that aren't always in line with it's low rent glamorous image.

It goes without saying that doing things like playing in the rain is something football players do, not musicians.

The main reason I'm using my instruments in the field is simple; I bought the things to play and record with, not keep in a glass case. 

The old Gibson, for example, has survived 83 years of use and abuse because it was obviously loved and played. If it finally meets it's end on my watch, it'll go out doing what it was intended to do, create music.

Besides, anyone who wants to get at my old Gibson will have to get past my savage and merciless guard dog...


Ivy seen here on duty as my guitar tech and guard dog.