I’ve been carrying on, slowly working on learning to play the guitar. What with one thing and another, my practice sessions aren’t as frequent as they were earlier in the year, but the important thing is I haven’t stopped.
Now sometimes, I don’t have the time for a proper session of chord changes, attempting to work through songs and so on, but I can manage a bit of more random strumming and getting chord shapes into my memory while half-watching something on TV. Now this works well enough with the Strat unplugged, but it occurred to me that it might be easier to have an acoustic guitar for this kind of thing – something I could just pick up and play.
I didn’t want to spend a lot, so I was definitely aiming at the low end of the market. Research at a few suppliers led me to an Ibanez model which seemed to be reasonable, and available in left-handed form. I decided, on the grounds that I might want to plug it in at some point, to get the electro-acoustic version, which is widely available at around £160.
So, I ordered the guitar and a bag from Guitar Guitar, who I’ve dealt with before. Well, the parcel arrived, but there was a slight problem. A slight oopsie in the warehouse led to me being sent a PF15L-NT instead of a PFLECE-NT. I realised this when I opened the box to (a) have a look and (b) put it in the bag to take home. What’s the difference? Well, I’d been sent the version without the electronics. Given the similar model names and identical boxes involved, it’s the kind of mistake that gets made occasionally by busy people, so I wasn’t really annoyed.
I called Guitar Guitar, and a friendly guy apologised and at first suggested that they’d arrange an exchange the next day, which would have been fine. But then he had a thought, and checked his systems. The one I should have had was in stock in the Newcastle branch, and he thought he might be able to sort out a swap. He arranged to call me back, which he did shortly afterwards. I agreed to take the wrong guitar to the shop and have it swapped for the right one.
So I popped out, had my correct guitar tested in front of me (nice) and handed over. And here it is, in a quick iPhone photo:
It’s comfortable to play, stays in tune and sounds, to my ears at least, rather nice. It even sounded good in the shop going through an electric guitar amp (not usually recommended as those tend to add distortion, which isn’t a good thing for acoustics in general).
But the main point of this post is praise for Guitar Guitar’s customer service – as I told the guy on the phone and the one in the shop, anyone can make mistakes, it’s how they’re sorted out that shows how good a company really is. And this was sorted out very nicely.
 It’s been mentioned in the press and on assorted websites that Ibanez are really good at catchy model names…