Blues Guitar Institute

1930s Harlin Bros. Parlor Guitar

It strikes without warning.  It can’t be ignored.  It’s highly contagious and has only one temporary cure.

If you’ve been playing guitar for more than, I don’t know, a day or so, you have no doubt experienced Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  G.A.S., as it is commonly referred to, is that twitchy, obsessive feeling you get when you just have to have gear.

Until lately, I have been able to ward off many attacks of G.A.S.  It’s tough, but it can be done.

A few weeks ago, I bought the Acoustic Guitar Magazine with Justin Townes Earle on the cover. He was holding a sweet little Loar Parlor (or O size, not sure) guitar.  I found myself in the time-honored fist fight of guitar player vs  G.A.S.

After a quick sucker-punch from the other guy, I lost the fight.

And the Parlor Guitar Wins

30s Harlin Brothers

I rarely buy guitars.  I am very attached to the ones I have and it takes a lot to turn my attention away from them.  Well, a parlor guitar from the 20s or 30s turned out to be just the right blend of retro-cool to catch my eye. Especially when I found Steve at Vintage Parlor Guitars.

After losing out on a ’34 Harmony Oahu, Steve hooked me up with a great little 1930-something Harlin Brothers parlor guitar.

I love this little thing.  And I mean it’s little!  With only a 13 inch lower bout, 9 1/2 upper bout and an 8 inch waist, this thing is pocket sized.  But its tremendously comfortable to play.  The 1 3/4 inch wide nut makes this guitar beg for some fingerstyle blues.  The neck is stout, but it quickly grew on me.

Solid birch top, back and sides make for a very tight little sound very reminiscent of some of my favorite old blues heros.

Thanks to Steve’s overhaul, which included radiusing the fretboard and resetting the neck, this guitar plays exceptionally well. You would never know this thing was over 70 years old!

What to do about G.A.S

Like I said, I rarely succumb to  G.A.S., but when I do, it hits hard and I must act quickly. I’m completely in love with this old guitar so all in all, I’d say losing the gear acquisition battle turned out just the way it should.

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

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