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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Featured Guitar - the "BLACKIE" by Jeffrey Yong

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams.

With the creation of every masterpiece, it carries the lessons and mistakes made during the evolution process, likewise in guitar making.

In April 2010, Shun Ng attended Jeffrey Yong's guitar-making course in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and everything changes henceforth.

Shun Ng started playing guitar at the age of 16. Other than with a certain girl who worked in Ben & Jerry store, Shun has never fell so deeply in love; guitar playing. His abilities in translating tunes in his mind onto guitars are unusually advanced. He has progressed with great leaps that astounded most guitar players. I believe you would be too … if you watch this YouTube clip … it was recorded a few years back when he was considered as “not yet mature” in his playing. Imagine now …

The duo has been collaborating well. One loves to build, the other loves to play. The duo often bounced off ideas between themselves and new things will emerge from the bouncing of these ideas. The Blackie, an Artist Model certain fits the bill. Here is a picture of the Blackie.


I was fortunate to be in touch with this master and I found out something about the Blackie. Here is the story …

Since April 2010, the duo has been in constant contact. Shun loves Jeff Yong guitars and he has been using one for his performances as his main guitar. An immensely talented performer who is young, energetic and passionate. Shun is constantly altering his playing style, reinventing himself, finding new angles, etc. The more he plays it, more ideas got generated. Shun would ask Jeff if this feature that feature was possible and ... on and on ... eventually Jeff decided to build a model for Shun's unique style of playing.

For a stylish, forward-looking and modern emerging artists like Shun, Jeff could not think of a better color than Black to describe his presence. Black became the theme of this new creation. Rewinding the evolution of Blackie ... Shun has desired for a guitar with longer bass string because of his percussive cum bass attack style. Longer bass string means deeper bass tone which is likened to a baritone guitar. Jeff’s responded by proposing a fanned-fretted guitar. It can satisfy Shun’s desire for longer bass string.

Due the frequent use of thumb, Shun has DYI on one of his guitars. He has attempted to scallop the top edge of the guitar neck to create a scalloped cavity for his thumb rest on whilst fretting the bass strings. The outcome wasn’t ideal … Jeff translated this feature onto to the Blackie as well. The thumb scallops have became a standard feature on Jeff's Blackie. Unlike any other guitars, the combination of fanned-frets and thumb scallops were certain like a breath of fresh air in guitar-making.

Enjoy the pictures ... if you want to test drive the Blackie, just visit the Singapore Guitar Show from 3 to 4 Dec 2011, 10am to 6pm daily, at Suntec City Gallery West.

Thanks for viewing!

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