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NOGD: DiGiorgio Estudante [storytime]

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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 8708
Location: Albany, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:41 am    Post subject: NOGD: DiGiorgio Estudante [storytime] Reply with quote

I put off posting about this, it did make an unnoticed appearance in last week’s Zoom call.

*personal content/childhood cringe warning*

This was my third guitar and my first acoustic. When I was about 13, I asked my dad for an acoustic guitar for Christmas or my birthday....I think I saw/played a cheap $100-$130 steel string acoustic at the shop I took lessons at and assumed he would buy that one, I probably even mentioned it to him. Most likely some Silvertone or low end Ibanez. The week before he gave it to me he told me about it, and hyped it up pretty good. At that point in my life my mom had convinced me he was something of an addict and a pathological liar so when I deduced he didn’t get the guitar I asked for I figured he probably bought something second hand for as cheap as possible.

When he gave it to me I was so confused. Why did it have plastic strings, why was the neck so wide and why were there no fret markers? Why did it look old if it was supposed to be new (he told me it was, then later said that he had said it was “like new”.) Why was the neck heel at the 12th fret, making playing any octave chords next to impossible?

The headstock has no brand, and the sound hole sticker indicated it was a DiGiorgio (a brand I had never heard of so it must be bad) Estudante (that means stundent, I’m no student guitar player I’m 13 years old and took lessons for 6 months!). My dad explained it was a “Spanish style“ guitar but I wanted no part of that. You can’t play Wonderwall on plastic strings, DAD (no I wasn’t an Oasis fan at that age but honestly I don’t remember what acoustic songs I actually wanted the guitar for).

Over the next few years I played it sparingly, and at the height of my teenage angst threw it across my bedroom on more than one occasion, putting several small holes and a crack in the sides. Eventually I decided to string it up again and TRY to appreciate it by dressing it up with some dumb bumper stickers and a comp stripe (stripestore era jag-stang Nick). I almost sold it to a friend but didn’t because I didn’t want him to be disappointed like I was with it. Then I ripped off all the stickers and literally covered it in blue and purple acrylic hobby paint from Joann’s.

I remember years later my dad asking about it, and I told him the truth that it was not in a playable state, or maybe I even showed him I don’t remember. I could tell he was disappointed, I think he had bought me something that he really liked himself and I not only didn’t appreciate it but fucking destroyed it out of spite

I tried a few times to string it up after that, but I realized it wasn’t holding tension very well anymore and the top was starting to lift from the sides at the back end. I figured it was unsellable, but I didn’t have it in me to throw it away. After I bought my house, it sat under the basement stairs for 9 years.

Recently I’ve wanted a classical again, and decided to see if my old DiGiorgio could be saved. I also looked up some online listings and realized this is actually a pretty nice classical, or at least one worth between $500-$1000 in decent shape. I stripped off what I could of the acrylic paint and took it to Parkway.....whose tech took a few looks at it and told me it wouldn’t be worth saving and I should look into buying another instrument instead (I got the feeling he just didn’t want to work on it, and/or had enough other work lined up). I was stopping by Love of Fuzz anyway to put some money down on the Pro Reverb, so I took it in for a second opinion. TJ thought it shouldn’t take much to clamp/glue the top back and get it playing again. He charged me for slightly more than a normal setup, and honestly it came out great, it sounds way better than any new classical I could buy for a reasonable price.

I wish I could go back and apologize to my dad for being such a spoiled asshole of a son and thank him for what was the nicest and most thoughtful gift he ever gave me. One that I not only took for granted but got upset with him over and nearly destroyed. It’s one of my favorite guitars now, and I’ll keep it forever.

Last edited by Nick on Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 6295
Location: Strung up to the lemons

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story Nick and it’s lovely that you got the guitar sorted and can finally appreciate what he gave you.
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 5786
Location: Exeter, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely story Nick. Glad you ended up with the guitar your Dad wanted you to have.
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Freddy V-C

Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 4902
Location: Halifax

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really enjoyed reading this, Nick! It's bittersweet, but I'm glad you finally got this guitar into a nicely playable state.

I can fully relate to your resentment. When I had guitar lessons at school, they only offered "classical" lessons, so my excitement to learn the guitar was massively dampened when my dad brought home a nylon string acoustic from Argos. I quit my lessons after 6 months, saved up my pocket money for a Squier Telecaster a few years later, and eventually sold that nylon string to my sister's friend for £10. Thankfully I've just looked up the model of mine and it would have only been worth £45 at best.
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Joined: 17 Apr 2006
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Location: on the move

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good on you for not giving up on it, nick. touching story.
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 10602
Location: Nr. Basinggrad, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great journey. I can relate to the regret. Congratulations on restoring it to a decent condition.
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