You may not know it from reading Consumerism Commentary, but I’m a musician. That is, I used to be a musician, as I rarely have the chance to practice. The instruments I’ve been known to play include piano, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, baritone horn, percussion, crumhorn, and of course, kazoo.
I studied music education in college with the full intent of teaching in a high school upon graduation. That didn’t quite work out, but I intend on bringing more music into my life. Here is the plan.
First, if you are wondering why I am not teaching now, here is the story. I refused to settle for a teaching position that far from the type of position I wanted. When I finally did find and accept a position that seemed perfect for me, I was treated poorly by the administration, and my students suffered from a curriculum that was not in the interest of their best education. I don’t stand for such things, so I pursued other interests, leaving my musical background for my spare time.
My spare time has been almost nonexistent lately, but with my impending “graduation” from my master’s degree program, I may find myself less busy. I want to start practicing and performing more music again.
Owning a great musical instrument can be inspiring. For example, a cheap keyboard doesn’t grab my attention and beckon me to play, but a grand piano does. (It doesn’t have to be Steinway, but it helps. Either way, even a baby grand is a little beyond both my price range and my available space.) There’s something about being able to produce the perfect sound that makes me want to sit down and practice a piece of music and experiment with my playing.
But lately, I’ve been wanting to spend more time on guitar. I have never owned my own acoustic guitar. When I was in college, I “borrowed” my father’s Martin, but as I was a man of little money, I could only purchase a Fender Stratocaster made in Mexico and a tiny amplifier. I still have the Strat, but it doesn’t have the sound I want, and the craftsmanship isn’t quite up to par. The cheap amp is simply a piece of crap and playing guitar has been uninspiring.
I am considering one of two guitars, either of which will draw me to play. First of all, a solid wood Martin is the way to go for a great sounding guitar that will last for decades if taken care of properly. The Martin D-15 and the Martin 000-15 are basically the entry-level solid wood guitars in two different sizes, the 000 series being slightly smaller than the D (dreadnought) series. They both have a retail price of of $1,149, but anyone who has ever shopped for musical instruments should know that the retail price is nothing more than a joke. Both guitars should be available for purchase for about $600-700.
If you’re interested, read through the reviews of the D-15 and the 000-15 on Epinions. They both seem to be excellent instruments. The size difference likely results in the larger D series having a mellower and fuller tone than the 000 series. I will have to try (audition) the instruments in a store to determine which one suits my hands and my ears better.
I can’t consider any instrument other than a Martin. The sound on this maker’s entry level guitars is simply much more pleasant than that from any other brand’s instruments available within my price range. As I mentioned, a great sound is a necessary motivator for my continued playing.
If I go through with this purchase and the purchase of a new notebook computer, I may have to wait after buying one and before buying the other. Neither of these purchases are needs, so I could theoretically put them off for a while. The guitar and computer would improve my enjoyment of life and side business productivity, respectively. If I can swing both purchases, I would like to do so sooner rather than later.
Updated June 23, 2016 and originally published August 15, 2006.