HAPPY TRAUM: Tony, tell me about this guitar. This is really a very pretty ... more
HAPPY TRAUM: Tony, tell me about this guitar. This is really a very pretty instrument here.
TONY RICE: This one is made by Santa Cruz Company, a company that I've had a very long-standing relationship with. It goes back to around 1977, I think. And this particular one is a very incredible, incredible, powerful instrument, the best one that I've had to day . . . to date. And I've had quite a few of 'em. This particular one I've only had a year, a year in December actually.
HAPPY TRAUM: Is this a signature model?
TONY RICE: Yeah, it's a . . . it's a, it's a, it's a Tony Rice Deluxe model is what it is. A very dressed-up in terms of trim, and double binding and Brazilian rosewood, and each guitar that they have built for me has been, its been, it's been like a slow, evolutionary process of guitar-making for Richard Hoover. And they've all been successful. And each one's been made for me . . . I'll play on it for a while and then I'll think of some little change that I want to experiment with, like a different, a little different bracing pattern, or braces slid slightly forward, or wood thickness, neck shape . . . all of these little changes that I can think of . . . that, that I like to think of as improvements, but they're always experimental. And so this one, this particular instrument here I've enjoyed playing more than I have any other instrument that I've had in my hands--period!--for many, many years. Something magical about this one. And like I say, it's been a very good relationship with . . . with that Company. And I guess I can let the instrument speak for itself in the way it sounds and the way it notes, and plays; and cosmetically, it's certainly not what any body would consider "an eyesore."
HAPPY TRAUM: No, no, it's a very pretty guitar.
TONY RICE: It's a very beautiful instrument.
HAPPY TRAUM: It really is.
TONY RICE: And it plays, it plays good. This neck shape (which I don't know if you can see that or not) is --ah, it's kind of experimental too. It's actually going back to the way the Martin factory had shaped guitar necks around the turn of the [20th] century, which was with a slight "V" at the back part of the neck, which feels very good on the back of mine, on my hand where I put my thumb, but not quite so exaggerated and an over-wrap in this direction on both ends of the fingerboard . . . makes it very comfortable playing guitar (begins to strum the instrument) and very easy . . . (adjusts the tuning and briefly begins to play) And extremely accurate, in terms of notation. (continuing to play, occasionally checking the tuning using harmonics) Most acoustic guitars don't do that, especially in "A". It's got enormous power and depth (continues to play various runs). Oh well, it speaks for itself. [FADE OUT]
This video features Tony with a Martin D-28 that was owned by Clarence White. more
This video features Tony with a Martin D-28 that was owned by Clarence White.
Q: Your main guitar is the D-28 owned by Clarence White. TR: Yes [Serial N... more
Q: Your main guitar is the D-28 owned by Clarence White.
TR: Yes [Serial No. 58957; Tony bought it from a guy named Joe Miller in Pasadena, CA in 1975 for $550]
Q: Did you change the fingerboard to Gretsch's?
TR: Clarence's father bought that guitar from McCabe's in Los Angeles for $35. That guitar did not have a fingerboard so his father asked McCabe to put one on and that was the Gretsch fingerboard. It had the fret slots already cut, so the scale is Gretsch's. It's a little bit shorter than the standard Martin's scale length but it does not make too much of a difference. The soundhole is larger. I hear so many opinions but I don't think it makes any difference as far as the sound is concerned.