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I’m in Los Angeles for a few days.  When I’m here, it’s kind of a tradition to swing by the Guitar Center and have a look around. As I enter the store I’m immediately hit by the discordant symphony of sounds: a jumble of electric guitarists shredding their own solos oblivious to any other amped axes within earshot, the equally adept but more laid back acoustic guitarists turning out melodic country licks and blues riffs, and an assembly of percussionists on djembes, congas, kits and – dare I say it – even a cowbell; all that music interspersed with a cacophony of bubbling conversations revolving around music.  It’s my kind of vibe and even though the sound may be overwhelming to some, it can be exciting at the same time.

This is definitely one of the best ways to spend an evening: the sun has gone down, the air is cooler now than it was during the day (it’s been in the ‘80s here, a nice change from the cold back east) and a soft breeze is a welcome friend.

I walked in and scanned the room. My eye glanced over at the acoustic guitar room. I could see the walled guitars standing to attention, stared at by curious prospective customers, scrutinizing their potential wares.

It was then I had a thought: How I would love to pick up a classical cutaway guitar and hear what some of my old songs sounded like now. There are songs I wrote years ago, songs I rarely play but when I do, I still enjoy singing them. But these are songs I only ever played in a finger-picking style.

Now armed with a big old smile and a mission, I headed over to the acoustic room.

Classical guitars

Nylon electric guitars

A Yamaha caught my eye. I can’t help but have a bias towards Yamaha, in terms of guitars and motorcycles. The first guitar I ever saved up for was a Yamaha APX20. I think we all tend to remember the things that don’t come so easily. I went on to play a few other guitars, even narrowing down my favorites to include a Cordoba and a Taylor.

However, I kept coming back to the Yamaha because, well, it sounded great with or without the use of an amp. As with my other Yamahas, it too has a slimmer neck, and a slender body that makes it a great fit.  I also loved the way it felt.  It had good action.  The other stuff fell into place; materials used in the manufacturing, the finish, the look of it, etc.

Yes.  My name is Kathy Muir and I am a Yamaha guitar hoarder.

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