This is my guitar. There are many like it but this one is mine. My guitar is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my guitar is useless. Without my guitar I am useless. I must play my guitar true. Well not quite…
However it is fair to say that since I’ve bought my Danelectro DC59 it has re-ignited my enthusiasm for playing guitar. I now spend a large part of the eventing learning my blues scales and jamming along to whatever old psychedelic classic I can easily lay my hands on, usually early Grateful Dead if the truth be told. So why has this instrument had such an effect on me?
Well for one thing I find it so easy to play compared to my trusty Ibanez acoustic. I’ve struggled for years with barre chords on the acoustic, but on the Danelectro it feels like I’m not even trying. Not only that but playing lead is a dream, the action is just right, and I didn’t need to fiddle with the set-up at all.
Secondly I love the sound. There is a real edge to it, a dirty quality that suits garage rock and is perfectly suited for thrashing the instrument around. This isn’t a guitar you want to play quietly or elegantly; it requires a bit of rough treatment to get the best out of it. Stick it through some delay and distortion and it comes into its own – it becomes a true psychedelic garage band monster. We’re talking Syd Barrett-era Floyd noise here (and quite right since Syd was perhaps the most well known Danelectro player).
Sure the build isn’t as good as on a £500 electric, in fact in some ways it feels downright shoddy, but for £150 what do you expect. However for the sound you get and with its playability you can pay a lot more and do a lot worse.