About a year ago, I had the idea that I wanted to buy myself a special treat – a new guitar – as a platform to broaden my repertoire into the jazz field. During the year, I read online reviews. I talked to friends. I played instruments at local guitar stores. I decided that I wanted a full hollow-body electric guitar. This style dates back to the mid-1930s when the Gibson guitar company put electric pickups on acoustic arch-top guitars. More than a dozen companies manufacture similar guitars.
Several months ago, I spotted an online promotion for an Epiphone Zephyr guitar, a re-issue of an archtop hollow-body guitar that Epiphone built first in the late 1930s. Love at first sight. I loved the history of the guitar. I loved the look.
When I went to Nashville three weeks ago, I went intending to play the Zephyr and to challenge it with similar guitars to make sure it was really “the one.”
I went to the Gibson Garage first. [Epiphone is a Gibson subsidiary.] With a Garage team member’s guidance, I pulled a Zephyr off its rack and played it for a while. After comparing it to three other guitars there, I went to Carter’s Vintage Guitars. They had a dozen different hollow-body electric guitars including one of the original Zephyrs, a 1949. I played all of them.
I went back to the Gibson Garage for another session with the re-issue Zephyr.
“You like that guitar? I saw you playing it earlier and you’re back,” another Garage team member remarked.
“Yes, I like it. I played one of the originals at Carter’s and I like this one better.”
We chatted for a while about the many guitars I’d played. I sighed. “I’ve played so many, and there are so many more, it’s hard to decide.”
He looked at the guitar for a moment. “I have 28 guitars,” he said. “Bad habit, I know, and I’ve learned that, if a guitar doesn’t feel comfortable, you won’t play it no matter how good it sounds. You can change the sound with amplifiers or different pickups, but you can’t change the comfort.”
Good point, I thought. The Zephyr felt the most comfortable… but I paused.
He went on: “I have one of these, the Zephyr, and I love this guitar. I bought one as soon as they came out. It’s the one I leave out on a stand next to the couch. If I want to play for a few minutes, this is the one I reach for. It’s beautiful. It’s comfortable. It sounds good whether it’s plugged into an amp or not. It’ll be great for the jazz you want to play. It’s strong for country and rock if you want to go that way. It plays easy. I love this guitar.”
Other Garage team members had talked about the guitar as a thing. This one shared it as a personal experience. He owns it. He uses it. He likes it.
“Perfect,” I said. I’ll take it.”
Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .
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