Before you write, you may save us both time by first checking if your question is one of the
- How much is this instrument
While I know a bit about the market of vintage
stringed instruments, I don't keep up on it, nor am I an appraiser (which is
much more complicated than most people imagine).
So, before you ask me, try one of two things:
1) Visit the dealer sites on my Links page - you may
find instruments similar to yours for comparison, or you can ask them for an
appraisal, as this is part of their business (expect to pay for this
2) Go to Ebay.com and search for your instrument (especially
if it is any kind of zither or bowl-back mandolin - there are literally
dozens of these selling each week for realistic prices). Search on
"completed auctions" and you'll get a good idea what yours may be
- What can you tell me about this
Again, the majority of inquiries are about zithers
similar to those on this page - if so, please first
visit this site
for Guitar Zithers,
or this one for Ukelins.
They know much more than I, and are not so irreverent about it!
Other instruments: assuming you've already searched the
internet and read all you can, feel free to ask me, but please realize that
while I may know a little about a whole lot of
instruments, I may not know a lot about your specific
instrument. Nor what exactly what type of information you're looking for.
For serious research on American fretted instruments, I always suggest first trying Michael
Holmes at Mugwumps, then some of the reputable dealer/historians like
Don't get me wrong - I enjoy seeing new instruments, and love
sharing mine and my experience with others, but I often don't have the
time or expertise to give you the answer you're looking for.
And lastly - etiquette:
What is it with the Internet? I'm sorry,
but I simply delete email
that either jumps right in with (or consists solely of) the sample questions above. So,
if you really expect any of my time, a simple "Hello" or "Dear
Gregg" is the minimum I ask. Introducing yourself is also helpful. And,
of course, browsing first through my site is pretty essential so that you know who I
am, what I do, and what I may be able to help you with. Please use my new Site
Map. I try to answer
(personally, mind you) all email within a day or two, a week if I'm
swamped. If you don't hear back from me within a week or two, then either
assume I can't answer your question and forgot to tell you so, or that I'm
simply swamped with work and cannot find the time. These days, I can barely keep
up with one instrument (see Harpguitars.net)!