I have already written quite a bit about my two Gibson ES-346’s. You know all the nerdy stuff about the model and how I got them … this is a post about why I’m into that type of guitars … or more precisely short scale guitars.
My first “real” guitar was a Gibson Les Paul deluxe. For several years I played that guitar from early morning til late, late night. I must admit that I also had an eye for the Fender stratocaster after I’ve seen Eric Clapton live, but since I really digged Albert, B.B. and Freddie King I stayed true to the Gibson-team.
That changed when I had my first zip of Earth Wind & Fire and Chaka Khan & Rufus. From that day I was sold and wanted to get that thin ice-cutting rhythm guitar sound. I started with different brands of strats and later on I had for several years some custom made strats. Really nice guitars, made of some real nice woods. But I must admit, that even though I played hundreds of gigs on those guitars, and practiced on them all the time I never felt really comfortable with them. I was always looking for better guitars even though I had some great ones. I thought that something was wrong with them, without knowing what, since I wasn’t comfortable with any of them.
One day, when I told someone about this, a clever guy pointed out that there was a difference in the length of the necks between Gibson guitars and stratocasters! That the scale was slightly shorter on Gibson type guitars. That was really a turning point for me – I knew instantly that i was a short scale kind of guy, and when I heard that I could get short scale strat-type guitars I never looked back.
Valley Arts guitar and Beverly Hills Hotel
My first shortscale strat was a white Valley Arts Guitar I bought the first time I went on tour in USA and the first time I visited L.A.. I still remember the smell from the hardcase that came with it, and how I sat in my room on Beverly Hills Hotel and played – man I was in heaven. All the other guys were at the pool or in the bar, I just sat in my room and played my new guitar. But the love faded shortly after … again I couldn’t explain why, there was just something that wasn’t right, even though it was a short scale strat.
When I returned back to Denmark, I compared the white Valley with my other guitars and suddenly I realized another big issue … the fretboard. On the white Valley it was made of rosewood, on all my custom strats it was made of ebony. I hadn’t given it any thought prior to this. When I realized that I was turned on to Valley Arts guitars custom pro model. For several years I had two, that I really loved and played on all my gigs. I’ve also written a post earlier about those – you can read it here.
The combination of short scale neck and ebony fretboard that’s my kind of guitar. Ok, I have a almost regular strat, that I can use, if I really need that specific sound of a full length strat. But it’s not very often. Ok, when we did the Scarbee Funk Guitarist sample library, we used a real Fender strat, and I really like that guitar … it sounds great and is super to play … but again it’s not often I’m in the need for a real strat.
And when I started doing more jazz inspired music again I started to look for some kind of Gibson guitar … I just couldn’t decide what model I should go for till Paul Jackson jr. introduced me to his ES-346 – and now I consider my red and brown ES-346 as my first choice of guitars.
What kind of guitar are you into? … and why?
All the very best