The Real Value of a Guitar

True story — back in 2010 I bought a Martin D-28 from (gulp) Guitar Center. The salesman rushed me out of the store and didn’t bother to tune the guitar, let alone set it up properly. When I got home, I felt immediate buyer’s remorse — remorse not that I had bought the Martin, but that I hadn’t bought it from the best little guitar shop in the San Francisco Bay area, Gryphon Strings. The next day, I did the right thing. I returned the Martin to GC and re-bought the same guitar from Gryphon. I lost a few bucks in the process. But the guitar was set up just right. And I felt unburdened. Lesson learned.

Nowadays, I stop by Gryphon weekly for lessons and occasional salivation sessions, and I get to see firsthand what this video by Cinema Mercantile lets you see all too briefly. The care, craft and emotion (note the poignant chin quiver at the 2:22 mark) that goes into working with guitars … if you’re doing it for the right reasons. In Silicon Valley, there are very few places where business isn’t the main reason for being. Gryphon offers a good escape from that sometimes soul-deadening reality. That’s why I will be heading back there tomorrow.

You can find two more short films by Cinema Mercantile here.

via The Atlantic

Related Content:

The Story of the Guitar: The Complete Three-Part Documentary

The Art of Making a Flamenco Guitar: 299 Hours of Blood, Sweat & Tears Experienced in 3 Minutes

Making Fender Guitars, Then (1959) and Now (2012)

The Joy of Making Artistic Homemade Guitars



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  1. Anne Kennedy Rackham says . . . | July 19, 2013 / 2:25 pm

    Loyalty and consideration thereof are so seldom seen these days that some people coming up don’t understand. It’s nice to have a few wise”uncles” to pass on a few tips. We used to have unions in this country that servec in matters more than fuerary. Miss that, I do. Thanks, Mike, for the arrow in the right direction.

  2. Joris K. says . . . | July 20, 2013 / 3:22 am

    That is a really appreciable post, thank you. It is always nice to discover this kind of shops, even if, unfortunately, I am personally based in France.

  3. Jay Peterson says . . . | July 20, 2013 / 4:28 am

    You get a gold star for doing this. It’s not that the people who are on the sales floor at GC are all jerks, it’s that the corporate policy is to make the sale and spend as little time as possible doing so. GC is partly owned by Mitt Romney and its dehumanizing demeanor and cut-throat policy comes right from tycoons like this.

  4. VINAY says . . . | July 27, 2013 / 5:25 am

    hi

  5. VINAY says . . . | July 27, 2013 / 5:25 am

    its real a story

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