Pictures of Matchstick Resonance

As I sat on a bar stool next to my kitchen counter I played Wolverine. I was strumming some simple chords and trying to make something up. My wife was watching television or at least something on the dvr and a commercial came on, which is unusual since we normally use the 30 second skip for commercials.

Anyway, this commercial used the song Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo and my little chord progression fell right into it.

It came so naturally and fit right into the song that I tried to play the guitar “solo.” It isn’t hard, but there was some little twirl of notes at the end that I couldn’t get. I kept trying different notes on the fretboard and nothing sounded right. So then I tried bends and slides to get the right little twirl, but it still sounded bad.

My wife commented that I didn’t have to slide so quickly and that I was missing the note. She hummed the part I was trying to play. I still couldn’t get it. Her show ended and we shut down the house and went to our bedroom. We are both exhausted.

Unfortunately, I forgot to plug my cell phone in downstairs, so I headed back down. While I was there, I grabbed my Warmoth project guitar and played the same matchstick men chord progression and riff, only this time I got the twirl part of the riff on my second try. So I kept playing it.

I don’t know if I nailed it, but it doesn’t sound bad. It felt good to get it. But what really hit me was how much more resonance my Warmoth guitar has when played unplugged compared to my Wolverine guitar. The Warmoth has a fixed bridge, string through body made of chambered mahogany, and a maple cap. It sings in comparison to my more than likely basswood (maybe ash and maple) with floating Wilkinson trem bridge and roller nut modified Peavey Predator strat knock off.


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