I have been a big fan of Bill Collings’s instruments for many years. I own a great acoustic which I bought from Mandolin Brothers in New York, an I35 electric, and four ukuleles including I got Bill to sign when I interviewed him. The latest addiction to the Collings family is a Collings tenor guitar. This is pretty rare, but I managed to find one in Hill Country Guitars in Austin, which is an amazing store. Even my friend and longstanding musician in Matt Umanov Guitars in New York commented that he had never seen one,

This is a fascinating instrument with just four strings and reminds me of my Stefan Sobell instruments which is the ultimate reference point sonically. As with all Bill Collings instruments, the build quality on this Collings tenor guitar is superb. There is no other builder I know other than luthiers that custom build, who make instruments to this standard. Here’s a short workout in my kitchen which I recorded as many folks have asked what this sounds like.

My friend Martin Simpson talked about how different instruments inspire different ways of playing. This is certainly true with the Collings tenor. Its really easy to play and is superb for a picking style which suits me just fine. In the brief few months I have owned it I have already started to write new material with it, some of which may make the new Small Change Diaries album.

Collings tenor guitar

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