My first guitar was a Gibson classical that was made in the 1950s and belonged to my father before I discovered it. I dragged it up from the basement and just experimented with it until I made something that sounded like music. I had no idea how to tune a guitar As best I can remember I just went by intuition and tuned it to something that approximated a major chord. One day, walking past my room my father happened upon my guitar experiment and, using a tuning fork, put the guitar in standard tuning. For a short while I was crestfallen. None of the chords or scales I had taught myself worked anymore. “How do people play these things and who would tune it like this?”, I wondered. It didn’t take long for me to find my older brother’s Beatles Complete songbook with easy chords. You know the one I’m referring to where more than half the songs have been put n the wrong key to make them easier to play. My brother saw my frustration and gave me a song that his guitar teacher had written out for him, Helpless by Neil Young. Well that worked and soon I was playing songs from the Beatles book by memory. So why am I telling you this on the Ramirez page? This guitar was my first concert level classical, purchased by my parents as a graduation gift in 1986. We took a trip in to NYC to Beverly Maher’s Guitar Salon and after playing a dozen or so guitars I picked this one. BTW Beverly still sells from the same place in Manhattan and is a NY institution in classical guitar. Her website is here. I had, in just a few short years gone from wondering at the tuning to playing Sor’s Introduction and Variations on a theme of Mozart. When I think of this guitar, I think of my earliest experiences with guitar and those formative years where I was so desperate to learn everything I could. That year I auditioned at Wagner College and won a substantial scholarship. This Ramirez was my main instrument until my first run through graduate school. I still play it and have used it to record Carlo Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba on my Enchanted Realms CD.There are some scuffs, dings, and cracks that I’m going to have a luthier repair soon but here it is in all its glory:

 

Ramirez 1A Cedar Top
Ramirez 1A Cedar Top

 

Ramirez back.
Ramirez back.