Reblog: The Real Value of a Guitar

I was shown this great video and story, and just had to share:

Frank Ford and Richard Johnston explain their passion for the guitar.

gryphon-logo“Our goal is to promote the good feelings that we’ve gotten playing music ourselves” Frank Ford says, “if we could make more musicians we’d like to do that.“ He and Richard Johnston began Gryphon Stringed Instruments from their Palo Alto garage in 1969, but for the duo music is only part of the draw. Ford and Johnston view the instruments as a connection to history, both personal and musical. Filmmaker Mike Collins goes inside their guitar shop (no longer located in the garage) to see what drives the guitar-makers to continue building and refurbishing guitars more than 40 years after the birth of their business.

True story — back in 2010 I bought a Martin D-28 from (gulp) Guitar Center. The salesman rushed me out of the store and didn’t bother to tune the guitar, let alone set it up properly. When I got home, I felt immediate buyer’s remorse — remorse not that I had bought the Martin, but that I hadn’t bought it from the best little guitar shop in the San Francisco Bay area, Gryphon Strings. The next day, I did the right thing. I returned the Martin to GC and re-bought the same guitar from Gryphon. I lost a few bucks in the process. But the guitar was set up just right. And I felt unburdened. Lesson learned.

Nowadays, I stop by Gryphon weekly for lessons and occasional salivation sessions, and I get to see firsthand what this video by Cinema Mercantile lets you see all too briefly. The care, craft and emotion (note the poignant chin quiver at the 2:22 mark) that goes into working with guitars … if you’re doing it for the right reasons. In Silicon Valley, there are very few places where business isn’t the main reason for being. Gryphon offers a good escape from that sometimes soul-deadening reality. That’s why I will be heading back there tomorrow. – Dan Colman

Credits

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2013/07/gryphon-strings/276853 by Paul Rosenfeld

http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/the-real-value-of-a-guitar.html by Dan Colman

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About Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins is the founder of Bath Guitar School and has worked for the International Guitar Foundation, Brit Awards, Rockschool, B&NES Council, Mid Somerset Festival, Bath Music Plus, and appeared on BBC and ITV television and radio programming as well as being featured in Guitar Techniques, Total Guitar, Venue, Bath Life magazines and the Bath Chronicle newspaper. Richard is a graduate of the Commercial Music degree programme at Bath Spa University and has a HND in Popular Music from Oxford College.
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