Bandsman Custom Electric Guitar with Horn Carve and EMG Pickups
Sandy supplied his own pickups for this and I built the guitar around them. It has one humbucker and two single coils instead of the normal two humbucker arrangement and an extra bit of carving on the lower horn for even better access to the top frets. Putting a single coil in the neck position required a little customisation from the normal Bandsman shape – I had to extend the heel on the body slightly to add strength.
As a guitar maker I am in the very lucky position of being able to play all my guitars – and there has been a lot of variation over the years so it was easy for me to tell that there is something special about this one. It is extremely resonant even before plugging it in – the Alder body definately has a lot to do with that. Amped up with those EMG’s it plays and sounded about as good as it gets – the neck is reclaimed Pew wood from a church in Glasgow with a Rosewood fretboard. I have made prettier looking instruments but it goes to show you don’t need fancy woods or exotic materials to build a fantastic guitar.
Sometimes it is hard to let them go…
…But I have to eat! At least I know it has gone to a good home…
Here is what Sandy had to say after a few days living with his new Bailey Guitar:
(here is the full email with kind permission from Sandy – Big Thanks for choosing Bailey Guitars!)
Hi Carol and Mark,I’m sorry I’ve only just gotten a chance to email you. The guitar is wonderful! When I first picked it up and strummed it I was surprised to feel the whole guitar vibrate in unison – I’ve never had a guitar that did this before. Wow! And, of course, it looks beautiful. I’m glad I opted not to have it painted, since the woods are all lovely looking. It has an understated, unpretentious, natural look that I very much like. Actually, I was late for my bus the other day, because having been looking at the guitar for so long, I left the house late.I’ve had to adjust my playing style quite a bit: because this guitar is so responsive, it requires a much lighter touch than the shoddily-made guitars I’m used to having to wrestle into submission. I’m able to play faster and with greater articulation than I’ve ever been able to before. I’ve heard guitarists praise guitars that ‘get out of the way’ of your playing: this is one of those guitars!It has a really unique sound — hopefully I can find time soon to make you a recording. The single coil pickups lend themselves to quite strat-y sounds, but the Bandsman feels nothing like a strat (which is a good thing, since my fretting hand doesn’t get along with a 9.5″ radius). And, of course, the humbucker screams if need be! But the EMGs sound really quite different — better, even — in the Bandsman than they have in previous guitars of mine. There’s no need to pile on distortion, since the guitar is very resonant and so sustains great already, which is a boon. And there’s now a tangible warmth and woodiness that I haven’t heard from these pickups before.I am truly agog at the skill that’s gone into the making of my guitar. It’s a real privilege to look forward to playing it every day. Thank you!I would love to visit you as you suggested, so I’ll see if I can plan a trip for when I’m next down south.All the best,SandyP.S. Thank you for the including the very robust hardcase, and for supplying a battery for the pickups.If I wasn’t saving up for a Masters at the moment, I’d be thinking of what my next Bailey guitar might look like!