I was seven. I had been asking for a piano since I was three. My father finally broke down and bought me a little plywood nylon string guitar. He handed it to me and said, "This is it, now stop asking for a piano.”
2. What are the qualities that matter to you when deciding on buying a guitar, and how has this changed over time?
A good strong clear sounding B string has always been important, as well as an even tone throughout the strings. Good bass response but not overwhelming. In the past ten years or so the guitar has to have something I know when I hear that goes with my voice like a duo. This is important, as I'm a solo act.
3. How did you discover your present guitar, and how did it find its way home to you?
It's a 1947 Gibson arch-top. I played every Gibson at Matt Umanov's. It was the one with the clearest voice. It went with my voice. I was there for hours.
4. What historical aspects, if any, have you unearthed about your present or past guitars?
The 1947 Gibson has no truss rod since it was built during WWII. I have a Gibson 1930 tenor guitar. I call her Sparrow. She is the love of my life. I wonder who played her. I would love to know where she has been.
5. What was the most recent song you composed on your guitar, and how did your present guitar tool lead you to discover the right music?
One of the last songs I finished was "O Sinner." I wrote it on my tenor, which brings out completely different melodies and rhythms. Sinner is almost a stomp. I tune the tenor to CGCG like a cross tuned fiddle so it has more of a drone to it. I write in the old Appalachian style, so that helps to find songs that sound like they might have already been written.
Learn more about Diana Jones at: www.dianajonesmusic.com