I started playing guitar when I was 25. I had just gone through a bad breakup and was looking for something to occupy my time and mind. I bought an Ovation Balladeer which has a wooden top and a carbon fiber *bowl* for the body. I played that thing until I could do C F and G blindfolded. I was on my way.
I played mostly at churches and with Christian friend doing praise and worship music. I picked up a chord here and a finger style technique over there. I even took a few lessons though that mostly turned into jam sessions with the instructor.
Then came the nearly 25 year hiatus. I don’t think I played at all during that time. I don’t know why really except maybe I had decided I had gotten as good as I was going to get…I had reached my limit.
That changed when I got bored one day and walked into Speno Music in Auburn NY. I was met by Mike who sold me a guitar, a Prestige made in Canada. It was better and easier to play than the old Ovation. I didn’t have that guitar long and I traded two or three times until came upon a new line that Speno’s was carrying…Riversong.
The Riversong was easier to play, had lower action and sounded fantastic. After a few weeks practicing on that guitar, suddenly I got faster playing finger style and I was able to play bar chords, something that had always eluded me.
I was hooked. And no, I am not a paid endorser (though maybe I should be? ;). Riversong has a never-seen-before neck design that allows the action to be raised or lowered with an allen wrench and about two minutes. All other guitars require a visit to the local music store where the luthier adds a shim or sands something down to change the string height.
That first Riversong was purchased in 2016, an SE GA (grand auditorium shape). I later found out there are only five like that were ever made because the sides are made of maple which is hard to bend. Many of them cracked during production.
One day in April 2018 there was a meet and greet at Speno’s with the owner and head luthier of Riversong Guitars, Mike Miltemore. I played the new model he had just created, the Magagna. It had even better technology, better bracing, better bridge, etc. I played that guitar and really liked it. My first guitar has a smaller body than the Magagna. Later that day, I asked Mike Miltemore if he would be making a smaller body guitar with the new technology from the Magagna. He said he had nothing planned except he was going to build a custom guitar and he could make me one too. Ten months later I had an amazing two of a kind guitar made from start to finish by Mike.
Since then I’ve added another custom and a couple more prototype Riversongs. Except for Mike Miltlemore himself, I probably have one of the best collections of Riversong guitars anywhere! Pretty exciting stuff when you have GAS like I do (see my prior post for that explanation).
I’ll add a couple of photos to this article so you can see what I mean. If you have it your head you want to play guitar, get a good one. The feedback and ease of play of a good quality guitar will keep you playing and coming back for more. When you play an instrument and it doesn’t sound good, you’ll probably quit far too soon. The money spent on a good guitar is really worth it.