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Tommy Shaw

Gets his bluegrass on

Spring Limiteds
Macassar 12-Fret & T3
Walnut Double Feature
All-Mahogany Roots

Doyle Dykes & the Lights

Inside his new book

The art of the ES


off at our local airport, I lectured him bridge pickup, and we agree that the learned guitar by picking it up upside-
(its the mother in me) not to lose or configuration will appeal to others. down. Over the years it only caused a
let his guitar get stolen. Well keep it in mind as a loaded few problems since I could play most
At the organization there was a pickguard option for the future. right-handed guitars. Since I couldnt
talented young man in his mid 20s afford a good right-handed guitar, going
any business or field of endeavor. You who has the job of leading music to through all the trouble to get what was
and Kurt have lived what is best in the the children, with his old guitar of One Size Fits All essentially a custom-built guitar was
human spirit, with vision, passion and extremely poor quality. This young I just purchased a GS Mini that fits never a real option. Until recently.
perseverance. man was overtaken by the fact that right into my lifestyle. Ive been looking While visiting Oklahoma Vintage
Lance Morgan my son owned a Taylor guitar, which is for a travel guitar since I perform in Guitars in El Reno, Oklahoma, I learned
Austin, TX equivalent to five years wages for this a variety of locations across Africa. I about the BTO program and took the
man. My son let him play the Taylor used to travel with a Baby Taylor with plunge. It was a little intimidating to
and was impressed by his talent. a pickup in it. That guitar worked well make all those choices knowing that
Out of the Woodwork During their visit they had so much fun when I could plug in, but as a straight I was going to be living with the out-
Bob, I related to your Book singing and playing guitar together acoustic, it lacked volume in groups of come, forever probably, but it all came
Report story [BobSpeak, Vol. 66/ for the children. On the last day of my 10-20. With the GS Mini, this problem together. I traded my trusty 2000 310
Winter 2011] in many ways. I remem- sons trip, he realized how blessed he has been rectified. (the one with the pickguard on the
ber NOT reading The Grapes of Wrath has been. He knew he could work for The sound is comparable to a wrong side) for a beautiful ovang-
during Ms. Seagels class but man- a few months to buy another guitar, yet full-sized Taylor. I am very impressed kol and Adirondack spruce GS. Ive
aging a B anyway. But what I really his new friend would probably never with the way the guitar tunes up. Ive owned a few Taylors, and I think this
want to comment on is your statement be able to own a guitar like this, and had trouble with other guitars tuning one sounds less bright than I expected
80 Years of Expertise that schools dont offer wood shop he felt that there was too much talent up properly, but this tunes up just like which I like. I went light on the embel-
My Wood&Steel (Vol. 66/Winter classes anymore. You are right that there to bring the guitar home. my 714ce. It stays in tune across the lishments: abalone rosette, a cross-like
2011) arrived in the mail yesterday. many schools dont offer shop, but When I picked up my son at the fretboard and remains in tune for an inlay on the headstock, and no pick-
Your Guitar Guide feature is the there are still a few of us out here airport, I realized he didnt have his extended period of time. guard. I wont try to describe how it
most attractive, superb and compre- teaching woodworking. The class guitar! On the drive home, I heard one The GS Mini is the perfect match looks, sounds or plays because, much
hensive presentation (print or live) of a might be marketed as something else, of the most beautiful stories of how a for my itinerant lifestyle, allowing me like my wife, I learned a long time ago
line of guitars I have ever seen. Taylor but we are still here, and the kids are Taylor guitar changed two mens lives. the freedom to create and perform in that such words dont exist.
folk be proud you produce fantastic still benefiting from the curriculum. I B. Rice virtually any situation I find myself in. Id like to add that the staff at
products! have even had a couple kids try their Bob Bartz Oklahoma Vintage Guitars was terrific
Im now 92 years old. So, through skills on making guitars. Who knows, and that the guitar was delivered about
the years Ive looked at more than a maybe I taught the next Bob Taylor in Pickup Mixup 10 days ahead of schedule. There was
few guitars in more than a few guitar one of my classes. As a wood worker, I am the proud owner of a 2009 A Good Deal of Fun even a pickguard thrown-in in case I
shops and industry shows since I was shop teacher and Taylor owner (I dont cherry burst SolidBody Standard. Im basically an acoustic player changed my mind. Or maybe that was
12, when I began to learn to play. Ive play very well yet), I have a complete What a beautiful guitar! The HD and love my 2004 614ce, which I a hint.
owned a Taylor 750 12-string for near- appreciation for the craftsmanship that pickups are incredible. I also recently bought used a few years ago. This past You guys are a class act. Dont let
ly 15 years. Its a superb partner to goes into building a guitar.I have also purchased the HG pickups to test- summer, a local charity was having a success tempt you away from your
play with my harmonica. Keep up the taught my students how to use CNC drive them and see how they worked fundraising online auction, and the star core.
good work! Your companys contribu- equipment, which I know you use in for me. While I love both, the HDs item up for bid was a brand new Taylor John Harris
tions to the guitar are most significant! your manufacturing processes. In fact, have unmatched clarity and really work T5-S, which had been donated by our
Lynn K. Huffman I have used your website to show well with gain. The HGs are also great local Taylor dealer, Canyon Music, in
Henry, IL examples of how CNC is used in real in their own right, and are summed Durango Colorado. Even though Ive Secret Ingredient: Love
world manufacturing. up very nicely in your videos a little never been much of an electric guitar I dont quite know how to put this
I just wanted to let you know that darker with even more rawness. fan (not a light enough touch), I have into words, but sitting here playing
Lesson Plan while the ranks of shop teachers have I e-mailed last week with a ques- always been a sucker for a great deal, my GS Mini (my second Taylor), I can
I am a guitar player of about 40 dwindled over the years, we are still tion on running a full-sized HD in the and I became the successful bidder, feel the love and care thats gone into
years, an owner of a beautiful 2004 out here teaching useful, marketable neck position and an HG in the bridge winning the guitar for a very good price. this instrument. There are some very
610ce L-7, a real estate broker, and skills to high school kids.Maybe some- position. Well, I just couldnt wait and All I can say is WOW! Ive been lay- nice guitars available today, and with
a huge Taylor fan. I just finished read- day you can give one of my kids a job had to try this combination. To my ing down simple rhythm patterns on overseas manufacturing, prices are
ing Bobs book, Guitar Lessons, and making Taylor guitars. delight, its perfect for me great clar- my looper with the T5 in the acoustic lower, but I can tell that everyone who
wanted to let him know it is not only a David Weber ity and great gain. To me, its the best position, then switching to one of the touched this instrument, from the R&D
great story; its also quite well-written, Rocky Mountain High School of all possible combinations. The three other settings and playing lead. This is to final packing, truly cares what they
and a remarkably inspirational recipe Fort Collins, CO positions where coils from both pick- so much fun, plus my overall playing do. Im not rich, Ive lived with a painful
for success. It has lit a fire in my ups are used are still fantastic, albeit abilities and techniques are progressing disability most of my life, and music is
gut and set me on the path of self- Bob responds: David, thanks for the just a little different than either two faster than I ever imagined possible. my way of dealing with the pain and
improvement in my business and even encouraging letter. Im so glad to hear HDs or two HGs. Maybe one of each Thank you, Taylor folks and Canyon limitations that come with it. Thank you
in my personal life. I suppose the fact that youre pouring great experiences should be an option on your guitars Music! again for making instruments that are
that Ive always been impressed with into your students lives. My shop and loaded pickguards. I think there Denny Finn reasonably priced, sound fantastic,
Taylor Guitars as a company in gener- years were the foundation of Taylor are many players out there who would and, most of all, come with love built in.
al, and with my 610 specifically, is the Guitars, and no doubt you are teach- love the combo as much as me. James Shepherd
reason the book had such a profound ing the next somebody. It really is a privilege to own such Upside-Down, Left and
effect on me. I have already begun rec- a beautiful and thoughtfully designed Just Right
ommending it to business associates guitar. Taylor has truly been an innova- Last August, I took the plunge
and guitar players alike. One-Way Trip tor over the years, and the SolidBody and bought a BTO GS. I figured that Wed like to
I just want to say thanks for the
book, Bob. I am planning on making
My 18-year-old son went to a Third
World country last month to help an
is no exception.
Tray Huff
after 30 years in the Air Force Id treat
myself. I have been playing guitar since
hear from you
the trip to El Cajon in the next couple organization that feeds and ministers Columbia, SC junior high school. The Beatles had Send your e-mails to:
of years, perhaps to see in person how to orphan, homeless children in Asia. just shown that chicks dig guitar play-
my next Taylor guitar is made. Thanks He took his guitar so he could sing Ed. Note: Thanks for sharing, Tray. ers, but I had one problem that always
for your shining example to anyone in and play for them. While dropping him Many electric players like a hotter reared its head: Im left-handed and

Volume 67
Spring 2011 Find us on Facebook. Add us on MySpace. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow us on Twitter:

6 Doyles Storied Life
Our fleet-fingered friend Doyle Dykes talks about his new book, his new

On the Cover guitar, and why we all should be happy he took piano lessons.

9 Service Spotlight: The Paisley Guitar

12 Tommy Shaw

Due to a tragic twist of fate, a custom paisley guitar built for Prince never
quite found its home. One auction and 22 years later, it arrived at the factory
Styx rocker Tommy Shaw for service.
sheds light on the making
of his debut bluegrass record,
The Great Divide, and sizes 18 The Spring Limiteds
Macassar and walnut dole out double delights, while an all-mahogany looker
up his new custom Dreadnought.
strikes a neo-vintage chord.

22 The Expression System

With eight years of gigging to its name, the ES continues to set the standard
for amplified acoustic tone and ease of use. We revisit the innovative design
that has made players happy to plug in.

26 The Irrational Fretboard

For those whove ever felt stymied by guitar theory, Shawn Persinger has your
back. He breaks down scales to help you navigate the fretboard.

28 The NAMM Report

Our little corner of the annual trade show was the scene of good things:
industry awards, the double cutaway debut, and memorable performances.


2 Letters 5 Editors Note 25 Mixed Media
4 Kurts Corner 10 Ask Bob 31 Calendar
5 BobSpeak 16 Soundings 32 TaylorWare
28 6

Volume 67
Spring 2011
Publisher / Taylor-Listug, Inc.
Produced by the Taylor Guitars Marketing Department
Vice President of Sales & Marketing / Brian Swerdfeger
Director of Brand Marketing / Jonathan Forstot
Editor / Jim Kirlin
Senior Art Director / Cory Sheehan
Art Director / Rita Funk-Hoffman
Graphic Designer / Angie Stamos-Guerra
Photographer / Tim Whitehouse

Jonathan Forstot / David Hosler / David Kaye / Kurt Listug / Shawn Persinger
Shane Roeschlein / Bob Taylor / Corey Witt / Glen Wolff / Chalise Zolezzi

Technical Advisors
Ed Granero / David Hosler / Gerry Kowalski / Andy Lund / Rob Magargal
Mike Mosley / Brian Swerdfeger / Bob Taylor / Chris Wellons / Glen Wolff

Kurts Corner
Contributing Photographers
Rita Funk-Hoffman / David Kaye / Steve Parr

Circulation Printing / Distribution

Katrina Horstman Courier Graphics / CEREUS - Phoenix

Playing a Part 2011 Taylor Guitars. 100 SERIES, 200 SERIES, 300 SERIES, 400 SERIES, 500 SERIES, 600 SERIES,
700 SERIES, 800 SERIES, 900 SERIES, Baby Taylor, Big Baby, Bridge Design, Doyle Dykes Signature
Model, Dynamic Body Sensor, Expression System, GALLERY Series, K4, Liberty Tree, Peghead Design,
Several of us were in Nashville experienced! Barry taught Doyle how to help, and try to make the best possible Pickguard Design, PRESENTATION Series, Quality Taylor Guitars, Guitars and Cases & Design, T5, T5
(Stylized), Taylor, Taylor (Stylized), Taylor ES, Taylor Expression System, TAYLOR GUITARS Taylor Guitars K4,
at the Country Music Hall of Fame fingerpick, and the rest is history. decisions and take the best possible
Taylor K4, TAYLOR QUALITY GUITARS and Design, TAYLORWARE, and WOOD&STEEL are registered
recently to attend the launch party Throughout the evening, Doyle told actions that do the most good. To hear trademarks of the company. Balanced Breakout, Dynamic String Sensor, ES Blue, ES-Go, Grand Symphony,
for Doyle Dykes new book, The stories about people who had make a from someone that you really made a GS, GS Mini, GS SERIES, T5 Thinline Fiveway, Taylor Acoustic Electronics, ES-T, Thinline (T5) Fiveway, T3,
Lights of Marfa. The lights of Marfa difference in his life, and people came difference in their life is both surprising T3/B, T-Lock and V-Cable are trademarks of the company. Patents pending.

are an unexplainable phenomenon of up to the stage and told their stories and satisfying. Especially when you
paranormal lights that can be seen in about Doyle. Bob Taylor quipped that hear from them many years after the
the night sky outside the southwest Doyle got to hear all the nice stories fact about something you did or said 2011 Taylor Factory Tours & Vacation Dates
Texas town of Marfa. Some friends of that people would normally tell at that made a difference for them. Its A free, guided tour of the Taylor Guitars factory is given every Monday
ours from Europe read about these a funeral. There were several great easy to underestimate the positive through Friday at 1 p.m. (excluding holidays). No advance reservations are
years ago, and have been to Marfa necessary. Simply check-in at our reception desk in the lobby of our main
several times since then during their building by 1 p.m. We ask that large groups (more than 10) call us in advance
U.S. travels to witness the lights. Doyle To hear from someone that you re- at (619) 258-1207.
heard the stories and decided he had
to see these lights for himself. He
ally made a difference in their life is While not physically demanding, the tour does include a fair amount of
walking. Due to the technical nature, the tour may not be suitable for small
visited Marfa in 2010 with his daughter both surprising and satisfying. children. The tour lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes and departs
Haley, and they, too, experienced the from the main building at 1980 Gillespie Way in El Cajon, California.
lights. Please take note of the weekday exceptions below. For more information, in-
Like the lights of Marfa, many things musical performances, as different impact one person can have on others.
cluding directions to the factory, please visit
in life are unexplainable, and Doyles people shared the stage with Doyle, Doyle, youve earned every bit
We look forward to seeing you!
book is full of accounts of events and including Barry Lackey (the Sailor). of your success, and we appreciate
people he met that positively altered A personal treat for me was David everything youve done for us!
the course of his life, guiding him to Pack performing Biggest Part of
where he is today. Me, accompanied by Doyle and Larry Kurt Listug, CEO Holiday Closures
One of the stories in the book, Carlton.
which Doyle told the audience at his Doyle and his family were very Monday, May 30
party, was about Barry the Sailor. gracious in thanking me and Bob and (Memorial Day)
Doyle was a young man learning guitar, Taylor Guitars for everything weve
trying to play Merle Travis and Chet done to help him and his career. David Monday-Friday, July 4-8
Atkins tunes he heard on records, and Pack also thanked us for helping him (Independence Day/company vacation)
couldnt figure out how they did it. several times with projects hes been
Barry the Sailor came to their church, involved with.
Monday, September 5
asked if he could play Bubba Dykes Im sure a lot of people can relate
(Labor Day)
guitar (Doyles dad), and proceeded to what Im going to say, but Im usually
to play the tunes Doyle had been surprised and a little bit taken aback
struggling to learn. Barry could play Friday, October 14
when someone tells me how much I or
the tunes because he knew how to the company helped them or positively (Taylor Guitars Anniversary)
fingerpicksomething Doyle had never influenced them. We just naturally

Editors Note
Growing New Roots
Roots revivals seem to sweep across the musical landscape in
regular intervals, and it feels like were in the midst of one right now.
Youve got shining talents like the Punch Brothers, or Mumford & Sons
and the Avett Brothers both of whom ascended to the mainstream
radar with Grammy nominations this past year who go back to
the rich wellspring of folk music, drink deeply, and then infuse fresh,
envelope-pushing ideas into the music they create. Then you have older,
established rock & rollers like Robert Plant, Mark Knopfler, and as we
share this issue, Tommy Shaw, who, later in their careers, circle back
to the musical roots that gave birth to rock & roll and their own musical
passions in the first place.
What is it about roots music that captivates us in such a powerful
way? The sweet and plaintive cries of acoustic instruments? Organic
vocal harmonies? Urgent emotion? Personal stories?
Whatever it may be, it seems grounded in something that feels real,

that comes from the soul.
For Doyle Dykes, there was something about hearing pickers like
Merle Travis and Chet Atkins and the powerful strains of gospel music
that enveloped him growing up in the South. For fingerstylist Chris
Proctor (see Soundings this issue), he soaked up the blues, then Celtic
folk, and then acoustic interpreters like Leo Kottke and his propulsive
12-string. After steeping themselves in their influences, artists have
Stretching Out to decide whether to set out on their own paths. Doyle certainly has,
bringing sophisticated new fingerstyle arrangements to the songs he
Doyle Dykes is writing books, In an upcoming issue Ill tell you people try something new and dont embraces. Chris has dedicated himself to his own adventurous acoustic
Tommy Shaw is playing bluegrass, and more about Andy Powers, who has stop until its good. alchemy. And as Bob Taylor points out in his column, Tommy Shaw
Taylor Guitars is deep into prototyping joined us at Taylor Guitars as a master The same thing goes for Taylor ventured out of the rock world to craft a cycle of fresh story-songs in the
classical and flamenco guitars! The guitar builder. Andy is talented not Guitars. We ventured into making the bluegrass vein.
next thing you know, our company only as a builder but as a player. He T5, pickups, the SolidBody and the T3, These days, as Tommy mentions in his interview, people have instant
dog and cat will be hanging around and I are working to design a quality and now were working on classicals. access to virtually any style of music, right from their fingertips. And when
together. classical guitar, most likely with a Ive read comments where people modern life seems over-fabricated or over-hyped, and people crave music
Doyles book, The Lights of flamenco guitar in there as well. Andy warn us to stick to our knitting, but I that feels a little more real, and that moves them, they have the means to
Marfa, shares stories like the ones is doing the lions share of the work, dont let those people impose their will dig down and discover it on their own. Maybe thats why this latest wave
he shares in concert, but expanded but were working closely together. on us. We have a need to create, and of roots acts brings so much to the table. And why these new strains of
with more background. Many of you roots music are likely to serve as a tap root for the musicians who follow
have heard Doyles concerts and them.
listened in amazement to stories that Ive read comments where people
Jim Kirlin
make you go Whoa! afterward. In
Marfa, Texas, there are lights in the
warn us to stick to our knitting,
sky, a complete spectacle of moving but I dont let those people impose
lights that nobody understands. But
they are there, theres no denying it.
their will on us. We have a need to
There are lookout points along the create. Correction: In last issues Guitar Guide (p.27), a photo showing the
Taylor Balanced Breakout Box was actually a photo of an earlier proto-
highway to stop and watch, so even
type and not the final product.
the highway department knows they
exist. Its just that nobody really knows I believe we have a real chance to do in fact, that is our knitting. To create
what they are. Doyle tells stories of a superb job and introduce something good guitars and bring them to the
his strange encounters where God that Taylor hasnt done yet, and do a market so that players can have a
has paved a way for him, all centered fine job of it! great playing experience along with a
around guitars. Youll be amazed and So, whats the tie-in? The tie-in is great ownership experience. I think you
entertained. that here are three examples of people need both the product and the support
From Styx and 80s rock to blue- (or a company) whove mastered from the company in todays world to
grass, Tommy Shaw has jumped off the one form of their craft and added get complete value for your money.
deep end and landed safely. I mean, something different to what they want So, we work toward that end, even
no kidding! What a brave move, and to do. Its not easy, but it is possible. if its not something were known for.
what an incredible musician he is. You
can imagine that voice of his, from
Reading Doyles book and hearing
Tommys bluegrass songs makes me
Im not ready to announce a release
date yet, but like Doyle and Tommy, we Online
smile because theyre doing it for their feel like conquering new horizons. Im
the Damn Yankees hit High Enough,
singing tenor bluegrass ballads. Tommy own reasons. Theres no guarantee of happy to stick my neck out, but at the
Read this and other back issues of Wood&Steel at
knows how to play, and he knows the success; they have to do a good job. same time, were serious about getting under Resources.
difference between a good song and a And so they buckle down and do a it right.
ho-hum song. He writes good songs. good job. Its impressive. I love it when Bob Taylor, President
with a

Armed with a new book, a new

guitar, and a TV show in the works,
fingerstyle phenom Doyle Dykes looks
back and surveys the road ahead
By Jim Kirlin

Photos by Holli Brown


veryone has their stories, focus is the Christian sector. music, and it would surely be a proud who used to play at the Grand Ole first time, Doyle says. Id been trying
asserts longtime Taylor It was a back burner thing, he moment years later when Doyle would Opry, Del Wood. My aunt played much to do that with a flatpick. It turned the
ambassador Doyle Dykes says. Every now and then Id get on join the Stamps Quartet as a guitarist. like Del, just with a little lighter touch. I light on for sure.
in that sweet Southern lilt of his, the a plane and write a few things down, Regardless of your religious always admired that, and the dynamics Part of what makes the book
kind that can make a complete stranger familiar things like the White Rose for persuasion, if youre a fan of Doyles, that my Uncle Ronnie would get [on enjoyable is the natural, conversational
instantly feel like a dear friend. The Heidi story, but I didnt take it seriously reading his perspective on how faith piano]; he was our Jerry Reed. In fact, way that Doyles personality and voice
one-man guitar orchestra certainly until [last February] when Bob Taylor has guided his life offers compelling I was talking to Merles son, Thom come through as he shares his soul
has plenty of colorful tales to share, told me about Marfa. I actually sat insights into who he is and provides Bresh, and he said, Yknow, Jerry Reed his Southern charm, his sense of
which he delivers with a raconteurs down and wrote, The Lights of Marfa, context for his fusion of the sacred always said that instead of a piano humor, his depth of conviction, and
warm, inviting manner, as many people by Doyle Dykes, and then wrote the and secular through music. At the end player he played like a gospel organist, his deep respect for the legendary
know from Taylor workshops, concerts, whole introduction before I had ever of each chapter, he cites his favorite which is a whole different approach musicians who influenced him, many
church services and conversations gone out to see Marfa yet, so I knew scripture verses that relate, though hes on the keyboard. When I wrote Jazz in of whom he was fortunate to develop
over the years. The only problem is the concept was there. just as likely to include musical tidbits the Box, I wrote that in the same way, friendships with.
that Doyles heavy touring and busy Doyle reflects on his time playing
schedule leave him with limited time with Hee Haw star Grandpa Jones and
during each appearance. his guest appearances on the Grand
I rarely ever have the opportunity Ole Opry; the period he spent away
to visit and share my heart, he from music working as a church pastor
confesses in the introduction to his new in Florida; his return to music as a full-
book. As far as Im concerned, thats time profession; and his first visit to the
what this book is for. Taylor factory in 1994, which would
The book is The Lights of Marfa: redirect his approach to the guitar.
One of the Worlds Great Guitar Because Doyle is best-known as an
Players Amazing Encounters with acoustic player, its easy to forget that
God. The subject matter, as the title he was predominantly an electric player
suggests, is both musical and religious, up until then.
because the two have been deeply Ill never forget that first Taylor
intertwined in Doyles life for a long guitar they placed in my hands,
time. Music is his gift, but hell tell you Doyle recalls in his chapter about
that God came first, and that the two the beginning of his relationship with
are a package deal. In his book, Doyle the company. I almost cried. That
shares an account of the summer experience would cause him to change
revival he attended as an 11-year-old his whole approach to playing. The
in 1965, when his passions for God dynamics and clarity, as well as the
and guitars were born. In exchange for versatilityand ease of playing, moved
the guitar-playing talent and desire he me to write new songs and even play
was given, he made a deal: Lord, if differently. People took notice. He
youll give me a job to do Ill always tell sums things up thusly a little later: I
people about you, he recalls pledging dont play a Taylor because I play the
that summer night. Given Doyles acoustic guitar, but I play the acoustic
soon-to-blossom fingerstyle prowess, guitar because of Taylor!
his account almost sounds like a Doyle reserves a chapter of the
reverse take on iconic bluesman Robert book (Hero Sandwich) to talk about
Johnsons mythical crossroads deal the special relationships he has enjoyed
with the devil. with some of the guitar worlds most
The metaphorical glue that binds influential players, including the big
the books stories are the Marfa lights, three: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and
a mercurial phenomenon just east of Les Paul, along with longtime friends
the west Texas town of Marfa, in which James Burton and Duane Eddy. While
lights inexplicably appear in the desert he acknowledges that meeting ones
air on random nights, changing color, heroes is a letdown for many, it wasnt
sometimes spinning and dancing, only Like Bob Taylors book, Doyles like his favorite guitars, players and as far as the feelkind of a gospel, for him.
to disappear. Though different theories format is less a straight autobiography tunings for particular songs. sawdust-and-folding-chairs tent revival Doyle even wrote and recorded
have been floated to scientifically and more a collection of personal Guitar fans will enjoy reading about on the organ. Thats where all that a theme song of sorts for the book,
explain them, they remain a mysterious stories. The tales do follow the Doyles early musical development. came from. inspired by his trip to Marfa. Its part
attraction. Likewise, Doyles stories trajectory of Doyles early life, painting In one chapter, he recalls suffering One of the books most touching of a companion DVD that comes with
key in on remarkable encounters, often a picture of his conservative Christian through piano lessons as a boy, but chapters is the story of Barry Lackey, a the book.
chance meetings with strangers a upbringing in Jacksonville, Florida, also of the impact of those lessons on guitar-picking sailor who fatefully met When I first started the song, I was
sailor, a state trooper, a soldier, a and the way family, faith, and music all the fingerstyle guitar techniques he Doyles dad at church, was invited to writing this sort of ethereal-sounding,
hospital president, a doctor on a plane, blended together in his young life. would later master. the Dykes house for a home-cooked out-there, John Fahey type thing, he
even Elvis Presley (although that was In our house, hardly a day went I didnt realize the direct correlation meal, and in one afternoon changed says. So I thought, what is Marfa?
technically a non-encounter). For Doyle, by that we didnt hear the music of with piano until years later, he 14-year-old Doyles life forever by Where is Marfa? How would I describe
the strange coincidences of these Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, and Les elaborates by phone. Merle Travis told showing him the mechanics of Travis- Marfa? The whole west Texas thing
connections, like the Marfa lights, cant Paul and Mary Ford on the stereo, he me he was just a honky tonk piano style picking. Though Doyle had been came to me, and I thought, Ill do it like
be explained in a conventional way, writes. His father, Bubba Dykes, sang player on the guitar. And I remember listening to Merle and Chet, hed never a Texas movie theme because Giant
and he relates them to the mystery of and played guitar, his mother sang Chet [Atkins] saying, Im just playing actually seen how they played. was filmed there, and No Country For
religious faith that illuminates his life. at church, and Doyle and his brother stride piano, where hes playing the When Barry was playing and I saw Old Men and There Will Be Blood
Doyle says he was approached Aubrey would join their parents to sing 1 then the chord, then the 5 then the the bass and the rhythm going at the were shot in that same area.
about writing a book five years ago four-part harmony around a microphone chord. The way Merle was doing it was same time as the melody, thats when I
by Moody Publishers, whose editorial at church. His dad loved gospel quartet similar, but it was more like this lady understood what was going on for the continued next page

So far its working out great. plenty of others. Hes also enlisted
Another major project thats been his longtime friends Steve King and
in development is a guitar-centric Johnnie Putman, hosts of the popular
TV show hosted by Doyle. He and overnight radio program The Steve
business partner Neal Ferry have been & Johnnie Show on Chicago station
in discussions with cable TV networks WGN, as announcers for the show.
to broadcast the program, and while The show will be about the
a lot of details were still being worked guitar, but the hope is that, if your

Doyle recorded the tune with many The DDX, Revamped Taylor model to have a guitar around the 200 out as of our press deadline, the hope grandmothers not a guitar player but
of the same players who anchored his Events and a TV Show Series level thats nearly as pretty as a was to have the program in production wants to turn on a good show, shell
Live Sessions: PeoplePlacesand Doyles book is just one of an array 614ce. by the summer and airing in the fall. watch ours because its entertaining,
Pickin DVD from 2010: Dave Pomeroy of new offerings this year. At Winter In addition to the new guitar, Doyle Doyle says he envisions the show Doyle says. Ive found that when I go
(bass), John Gardener (drums), his NAMM, he formally introduced his new has reformatted the Taylor events hes as a guitar-playing showcase that out and play guitar, Im not playing to
brother Aubrey (piano), Jimmy Capps Doyle Deluxe (DDX) model, and says been doing for more than a decade. features legendary players and that just guitar players anymore. Tommy
(rhythm guitar), Duane Eddy (electric hes excited that it brings something Because of his popularity and his will entertain, educate and encourage Emmanuel and I talk about that a lot.
lead), and daughter Haley (vocals). different to ride alongside his signature playing prowess, at times it has been people. Doyle hopes to have a house Our audience is broader these days.
Wanting to incorporate a triple-fiddle, model. The black, maple laminate/solid a challenge to strike the right balance band or rhythm section comprised of Were entertainers who use the guitar.
old Western sound, he brought in Sitka Grand Auditorium features a between a concert-style performance studio musicians, including some of
Andy Leftwich (Ricky Skaggs), Aubrey standard scale length and 1-11/16-inch and an instructional workshop for the players from his Live Sessions and
Haynie, and Kenny Sears. nut, compared to his short-scale, fingerstyle players. This year hes Lights of Marfa outings. The guest The Lights of Marfa is currently
Theyre all Grand Ole Opry guys, 1 3/4-inch DDSM. arranging them into two different types list keeps growing, as Doyle rattles off available through, Barnes
Doyle says. They did all their own I love that this guitar is different, of events, to cater to both listeners and the names of musical friends who are & Noble, and other book retailers. For
parts. Then Haley showed up at the he says. Bob [Taylor] and I have been players. onboard: Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, a complete list of retailers and other
session and I said, Haley Id like you talking about this guitar for years, and Generally, theyll be more show- Roy Clark, Tommy Emmanuel, Johnny news about the book, along with
to sing this, and she said, Dad, there Bob had thought we should make it a oriented, and with some of the events, Highland, Eric Johnson, James Burton, Doyles concerts, master classes and
are no lyrics, and I said, There are totally different guitar. And I was really well actually be doing master classes, Sonny Landreth, Larry Carlton, and other events, visit
now; I wrote em on the way. So we impressed with the result. With the he says. For instance, with some
got in there and she just nailed it, and laminated body it projects really well. dealers well do a Taylor concert as a
of course Duane sounded like Duane If it were a short scale, I dont think it ticketed event, and a separate master
Eddy. would have the punch it has. I have all class. People will have a choice of that TAYLORCOD E
The DVD also includes an interview kinds of other guitars, and Ill go back ticket, and they can couple it with a
with Doyle about the book, along with to my older Taylors, and to me, this just ticket for a master class, or just buy
performances of several other songs has a different feel than any of those. the master class. Itll make things more Watch a video clip of Doyle playing his
that were inspired by stories, including Ive just enjoyed the heck out of it. Im intimate, where, in some circumstances, DDX at NAMM.
The Visitation and The Changing of excited for young people and people they can actually bring their guitars if DOYLE DYKES
the Guard. who cant afford a more expensive they want. Thats what were going for.
SERVICE Spotlight

The Paisley
Prince Guitar
Built for a late 80s Prince tour that
never happened, this eye-catching
Grand Concert was recently restored
to prime playing form
When this paisley Taylor were soon placing orders for colored he said, This is a really, really good
A-12ce arrived at the factory for ser- acoustics from Taylor (including guitar. He told me to do it right, so I
vice in late 2010, we recognized it Alabamas Jeff Cook and Billy Idol sent it to you guys.
as a one-off made for Prince in the guitarist Steve Stevens), prompting After more than 20 years, the
late 80s. Taylor had started mak- us to introduce our color-stained guitar displayed visible symptoms
ing maple guitars with translucent maple Artist Series in 1985. of extreme dryness: The bridge,
color finishes in 1984 (thanks to The paisley guitar was commis- fretboard extension and binding had
the experiments of Taylors Larry sioned for Prince by Wetterland in begun to separate from the body
Breedlove), which led to a purple- 1988 to match a new black-and- due to shrinkage. There also were
stained maple Jumbo 12-string made white paisley design motif Prince cracks in the finish. Taylor repair
on spec for Prince after a discus- had embraced as he geared up for technician Dave Staudte filled the
sion between Kurt Listug and Glenn a major European tour. But when a cracks with cyanoacrylate glue,
Wetterlund from Podium Music, a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight straightened the fretboard extension
Taylor dealer in Minneapolis. The 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in by heating it and clamping it flat,
purple guitar became a minor plot December of that year, Prince can- reglued the binding, replaced the
point in Taylor lore when the guitar celed his tour, and the guitar would bridge, repaired the bridge pin plate,
was featured in a couple of Prince languish in limbo. Wetterlund eventu- and cleaned and dressed the frets.
videos, including Raspberry Beret, ally acquired the guitar, and it was Henkin was duly impressed when
albeit without the Taylor logo in later sold at a guitar auction. the guitar was returned to him.
the headstock due to an anti-brand The cutaway Grand Concerts It looks cool and sounds fantas-
stipulation by Prince. maple back and sides feature a tic, he says. Everyone who sees it
The purple guitar helped stimu- translucent black finish, while the comments on it.
late greater interest in colored soundboard and headstock show-
acoustic guitars among electric-play- case a screen printed paisley design.
ing rockers who liked the flashier, Note the missing logo from the
more modern look, especially for the headstock, the original Artist Series
stage or in music videos, and who fretboard inlays, and the Taylor smi-
were eager to separate the acous- ley bridge pin arrangement that was
tic guitar from its sepia-toned folk used at that time. An after-market
heritage. Other established artists pickup, an L.R. Baggs AGP-2, had
also been installed.
The guitars current owner, Mark
Henkin, from New York City, filled us
in on how it came to be his.
A friend of mine was at a charity
auction in New York, learned that the
guitar was made for Prince, offered
a bid, and ended up taking it home,
he says. He doesnt play guitar he
just thought it was a cool thing to
have. Essentially, I took it from him
about five years ago, he laughs. I
said, You dont play guitar, so Im
keeping this.
Henkin says hes not a guitar
freak, but mainly a living room player
who owns a few guitars and enjoys
jamming with friends.
One of my friends is a guitar
aficionado who owns 70 guitars, and
after messing around with this one,

Ask Bob
also be put back to where it is now.
So experimentation is allowable. Your
question is legit, and your idea has
merit. Ive actually suggested this
setup for some people in the past who
want a different feel. Ive suggested

Soundhole size, bone tone, satinwood and a that they tip their NT neck into the
bridge and lower the saddle. So, go

DIY humidifier ahead and have the luthier do this for

you and live happily ever after. And if
one day you change your mind, or the
next day you dont like it, take it back
What would happen to my 2008 GC8 in time. Im guessing its a softer to him and have him try something
if I were to switch to bone for my wood like cedar and shouldnt take else. Its the beauty of the NT neck.
nut and saddle? I mostly use it for the time that woods like koa would
fingerstyle playing. take to come to fruition. I realize
Anson Haugsjaa redwood/sinker redwood is reserved
for BTOs, and Ive seen some R. I have a mint condition JKSM [Jewel
Anson, bone strikes me as producing Taylors with it, but exactly how Kilcher Signature Model]. Can you
a more solid, rounder tone. Tusq scarce is it? tell me about the wood this great
accentuates the highs better. Jeff Burg instrument was made of?
Savannah, GA Charlie Boxwell

Well, Jeff, I think redwoods break- Its called satinwood. It comes from
I have been playing and reading in time is about the same as spruce Africa. That was a particularly nice
about guitars, both acoustic and and cedar. If you play it, and as time batch. It makes a nice guitar, but isnt
electric, for over 40 years, but I have goes by, it will get better. To me, these typically used, thus is hard to find a
never I mean NEVER heard are moot points, because if a wood second time around. Sometimes a
or read anything aboutsoundhole sounds different when its new, it will batch of wood just falls in our laps and
size and its effect on acoustic sound different when its broken-in, we go with it. Thats what happened
guitars. Given all the other minute too. The journey to break-in isnt really with this wood.
variations that guitar builders and important to me, because its all good,
players discuss, why no mention of all along the way. As far as scarcity is
soundhole size or rarely so? concerned, this redwood weve been
Mark Smith using all comes from one tree. Its a
San Jose, CA big tree, and the wood comes to us
from a supplier near the source. Im
Mark, there is a lot of talk about it not completely sure how scarce it is,
in builder circles. It can change the because they keep cutting wood from
resonant frequency of a guitar. There it and sending it our way. There have
is the famous Clarence White Martin been at least a thousand sets from it
guitar that is now owned and played so far.
by Tony Rice. That guitar was made
famous because the soundhole was
worn out so Clarence enlarged it to
the first rosette ring to make it round Ive got a beautiful 814ce-LTD
again. The tone changed slightly. (spruce topwith walnut back and
Its a good guitar, regardless of the sides) that I purchased new just
soundhole size, but many builders copy over three years ago. When I bought
that guitar, making a larger soundhole the guitarI thought the action was
like it now has. Bottom line: Its easier a little high, but the sound of the JKSM
to make a guitar with a standard-size instrument was too compelling to
hole and work changes into the guitar leave it in the shop.Three years
elsewhere. Thus, people dont talk later the sound is actually getting
about it much. stronger, butI think the playability When will the GS Mini be available for us lefties?
could be improved by adjusting the Also, will the pickup designed for the Mini work in
action. Im wondering about the
wisdom ofhaving the saddle filed
a left-hand guitar since the strings are 180 degrees
I was fortunate enough to spend down versus having a new one different?
time at your factory and pick out made. There is a very good Taylor- Terry G. Hoffman
wood for what turned out to be authorized repair technician not
an amazing BTO. I chose sinker too far away, who Im sure could do
redwood because it has tonal either job, but before I go to him Id
Were very committed to left-hand versions of all our
properties similar to cedar but with be interested in your thoughts. guitars. I imagine well get the tooling done for GS
more volume, bringing it a bit closer Geordie Hendrie Mini lefties later this year. The pickup will work just
to the volume spruce delivers. (I Toronto, Ontario
added Adirondack spruce bracing in
fine, no problem.
the hope of adding a bit more zing Geordie, the great thing about your
as well.) I wanted to know more guitar is your NT neck. That neck can
about this wood, such as its break- be reset to lower your action, and

Couldthe moisture emitted from supplies of rare and expensive worry as much with it. So I wanted guitars, and Ive always wondered learning the blues as played by
a soundhole-covering humidifier, high-end tonewoods. Please help to share with you how I solved this if there is a recognized, qualitative the original artists.This brings me
over time, damage the electronics settle this. issue. difference between the two, or if this to wanting to design a BTO blues
of the ES orthe exposed circuit Ed Mehollin Recently we moved, and our new is just an alternative designation for guitar with an old-fashioned, soulful
boards that are part of many pickup house had a large bookcase in the the same wood. voice. Im thinking a 12-fret with
amplification systems? Are the Ed, youre right, a three-piece back is basement with three sections that Moyer Hubbard an Adirondack spruce top (tobacco
electronics coated to prevent rust? typically made to use narrower back had glass doors. I removed several sunburst, of course), mahogany
Paul Allen New panels and make them wide enough. shelves inside those cabinets and They are the same, just different ways back and sides,mahogany neck
With our mini wedge, its there only for placed the guitars on stands. I then of saying it. with ebony headstock overlay,and
Paul, only if you over-humidified your cosmetic reasons, and often the wood placed a large sponge in a container cream binding and purfling. I think
guitar. With the normal amount of used on a mini-wedged guitar was with some water and closed the this would deliver the instrument Im
humidity there will be no damage. That wide enough for a two-piece back. Its doors. The hygrometer placed in the looking for.However, I would like
said, dont use a soundhole-covering all cosmetics, or use of wood, and has cabinet reports a consistent 50-53 I currently own a 614. I love the the neck to be as wide as possible
device. Let the humidifier condition the nothing to do with tone. percent all day long. All I need to bright, crisp sound, but it is a little at the nut, 1-7/8 or more. Your
entire space inside the guitar case, as do is refresh some water in the short on the bass. What products in thoughts?
the whole guitar needs moisture, not sponge every couple of weeks to the Taylor line will keep the bright Tom Rusiecki
just the interior of the body. make this work. Now the guitars are sound of maple and provide more Port Richey, FL
not only easily accessible, but they on the low end? Im not interested in
are on display for all to see.I think pushing the bottom end to the point Tom, the neck width isnt a problem.
that others can merely buy an IKEA that the guitar sounds boomy. If this were mine, Id consider a
Given the importance of the sound- cabinet and do the same. Douglas Hudgens mahogany top. Just consider it. Dont
board, is there any indication that Jason McDermott let me talk you into anything, but
pickguards on acoustic steel- Caledon, Ontario, Canada Thats simple. A 616ce. The larger compared to a spruce top it will have a
strings adversely affect tone? I ask body will give you more bass. The darker sound and would sing the blues
because Ireally love the look of Jason, thats a perfect solution. Make maple and the Taylor design will give a little mo betta.
your models without pickguards, sure your hygrometer is digital. And you the bright sound you like.
and my style is almost exclusively put two of them in there. The needle-
fingerpicking. based, old-school hygrometers can
William Mays literally glue themselves to some
3-piece number like 50 percent and give
William, the pickguard is part of the back with you a false sense of security. Digital
package of the sound. A guitar that mini-wedge hygrometers work better, and two
has a pickguard sounds like itself, and will always help, because if they read
a guitar without a pickguard sounds the same you probably have a good
like itself. We make a lot of guitars indication that theyre telling the truth.
without pickguards, not so much for Thats all Id add to your wonderful
sound, but for looks. Either way, the solution. You da man!
guitars sound good. One could argue
that a pickguard inhibits sound, and I
wont argue that point. You wont have
any problems with your guitar if it has I am a proud owner of a Big Baby
no pickguard, so you should feel good and share it with my college-age
about getting one. daughter we both love it! My
latest love is with the ukulele. I had
never seen a Taylor ukulele and was 616ce
under the impression that no such
As I anxiously await the arrival beast was available.Well, I looked
of my custom GA thru the BTO at the new Wood&Steel (2011 Guitar Mahogany top
program, I have a question Guide) and to my delight I saw two
regarding humidification. Ive been ukuleles on the wallin the picture
using Dampits with my 810 and 714. on page 60. Does Taylor make a
Is tap water OK, or should I use I currently have three Taylors: a ukulele, and if not, do you have Got a
distilled water? Taylor T5-S, a Taylor 614ce that plans tooffer onein the future?
Brian V my wife bought me as a birthday Chris Palmer
question for
Burlington, NJ present, and a wife with the last Northbrook, IL Bob Taylor?
name Taylor. In Ask Bob, I have a
Tap water is just fine. No reason to keen interest in reading all about Lots of the guys at Taylor have been
Shoot him an e-mail:
make it more difficult to humidify your managing humidity on these guitars, building ukes for themselves lately,
guitar. as the winters in Canada are bone either from kits or from scratch. We
dry, and humidity levels can drop do have plans for a ukulele. I cant say
If you have a specific
to below 35 percent. Most of the when, because its unclear, but we will
suggestions have been to keep the do it. repair or service
I have an all-koa, custom GS guitar in the case with all kinds of concern, please call
12-string that has a three-piece bits in the soundhole and neck, but I own eight Taylor guitars and love our Customer Service
back with a flamed maple center I found that particularly frustrating them all!It will be nine as soon department at
wedge. It is gorgeous, of course, when I wanted to play them, as I Is there a difference between as I can get my hands on a GS (800) 943-6782,
and the guitar sounds exceptional. had to unpack them each time and Indian rosewood and East Indian Mini. They each have their unique and well take
I seem to remember reading once repack when done. I found that my rosewood? Ive noticed that some voice, from the DN to the GS. Im care of you.
that three-piece backs mostly had playing time dropped, and I played guitar makers specify that they primarily a fingerstyle player with
to do with extending precious my 52 Telecaster, as I dont need to use East Indian rosewood on their a classical background and enjoy
The Wood&Steel Interview


Tommy Shaw talks about the co-writing

chemistry that brought his new bluegrass
record to life

By Jim Kirlin

ommy Shaw understands morning in early March, Shaw reflects of a sudden we had enough to make Sullivan Show. I always loved Sammy there was this hole in my schedule,
the twinge of skepticism on the wellspring that informed the a really good record, and then we Davis, Jr. I was never stuck in one kind same with Brad, so our wives said,
some might feel upon project the roots-rich music he kind of overwrote it once my friend of music. Later, Id be in bands where You should both do this now. And
hearing that hes releasing a bluegrass heard on the radio growing up in Gary Burr became available. We even one would be playing lounge music, when the girls say that, you know
album. After all, hes a veteran rock Montgomery, Alabama, including knocked some of Brad and my songs and one would be playing soul music, youre in good shape. Once we did
star, known the world over for his Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from the off because they just kept getting and I just loved all of it, because I was that, the floodgates opened up, and it
work with Styx, Damn Yankees and AM station WSM in Nashville. better. It just kept demanding that we never restricted. So, to hear Ralph was like this record was just dying to
Shaw Blades. Traditional bluegrass Back in the 60s, cars had the big be the stewards and usher this thing Stanley and that high voice when I be born.
is different turf, where electric guitars bench seats before the days of seat along, so it was like it was leading us. was a little kid, then youd hear guys in
are verboten, and drums border on belts, he remembers. I would stand Those are the best records the ones gospel groups and hear the guy with Story-songs are often a strong
heresy. Then again, when you factor up on the seat and lean over the front where you wake up and you know the the high voice. It always fascinated component of roots music. The
in Shaws Southern heritage, his love and listen to the radio and hear all this next thing to do. me, all the harmonies. Sawmill tune comes out of your
of acoustic roots music, and the thin- great music. This record was like my own family history. What about
air vocal lines that have gilded hits version of what the radio felt like back In your blog documenting this Did other people in your family some of the other stories?
like Styxs Crystal Ball and Damn then. project, you wrote about nursing sing? Well, Brad had the first verse written
Yankees High Enough, maybe hes With its old school sounds and songs along: One of the things My mother liked to sing gospel; she for the song Umpteen Miles, and that
not straying far from his wheelhouse narrative lyrical bent, The Great I enjoy most about creating an liked to sing the hymns and things like really struck a nerve with me, but thats
after all. Divide taps straight into the marrow albums worth of songs is to have that. She plays piano a little bit by ear a story of him and his father. That was
That said, Shaw himself wasnt of life, as episodes of love, hope, a big batch of songs in various and actually plays harmonica, too, by the third thing that we did. I helped
sure what to expect when he first heartbreak, hard labor, death, and stages of completion, and let them ear. She and I will still get together him finish that one. And thats still one
dipped his toe into the bluegrass cross-generational bonding unfold. tell you whats next. Can you and jam with her on harmonica. Shes of our favorites. Umpteen is one of
creek back in 2003. His friend, singer- The churning, upbeat opener, The elaborate on that? my musical muse from the family. those words thats kind of made up,
songwriter, slick-picker and producer Next Right Thing, is fueled by Shaws Well, when I start getting a batch but both of us absolutely knew what
Brad Davis, whos played with country high-spirited vocals, followed by the of them together, I like to get the You sang high harmony with Brad it meant. So those songs just kept
luminaries Marty Stuart, Earl Scruggs playful pleas of the double-entendre- foundations set up so you kind of back in 2003 on a bluegrass tune coming.
and Sam Bush, asked him to sing high laden Back in Your Kitchen. In know what the songs gonna do, so of his. How did you guys first get
harmony on one of his bluegrass tunes Sawmill, Shaw draws from his you can really follow your heart and together? Another good one is Shadows in
(Tell Me Son from his album Im Not fathers account of working as a water whats inspiring you that day. With me, I met him after I went to the Hank the Moonlight.
Gonna Let My Blues Bring Me Down). boy at a logging camp and witnessing Ill wake up and just be lying there, Williams tribute concert at the Rock Yeah, that was when Gary Burr came
Things clicked, and the two agreed a loggers gruesome, accidental death. and all of a sudden Ill hear what the & Roll Hall of Fame museum in 2002, into the picture. Ive known Gary since
that they should block out more writing The title track is a poignant waltz song needs to do this is the lyric; and Billy Bob Thornton was there and 1995. We went to Jakarta together
time together. in which finding a grandfathers old and did a songwriter festival there,
They did, bearing creative fruits letters to his wife helps salvage the and Jack [Blades] and he and I got
that included several song demos they
loved, but years would pass before
narrators own troubled relationship.
In Shadows in the Moonlight, secret
To hear Ralph Stanley and that together at some point and co-wrote
a song, and wed always meant to
the two could synchronize their busy love meets tragic consequences. The high voice when I was a little kid, get back together again, but it never
schedules again. When they finally did,
starting in late 2009, the outpouring
earthy porch-stomper Umpteen Miles
chronicles Daviss rock-hauling father.
then youd hear guys in gospel happened. I finally sent him some of
the demos and he got back to me
was prolific. On the eventual result, The re-affirming Afraid to Love is groups and hear the guy with the and said, Im in! It still took a while
Shaws new record, The Great Divide,
the two unfurl a heartfelt homage to
another multi-generational tune buoyed
by a beautiful harmony from Alison
high voice. It always fascinated me, for him to find some time to come out
here, but once he did, Shadows in
the bluegrass spirit, guided by lyric- Krauss. The quirky wild card of the all the harmonies. the Moonlight was the first thing we
rich story-songs that marry a compact batch, the spare, fingerpicked Give wrote.
song structure the tunes rarely stray em Hell Harry, channels vintage John
from the three-minute mark with Prine. this is what needs to happen next; Marty Stuart. Id met Marty before, but You had an interesting comment
soulful, intricately woven acoustic The fact that the album packs such this is what I wanna play. So, you because Billy lives here in L.A., we about working with him on the
instrumentation flavored with tasty evocative musical stories into less go out and focus on that one until it wound up going over to his house. song Back in Your Kitchen. I think
bluegrass breakdowns. Shaw and than 40 minutes is a tribute to Shaw settles down, and then youll hear an Hed bought Slashs old house, which you got stuck at one point. Can you
Davis co-produced (along with singer- and Daviss ability to distill down to a idea for another song, so you can just has a big studio, so he had his band talk about how you guys worked
songwriter and Shaw Blades member level of simplicity without losing the switch from one to another, like youre down there working on a new record, together and how co-writing with
Will Evankovich), and Shaw also richness of the vocal and instrumental building this little neighborhood and and Brad was in Billys band. So Brad a good partner can help you get a
co-wrote a few tunes with songwriting arrangements. Blending timeless youve got all the little foundations that heard me singing high, I think on one song done?
stud Gary Burr (815c, 612c), whos themes, personal stories, and indelible you have the luxury of not having to of Billys songs, and he said, Would I had the song idea, but it just didnt
penned hits for the likes of Randy melodies helps these songs resonate submit any plans for. You just go out you consider singing a high part on have the right feel. And Gary is such a
Travis, LeeAnn Rimes, and George in a way that, like other great roots there and free-form build these little this bluegrass thing? And thats how genius. I had some of the lyrics written
Jones, and co-written with Ringo Starr, music, is built to live on. works of art. it came about. Once I did it, he said out like that, and he took it all in, then
Carole King, Mary Chapin Carpenter, In our conversation, Shaw elaborates we oughta get together and try writing. said, What if we did it this way? and
and John Levanthal. on his musical roots, the importance of Take me back to your formative The next time he was in town he he just sat down and played it with
For the recording sessions, Shaw co-writing chemistry, and his rekindled days. What kind of musical came over, and it happened so easily. that kind of two-step beat, and all of
and Davis enlisted a Nashville dream love of vinyl records. environment did you grow up in? We wrote the song Ill Be Coming a sudden, theres the song that you
team, including Sam Bush (mandolin), My family loved all kinds of music, Home and demod it. Problem was, I hear. It happened so fast because he
Byron House (bass), Rob Ickes Congratulations on getting the so we never heard, I hate that kind was busy touring with Styx and Shaw didnt have any preconceived notions.
(Dobro), Scott Vestal (banjo), Stuart record across the finish line. It of music. I think the first time I ever Blades, so there was never really time Id kind of spun it around in my head
Duncan (fiddle), and Chris Brown must have felt good after having heard that was from my father when he to get together again until the next too many times. And he heard it fresh
(drums), with a guest spot on Dobro been in the works for a few years heard the Four Seasons do Sherry year, and then we wrote Afraid to and basically played it back to me in a
from Jerry Douglas and vocal cameos now. that falsetto was the one thing that Love and loved how that came out. way that made sense. When you have
from Dwight Yoakam and Alison It did. You know, it just kept picking put him over the top [laughs]. But Both songs ended up on the record. chemistry with a songwriter, thats
Krauss. up momentum. It started out with just everything else, we just loved all kinds So, it started slowly like that. Then in what you do with each other, you kind
Chatting by phone from his home Brad and me doing these demos, but of good music the Grand Ole Opry, 2009 we have to plan our schedules
in the Hollywood Hills on a mid- then as the songs came together, all Johnny Cash. We would watch The Ed months in advance all of a sudden continued next page
Tommy working out a part in the studio

of finish each others sentences. All of New York City with a suitcase full would go down low. I wanted to do think would work, and then they work, Are you OK? And I was like, [crying
a sudden you sound like a very smart of dirty laundry from the road, and something in waltz form, so I just set and you go on from there. voice]: Here, read this. And he reads
person. Thats why I like getting into the laundry room was down in the a little template with a rhythm so I But at this point we had about 18 it, and I look over, and hes crying. So,
a vibe where youre co-writing and basement from our apartment. He was could play along with it, and this song songs going, and we were trying to for that very reason, I almost didnt put
writing, because youll wind up doing down there loading up the machine, started writing itself, and it got to that finish up, and I just couldnt ever get the song on the record. I didnt want to
both better, I think. and I heard him down there, singing, little refrain, Like a message across myself separated long enough to figure make people mad because I blindsided
[sings] I dont wanna hear about it the Great Divide, and all of a sudden out how to tell that story its only a them with this little tearjerker.
It seems like some artists have anymore / Its a shame Ive got to I was hearing this thing that reminded couple of verses. And Brad said, I
reservations about co-writing. Of live without you anymore, and I kept me of hearing that kind of music on the know someone named Paula Breedlove The song Give Em Hell, Harry,
course, if you dont gel with them, listening, and I was like, well whats radio in the 60s. And I had kind of this, who I think would be great on this. about Harry Truman, has an
its probably not going to amount the rest of that? [laughs]. So I went La-la-la, the Great Divide [melody]. I Shes written a lot of great songs; interesting narrative twist on it.
to much. over to the piano and I did the chorus, knew I wanted it to be about finding my shes a lyricist. And Im not hung up on Where did you come up with the
Most of the time it doesnt work out. and within five minutes we had that letters from my grandparents and that having to write every single thing. So point-of-view for that?
And every once in a while, youll have song written. And that chorus was they were a message across the Great we sent her an mp3 of what we had, My wife brought her friends out to
done it, and its like, man, we just not something I had stuck in my head; Divide, but when we got to that part and I explained the rough story to her hear us play one night in the studio.
nailed it; lets get something to eat. it just seemed like that was where it [sings the melody], Brad said, That on the phone. And she said, I think I When we were finished, she said,
Thats how Jack Blades and I got should go. sounded like you were gonna yodel got it. The next day she sent us back You should do a John Prine kind of
together, and how the song High there. Why dont you go ahead and do one sheet with the lyrics in it, and I got song, but do a bluegrass version of
Enough that we did in Damn Yankees Tell me about the root of the story it? Im like, I am not gonna yodel. And it out of the printer and was reading that. I had just finished reading David
happened. John Kalodner [a record for The Great Divide. he said, Just try it. So I tried it, and the lyrics heading downstairs to the McCulloughs biography on Truman, so
label executive] was trying to put us Remember Ferlin Husky? He was this it worked. It wasnt corny yodeling. To studio, and it just wrecked me. I go I thought, if theres one thing I know
all together to see what could happen. songwriter who had this great voice me, thats the ultimate when you try into the studio and Ive got tears in my about right now its Harry Truman. But
Jack showed up on my doorstep in he could sing up high and then he things that youd never in a million years eyes, and Brad turns around and said, the song that occurred to me was

one of my favorite John Prine songs,

called Jesus the Missing Years. So,
its not necessarily based in fact, but Shaw Things:
its very entertaining. Hes the ultimate Tommys New Dreadnoughts
storyteller. In March, Taylor artist relations rep Tim Godwin delivered a pair of
custom, short-scale Dreadnoughts that he, Tommy, and Taylor Build to
Were you in the studio with the Order guru Joe Bina had designed together with bluegrass in mind.
Nashville session guys when they The guitars were built as twin models, each featuring a back and sides
were recording? of beautiful Madagascar rosewood (with a matching peghead overlay),
No, because we only had them for an Adirondack spruce top with Addie CV bracing, abalone top trim,
three days. My parts are kind of a white binding, a V-carve neck profile, aged toner finish, small diamond
template for everything, so actually I fretboard inlays, and Gotoh 510 Antique Gold tuners. After spending a
took it home and we post-produced it few moments admiring the wood and appointments, Tommy gets down
there, then we took the time to think, to business, picking, strumming, and tuning in to the playing nuances.
what needs to be here, and I did a lot Nice bottom, he says. The necks really nice on the hand.
of sweetening doubling some parts, The A/B comparison between the two guitars proves to be
adding some acoustic things, a solo interesting, as the guitars share identical specs, with only the wood sets
here and there. When they were there, varying. Hes playing with a Red Bear pick, which he was turned on to
these guys got it done so fast and at during the Great Divide project. Theyre made from a polymerized animal
such high quality, I didnt want to slow protein (no animals are harmed to make them). The picks apparently
the process down. It was incredible share the physical properties of real turtle shell. He says a lot of the
to be in the midst of them because Nashville bluegrass players use them.
theyve known each other for years.
So, just to hear the storiesfor me to
be a part of that was really cool.

You played a lot of resonator Its a different experience. 26.] Things move a little slower in the
guitar on the record. What Taylors It is. bluegrass world. With rock music, you
did you use for steel-string kind of come out with guns blazing.
acoustic parts? Theres been a bigtime revival of With bluegrass it seems to be a more
Actually the thing I used a lot was traditional sounds in roots music gradual unveiling of things, and Im
my Taylor 12-string [655], but with lately. A lot of young bands fine with that. I think people need time
just the high strings on it. Its on Ill Mumford & Sons being the current to live with it, and get a little word-
Be Coming Home and I believe in poster boys are really embracing of-mouth going with their friends. Id
The Great Divide, we mixed it in that. Whats your take on why love to go play some dates, and Ive
on the second verse, so it becomes artists are drawn to it and why its got a couple of different ideas on how
kind of a 12-string. And I played my resonating with listeners? to do it that I know will work because
Dreadnought. [He owns both an 810 I think these days [people] are Ive talked to the people. But its a big
and 610ce.] driven less and less by taste makers, undertaking to put a lot of bodies in
because everythings at your fingertips. motion.
It was interesting to learn that Everything you want, you can decide
youre releasing this on vinyl, too. whether you like it or not, and I think What else do you have on tap for
It seems like a format that would people take pride in discovering this year?
really suit the music. something on their own. And you With Styx, were about to announce a
My friend Mike Mettler is the editor-in- can read someones own personal summer tour with another group that
chief at Sound and Vision magazine, comments about it. So youre not weve never toured with, so thatll be
which used to be Stereo Review. getting things that were churned out cool. Then were going to England,
Hes just insane about vinyl. Hes by publicists and focus groups and Scotland and Sweden in May I believe,
been on my case for years, and he things like that. I just happened to hear for the first time in a few years. We
wouldnt let up on me. At that point something on the radio one day about have a DVD in post-production of our
Id made up my mind that I was gonna Mumford & Sons, and then I heard theater tour we did last November/ This ones a little throatier, he decides after a back-and-forth test-
do it. And it was great. This guy, John the song and I was like, Holy ____! December, and were re-recording drive.
Golden, he did his internship at Wally So I went home, went on Amazon and some of our masters in a series If the afternoons first impression is favorable, another day with the
Heider [Studios, in San Francisco], downloaded the CD, and I bought the called Regeneration. We did Vol. 1; guitars sends the romance into full bloom.
hes a perfectionist when it comes to vinyl, because I wanted to have that were getting ready to do Vol. 2. So These are the best sounding Taylor guitars I have ever heard, he
calibration. Hes got what he calls his experience, too. What I love about were very busy. The bands playing e-mails Tim the following day. Will Evankovich is here in the studio.
perfectly aligned half-inch two-track them is they didnt have any kind of better than ever. New, young fans are Were cleaning up my live tracks for a Styx DVD, and every chance we
machine. What we did was we took ideas of what the norms were; they discovering us. There are teenagers get we pick them up and jam out. They sound so good its unreal. All the
our Pro Tools mixes and ran them just went with what they felt was right, out there singing songs there were TLC and attention to details really paid off. I just love them. They will see
through and across the tape heads so now this rhythm guitar player is no albums when they were born. a lot of action.
of that perfectly aligned two-track playing the bass drum, youve got a
machine and took the output into the banjo, a keyboard, horns, and it just all
mastering. So its got a really nice top works because its so real. When you You can read Tommy Shaws blog
end thats got a bit of an analog feel see those guys, theyre just like, let me about the The Great Divide, listen
to it, even on the CD. But on vinyl at it. And you cant manufacture that. to song samples, and order the music, Watch Tommy sample his new guitars.
its really good. I love it. I did a slight at
change on the song sequence, too. Do you plan to tour in support of For updates on Styx, visit
the record?
That would make sense because Well, Ive been invited to play the
you have to flip the record over. Grand Ole Opry. [He played on March

I am really thankful that I was new SOCIAL 50 Chart, Ward is both of whom are significant influences.
given the gift of music, she says. It currently ranked #30 in the world, The DVD performances include a
is something that I loveand that I can rubbing shoulders with Lady Gaga, sweet version of Kottkes Revisiting
give out to others and bring them Rihanna, Justin Bieber and more. the Sailors Grace and Faheys The
happiness.You can change a lot of He also ranks #5 on the Billboard Last Steam Engine Train, along with
things if you use your gifts to try and Uncharted. Celtic medleys and Proctors original
make a difference.I have proven to Now Nashville is calling. With compositions, including the new tune
Grammy Grabs Country Contest myself that small acts can make huge publishing and creative deals from Gecko Drive.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards If youre a fan of country music and things happen. todays biggest agencies on the table, Though the DVD doesnt adhere to
were presented February 13 in Los American Idol-type contests, youll To learn more about neuroblastoma, Ward is contemplating his future as a traditional-style instructional format,
Angeles, and a healthy sampling want to fix your remote on the new you can visit the American Cancer a both a singer and a songwriter. In any guitar lover is bound to come away
of Taylor players were nominated, music competition program CMTs Society online July and August, he and his band will inspired to dig deeper into their own
some of whom walked away with Next Superstar. Set to premier in April, take their online show on the road to personal musical inspirations and use
statuettes. Previous Grammy winners the show will feature undiscovered present original material and covers on them to create something fresh. If only
Train (414ce, 614ce, 655ce, 810ce singer-songwriters who think they have a tour of both coasts. In late fall, they we all had Proctors spidery reach on
SolidBody Classic) scored Best Pop what it takes to make it in the music venture to Europe for several dates in the fretboard.
Performance by a Duo or Group with industry. Contestants will compete while Germany.
Vocals for Hey, Soul Sister, while Neil living together in Nashville, along the
Young (855) won Best Rock Song way writing, recording, rehearsing and Square Feat TylerWardMusic
for Angry World from his critically performing with a variety of acoustic, It took 15 years for the husband-
acclaimed 2010 release Le Noise. electric and specialty-model Taylor and-wife musical duo of Keifer and
Young was also nominated for Best guitars. Rumor has it that the opening Shawna Thompson (GS8e), better Listening to the Music
Rock Solo Performance and Best Rock credits will see one or two Taylor known as Thompson Square, to Doobie Brothers guitarist Pat
Album, along with Pearl Jam (DN8e, models exploding. land their first top-10 hit. The act was Thunderstruck Simmons visited the factory on
GA8-12e, 615ce, SolidBody Classic). recently certified as RIAA Gold for their Watching Taylor fingerstylist and February 3 with his guitar tech, Joe
Last years Best New Artist winner, cheeky song, Are You Going to Kiss original workshop clinician Chris Vallee. Simmons had borrowed a
the Zac Brown Band (NS74ce, 910, Me or Not from their self-titled debut, Proctor in his new DVD Morning Taylor 815ce when the band was in
614ce, 612ce, Baby Taylor, SolidBody, released in early February. Since then, Thunder is an enlightening exercise. New York City for some TV and radio
T3), was nominated in four categories its been a whirlwind of exposure, from Proctor has always been an intrepid performances last year, in support of
this year, and won Best Country For the Love of Taylor profiles in USA Today to a performance guitar explorer, and his expansive their latest release, World Gone Crazy,
Collaboration with Vocals for As A musicians relationship with their on Jay Leno. approach to guitar composition and and liked it so much he wanted to test-
Shes Walking Away, featuring Alan guitar is a very personal one, but it can Keifer says the tipping point for the playing is likely to leave your head drive some other models. By the end
Jackson (K24ce, 910ce, Custom be especially meaningful when wielded country-rock duo came in 2009 when percolating with fresh ideas to apply to of the afternoon he was leaning toward
DN). Also representing Taylor in the for the good of others, as in the case of Nashville veteran Shawn Pennington your own fretboard excursions. a GS-K.
country categories were Jewel (612ce, Abby Miller and Taylor Love. caught their performance at local music
614ce, 714ce, T5, JKSM) for Best A few years ago, Abby, at only venue 3rd and Lindsley. Less than
Female Country Vocal Performance, 12 years old, learned of the story of two weeks later, the band signed with
Chris Young (GSRS, GS8-E, T5, a little girl named Taylor Love. Taylor Stoney Creek Records, the sister label
SolidBody Standard ) for Best Male had been diagnosed in 2006 with a of Broken Bow Records. A self-taught Sarah & Friends
Country Vocal Performance, and Trace rare form of fast-growing childhood guitarist, Keifer finds his Taylor to be a Also in February, Canadian singer-
Adkins (615ce, T3) for Best Country cancer called neuroblastoma and was reliable song partner. It feels great and songwriter and three-time Grammy
Collaboration with Vocals for his part in literally in a fight for her life, as doctors sounds even better, he says. I know winner Sarah McLachlan brought
the radio-hit Hillbilly Bone. only gave her a 30 percent chance when I pick it up that there is a real her Sarah and Friends tour to San
Israel Houghton (T5) won Best of survival.Moved by her story, Abby quality instrument in my hand, and that Diego, where she played to a sold-
Pop/Contemporary Gospel album decided to use her Big Baby to draw is peace of mind. out crowd at the Spreckels Theatre.
for his 2010 release Love God/Love attention to the story of Taylor and The band heads out on tour with Earlier that day, Taylor artist relations
People. Steven Curtis Chapman neuroblastoma. She started small, Jason Aldean this summer. In the DVD, released through rep Tim Godwin dropped by the venue
(SCCSM, 714) was also nominated busking on street corners and playing Stefan Grossmans Vestapol Videos after the band had rolled into town to
in the category for Beauty Will Rise. community events, and then moved into ( as part collect McLachlans PS14ce for a quick
In the category of Best Rock or Rap the online world, posting a series of of Grossmans Guitar Artistry tuneup back at the factory, and had
Gospel Album, Switchfoot (514ce, cover videos and encouraging people to series, Proctor intersperses solo it back at the venue in time for sound
516ce, 614ce, 810ce, 814ce, T5) was donate to Taylors website. Their story, performances, played on his signature check.
nominated. which has since been covered by the Ward Up model rosewood Grand Concert Instead of an opening act, two artist
Other Taylor contenders included local NBC affiliate and The Washington Young YouTube sensation Tyler and maple 12-string, with interview friends who were touring as part of
Katy Perry (814ce, 512ce, Baby Post, has united a community and led Ward (714ce, GS8e, T3) has amassed segments as he shares his influences McLachlans band, Butterfly Boucher
Taylor) for Album of the Year, Best to a significant number of donations to a mountain of online followers and evolutionary steps as a player. He and Melissa McClelland, played mini
Female Pop Performance, Best Pop help Taylors parents offset the health- over 430,000 subscribers, in fact, talks about the merits of composing sets during the show, performing their
Collaboration and Best Pop Vocal; related costs not covered by insurance. withuploaded views in excess of with ones head versus ones hands, own songs with the band. McLachlan
Rod Stewart (714ce) for Best Fast-forward three years, and the 110,000,000 by peppering his explains his approach to arranging and led her band through two sets, treating
Traditional Pop Vocal Album; and girls are still best buddies, musically original music with catchy covers of interpreting, and highlights the tools the crowd to nearly a three-hour
Dave Matthews (DMSM) and Tim and otherwise. Abby has since todays most popular songs. With he uses to bring new textures to the show. Besides crowd favorites like
Reynolds for Best Rock Instrumental graduated from her Big Baby into an arsenal oftalented friends to acoustic guitar, like partial capos, the Possession, Building a Mystery, and
Performance. Ledward Kaapana a stage-ready 512ce. To show her provide backup vocals, great camera EBow, and alternate tunings. I Will Remember You, McLachlan
(810, T5) was nominated for Best appreciation, Taylor Love presented presence, and a savvy sense of online Proctors rich aptitude for so many pulled songs from all of her albums,
Hawaiian Music Album, and the Abby with the guitar on Valentines Day. marketing(over 265,000 fans on different styles of music, from blues including her latest, Laws of Illusion. In
nominees for Best Musical Album for While Taylor continues to battle serious Facebook), Ward has successfully and traditional Celtic to classical and an interesting twist, audience members
Children included Justin Roberts health problems, Abby is determined parlayed his YouTube popularity into jazz, inform his New World approach, were invited to submit questions to
(514, 410) and The Battersby Duo to continue helping the little girl shes widespread mainstream recognition which synthesize different idioms McLachlan in a hat in the lobby, and
(K26ce, 916ce). come to regard as her sister using elsewhere.As the first independent in fresh ways, much like fingerstyle she answered many of them throughout
her guitars. musician to be charted on Billboards mavericks Leo Kottke and John Fahey, the show.
Clockwise from top
left: Sarah McLachlan
(photo by Steve Parr),
Doobie Brother Pat
Simmons, Keifer and
Shawna Thompson of
Thompson Square, Tyler
Ward (photo by Sean
Hagwell), (L-R) Abby
Miller and Taylor Love

photo: Sean Hagwell


This page (top down):

Macassar ebony 12-Fret-GA-LTD, 12-Fret-GC-LTD
Opposite page: Macassar ebony T3/B
ng Boards
A double dose of walnut and Macassar,
plus an all-mahogany roots revival,
make for a rousing spring serenade.

prings arrival provides the perfect excuse to delve into our wood
reserves in search of fresh inspiration. This year, walnut, Macassar
ebony and mahogany beckoned. With walnut, we tapped two
different grades, allowing us to offer a value-packed 400 Series and a
premium class featuring highly figured sets. In the case of Macassar,
crafting Build to Order models with it inspired a pair of our own chefs
specials. One is a lively Macassar/cedar 12-Fret; the other is an eye-
catching T3/B with a Macassar top. Rounding out the spring collection is
our first batch of all-mahogany acoustics in more than five years. Look
for the Spring Limiteds in stores starting in May. For more photos and
complete specs, visit

Macassar Ebony 12-Fret

Woods: Macassar Ebony / Cedar
Models: 12-Fret-GC-LTD, 12-Fret-GA-LTD
Unique Features: 12-fret, slothead, Macassar backstrap,
figured koa binding and back strip, edge burst top,
bone nut/saddle, inlay-free fretboard

Macassar ebonys density produces strong, clear highs and lows,

while a cedar top adds sparkling midrange overtones. Make it
a 12-Fret and youve got yourself a guitar with mucho mojo. The
lower bridge location of the 12-fret neck, together with the cedar top,
yields extra warmth and woodiness. Responsive to a light touch, these
beauties are ideal for a serious fingerstyle player looking for a darker,
richer tone. Strummers will be inspired by the depth and sustain. And
theyre no less visually inspiring, with Macassars beautiful variegation, koa
binding, a slotted headstock, and an edge burst top.

Macassar Ebony T3/B-LTD

Woods: Sapele / Macassar Ebony
Unique Features: Figured koa binding, maple/rosewood purfling, edge burst,
inlay-free fretboard, Vintage Alnico humbuckers with bezel mounts

Macassars dark, exotic beauty creates a striking faade on our T3/B LTDs.
Striped amber and espresso hues are highlighted by richly figured koa binding
that also traces the f-holes, fretboard and headstock, while chrome hardware
adds a cool contrast to its dramatic backdrop. If you need extra inspiration
while playing this guitar, just look down.
Spring Limiteds continued

The Walnut Series

Woods: AA Grade Walnut / Sitka Spruce
Models: W10ce-LTD, W12ce-LTD, W14ce-LTD, W16ce-LTD
Unique Features: Ivoroid binding, Gotoh tuners, bone nut/saddle, former 900
Series inlay

Theres walnut, and then theres walnut. This is the rare-air kind, boasting
rich colors and magnificent figure that together look mesmerizing as a
bookmatched back. Clean ivoroid binding, our former 900 Series inlays, and
Gotoh tuners supply a supporting touch of vintage sophistication.

This page: W14ce-LTD

Opposite page (L-R):
Walnut 414ce-LTD, All-mahogany GS-LTD
The Walnut 400 Series
Woods: Walnut / Cedar
Models: 412ce-LTD, 414ce-LTD, 416ce-LTD
Unique Features: Figured maple binding and mini wedge, Pipeline inlay

Back by popular demand, we reprise last springs walnut limiteds, but with a few
twists. This year weve opted for cedar tops over spruce for a splash of extra warmth;
a mahogany neck in place of maple; and the Pipeline inlay that debuted with the
2010 Fall LTDs. Like last year, these LTDs are sharply appointed with figured maple
binding and a matching back mini wedge.

The Mahogany Series

Woods: All Mahogany
Models: Mahogany GC-LTD, Mahogany GA-LTD, Mahogany GS-LTD, Mahogany DN-LTD
Unique Features: Traditional mahogany stain, tortoise shell binding, diamond
fretboard inlays

Tonally, an all-mahogany acoustic will respond with an earthy sound that has long
been associated with blues and other roots music. Players can expect a dark, throaty
midrange punch when digging in, yet theres also an underlying sweetness in that
same register that can complement a single-note line. Visually, weve created a look
that evokes a throwback Americana style, starting with a traditional mahogany stain,
which gives the guitar a luminous deep-red tint. Tortoise shell binding adds the
perfect touch of color harmony, while white purfling and an abalone rosette supply
crisp counterpoints.
Freedom of
Backed by eight years of real-world performance,
Taylors proprietary Expression System has
shown that getting natural amplified acoustic
tone can be as easy as plugging in your guitar.

By Jim Kirlin

Taylor luthier Andy Powers grooves on an 814ce


n his book Guitar Lessons, Bob made at will without having to rely on
Taylor dedicates a chapter to someone else. In other words, it would
innovation, highlighting three key allow Taylor innovation to drive toward a
development breakthroughs that better playing experience.
transformed the company and its As weve detailed in past ES
guitars for the better. One was UV- stories, Bob and his design team
curable finish. Another was the NT embarked on a development project
neck. The third was the Expression led by David Hosler. In their design
System. exploration, they were inspired by
It was innovation at its best, he the fuller, more authentic-sounding
writes of the ES, and one of the more amplified tones of magnetic sensors,
important improvements weve made to which were used in microphones and
our guitars. record player cartridges. Hoslers
In explaining its development, Bob team studied soundboard, body and
cites a fundamental Taylor philosophy neck vibration; explored accelerometer
that has guided so many of the technology; and figured out how to
companys pursuits over the years, capture and optimize the sound of the
and one that underscores the drive to body, neck and strings with factory-
produce the ES. designed magnetic body and string
We believe that the leader in sensors. They worked with legendary
an industry has the responsibility to pro audio designer Mr. Rupert Neve,
innovate and were happy to take that the father of the analog mixing console,
position, he writes. It helps us, it helps to develop a studio-grade preamp that
the player, and it helps the industry. would boost the signal cleanly without
The realm of acoustic amplification adding noise. The goals were to make
gave Taylor a unique opportunity to the pickup as transparent as possible
grow into an industry leader. When Bob in capturing the tonal nuances of the
first started down that road, Taylor had guitar and the player, and to make it
never thought of making a pickup. But easy to control. Basically, the better
it wouldnt be long before that would the under-the-hood design, the greater
change. the likelihood that issues like feedback
could be resolved for the player,
From Aftermarket to allowing the tone-shaping controls
Hafta Make It to be simpler, and giving them the
One of the defining traits of the freedom to focus on their performance.
modern era of acoustic guitars was the The Expression System debuted in the
installation of onboard guitar pickups spring of 2003.
Fused Dynamic
for amplification. The way people used In the very beginning, Bob
String Ground Body Sensor
acoustic guitars for performance was remembers, there were supporters and
changing. detractors. But he knew that would
People needed more volume and happen. Its the natural first-response
more freedom to move around the to innovation. Hed experienced it when
stage than a microphone provided, incorporating the bolt-on neck, with
Bob remembers. the NT neck, and with UV finish. In the
But guitar makers werent in the case of amplified tone, the piezo sound
business of making pickups. If acoustic had been around so long that it had
players wanted a pickup, it was usually established its own legitimacy, even
an aftermarket transaction, where if it sounded different from authentic
they would go to a guitar shop and acoustic tone. In many cases, player
have one installed. As the market techniques had adapted to the nature
for pickup-equipped acoustics first of the piezo sound.
began to take shape, it was mostly the [The ES] helped spawn an entirely
cheaper acoustic guitar models that new division in guitar players opinions,
sported them a cheap pickup could Bob notes in his book. Before,
be added for next to nothing, adding everyone was in the same boat. Now
a selling point to the guitar. But Bob there was something competitive
recognized the value to the customer and it energized the community. Its
and embraced pickup installation as a frightening, but also exhilarating, to a
legitimate aspect of building a quality Anatomy of a pickup system: The ES features a strategically placed Dynamic Body Sensor to capture soundboard
company when you innovate a new
guitar for the modern world. vibration; a Dynamic String Sensor (not visible); and a studio-grade preamp. Our patented Fused String Ground protects solution and some people love it and
We were the only high-end, high- players from being shocked as a result of faulty grounding. some dont. Before, they neither liked
quality guitar maker putting pickups nor disliked it. Because there was no
onboard as a standard feature, he competition of ideas.
says. Even before ever making its first
The old-line companies were slower making quality acoustic-electric guitars from other companies without seeing designing and manufacturing them pickup, Taylor already had established
to the table, no doubt held back in that were plug-and-play ready. By the much improvement in the quality of the in-house: Taylor could exercise its own a strong foundation for great amplified
part by the acoustic guitars traditional mid-90s, Taylor was a major player in a pickups and amplified tone, Bob and judgments about quality; the pickup tone: a great-sounding guitar. A Taylor
heritage. By the time they came robust new market segment. his product development team decided system could be more seamlessly guitars natural acoustic voice was
around, Taylor had taken advantage After years of relying on after- that they would need to develop their integrated into the design of a Taylor
and established a solid reputation for market, piezo-based pickup systems own. Bob saw the advantages of guitar; and refinements could be continued next page

clear and balanced across the tonal microscopic, more so than a wedge amplification scenarios from over the
spectrum, especially with the arrival of monitor. [I like] the way the guitar years. When he used to perform with a
the Grand Auditorium in the mid-90s. responds dynamically when I play soft bluegrass band he would play the 710
Taylors were already known among on it, and when I get after it. It doesnt into a microphone, and had to contend The ES at a Glance
studio engineers for being easy to have that I guess its about 500 hz with feedback issues. Eventually he The Expression System was designed to blend seamlessly into the
record with. or so but theres a quackiness that had another brand of pickup installed, anatomy of the guitar. The 2011 iteration features two magnetic pickups
By all accounts, there are now close can happen, particularly with piezo or which he could dial in because he also a body sensor mounted to the underside of the soundboard to capture
to 150,000 ES-equipped Taylors out bridge-style pickups, that this guitar has experience running sound for live the nuances of the top movement, and a string sensor embedded
in the world. Last year alone, 25,000 and this system really sort of butter performances. After the Expression beneath the fretboard extension (near the neck pocket) to register string
were built at the factory, according over. The other thing I love is that I Systems debut, he had a chance to and neck vibration. A studio-grade preamp boosts the signal cleanly
to Taylor electronics department hear myself contacting the body of plug in an ES-equipped 614ce at a without adding noise. Three soft-touch roller knobs (Volume, Treble, Bass)
manager Jeff Houck. By controlling the the guitar. So if Im tapping on the top music store in Arizona. make it easy to shape your tone, and each features a center detent,
manufacturing, installation and servicing of the instrument while Im playing, Right away you could hear a quality which comes in handy in low-light conditions. Theres also a switch on
of the pickup systems at the factory, I can hear all of that, and I like that, best described as transparency, he the preamp board that allows you to turn off the body sensor, which
Taylor has been able to maintain a especially in an in-ear scenario. I think says. The claim was that you were gives you flexibility in different performance situations. With a fresh 9-volt
high level of quality assurance, and if its especially good because it gives going to accurately be able to translate battery, you can expect about 40 hours of amplification. One additional
customers ever do have an issue with a little room to the instrument. So Ive not only tone but the feel like when safety feature is a fused string ground, which will protect you from being
their pickup, Taylor can diagnose the really enjoyed it. Its very simple to use. you sit alone in a room playing your shocked as a result of a faulty electrical ground.
problem and service it efficiently. Youve got your volume, youve got guitar and bend a note or you squeeze
From a manufacturing standpoint your bass, and youve got your treble, the wood just so, and you get that
I get to see the nuts and bolts of what and I basically run it pretty flat. It works tonal quality coming out of a guitar Sound Advice
goes into the ES, says Houck. All the great. that you can capture with a really good The Expression System features a different design from many other
ingredients are top shelf materials, Ohio-based rock band Hawthorne microphone. The claim was true. pickup systems. Here are a few tips that will help the sound engineer
processes and the people that build Heights (916ce, GS8e, K20ce, K4) That 614ce is currently Messengers help you sound good at a gig.
it. Every employee in our department usually brings a live sound engineer on main guitar, and he says its saved him
has worked with the ES program for at their full electric tours, but they left him on more than a few occasions, unlike
least seven years.That translates to a at home for the stripped-down acoustic other acts that dont have the ES. Plug in: Most other pickup systems
group of people who really know what tour they did in 2010. With the ES, You know very well that when you produce an unbalanced signal,
they are doing. they had nothing to worry about. go to play out, youre completely at meaning that the amplified tone can
Almost every front-of-house the mercy of the sound guy, he says. only travel a short distance without
The Good Kind of Feedback engineer in the clubs said it was the Sometimes well get a sound guy from tone loss. They are also more subject
One of the most important tasks cleanest signal theyve ever had, says another genre who doesnt have any to noise, distortion and ground-loop
associated with introducing the ES was singer/guitarist JT Woodruff. I always conception of what acoustic guitars issues. To minimize those issues, the
simply to help live sound engineers find thats pretty impressive anytime are supposed to sound like. We always signal is usually run through a direct
undo the habits theyd developed over anyone says youre giving them a have good sets when other people input (DI) box, which converts the unbalanced signal to balanced. The ES
the years, since working with piezo- clean signal means your instrument have all kinds of trouble. Whether Im was designed to have a balanced signal, so no DI box is necessary. Just
based pickup systems had given them is amazing and the pickups are great. playing by myself or in a trio, all I need use a TRS to XLR cable straight from the guitar to the snake or mixer.
a preconceived idea of how to EQ an Otherwise, theres only so much the to do is take the Taylor cable, plug
amplified acoustic guitar. Once they front-of-house can do with it. it into a mic [XLR] cord, and run it
understood the simplicity of the ES, it Mark Sheehan, the guitarist from the through the PA board. And for playing Tune up: To maintain the balanced
created a positive situation for everyone popular Irish band The Script, which rhythm, I set my volume knob at about signal from guitar to amp/PA and
involved, from the player to the front-of- has opened for the likes of U2 and Paul 9 oclock. The soundman cant screw use a digital tuner, we recommend
house person to audiences. McCartney, has played a Taylor most you up. All you have to do is have it flat our Balanced Breakout Box. Your
Weve gotten great reviews on of his career and has come to rely on and on. signal passes through the box with
the acoustic guitar sound, says David the ES. For a tight-knit musical community XLR in and out jacks. There is a
Morgan, front-of-house engineer The pickup system is amazing like the Western Music Association, the jack that you plug your tuner into,
for Chers Las Vegas show at the because if you do decide to plug in, positive word-of-mouth about the ES and your signal is tapped and fed to
Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace. which I have to an awful lot when Im among musicians has been substantial. your tuner. There is a mute switch
Morgans mixing duties include an doing acoustic shows, youre gonna I got people to buy Taylors just on the Balanced Breakout Box that
ES-equipped 714ce that guitarist Dave want a system thats really reliable and, based on hearing what the guitar silences the XLR output for silent tuning.
Barry (k.d. Lang, Janet Jackson) plays honestly, is basic, he says from London sounded like sitting around picking,
in the show. Its a really natural sound. during rehearsals for a 2011 tour in and that was even before the ES, he
Weve had no problems bringing it out the U.S. The old pickup used to have says. Once people started showing Turn up: Many sound engi-
in the mix and it sits very well. Ive been a notch switch and blend and all this up with the ES, when people heard neers have a preconceived
really pleased with the ES. Its easy to stuff. I find, if anybody whos doing what it sounds like and discovered idea of how to EQ an acoustic
EQ, its got nice resonance, and all I do what I have to do, this is the man right the ease of operation how many guitar based on their experi-
is add a little Gold Plate [reverb] to it here. headaches in your life just disappeared ence with piezo pickups in
for a little body and it sounds great. in live performance every time I acoustics. Their go-to acous-
On stage, Dave Barry, who also Putting the ES in turned around, somebody else has tic setting can have some
owns an 812ce, says he loves the live Western Music got a Taylor guitar in their hands who pretty radical EQ adjustments.
tone and ease of use. Western music singer-songwriter used to play something different. The With the ES, you want to
One of the things I fell in love with Jon Messenger has seen a tremendous things sell themselves. The group effort start with the ES controls at
right away was the natural tone without influx of Taylors among the Western that you guys have put into this has their center detents and have
having to use a lot of extra outboard music community in recent years. He really created a wonderful world in the the sound man start with the
gear, he says. The way I have it set attributes this to both the pure acoustic modern era for making music. And that channel adjusted flat. If the PA is EQd for the room, youll have a great
up now is I use the tip, ring, sleeve playing experience and the ease of use works across the entire spectrum of sound with the settings flat. He can then fine-tune to taste.
[TRS] into the Taylor Breakout Box with of the ES. He was already a longtime genres.
the mute switch on it, and that goes Taylor owner himself he has a 1984
directly into the PA. And were using Brazilian rosewood 710 and a
in-ear monitors, so everything is very veteran of a variety of different acoustic

Mixed Media
hammer-ons and legato runs, Saufley
assesses, noting that the guitar also SolidBody Solidarity
responds well to nuanced fingerpicking
with a thumbpick or bare fingers. He
equates the guitars tone with that of
other Taylors exceptionally present The world has been eagerly
in the midrange with a lovely balance awaiting the arrival of Taylors new
between muscular and delicate playing. double cutaway SolidBody, especially
He also liked the responsiveness of those who experienced it firsthand
the DDXs ES-T tone controls. His at Winter NAMM. Peter Hodgson of
final verdict: The Taylor Doyle Deluxe calls the guitar
is one of the quickest-feeling flattops one of my favorite things at NAMM,
Ive played in a while. Whats more, and goes onto say, Ive made no secret
its voiced to take advantage of lighter of having a serious crush on Taylor
strings and fingerpicking reactive in guitars. You saw my SolidBody Custom
the high and mid range with plenty of review a while ago? Well imagine that
sustain.The construction is flawless... but sleeker, sexier and more rockworthy.
and is a Taylor through and through. One of his fellow bloggers, Jonathan
This guitar really begs to be played and Bloomer of Guitar Noize, agrees: I
that kind of relationship with a guitar was fairly confident my bank account
is not always one you can buy at any was safe uh oh, I feel a G.A.S. attack
price. In that sense, the beautifully built coming onIts beautiful and because it
Doyle Deluxe is worth every penny. is based on the singlecut version it has
all the amazing features like the plug &
play solderless Loaded Pickguards with
Lessons Reviewed any combination of pickups you can
think of, or you can go for the Standard
Positive reviews of Bob Taylors without the pickguard.
book, Guitar Lessons: A Lifes Journey
Turning Passion into Business, have
been rolling in. Guitar Players Art
Thompson named the book one of his
GP Editors Top Three, describing how
Taylor shares epiphanies and hard-
earned lessons that led to ultimate suc-
When the GS Mini debuted at midrange and abundant low end, and should: One cant resist picking it up, cess, and the result is a revealing take
Summer NAMM 2010, enthusiastic whether you play with your fingers or and it has the playability and tone that about craft, business and the pursuit of
fans, dealers and media clamored to use a pick, the dynamic responsiveness makes one never want to put it down. happiness.
get their hands on one. Since then, the is startling. Thompson also plugged in Industry peer Jason Verlinde, pub-
guitar has gone on to win Product of with the ES Go pickup. He liked its lisher of The Fretboard Journal, wrote
the Year honors from Music and Sound rich, clear sound and its ability to be Pure Platinum a full review of the book, noting how
Retailer magazine and has earned more played quite loudly without incurring Guitar World he can relate to sweat equity, and
than a few glowing reviews. Although feedback. March 2011 calls the book a breath of fresh air.
youd probably rather be playing a He elaborates: Unlike seemingly every
Mini than reading about one, weve Its not impossible to build a small other business book being made today,
gleaned a few comments from industry An Electric Feeling guitar that sounds good, writes Guitar Taylor is not out to preach a four-day
publications. American Songwriter Worlds Chris Gill in his review of the workweek or ask you to mull about what
January 2011 GS Mini, but the real challenge is Google might do in a certain situation
Double cutaway
to build a small guitar that has a big there is no get rich quick scheme here.
The Editors Pick Jake Kelly of American Songwriter, sound. Not surprisingly, the Mini fits Instead, he simply shares stories both
SolidBody Standard
in Balboa Blue
Guitar Player who is primarily an electric player, felt the bill. Gill echoes the sentiments of positive and negative that took place
March 2011 that his fellow electric pickers will love other reviewers, toasting the Minis behind-the-scenes at Taylor Guitars
playing the GS Mini. [The] reduced expressive, dynamic response, along since its founding in the early 70s. Its
After a thorough test-drive and scale makes light gauge acoustic with its rich sustain, impressive volume fascinating and enlightening and, more
review of the GS Mini, GP gear editor strings feel like extra light electric guitar and satisfying bass. In the end, Gill than anything, its real
Art Thompson tagged the guitar with strings, he explains. Electric players awards the GS Mini the magazines ABA Banking Journal added the
the magazines coveted Editors Pick will also love the way the sound naturally Platinum Award for Quality and Design. book to their roster of reviews, advis-
Award. The satin-finished, slightly compresses when strummed or picked ing their readers who work with small
v-shaped neck feels great and the nicely hard, but still has the volume and cut business clients to use the stories in
trimmed frets and low action make it a to stand out when playing with others Slick and Quick Guitar Lessons to encourage and relate
delight to play, Thompson writes of his using full-sized guitars. He calls the Premier Guitar to those they work with. Writer Charlie
initial impression. The nut is perfectly ES Go a functional and cost-effective April 2011 Moon calls for fellow bankers to look
installed and the intonation solid and solution for those looking to seamlessly With a look thats slick and black like a hero in the eyes of your small busi-
tuneful. On its performance, he lauds plug in and play, and highlights the as night and a playing style thats ness customers. When your customers
the guitars projection and versatility: Minis overall fun factor: Everyone fast and easy, PG gear editor Charles are busy building their businesses they
Suffice to say Taylor has learned a lot smiles and exclaims their love for it Saufley proceeds to put the new Doyle may not take the time to read a book.
about making small guitars sound big. its small enough to be stashed in the Deluxe (DDX) model through its paces. Do them a favor, read the book, tell them
The GS Mini delivers amazing depth, trunk of a Smart Car but big enough to The combination of light strings, low the stories, and help them persevere to
fullness and presence. The tones are be heard in any acoustic situation, and action and long scale beckon you to build their vision, deliver their product,
crisp and detailed with a blossoming it accomplishes what every instrument play fast and throw around bends, and repay their loan.
Guitar Theorys Rival:
The Piano
The A major problem guitarists face
when plunging into even the most basic
rules of music theory is the convoluted
way the guitar is laid out. For instance,
there is no other instrument that has
six different places to play the exact
same note (Ex. 1, p. 27). In many ways,

these multiple versions of E are a true
blessing for a guitarist when playing,
but when it comes to theory they just
cloud the issue. The piano is the music
theorists best friend; the guitar plays
Im not suggesting you all drop
your Taylors and start subscribing to
Steinway Monthly. On the contrary, Ill
show you how to take advantage of
Guitar theory may seem murky, the guitars unusual layout. However,
I would recommend that if you have
but learning your way around access to a keyboard (and given the
the fretboard will give you fact that most toy stores carry miniature
pianos for as little as $10, there is no
the building blocks to excuse not to), then you might double-
check your theory work by referring
express yourself to the keyboard. Lets start here and
demonstrate some of theorys most
By Shawn Persinger basic principles by comparing the
different points of view of a pianist and
a guitarist.
On the keyboard, basic theory
is usually discussed in the key of C.
This is because all the white keys on
the piano are pitches in the key of C.
This makes naming the pitches easy
(Ex. 2), naming the intervals easy (Ex.
2), and even playing chords easy. The
F chord is no harder to play on the
piano than the E minor (Ex. 3 and 4).
Are you starting to second-guess your
instrument choice yet?

Ex. 2: Note names and intervals

F or some guitar players, the idea

of music theory might conjure
images of white-wigged old
men hunched over writing desks and
more advanced theory. Counting off
a song, 1, 2, 3, 4! is music theory.
That count establishes a rhythm of
4/4. You dont need to know that each
measure can be subdivided into smaller
layout is not a logical one. This is
because the guitar has evolved over
thousands of years (the so-called
Hittite Guitar dates back to roughly
1300 B.C.), and as a result, the
tamed to a point, yet still preserves its
feral nature, which can cause it to bite
in the most unexpected and irrational
If youve ever felt the sharp teeth
Ex. 3: E minor chord

scribbling madly on parchment paper

an activity more akin to math professors groups of twos and threes or filled playable functions started for practical of the guitars design gnawing into
than rock stars. But any musician worth up with eighth notes, triplets or rests. rather than logical purposes. In other your understanding of what you are
his salt knows some music theory, That is simply more advanced theory. words, they sounded good, so they technically doing when you play your
whether he realizes it or not. Knowing You probably know other theoretical didnt have to be mathematically valid. favorite songs, you are not alone. So,
that a G chord is called a G chord concepts, too, and either dont realize it Unlike the piano, which was designed just relax and get ready to fill in some
is music theory! You dont have to or have trouble explaining it, especially to perform as the ultimate reasonable blanks in your constantly growing Ex. 4: F chord
know that a G chord is made from the on your instrument of choice. and coherent instrument, the guitar is knowledge of the guitar, music and its
pitches G, B and D; thats just slightly You see, the guitar fretboards more of a wild animal that has been underlying principles.

In contrast, on the guitar we have

several different and equally confusing
ways to play the C major scale (Ex. 5, The Irrational Fretboard
6 and 7), and these examples are only
three of virtually endless possibilities.
Now let me reassure you why the guitar Ex. 5: C Major scale with open strings Ex. 6: C Major scale with one string Ex. 7: C Major scale in a closed position
Ex. 1
is still a good instrument choice. Once
youve learned the pattern shown in
Example 7, youll actually know all 12
major scales! All you need to do is start
the pattern on a different fret. If you
want to play the G scale, then start
the pattern shown in Example 7 at the
third fret. E-flat major? Same pattern
at the 11th fret. Got it? Antithetically,
piano players have to learn 12
different patterns for all 12 major keys.
I point this out to illustrate that all
instruments have their advantages and Ex. 8: C Major scale Ex. 9: G Major scale
Now lets move onto some essential
building blocks of music theory: scales.

Which Scale Do I Use?

Knowing that the guitars layout is
lacking in divine logic, lets tackle a
salient question: Why are the scales
laid out in so many different ways on
the guitar? Before I tell you why, let
me explain how scales are made.
All scales major, minor, Ex. 10: G Major scale, open position Ex. 11: G Major scale, closed position
pentatonic, etc. are simply a series
of ordered steps, starting on any given
pitch and ending on the same pitch
an octave higher or lower. For our
purposes well stick with the major
scale because all Western music
theory is based on this scale. Example
8 shows the C major scale and the
series of steps that it contains (W =
whole step; H = half step): W W
H W W W H. (Note: Many
theory books also use the terms Tone
[T] for a whole step and Semitone [S Ex. 12: G Major scale, three notes per string Ex. 13: G Major scale in harmonics

or s] for half steps.) This is how all

12 major scales are made. Example
9 shows the G major scale. As you
can see, it contains the same order of
whole steps and half steps but starts
and ends on the pitch G. Its that
easy! Now that we understand the
construction of this essential element,
lets use it to address the issue of
fingering options and why they exist.
Our various choices regarding
where we can play the scales come
back to the fact that we have multiple
places on the guitar where we find
the same notes (Ex. 1). What at first sake of argument, lets find a more 11 falls comfortably on the fretboard, So which pattern is best? You Shawn Persinger, a.k.a. Prester John,
seems like the dilemma of too many expedient way to play the G major utilizing one finger per fret (first finger decide. Personally I believe there is a self-proclaimed Modern/Primitive
options should really be viewed scale (Ex. 10). Once again our W at the second fret, second finger at is no best way to play anything on guitarist who owns Taylor 410s and
as personal alternatives for each W H W W W H pattern the third fret, third finger at the fourth the guitar. If there were, everyone 310s. His latest CD, Desire for a
individual player. It is arguable that is still intact, but it is difficult to see fret, fourth finger at the fifth fret) and would sound the same, and quite Straight Line, with mandolinist David
moving up and down the scale on only because we are changing strings so it is readily moveable. Example 12 frequently, I find that players with the Miller, showcases a myriad of delightful
one string (Ex. 9) is an awkward way frequently. While this is an excellent demonstrates a fourth fingering option most unorthodox approaches produce musical paradoxes: complex but
to utilize the fingerboard, but I would pattern to know, particularly for with the convenience of using three some of the most interesting music. catchy; virtuosic yet affable; smart and
disagree (so would most sitar players, bluegrass and classical music, the fact notes per string. And just for fun, So, dont get too hung up on these whimsical.
as this is one of the fundamental that it exploits all of the open strings Ive included a version of the scale in choices, because that is all they are.
movements in that instruments makes it a difficult pattern to move natural harmonics (Ex. 13). Youll have You dont need to learn all of them,
performance vocabulary). But, for the around the neck. In contrast, Example to bend behind the nut to get the C. just the ones that suit you best.

Winter NAMM
The GS Mini wins Product of the Year,
January 13-16, 2011 Anaheim, California

traction in the market and spur sales ments and was joined for a few tunes rockers 10 Years, with guitarists Brian
the double cutaway scores a double growth. by singer-songwriter, producer and Vodinh and Ryan Tater Johnson on
When I saw those double cuts, I former Ambrosia member David Pack. 6-and 12-strings, respectively. The days
thumbs-up, and a great artist lineup told [Taylor Canadian Sales Manager] Pack shared fond memories of playing middle set brought the powerful and
rocks the house Steve Parr, Dude, you guys just with Chet Atkins, and he and Doyle moving contemporary Gospel sounds
officially entered the electric guitar played a tasty set that included the of multiple Grammy and Dove Award
Nearby Disneyland may have staked The Room business, said Moss, who placed a soulful Pack tune Tell Her Goodbye, a winner Israel Houghton, accompa-
its claim as The Happiest Place on Our showroom layout in general healthy order for them at the show. I twangy cover of Lay Down Sally (with nied by his band New Breed and also
Earth, but if youre a music gear junkie, resembled that of last year, though we think itll do really well, and itll make the Pack on a T3), and a medley of songs joined by his friend, liturgical post-rock
the Anaheim Convention Center, home changed the way we presented the other SolidBody guitars move as well in the key of A, including the Doors artist Michael Gungor. Houghton and
of the Winter NAMM Show, was a bet- acoustic line. Instead of organizing gui- because you kind of have a bit more of Break on Through (to the Other Side), Co. packed the house and delivered a
ter bet for four days in January. tars by each series, we arranged them a line. To have a guitar that looks that the instrumental classic Tequila, and knockout set colored by soaring vocals,
With Winter NAMM as the official by each acoustic shape to reflect the hot with the trem working the way it Percy Mayfields Hit the Road Jack. tight gospel/funk grooves, and a vibe
buzz-building launching pad for new way weve been talking about the line at does, with or without a pickguard, at Doyle took over on a cool mash-up of of celebration and hope. Coheed
products in the MI industry, the record- Road Shows. We also designed a spe- that price point, thats good. Classical Gas and Chicagos 25 or 6 and Cambria capped the day with a
setting attendance numbers were no cial display to highlight the Expression to 4, played on an R. Taylor 12-string. stripped-down acoustic performance
doubt an encouraging sign for exhibi- System for our acoustics, which The Stage On Friday, L.A.s The Airborne that started with just Claudio Sanchez
tors and retailers. The show certainly helped dealers and customers key in This years performance lineup Toxic Event led the days performanc- and Travis Stever on a couple of tunes
opened on a great note for Taylor, as on its design and performance benefits covered a lot of musical turf. The music es with a spirited acoustic set featuring before being joined by the rest of the
the GS Mini was named Product of the compared to other acoustic pickups kicked off Thursday with a solo acoustic material from their forthcoming release, band.
Year by The Music and Sound Retailer, in the market (see story on page 22). set from acclaimed Japanese guitarist as they warmed up for their European Honorable mention goes to kid-rock-
a major trade publication. It marked the Another wall showcased a gorgeous Hirokazu Ogura, whod been sched- Residency Tour. Ed Robertson and ers Skick, comprised of three siblings
second year in a row that Taylor has array of Build to Order models that uled to perform in the duo Yamagen, Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies and a friend (average age: 12!), who
won the award (the T3 won last year) were crafted especially for the show, but his musical partner, Yoshiyuki played next, entertaining the room with played an energetic set on Sunday.
and, remarkably, the fourth time in six offering a tasty sample of the custom Sahashi, fell ill and couldnt leave witty banter about NAMM in between One other performer who wasnt
years (other previous winners were the options available through the BTO pro- Japan. Not to worry. Ogura used guitar songs. To close out the day, Night formally scheduled but who entertained
T5 and GS). The award is chosen by a gram. looping gear to accompany himself Ranger returned after last years the room in-between sets each after-
vote of dealers, who also gave us a vote Our presentation of the electric and wove layers of guitar lines into his strong unplugged performance, this noon was flamenco guitarist Marija
of confidence as the Acoustic Guitar line featured the new double cutaway melodic fingerstyle compositions. time rocking an electric set that fea- Temo, whose playing was featured in
Line of the Year in MMR magazines SolidBody and a mix of vibrant color Next up, Plain White Ts treated tured hits like (You Can Still) Rock in last years GE Capital commercial with
Dealers Choice Awards. options for the quilted maple top the crowd to a harmony-rich perfor- America, Dont Tell Me You Love Me, Taylor Guitars. Bob Taylor introduced
Other Taylor accolades to note Standard, both of which made a big mance, including acoustic-centric hits and Sister Christian, plus a couple Marija on stage by noting the effect
from the show: Bass Gear magazine splash with dealers. For any deal- like 1,2,3,4 and Hey There Delilah, of Damn Yankees tunes and a surging the commercial and her playing had on
presented Bob Taylor with the Summer ers whod been slow to embrace along with Hate (I Really Dont Like cover of AC/DCs Dirty Deeds Done renewing his interest in making pure
NAMM (2010) Best of Show award for the SolidBody as a legitimate line of You), the up-tempo Our Time Now, Dirt Cheap. Guitarists Joel Hoekstra classical guitars.
the V-Cable. And on Sunday, Taylor electrics, seeing the beautiful curves and a few tunes from their new release and Brad Gillis shredded on the Like last year, we brought a video
and GE Capital earned an Honorable of the double cutaway with the color- Wonders of the Younger, including SolidBody, and the overall performance crew in to record high-def footage of
Mention from NAMMs Wanna Play? ful figured tops of the Standard was a Irrational Anthem, Rhythm of Love, prompted Orange County Register the performances, along with other
Foundation, which recognizes non- game changer. Brent Moss from The and Boomerang. pop music columnist Robert Kinsler, exclusive backstage artist video con-
NAMM members for using music and Guitar Shop in Mississauga, Ontario, Longtime Taylor signature artist and who was in the house, to rave: This tent, which well be editing and posting
musical instruments as a means to Canada was a prime example. Hes crowd favorite Doyle Dykes proudly NAMM showcase marked one of the online. (Several video highlight clips
encourage music education. As both seen modest customer interest in the debuted his new Doyle Deluxe model, most rocking sets Ive witnessed at the were posted to our NAMM page on the
Taylor and GE are members, neither SolidBody as it established its place in which was named one of Guitarist UK trade show. Big hits were delivered with Taylor website during the show.)
was eligible for an actual award, but the electric guitar market over the last magazines top 10 products from the unbridled power.
NAMM wanted to give special recogni- couple of years, but he felt the new show. Doyle dazzled the crowd as usual Saturday featured a dark-hued
tion to the commercial. design options would give the line more with his acrobatic fingerstyle arrange- acoustic set from Knoxville, Tennessee continued on page 29
Clockwise from top left:
Plain White Ts during their
acoustic set; Night Rangers
Joel Hoekstra and his hair-
raising riffs; Israel Houghton
and his T5; The Airborne Toxic
Event; Doyle Dykes playing his
new Doyle Deluxe model

Watch a NAMM
performance clip from
Coheed and Cambria.

Other notable guests who

dropped by the room to hang included
longtime Paul McCartney guitarist
Brian Ray (who loved the Baritone
8-String), acclaimed rock guitarist Earl
Slick (David Bowie, John Lennon),
Shinedowns Zack Myers, Matt
Scannell (Vertical Horizon), Lisa Loeb,
singer/guitarist Andrs Giminz of the
Argentinian rock band D-Mente, Cheap
Tricks Rick Nielsen, Rod Stewart
guitarist Don Kirkpatrick, and former
New York Yankee Bernie Williams, an
accomplished guitarist who took time
to jam and do a video interview with
Taylors Andy Powers.
NAMM also marked the pre-release
of Bob Taylors new book, Guitar
Lessons. Barnes & Noble handled
sales in the Taylor room (more than 300
books were sold at the show), and Bob
did a few book signing sessions for
happy buyers.
All in all, it was another great show,
with heaps of traffic in the Taylor room.
Artists thanked us for the hospitality, we
thanked them for sharing their talents,
and our guests left happy to have had
a great up close and personal experi-
ence with our guitars and our people. Clockwise from top left:
One of the coolest aspects of our pres- Coheed and Cambrias
ence at NAMM is the way it brings so Travis Stever and Claudio
many facets of the company together Sanchez; Hirokazu Ogura
with dealers, customers, vendors, mem- of Yamagen; 10 Years;
bers of the media, and other friends. Barenaked Ladies Kevin Hearn
As Taylor District Sales Manager Mike and Ed Robertson
Ausman summed up afterward, It was
more hugs than handshakes.

Calendar For the latest event listings, including Road Shows, Doyle Dykes events, festivals and other Taylor events, visit
the Taylor online calendar at

Our award-winning Road Show tour rolls out again this spring, as our guitar experts bring you the Gonzales, Louisiana Hampshire, United Kingdom Fuzz Guitar Show
latest and greatest from the Taylor complex in El Cajon, California. This year well be hitting some Tuesday, May 24, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m. Gothenburg, Sweden
new locations, and we look forward to presenting our Shapes & Woods guitar demo to fresh faces. Alisons World of Music Oasis Music May 21-22
You can expect to see the GS Mini, along with a fresh batch of cool custom guitars, for our hands-on (225) 677-9299 07703 439978
Petting Zoo. Admission to the Road Show is free, and each attendee will have the chance to enter
to win a custom guitar. We hope youll join us for a fun and informative event. Lexington, Kentucky Mons, Belgium Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Tuesday, May 24, 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 7 p.m. Festival
Willcutt Guitar Shoppe Omega Music Maui-Island Style
North American Road Shows (859) 276-4070 32 6535 5171 Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Omaha, Nebraska Worcester, Massachusetts Lafayette, Louisiana Boekel, Netherlands June 26
Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m.
Russos Guitar & Drum Center Union Music C&M Music Guitarking
(402) 493-2116 (508) 753-3702 (337) 989-2838 31 49 2324 038 Tokyo Guitar Show
Tokyo, Japan
Brookfield, Wisconsin Neenah, Wisconsin Kenner, Louisiana Sint-Niklaas, Belgium June 25-26
Tuesday, April 12, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Cream City Music Island Music C&M Music Key Music Summer NAMM
(262) 860-1800 (920) 725-9000 (504) 468-8688 32 3 766 6393 Nashville, Tennessee
St. Louis, Missouri July 21-23
Lincoln, Nebraska Edmonton, Alberta Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m. Dickson City, PA Rotterdam, Netherlands
Wednesday, April 13, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, 7 p.m. Music Folk Monday, June 6, 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, 7 p.m.
Dietze Music Avenue Guitars (314) 961-2838 Northeast Music Center Feedback Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
(402) 434-7454 (780) 448-4827 570-483-4184 31 10 211 1003 Festival
Kahului, Hawaii Oahu-Island Style
Crystal Lake, Illinois Raleigh, North Carolina Sunday, May 15, time TBD Carlisle, Pennsylvania Halmstad, Sweden Kapiolani Park, Waikiki
Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, 7 p.m. Bounty Music Tuesday, June 7, 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, 6:30 p.m. August 21
The Players Bench Music Store Harrys Guitar Shop (808) 871-1141 JW Music Musikalen
(815) 459-8614 (919) 828-4888 (717) 258-6765 0046 35 123720
Gloucester Point, Virginia Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Kearney, Nebraska Red Deer, Alberta Monday, May 16, 7 p.m. Wilmington, Delaware Malm, Sweden Festival
Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, 7 p.m. Winter Sound Wednesday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. Kona-Island Style
Yandas Music & Pro Audio 53rd Street Music (804) 642-6434 Accent Music Malm Musikaffr Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort &
(308) 234-1970 (403) 346-4000 (302) 999-9939 040-12 81 92 Spa, Hawaii
Hilo, Hawaii September 4
Champaign, Illinois Calgary, Alberta Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. Trenton, New Jersey Helsingborg, Sweden
Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 7 p.m. Hilo Guitars Thursday, June 9, 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.
C.V. Lloyde Music Center Guitarworks (808) 935-4282 Russo Music Center Halmen Musik London Acoustic Guitar
(217) 352-7031 (403) 216-8525 (609) 888-0620 042-21 51 39 Show
Westminster, Maryland London, Great Britain
Greenwood, Indiana Albuquerque, New Mexico Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. Catonsville, Maryland Gteborg, Sweden September 10-11
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 7 p.m. Coffey Music Friday, June 10, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, 6:30 p.m.
Guitarworks Grandmas Music & Sound (410) 876-1045 Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe Andreasson Musik
(317) 885-1510 (505) 292-0341 (410) 744-1144 031-7114711 Walnut Valley Festival
Egg Harbor Township, Winfield, Kansas
Portland, Maine Columbia, Missouri New Jersey Orlando, Florida September 14-17
Monday, April 25, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 18, All Day Event
Buckdancers Choice Blue Guitar Music Co. Music Central Orlando Science Center
(207) 774-2219 (573) 441-0055 (609) 383-2900 (407) 514-2000 Festivals/Events

St. Cloud, Minnesota Santa Fe, New Mexico Williamsport, Pennsylvania Dallas Guitar Show
Tuesday, April 26, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. Dallas, Texas
Bridge of Harmony The Candyman Strings & Things Robert M. Sides April 14-17
(320) 252-0511 (505) 983-5906 (570) 326-2094 International Road Shows

Concord, New Hampshire Columbia, Missouri Honolulu, Hawaii Newcastle, United Kingdom Merlefest
Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, 7 p.m. Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Strings & Things Blue Guitar Music Co. Island Guitars guitarguitar April 27-30
(603) 228-1971 (573) 441-0055 (808) 591-2910 0191 261 1568

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Aztec, New Mexico Kalaheo, Hawaii York, United Kingdom MIAC Show
Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21, time TBD Tuesday, April 19, 7 p.m. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Schmitt Music Main Street Music Scottys Music Banks Musicroom May 15-16
(763) 566-4560 (505) 334-5210 (808) 332-0090 01904 658836

Spring 2011

Suede Taylor Guitar Straps

(Black Suede, Honey Suede, Chocolate Suede, $35.00)

Tattered Patch Cap

Our newest cap sports a vintage, distressed
look with a frayed-edge screen print Taylor
patch on brown, with contrasting light stone
stitching. Soft structured, garment-washed six
panel design. Flex fit. Two sizes. (Brown S/M,
Our Sketch T hearkens back to Taylors freewheeling early days. L/XL, $25.00)
100% combed cotton. (Navy; S-XL, $22.00; XXL, $24.00)


Mens Headstock T
Our stylized peghead graphic traces Taylors heritage back to the
beginning on this 100% cotton T, featuring heathered fabric for
a fitted look and soft feel. (Deep Heather, S-XL, $22.00; XXL,

Luis from our Finish department swears hes not related to

Wolverine from X-Men.

Front Pocket Wallet

Crafted from genuine leather, this Fossil wallet is tastefully embossed
with the Taylor logo. Features three card slots, two slip pockets, and a
money clip. Fossil tin included. (Brown, $35.00)

Taylor Pub Glasses

20-oz glass, set of four. ($25.00)
Military Cap
Enzyme-washed 100% cotton chino twill, Velcro closure. One size.
New New (Black, Olive, $22.00)

Infant/Toddler Icon T Taylor Stack Guitar T

Whether the wee ones are crawling or wobbling toward your guitar, Everything stacks up just fine
theyll look extra cute sporting a little Taylor peghead. 100% cot- as the Taylor name gets the
ton, ribbed neck. (Royal or Raspberry; Infant: 6, 12 and 18 months; split-level treatment, anchored
Toddler: 2T, 3T, 4T, $15.00) by a guitar. 100% cotton, slim
fit, featuring a round logo on
the back. (Brown, S-XL, $22.00;
XXL-XXXL, $24.00)

Taylor Water Bottle

Stainless steel, 24-oz, threaded loop cap. Taylor logo on back. Hand
wash only, not suitable for microwave, cooking, freezing or hot liquids.
(Black, $15.00)
Antique Logo T-shirt
Short-sleeve, pre-washed, 100% cotton. Slim fit. (Green/Tan, Red/Gold,
Navy/Gold; S-XL, $20.00; XXL, $22.00)


Tri Blend Polo

Comfort and style converge on our cotton/poly/rayon polo,
featuring screen-printed Taylor guitar necks in two shades of cool
gray. Structured collar will hold shape through repeated washings.
Short-sleeve, single front pocket, 3-button placket. Slim fit.
(Tri Black, S-XL, $39.00)

Taylor Logo T Shannon is Taylors web strategist, as you can probably tell from the
Short-sleeve, sizes: S-XXXL. artsy eyewear, facial hair and hipster cap.
(White, Blue Dusk; S-XL $15.00; XXL-XXXL $17.00)
Order online: | Order by phone: 800.494.9600

Taylor Guitar Beanie Taylor Silver Dial Watch

100% acrylic. Choose from three colors. One size. Our mens Fossil stainless steel watch sports a clean, classic look
(Black, Maroon, Charcoal, $16.00) that fits any occasion. Silver dial with silver strap, raised hour markers,
luminous hands, and the Taylor Quality Guitars logo in cool gray.
Water-resistant to 5 atm. Taylor-branded tin gift box included.

Vintage Peghead T
100% combed cotton. (Black, S-XL, $22.00; XXL-XXXL, $24.00)

Taylor Porcelain Cup

11-ounce thermal cup, flexible silicone sipping lid, Taylor peghead icon
on one side, Taylor round logo on the other. Microwave and dishwasher
safe. ($15.00)

Taylor Swift Guitar Strap

Two-inch-wide adjustable strap, brown suede and polyester.

Ladies Short-Sleeve
Floral Guitar T
Floral embellishments bring the
acoustic bloom to a guitar on this
soft and comfy scoop-neck T,
accompanied by a few songbirds,
including one on the sleeve.
100% organic pima cotton,
narrow rib collar, satin garment
washed. Regular fit. (Ocean Blue,
S-XL, $25.00)

Becky from Sales Administration

supports her own cause in our Taylor Bar Stool
Floral Guitar T. 30 high, black matte, vinyl finish. Easy assembly. ($99.00. Additional
$5.00 shipping charge for each bar stool ordered.)
Order online: | Order by phone: 800.494.9600

ES-Go Pickup
Designed by Taylor exclusively for the GS Mini, the ES-Go is a magnetic
Loaded Pickguards soundhole pickup that anyone can easily install in minutes with just a
Swap out the pickup/pickguard unit for your screwdriver. The pickup floats in the soundhole with the help of a Flex Fit Cap
SolidBody in minutes, without the need for connecting bracket thats pre-installed in every Mini. Just replace the Taylor logo on front, matching color guitar embroidered on back.
soldering. Eleven different pickup configurations guitars endpin with the endpin jack and youll be ready to plug in and Two sizes: S/M and L/XL. (Maroon or Gray, $22.00)
and six different pickguard colors. For a complete list play in no time. ($98.00)
of ordering options, go to
$195.00 (Single HG Humbucker: $148.00)

Taylor Guitar Picks

Marble or Solid. 10 picks per pack. Available in thin, medium or
heavy gauge. ($5.00)

Taylor V-CableTM
The V-Cable puts volume control at your fingertips anytime you plug in a
guitar, bass, keyboard or other musical instrument that has a pickup but
lacks active controls. Simply plug one end of the quarter-inch V-Cable
into your amplifying device, such as a guitar amp, keyboard amp, or PA
system, and the other end into your instrument. A volume knob located
on the cable jack that plugs into your instrument makes it easy to adjust
your volume anytime you need to. Together with the ES-Go pickup, its
the perfect plug-in accessory for the GS Mini. 250K. (Note: The
V-Cable is not intended for use on a passive piezo pickup.)
Guitar Parts. Choose from an assortment of replacement parts like
3 Ft., $62.00, 6 Ft., $63.00, 10 Ft. , $66.00, 15 Ft., $68.00, chrome or gold tuners, nuts and saddles, guitar cables, pickguards
18 Ft., $69.00, 20 Ft., $70.00, 25 Ft., $74.00 and bridge pins with or without abalone dots.

Lone Guitar T
Cream and brown screen print on 100% preshrunk cotton.
Traditional fit. (Camel, M-XL, $22.00; XXL, $24.00)

Visit our website for more information

David, a 20-year Taylor vet and a key member of our product
about the TaylorWare Gift Card.
development team, has been right in the middle of many of our
design innovations.

Visit to see the full line.

A Publication of Taylor Guitars Standard
U.S. Postage
Volume 67 / Spring 2011 PAID
Cert no. SCS-COC-001210
Phoenix, AZ
Taylor Guitars | 1980 Gillespie Way | El Cajon, CA 92020-1096 | Permit No. 5937

The paper we used is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is a
non-profit organization that supports environmentally friendly, socially responsible
and economically viable management of the worlds forests.

Hot Blacktop
A crowd favorite at Winter NAMM, this double cutaway SolidBody Standard,
in Gaslamp Black, is one of 13 new color options offered with the Standard
this year. The translucent black finish adds shimmering dimension to the
quilted maple top, with tones of silky moonlight gray and hints of deep brown.
Contrasting highlights include white purfling and cool chrome hardware,
with direct-mount humbuckers.