Thursday, June 18, 2009

Martin Guitar Clinic Rocks!

Check it out! FREE Guitar Gear Give-Aways on July 1 st!!!
C.F. Martin & Planet Waves - cool prizes in the left hand column.
Dr. M with a Martin D-16GT, George Molchany and Russo Music Center sales manager, Chris Colletti

Guitar lovers of all ages were treated to an informative yet entertaining evening at Russo Music Center in Hamilton NJ last night. Hosted by this very busy music store, all seats were filled with standing room only. This event featured George Molchany who works at the Martin Factory doing final guitar inspections. Obviously he logs a lot of time playing. Even more than that, Molchany is a highly experienced luthier having more than 20 years experience building guitars. His intimate knowledge of the construction and tonal properties of the different woods was impressive. While the audience was made up of quite a few well informed Martin-mavens, George Molchany and Dave Evans handled all questions extremely well.

George Molchany & a Martin X-Braced Soundboard
One of things we enjoyed was seeing how a quality guitar is made. Nothing really compares to the Martin Guitar Factory tour but this was a great introduction. After a brief history of the first C.F. Martin's immigration from Germany, Molchany showed us the patented X-Bracing first developed by the company. The model he is holding also showed scalloped bracing on the reverse side which allows the soundboard to vibrate even more. A lighter scalloped bracing generally means a louder guitar.
What impressed me is that these innovations in guitar construction have been since copied by other luthiers yet people continue to buy Martin guitars for that "Martin Sound". Molchany & Evans also discussed the differences in warmth or brightness between woods. I have a D-16GT which has a Mahogany back and sides. I also have a D-18 in sustainable cherry and can notice the difference between the two. It was said that the Mahogany has a brighter tone with more treble and midrange qualities. It was pointed out that Mahogany is inching up on the list of endangered exotic woods. Martin has recently found a new source of sustainable, certified wood which is being used in their D Mahogany 09. The cherry used in my SWDGT is harvested in western PA. Definitely a "home grown" guitar!

George Molchany & Dave Evans on Blues
One of the many highlights of the evening was hearing Molchany play. Later Dave Evans joined him on a few gutsy blues songs such as Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out and T.V. Hearing these guys play was totally worth the trip out.

You really got a chance to hear what these guitars can do. Molchany has a wide repertoire but the guitars kept up beautifully. Although they brought about 16 guitars with them from the factory, Russo Music already had an expansive stock of Martins and other quality American made acoustics on the floor. The center offers guitar classes, so after hearing the music, some of the students also joined in on the fun. With so many guitars to try, everyone one got a chance to play the guitar of their dreams. I even took a turn on that sweet D-28 Marquis pictured below! Visit Russo Music Center online at:

For more information about Martin Guitar, their Factory Tour, Gift Shop and Museum click here:

PODCAST ALERT! You can hear an audio clip of George Molchany playing at this event at Dr. M's Radio Show Podcasts:

An event attendee blissfully playing a gorgeous Martin D-28 Marquis

Catch the next FREE Martin Guitar Clinic featuring Blues & Rag guitarist, Kenny Sultan! See the event listings under Shows-Workshops-Jams. Coming up next....FREE Summer GUITAR GEAR GIVE-AWAY featuring Martin Guitar and Planet Waves accessories!!!

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