On the Saturday before Christmas, we were headed to a family gathering & gift exchange. On the way, we stopped at Guitar Center in Monroeville so I could pick up a book of Christmas Carols that I had seen at the Guitar Center in Robinson. I didn’t find the same book, but was pleased with two that I did find.
Guitalele GL1 (Photo credit: matsuyuki)
Usually, I’m the one who lollygags in guitar stores, but the wife has taken up the ukulele, and over the past few years she’s the one that lingers near the ever-growing uke section at music stores. In Monroeville’s Guitar Center, the ukes were right by the music books, so we both started looking. Bethany was the first to spot our newest acquisition… The Yamaha GL1 “Guitalele“. We both were fascinated by it, and I played with it a little as she asked “Do you want this as an early Birthday present?”
At first, I said no and went to hang it back up, but flipped over the price tag and saw that it was $99.99. She gave me the “just get it” look, so we both new I just landed an early birthday present. I do enjoy the wife’s ukulele, but the GCEA tuning did always mess with me. Now I can play the ukulele without having to play the ukulele. Although, if tuned “properly” the guitalele should be ADGCEA. Of course, I dropped it to E because I didn’t like pretending it was a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret. Although, I may have to get thicker strings or just suck it up & put it back in the A tuning. They’re sort of like rubber-bands at this point.
Well, that’s just the first part of the story. The second part stems from some interactions on Twitter. I’ll try to post it all here as it happened, thanks to @YaJagoff and Luke from Guitar Center.
A simple question. I gave the easy, flippant, and predictable answer. Rock musicians are supposed to rail against the establishment and big business, right? Well, Guitar Center proves to be awesome here…
These are the links I sent to Luke at Yourvoice@guitarcenter.com:
- Sam Ash has the Guitalele & gig bag for $99.99
- Musician’s Friend had the Guitalele itself for $79.99
(It’s oddly now up to $99.99 on the website — aren’t Musician’s Friend & Guitar Center the same company? From Wikipedia: “Guitar Center’s sister companies/subsidiaries incorporate Music & Arts, Musician’s Friend, GuitarCenter.com, LMI, Giardinelli, Musician.com, Private Reserve Guitars, Woodwind and Brasswind and Harmony Central.” …Interesting.)
- The music123 ebay store has a bundle with the Guitalele, strings, a pick, a polish cloth and a stand for $99.99
I only half-jokingly asked “Any chance I could get a gig bag or stand for free?” I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?
I was met with a response saying I was getting both of them for free! We discussed shipping details & the right size gig bag in a few more email exchanges… but they’re now on the way to me via UPS.
I’ve written to companies before, but I’ve never had any of them seek me out on a social media platform in a conversation that wasn’t even addressed to them. It’s pretty cool that Guitar Center believes in their price guarantee so much that they actively go after any perceived detraction. It’s also cool that they’ll not only go up against brick-and-mortar stores, but online retailers too.
That being said, the “little guys” could argue that they have no way to compete. They can’t buy in quantities & therefore probably not at such a low price… so there’s no way they can pass on such savings. Free enterprise, supply & demand, competition, it’s all very interesting & a continually evolving battle.
At any rate, I win out here… with a free gig bag & stand. So, thanks to Ya Jagoff!!! & Luke for helping to set the whole thing into motion! I’ll post some photos of the gig bag & stand as soon as I have them.
So, does the Guitalele count as a guitar in my “13 Guitars in 2013” goal?