New Strings For Ophelia

Alright, I had some other titles in mind but this (above) is what I settled on. I was going to maybe go with "Unwound G" or possibly "10-46" but I thought they were a little too obscure.

So, who is Ophelia? One of my guitars. The one I learned on actually. For years it had no name. It was my only guitar. I began to be in a state of near disrepair. Mostly problems with the electronics were the issue. Never a big deal, one of the wires would habitually come unsoldered leaving one of the tonepots bypassed and out of the circuit.Finally one day (as I was plugging in the lead and about to play) the plastic jack plate broke and the jack fell out of the guitar along with some wire and whatnot. It was quite the display of failure. Ultimately it resulted in a repair requiring more than just some solder. It meant the guitar was effectively no longer an electric guitar. There was no way to plug it in to an amp. It happened the very day that I put money down on a new guitar. So I named her Ophelia, she killed herself in the despair of betrayal.

For many years she stayed in her coffin, I mean case. Finally this past fall autumn she was reanimated. A new jack-plate, the old jack and some solder and everything was good as new, nearly. 12 year old guitar strings on a guitar that hasn't been played for the same 12 years? Not good. I put up with it until today. I had other guitars I could play. I've even played Ophelia a bit. The sound of the old strings was actually pretty good. The feeling of rusted dirty metal under my fingers was not.

Having spent the past 12 years stringing a guitar with slotted machine heads, and only restringing the 12-string (a guitar with non-slotted machine heads) after breaking a string, I was a little unpracticed with "modern" machine heads. It turns out I have become very accustomed to slotted Klusons. I struggled with the low E, I overwound the high E (I always alternate when restringing. One low, one high, etc) and cut my right pinky. Broken strings are deadly! I discovered later that I had cut my left pinky too. I dunno... I got the hang of it by the time I strung up the D string. It's amazing how it came back to me. Sort of like riding a bike I suppose. I used to think slotted tuners on every guitar would be beneficial. Maybe that's a little extravagant or superfluous. Maybe that sentence was a little redundant and unnecessary. ;)

Anyway, I got her tuned up and played Naima and a George Van Eps excerpt from an old issue of Guitar Player. Nice. The pleasant sonority of new strings. -sigh-

Why didn't I restring sooner?

I. Don't. Know.

I do know those jazz voicing were difficlut to finger with heavy guage "jazz" strings and are much easier with lighter guage "rock" strings. Ironic?


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