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The Art of Collecting Guitars

Tempest Left handed guitar

Here at Munson, we think that guitars are pretty amazing for many different reasons. And so do many of our customers. We have many customers who buy our guitars for whom it is not their first, or their only six-stringed purchase. Many of our custom or bespoke guitars go to homes that is already occupied by several others.

And this got us thinking about why some people love to collect guitars.

There appear to be two kinds of people who enjoy collecting guitars – the collector and the enthusiast. Whilst they both would enjoy acquiring the instrument of the gods, it is for different reasons.

The Guitar Collector

The guitar collector is the person that collects guitars but does not necessarily play them. They might play a little, but, more than anything, they enjoy collecting them. A guitar collector might like the way that the guitar looks, or they might buy a guitar to cross it off their list, just as, for example, a stamp or coin collector might. Perhaps the guitar has an interesting story behind it or the collector is looking for a particular guitar played by their favourite musician.

Another reason that a collector might buy a guitar is for investment. A good guitar can hold its value for years and is more predictable than buying stocks or shares. They are also, generally speaking, more affordable than other collectables – art or cars, for example, and, if guitars are your expertise, they are the ideal solution. And of course, have the added bonus that you can play them as well!

There is also the additional fact that (in our opinion) they are beautiful to look at. A guitar can be as much a work of art and craftsmanship as a classic Van Gogh painting.

The Guitar Enthusiast

Although we have a number of professional guitarists amongst our clientele, the majority of our customers are what we would consider as guitar enthusiasts – people who just love guitars – although. Of course, it goes without saying, professional guitarists are usually enthusiasts as well!

The guitar enthusiast might collect guitars like someone collects records or shoes – because they like them and will probably use them. They buy them because it is too tempting not to!

Some people might be looking to recreate the classic sound of different guitars. A Les Paul does not sound the same as a Telecaster, for example, and without having each one, it is impossible to recreate these different sounds.

Similarly with the way that they play. The way that the guitar is designed and set up is conducive to how it plays, so if you are looking to create a virtuoso Steve Vai-type solo you will want a completely different guitar to if you want to play, for example, an Oasis song. Different guitars feel different and play differently. Likewise, different guitars inspire different feelings within the player. One guitar might have a heavy, bluesy feel, ideal for a day when you are feeling melancholic. Whereas another guitar with a brighter tone might be just the trick on a sprightly summer’s morning.

Equally, when you pick up a Flying V Guitar, you will feel like laying down a scorching solo much more than if you were playing a strummy 12-string acoustic, for example. Just like the guitar collector, the enthusiast can also look to buy a guitar because they appreciate the skill and technique that is required to craft it. And once you start to appreciate the beauty in the guitar, you can never fail to notice it and need to have one for yourself. Especially when it comes to custom guitars that are unique to the player.

Tempest Left handed guitar
Tempest Left handed, semi-hollow guitar

Choosing your next Guitar

Some say collecting guitars is a way of life. Whether you fall into the guitar collector or guitar enthusiast category, choosing your next guitar is an important (and fun) decision. Sometimes you might see something that you fall in love with straight away. On other occasions, you might have an idea of exactly the guitar that you want. Then you can commission it from someone like us here at Munson Guitars. A custom shop or bespoke guitar, for example.

We get our customers fully involved in the design of their custom or bespoke guitars. This helps you to get the perfect feel, sound, and look for your instrument, whether you are a collector or enthusiast. You can choose everything from the shape of the body, the wood type, the neck wood, to the knob colour, to make your new guitar as perfect as you had imagined it to be. Enjoy collecting guitars.

About the author

Carl has managed several multinational technology companies and has founded a handful of successful start-ups during his career. Coming back to his roots, and inspired by three generations of craftsmen, Carl co-founded and put his name to Munson Guitars, a British custom guitar builder that brings together a passion for working with wood, electronics and the innovations that digital technology enables.

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