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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Comments (5)
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  • Anne Kennedy Rackham says:

    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.

  • Joris K. says:

    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.

  • Jay Peterson says:

    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.

  • VINAY says:

    its real a sto­ry

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