Cedar or Spruce?

It’s an old guitar question: Cedar or spruce?

These are the two main choices for classical guitar tops. Many guitarists prefer one or the other. “I’m a cedar guy” or “I’m a spruce gal.”

Cedar is more forgiving than spruce. It’s easier to make a “good tone” on cedar. (“Good tone” usually means round and slick, with maybe some dark thrown in.) You have to have a more exacting technique to make spruce sound as round and dark as cedar. On spruce, every little right hand inattention will show up.

On the other hand, if you have a well-developed technique that features a variety of right hand touches (especially colors), the spruce will pay off in expressiveness.

Spruce is like a sports car that needs constant inputs, good in the corners. Cedar is like a big fat Cadillac, good for cruising.

Your mileage may vary. 🙂

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Overheard at the Record Store

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a gift for my dad. He likes jazz – who do you recommend?”

Clerk: “Well, Louis Armstrong is pretty popular.”

Customer: “Louis Armstrong? Isn’t he the astronaut? He’s like the first guy to walk on the moon.”

Clerk: “No, no, you’re thinking Neil.”

Customer: “Fine, whatever, the first guy to kneel on the moon.”

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