What the Folk!

Flight of the Conchords. Yeah those guys. Feel free to discuss them here! Garfunkling!
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tvldiva
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:55 pm 
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Yes, I too feel all warm and fuzzy when thinking about Bret's instruments!! :halo:

The name looks like it starts with a N. There is a Japanese maker that just closed down called Nakanishi. Can't find a picture of it to verify. It could also be a custom job that he picked up in the islands down there. With just a quick google, there seems to be loads of small Uke makers around.

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wil
 Post subject: Re: what guitar does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:56 am 
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ASmallTurnip wrote:
Yes! I found it! Two hours wasted! Procrastination RULEZ!

Drumroll please................

Bret's lovely guitar, as seen clutched protectively here:

Image

...is a 1974 Yamaha FG 200, as seen here:

Image

This one's varnish is a bit lighter than Bret's, but! It's......is it? Could it be? Yeah! YEAH! I FOUND IT!

You can see that the two thick white lines circling the round sound hole are the same, the chestnut-coloured pickguard is the same, the vintage headstock is the same - oh, I think we've got it.

It's been interesting finding out about this baby, actually. It's not a terribly expensive or fancy guitar. In fact, it seems to have been the first and most basic guitar that a lot of players owned. But Yamaha really seemed to have produced something extraordinarily special in the 1970s. People get a little misty-eyed when they talk about it. Here's one fellow's description of his FG 200:

"It has absolutely beautiful tones and the harmonics really ring out. You can play a harmonic, put the guitar down, come back about two minutes later and it'll still be sending out those amazing sounds! It's true that they don't make 'em like they used to."

Or another:

"I've been playing for 31 years, and I've been through many guitars. I have owned 6 new Stratocasters. 2 Marshall stacks. Many assorted pedals. 5 new acoustic guitars. But the only original guitar that has stuck it out with me is my Yamaha FG200.

It's like this: I say play what you got and learn to master it. If you have the opportunity, then move on to other guitars. Like myself, you will find that one special guitar and when you do, you will know it."


I really get a kick out of these players talking about their favourite guitars like they're the love of their lives. I don't know. I don't play the guitar. But maybe I just like the idea of having a genuinely moving connection to an instrument like that. I mean, they're inanimate objects, but they're alive. It's kind of spooky and gorgeous all at the same time, isn't it?

And I love that Bret still obviously adores his old, beat-up friend. He may have other guitars (I've seen him frolicking with a souped-up, top-of-the-line Gibson recently), but his Yamaha is the one he always, always comes back to. There may be fancier and much more expensive guitars out there, but this one? This one is Bret's.


Not sure if the FG200 is the correct model.

Look at the bottom edge of the pick guard and side of the guitar... there is a bigger gap on the fg200 compared to bret's guitar.

Bret's guitar looks more like a FG-170 from the same era.

What do you guys think?


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ASmallTurnip
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:37 am 
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wil wrote:
Not sure if the FG200 is the correct model.

Look at the bottom edge of the pick guard and side of the guitar... there is a bigger gap on the fg200 compared to bret's guitar.

Bret's guitar looks more like a FG-170 from the same era.

What do you guys think?

Image

You are ABSOLUTELY right. Thank you so much for figuring that out, Wil! That gap between the pickguard and the inside curve of the guitar's hip has been niggling away at me for months. It just didn't look exactly right. I don't know anything about guitars, so I couldn't figure out if it was just a small manufacturing variation within a guitar sub-species, or if it indicated a slightly different animal entirely. Looking at endless pictures of those vintage FGs was making me lose my mind a little, so thank you, thank you for sifting through them for me! :D I really appreciate it!

Isn't his guitar a beauty, though? I don't know why I have such affection for it, but I do. He's been using his flash new Gibson on the current tour (I'm buggered if I can figure out which make it is - my best guess is one of their square-shouldered cedar-topped jobbies), which I don't love nearly as much as the old one. But I suspect it's got more tonal range and brightness in a live setting, which makes it a smarter choice for that kind of situation. It's definitely got a lot fewer knocks and dings in it, and it probably stays in tune for a lot longer than the Yamaha. Which is useful.


Image


I like it. I respect it. But it ain't the same, man. It ain't the same. :yawinkle: :D

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wil
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:33 am 
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asmallturnip - I should be thanking you for pointing me in right direction. Thank you! And yes, it is a beauty. There is something so charming about a well used/played guitar. They just feel right. There is actually a yamaha fg-170 on ebay right now. I'm so tempted to place a bid.


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:30 am 
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Awesome job figuring that out. I always wondered.

I'll give the uke search a try.

Bigger question is what is that small folk-style guitar that jemaine plays? :twisted:


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LauraK
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:32 am 
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If you go here you'll find your answer.... viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1887
:)

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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:51 am 
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Ah! I always thought it looked familiar. Godin owns that company, and Godin also happens to make Seagulls, which is what I have. They make a folk guitar very similar.

Image


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:58 am 
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I believe it's a Nahenahe ukulele, from Maui. No longer in business, but says they made high end ukes. Think it burned down.

This the only pic I could find. Similar logo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82655041@N00/3449007415/


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Found this info on the luthier and wrote him an e-mail. Maybe we will solve this mystery soon.

http://www.geocities.com/paulbpetersen

Shame none of the images works.


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:31 pm 
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I think we might have a winner. I searched for his e-mail, and found this website. I believe he (the luthier) is on the left, and the woman in the middle is his ... wife? Her uke looks an awful lot like Bret's logo.

Image


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:40 am 
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I used the way back machine to look at Nahenahe's websites before they were taken offline, and found these from the 90's:
Image
Image


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Cuse
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:05 am 
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I received a very nice e-mail from Paul Peterson himself:

"Dear Phil
Yes, indeed it is a Nahenahe.-and The Flight of the Conchords-they're a very entertaining act indeed. Do you know them? I've seen a couple of their shows on HBO but never saw the 'ukulele. Ironic too that they're New Zealanders-(I thought they were from UK) -New Zealand being in Polynesia, & the polynesian legend that the Maori came from my home island Maui...

I can tell you just about everything you might want to know about the 'ukulele played by Bret McKenzie. I have been on a self-imposed hiatus from instrument making for about 10 yrs.-having achieved my personal goals as a luthier back then working as the head of the company which produced the Nahenahe 'ukulele that McKenzie plays."

There was more, but that's the bit pertaining to Bret's uke. Pretty interesting!


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LauraK
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:07 am 
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Extremely! That's a really nice response- he sounds like a cool dude. :)

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indigo_jones
 Post subject: Re: what guitar/uke/etc. does bret use?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:12 am 
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That's was nice that he responded! Now another bit of trivia is confirmed!

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