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I have played and owned Yamaha acoustic
guitars since I was a teenager. I had a Yamaha
12 string that I bought in Hong Kong when
I was 15 years old and then got a 6 string
when I was 16. I bought a jumbo acoustic 6
string when I was 22 years old and I had an
LL handcrafed 6 string model when I was
in my thirties. In my 11 years as a manager
of a music store I ordered in and sold more
Yamaha guitars than I can count. So I think
I have a litle bit of experience here in this
Yamaha has always excelled in the
manufacturing aspect of building guitars and
they have ruled the entry-level market for
quite some time as a respected name in the
Last January I was told that they were
revamping their acoustic guitar line with the
A series. I was glad to hear it as I believe their
guitars should be as successful and prevalent
in the music scene as their keyboards, drums
and PA’s already are. Tis next new frontier
Yamaha has set their sights on is the
intermediate price point. With the tough
economic times that $750-$1,500 retail
market has been where the bulk of guitar
sales have been.
I played the A series at the NAMM
show but the exhibit room was so noisy
I couldn’t get a good read on it. Boy I’m
glad I had them ship one to my ofce. I
opened up a very nice hard case and
took a look at the A3R. A cutaway
dreadnought with a really hip preamp/
pick-up system called SRT. To try to
briefy describe this fexible system
I will revert to Yamaha’s literature,
“Using a sound modeling
technique that utilizes data
obtained through extensive
analysis of four acoustic
elements that are missing from
conventional pickup systems—
string and body resonance,
ambience, vintage microphone
professional micing techniques,
SRT delivers a natural, studio-
quality acoustic guitar tone”. All
that to say you will like your sound
options through your PA or in your
Does 1+1 really
by Bruce Adolph
So far we have a really good pre-amp/
pick-up. Does the actual guitar live up to
the other half of the equation? Here are the
features… all solid build – sitka spruce top
and rosewood back and sides. Add to that a
mahogany neck with an ebony fngerboard
(and ebony bridge) plus die cast tuners. Te
A series has a newly designed pick guard that
helps you realize you are looking at a new
series of Yamaha’s.
Te neck profle is very nice and this guitar
came set up to play (and play and play). Te
botom line though is the tone itself and this
A3R did not disappoint. Te bass, midrange
and highs all blend well. I handed the guitar
to Brian Felix our resident Customer Service
Manager and he commented, “Right out
of the case it felt good and playable in my
hands (especially for a larger hand like mine).
Te neck wasn’t stif and the set up was great.
All areas of the neck were reachable. Te
sound had rich lows and mids while the highs
sang without being britle or twangy”.
I couldn’t say it any beter myself.
1+1=3? One good all solid wood
guitar plus one hip preamp/pick-up
system equals an A3R.
Retail with that nice hardshell case
I mentioned earlier is $1,350.00
with a MAP or street price around
$899- $925.00. Te binding work
is well done too. Te only negative I
would say is that the strap buton on
the botom side of the heel got in
my way a litle when I was playing
higher in the register. I would
move it to the heel.
Yamaha has come into the
ring with a contender in the
intermediate fght for your
hard earned dollars. Once
you hear the sound through
your PA though you may
realize that you have the
winner right in your hands.
16 NOV/DEC 2011 CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
D’ADDArio & CompAny inC. i FArmingDAle ny 11735 i D’ADDArio AnD the plAyer’s ChoiCe Are trADemArks oF D’ADDArio & CompAny, inC. or its AFFiliAtes in the Us AnD/or other CoUntries. © 2011 D’ADDArio & CompAny, inC. All rights reserveD.
john mark mcmillan
Great songs do something to me that nothing
else does. Te right song at the right time
moves me to change, to repent, to worship, to
cheer up, to get motivated, to do God’s will . .
.to just plain enjoy the day!
GREAT SONGS HELP US LIVE OUT THE
Great songs are a teacher, and a leader. Tey
bring strength, and they bring joy. Tey’re
an invitation, and they help you live out the
Word. Tey stir us up, and they are a seed that
leads to salvation. Great songs are so needed
and if you are reading this, chances are you
either write them, play them, or both.
I was having a visit with a friend the other
day when something he said triggered a song
title. Tree words and some inspiration was all
I had. Troughout the day I pondered my new
title and began developing the verses in my
mind. It was a touching thought and the verses
would follow someone through a lifetim, from
a young age to that transitional time when we
pass from life to life. At the end of the day I
briefy shared the title and idea with my wife
Diana… immediately we both teared up. I
knew I had something good brewing.
Our reaction was from a title and an idea only.
I probably only spoke a few brief sentences
of description. No music, no melody, no
chord changes, rhythm, vibey production,
or fnished lyrics. Again, just a title and a
GOD’S ANOINTING AND OUR
DILIGENCE WILL PRODUCE GREAT
Just to be clear, that doesn’t happen with
every song we write; but when it does
happen, I believe, with God’s anointing and
our diligence, great songs will follow. Tat’s
why we write isn’t it? In hopes of hiting upon
something universal that will move people.
When you have a solid foundation to build
on, with care and concern, the rest of your
eforts will make something beautiful and
touch many people’s lives. In the same way our
foundation in Christ lends itself, actually leads
us, to a relationship with Him that produces
fruit and reproduces itself in others.
In the case of the Christian songwriter, some
of that fruit should be great songs; songs
that move people in the direction of God,
and songs that refect the fruit of the Spirit;
songs that speak to the human condition
celebrating that which lines up to the Word,
and thoughtully ofering instruction for that
which does not.
When you begin with a strong idea and
lyric, as I mentioned above, you’re of to a
great start. But, once the song is fnished and
every element comes together, the listener is
touched and music does that thing that you,
the writer, hope for. A great song goes deep
into your being connecting with everything
that makes us both human and Spirit beings.
GREAT SONGS ARE A DELIVERY VEHICLE
TO GREAT MEMORIES
Just think about it…how many times has a
certain song taken you to a memory that
you love to relive? It happens to every one
of us and we love it when it does. Sometimes
it’s one single thought, and other times it’s a
food of memories, people’s faces, and the
recollection of great times gone by. Great
songs are a delivery vehicle to your fondest
As a Christian musician, writer, or artist,
you have the ability to infuence people in
everything from life changing ways to the
simplest of happy refective moments. And…
you don’t even have to be there!
Calling, responsibility, passion, and the
knowledge that if great music is in you it has
to come out, will propel you to the wonderful
fulfllment of your destiny as a creative being
with a musical bent. When you combine all the
elements of great music into each song you
write or choose to play, something happens
exponentially that is really out of your control.
Te player and the listener come together to
ignite something in the listener’s heart and
mind that makes a statement…an impact of
MOSTLY WE PLAY SONGS THAT MOVE
If you are not yet a writer, then the care you
put into picking songs for Worship or your
bands next gig will yield the very same result.
Mostly we play songs that move us. When was
the last time you picked a song to play that
you didn’t like, other than when someone in
authority asked you to? In that situation, by
the way, play it like you love it because there is
usually a reason that song was suggested. See
what God will do.
Te power that lives within a song is available
to all of us. Whether we write them, play
them, or just listen . . .we are all afected by
their impact. With all of who David was, being
a Psalmist was a huge piece of his DNA. He
knew the gif God gave him and he used
it wisely in his lifetime. Discover what your
musical gifs are, and then use them wisely
and for God’s glory!
Great Songs Do Tat
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