One of my goals as a new retiree is to become a decent guitarist. I’ve loved guitars for as long as I can remember, and mostly have always had one around to tinker with, but I’ve never learned to play as well as I’d like, as it seems that some sort of life situation always intervenes to hinder my progress.
I have the desire, now as a retiree I have the time, and most importantly, now I have a superb instructor to take lessons from.
I really enjoy 3 styles of guitar that I’d like to learn to play competently: jazz (think Joe Pass), fingerstyle, and I’d also love to play some of the classic rock from bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, for example.
Over the last few months my modest guitar collection has been almost completely revamped, and the only guitar that’s survived my buying & selling of guitars over the years has been my Collings OM2C.
My Collings OM2C (the “C” means “cutaway”) is a short scale version, and that combined with its cutaway makes it a delight to play, and it is particularly well suited for fingerstyle guitar, so I am all set on the fingerstyle guitar front.
I really like the way Collings builds guitars. They have great tone, they come extremely well setup and have great playability, and Collings is known for their superb workmanship and the quality materials used in their construction.
I really wanted a compact jazz guitar with great tone and playability, and when I saw a used Collings Eastside LC Deluxe jazz guitar come up for sale at Archtop.com, I got in my car and drove over to Joe’s to check it out.
I really love the sound of a Charlie Christian jazz pickup, which the Eastside LC Deluxe uses, it’s my favorite jazz pickup (Collings uses the Lollar Charlie Christian pickup), and it was one of the things that really caught my eye about this guitar.
Like all guitars that Collings builds, the Eastside LC Deluxe was setup extremely well, had great playability, superb workmanship, quality materials throughout, and most importantly I could afford this particular mint-condition used Eastside LC Deluxe that was on consignment with Joe. After a quick play I bought it, and I’m thrilled with it.
I bought a Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb to use as a practice amp with it, and I’ve been very pleased with the combination.
I’ve also been thrilled to be able to take lessons from David Gitlen, a superb jazz guitarist who trained with Joe Pass and Jim Hall, and David is an extremely good instructor, which really helps.
So now I’m all set on the jazz guitar front with the Collings Eastside LC Deluxe, and I’ve have really been putting in the hours learning and practicing, and just generally enjoying the experience.
But … I really wanted a small guitar for travel, or for sitting on the couch relaxing while doing a little fingerstyle.
The small guitar I had was a traditional parlor guitar with 12 frets to the neck, but I really wanted something that was 14 frets to the neck, as I find myself up around the 14th fret quite a lot.
The Collings Baby 2H was just the sort of guitar I was looking for. The Baby 2H is the smallest guitar in the Collings lineup, yet maintains all of the great tone, superb playability & setup, and quality of materials and workmanship as the larger Collings guitars.
The Baby 2H’s small 12.5 inch lower bout, 14 fret to the body neck, and 24 1/8 inch scale length make it compact, comfortable, and flexible for playing down around the 14th fret. In short the Collings Baby 2H had all the qualities in a small guitar I was looking for, and it just so happened that Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto (where I bought my OM2C) had the exact version I wanted in stock.
After a quick conversation with Matt at Gryphon Strings, I bought the Collings Baby 2H, and it arrived yesterday.
The Collings Baby 2H is an incredible small guitar. It sits perfectly in my lap without sliding around, and its small body makes it super comfortable for playing. Great tone, great setup, beautifully constructed, and a joy to play pretty much sums up the Collings Baby 2H!
I’ve been playing guitars so much lately that I’m a little behind on the audio front, so I have some catching up to do there, but have lots of cool audio stuff to tell you about in some future posts, as well as some great music to tell you about too!
Ok, that’s it for now, and as always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!