51. Aria AW35 12-string acoustic
HARDLY the most exciting or desirable of guitars, but as this list finally winds towards a conclusion, it’s certainly worthy of inclusion. Both this instrument and the one which follows are mine, thoughI didn’t buy them to play myself (but of course, I have!)
This cheap and cheerful Aria 12-string acoustic hangs on the wall in the control room at Rooks Yard, the recording studio myself and my pal Pete Crisp run on a farm just outside Southminster, Essex.
Check us out at www.rooksyard.co.uk – and pay us a visit when the lockdown’s over. We pride ourselves on doing a really good job – oh, and all the fantastic guitars listed here (or the 20-odd of them I still have, anyway) are available – given a bit of notice – to record with.
One of the things I learned a very long time ago from my time working in the studio is that you never quite know when you’re going to need an acoustic guitar. It might be to thicken up a rhythm track, add an extra part, or just contribute a fresh texture to the mix. I also usually keep my rather nice cedar-top Simon & Patrick SP6 acoustic (No 30 in this series) at the studio for just this purpose and it can already been heard on two or three of the albums we’ve produced in the past year or so.
A 12-string is a different matter. A whole new flavour, so I decided we needed one for the studio. (Any excuse to buy a guitar!) I’ve also long been rather intrigued by the sound of the electric 12-string, so don’t be suprised one day to find one of them hanging on our wall as well!
This Aria wasn’t expensive. Certainly cheap enough to buy sight-unseen on eBay and not worry too much about. When it arrived, the strings were awful – black with filth and rust – but fitted with a new set of strings, it’s not actually a bad guitar. The neck is wide, which, if you’re an electric player, feels a bit odd when you put your hand around it, though the wider spacing it allows is no bad thing on a 12-string. It means those of us accustomed to 6-string spacing have half a chance of getting our fingers in the right places! And it sounds, well…like a 12 string!
One of these days, if I’m feeling especially brave, I might just put a pickup in the soundhole and take it out on the odd solo gig. Until then, though, it’s all yours when you record at Rooks Yard!