So here’s my first blog post on my new website. Other new things include a second baby (guitar), and a second actual baby. I’ll limit myself to talking about the former. Four or five years ago I started to get into playing Gypsy jazz through a good friend, one thing lead to another and I bought a Gitane D500. It features on Musicradar’s50 Guitars to Play Before You Die – they refer to it as a “credible starter with a unique sound and feel.” I completely agree, It’s a great guitar for the money (£600ish) and although not without it’s limitations (most noticeably the lack of volume in an ensemble setting) I can’t recommend it enough for any serious Gypsy beginner. Here’s Djangobooks founder Michael Horowitz’s review, which is well worth a look:
You can hear mine by clicking here and listening to the first tune on the page. After a few years I started to feel like I had outgrown the D500, but not in a snobbish way. When I started with it the greater number of limitations were in my playing rather than in the guitars construction, so naturally after a period of time addressing these limitations the balance tipped and so the limitations of the guitar became more apparent. I’m sure this happens to everybody. So, I upgraded! Interestingly the next step up from the D500, would probably be something like the D255, or the D250M or maybe one of the signature models – all would set me back about £1000, give or take. I spent a year looking at options, I’m not normally so conscientious, it’s just that none of the afore mentioned guitars I played seemed significantly better than my D500…. though I did play a 2nd hand Del Arte Pigalle which was very good, but somebody beat me to it. In the end, I decided if I was spending around the £1000-£1500 mark, I’d get the best value if I went bespoke. I found JWC guitars, who have a few notable endorsees and who’s prices start at the very reasonable £995.00 (including a Hiscox case). I made enquiries and the guys actually brought some samples to my house, when they were passing through a few weeks later. Anyway, I placed my order and three months later here it is, my JWC Modele Jazz!
Worth very penny, and a really fantastic sounding guitar that I can continue to grow with! I would insist that anybody looking for “the next move up” from an off the shelf Selmer style guitar pay a visit to JWC Guitars, excellent value and beautifully made.