My Yamaha Classical Guitar

by Gerry Busch

I bought my Yamaha GC-10D classical guitar in 1974. It was built by hand in 1971, and has certainly stood the test of time. The instrument was dragged in and out of various commercial music studios while I was teaching, and on and off buses in the pouring rain, or even in the snow, while I was teaching privately in students' homes. Aside from a couple of small blemishes from accidental collisions with students' guitars in very tight quarters, my instrument retained its beautiful appearance, and its tone improved with age.

A stupid blunder of mine nearly destroyed the instrument, however: A cross-country relocation made it necessary for me to put my belongings in a self-storage facility while completing the purchase of a house. This was in April, but here in Canada, temperatures were still well below 0 Celsius. Since I had no time to play the guitar, it wound up in the storage locker along with my furniture, etc.

When I finally retrieved my belongings about a month later and opened the guitar case, I was shocked to find a spider web of tiny cracks in the lacquer finish of the guitar's top, presumably caused by frost, as the storage locker was unheated.

Nevertheless, the wood itself was unharmed, and there was no structural damage; in fact, the only thing that had come unglued was its owner!

I'm still playing my Yamaha GC-10D today, and I'm happy to report that its tone is far better than it was when I bought the instrument -- I only wish my guitar technique had improved as much!

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Dec 26, 2008
Crazing of finish
by: Gerry Busch

Thanks, Bill. Somewhere on the web I saw a 1972 version of my GC-10D with the very same crazing, possibly even more extensive. The guitar was being offered for sale in that condition, and I believe the price was close to $1,000!

I learned later on that lacquer finishes are psrticularly susceptible to crazing, and lacquer was what was used on my instrument. You might want to see this article on

Dec 07, 2008
Great Story!
by: Bill

I can relate to you being upset about the checking on the top. I have a guitar that did the same thing.

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