I spent a good two hours today in the wonderful A Strings Music Store in Pontypridd, South Wales. This was my second visit to the store and was even more enjoyable than my first (trying out a PRS Angelus SE). While I was there, I tried a couple of acoustic guitar amps: A Fishman Loudbox and an Acus ForStrings.
I learned some important things about my playing while I was there:
- I need to play regularly with amplification because when amplified, the inconsistency of volume of my playing becomes more noticeable.
- I can be lighter with my right hand when playing at volume because there isn’t a need for the guitar top to resonate (probably not true for K&K transducers).
- I need to adapt my technique to address string squeak which is again amplified by playing at volume.
As a purely acoustic player, I need to attack the strings with my right hand to get the table (or top) of the guitar to resonate and sustain (though, perhaps I ought to change strings more often) and I thought I had minimised string noise (again, perhaps I ought to change strings more often) but today’s experience proved otherwise.
So, I dug my Carlsbro Sherwood out from under the junk in the garage and installed it in my (tiny) music room and set it up on an amp stand to practice with until I can afford a quality amplifier. I have also resolved to get out and play more often in front of an audience.
Getting back to A Strings, I spent two hours being allowed to play without being disturbed (unless I wanted to talk) and offered coffee or tea. Find them here or here. I shall be returning to the store in the next few weeks!