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Buying Musical Instruments
Vintage Music Gear Reference Books
A few books that CleverJoe personally recommends for musicians looking to buy musical instruments and music gear, collectors of vintage music gear,and musical instruments.
A Reference Guide to Serial Numbers for Dating the Guitars Made by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, C.F. Martin & Co
by A. R. Duchossoir, Andre Duchossior
An extremely well organized and easy to use guide that helps you find and use serial numbers to figure out the manufacture year of the major brands of guitars. The Guitar Identification Guide has lots of sample photographs, and user-friendly charts. If you have an interest in buying, selling or collecting used or vintage guitars, this book is invaluable. It may not be the only guitar reference book you'll ever need, but it should be one of the first ones you own.
Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars
An Identification Guide for American Fretted
George Gruhn, Walter Carter
This book is an excellent resource for guitar collectors, and is particularly good if you want to identify used and vintage guitars. While not a price guide, it helps collectors identify the date, stock ingredients, wood, and evolution of their fave Fender, Martin, Gibson, Gretsch, Mosrite guitars, to name but a few. CleverJoe highly recommends this book as a solid resource for anyone who is buying, selling or trading guitars. It is especially helpful with American-made guitars. This book would also be a great read (or Christmas/Birthday/Valentine's gift!) for someone who simply has an interest in guitars.
Guide to Vintage Drums
by Aldridge, John Aldridge
Absolutely tons of information about vintage American drum sets. This book has lots of drum photos and information for the serious vintage drum collector. Includes Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, etc. Great for drum collectors, dealers, or just crazy drummer musicians with drums on the brain.
Vintage Synthesizers : Groundbreaking Instruments and Pioneering Designers of Electronic Music Synthesizers
by Mark Vail
This is one serious book. A comprehensive technology guide about all those vintage synthesizers we love. CleverJoe is a keyboardist and long time analog freak, and this is truly a good resource for all you genuine analog lovers out there (you know who you are, lurking in the shadows...). Lots of pics, chapters on Moog, ARP, Korg, Yamaha, Buchla, many more. Of course there will inevitably be some grumbling from a few people who don't see their fave synth covered, but the book is not meant to be a complete price or synthesizer reference guide. Instead it is a wonderful trip down memory lane, with extensive background information on the evolution of synthesizers, insights into the business side of the builders, and the history of some of the most amazing synthesizer built.
D.I.Y Guitar Repair
by Larry Sandberg
A fantastic little 64 page guide which gives surprisingly practical and detailed information to guide you in setting up, repairing, and working on guitars.
The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano
by Larry Fine, Keith Jarrett
This is the both piano buyer's and the piano owner's bible. This book is chock full of important information for people who are looking at purchasing a piano, or selling their own. Confused by all the sales babble at your local piano store? This is an easy to read book that is an absolute must-have if you want to know what to look for under the piano's hood. Most piano salespeople have read it themselves, and will probably change their tone once they know you have read it as well!
American Guitars : An Illustrated History
by Tom Wheeler
This is a comprehensive historic guide to American guitars, and it's alphabetically arranged entries list all of the important guitar builders and companies through the years. In the words of one of the great guitar masters, B.B. King says about the book: "I think this book is a must for guitar players and those interested in guitar music." If it has B.B.'s stamp of approval, it must be pretty good baby.