After the tremendous fun in getting the Epiphone Hummingbird, I would like to now let you know how it has been treating me. Before I get into it, it is important to note here that the guitar does NOT come with any sort of case, hard or otherwise — I ordered a soft travel case because that is how I plan on carrying the guitar when I go shorter distances. I can always spring for a hard shell case later when the need arises.
Then, NGD — “New Guitar Day” — arrived, and I was both ecstatic and trepidatious. I was anxious because I had just found out that there was a possibility that the guitar would need adjustment by a professional prior to my being able to properly play it.
Apparently, sometimes guitars come with their necks angled in a certain way and people with the right tools would need to adjust it. The UPS man came and I signed for the two large boxes — one containing the guitar and one containing the guitar travel bag and the strings I ordered.
Just to get it out of the way, I ordered the wrong strings. Oops! I thought, for some reason, that I was getting strings for an acoustic guitar but what I ordered instead were electric guitar strings. I recently gave them to my guitar instructor as a thank you present and he has assured me that he is going to put them to good use. The guitar came in what appeared to be a large cardboard coffin. I was eager to get it out of there to show it to my musician coworker so he could tell me if it needed adjusting.
He peered up and down the neck of the guitar and looked at it from what seemed like just about every angle before giving me the verdict — it did not need adjustment. One of my other coworkers tuned the guitar while I took my lunch break (great timing, right?) and so I was able to take the guitar home tuned. Naturally, the first thing that I did when I got home was to tune the guitar again. Why was this the natural first thing to do?
David W. Boles best wrote about it in a comment he left on my review of Guitar Center.
Guitars are strings and wood and are highly affected by heat, cold and humidity. Tuning is relative.
Newly strung guitars need to have their strings “stretched in” so that guitar will require more tuning intervention than one that has been strung-in and used for a week.
So the wood of the guitar is always breathing and expanding and the strings follow the want of the wood. That means strings can lose a bit of tension between days. You’ll more likely have to tune up — tightening the strings — than tune down.
Some electric guitars have locking tuners and LSR nuts that are supposed to help with tuning stability — but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to retune to get the precise pitch you want from your guitar.
So tune it I did — and, of course, threw on the strap and the Grolsch locks. My first impression of the guitar was that it seemed really big as I sat down with it. Then again, I had never sat down with an acoustic guitar in my lap, so my experience was really limited.
Over a few minutes I got really comfortable with it and I started playing up and down the neck of the guitar — random strings, random notes. I just wanted to get into the hang of it.
The body of the guitar feels really nice and solid — the people at Epiphone did not mess around when making this beauty. I can see why guitarists such as Israel Nash Gripka would enjoy playing with it on tour and recording with it — it’s not too heavy and looks quite nice as well.
After reading the Ibanez Artcore AG75 review I was concerned about ink staining on my fingers as well but these concerns were baseless as the guitar was clean as a whistle. I’m honestly not sure what kind of strings came on the guitar but they are definitely of the thicker variety.
Now that I have gotten back into the swing of playing after taking a few weeks off, my fingertips are sore even twenty minutes in and when I press really hard now it’s not just a gentle pinch but a genuine pain. I know that as my fingers get tough this will pass but for now, it’s rough going.
This Epiphone Hummingbird and I have many years to go together. I feel confident that I made the right choice in picking a guitar that will stand the test of time and be ready for me whenever I am ready for it.