Thursday, June 3, 2010

Woodman Instruments, Ochanomizu

Heavens. Just wandering around looking for a restaurant, I saw a little green sign with a guitar. It turned out that if you go into the nondescript little office building, the second floor is half taken up with one of the best guitar stores I've been to in Japan. Mostly acoustic...aside from the steels (lap, console and pedal, thank you).

They a serious collection of seriously desirable instruments here. For instance, have you ever coveted a late-30's National Style O (round neck, Hawaiian etching). 3 of them. Gibson acoustics of all vintages. Martins. Mandolins.

Banjos? Late 1800's S.S. Stewart. 1929 Gibson TB-3 conversion that I played for 15 minutes. I've never gotten over the feeling that an original pot with changed neck (used to be a 4-string) and changed tone ring (used to be archtop) can't be worth that much, but others disagree and this was $6000+. On the other hand, how much is an original 5-string flathead? Right. This was a neat banjo, with a big, open sound. It seemed to lack some of the punch of my Stelling, but the strings were old and I was playing with borrowed picks, so who knows?

A great store, worth seeking out if acoustic instruments are your thing.  Also near somewhat-known live bar Case 1 (plenty of acoustic music, incl. bluegrass; review here)

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