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A Journey Home For The Holidays

Imagine you’re a long way from home this holiday season. Perhaps you’re in the military serving over seas, away at college, or backpacking across Europe. Whatever the reason may be, it’s always difficult to be separated from our friends and family. 


Journey instruments has developed a line of ingeniously designed travel guitars. Whether on a plane heading to your next deployment, in a park with your study group, or wherever life leads, you can now bring a part of home with you.


As musicians our guitars are very important to us. With this in mind, Journey Instruments set out to offer the highest quality travel guitars possible, while remaining affordable. Their goal was to create a guitar that offered everything including, the convenience of a patented collapsible neck, quality woods and materials, a rugged backpack for your guitar and accessories, and most importantly, outstanding playability and tone.


Having the opportunity to play a Journey guitar myself, I can tell you first hand that the look, feel, tone, and playability, are as good or better than any other acoustic I’ve played. In fact the first time I played the guitar I was blown away. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It’s loud enough to be played with other instruments in front of several people, while offering wonderful tones and bass response. It’s a small but mighty guitar I’d be happy to play and record with whether I’m traveling or not.


As the result of an accident I was in years ago I am disabled. I bring this up for no other reason than to express my appreciation for how easy this guitar is to travel with. Every year my family sings carols at Christmas, and every year I have to lug around my old full size acoustic that plays like crap, and sounds like crap. This year however, traveling to my daughters house will be much easier for me, and our caroling will sound significantly better with the Journey guitar.

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What Else Does Journey Have To Offer?

The guitar I was given to check out was the Journey Junoir. It has a Sitka top, Mahogany sides, back, and neck, and a Pau Ferro fingerboard. It has a set neck rather than collapsible, and did not include the passive transducer pickup. The Journey Junior is designed to give the player all of the quality and playability of the Journey OF420B that Phil reviewed, but at half the price.


Journey instruments offers several other models such as classical style guitars and ukuleles. However, if you’re in the market for something truly unique, check out their carbon fiber acoustic guitars and basses. They also offer different top wood choices such as Cedar and Mahogany. They even have an option for the left handed guitarist. 

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In Closing

Journey Instruments has created a line of guitars that offer the weary traveler an opportunity to carry with them a constant companion and a reminder of home and family.


I’d like to offer a special thank you to all of the men and woman serving in the military. It is my Christmas wish that you and all of your fellow travelers make it home safely for the holidays. Hopefully, upon your return you’ll find a Journey guitar under the tree on Christmas morning.


Since I received the Journey Junior I have been playing the heck out of it. Sometimes getting new gear is exciting and inspires me to write songs, or discover new techniques. Below is a video of a short instrumental I was inspired to record after playing the new Journey guitar. Check it out!


For more information or to purchase a Journey Instrument please go to: https://journeyinstruments.com/refer/KnowYourGear/


As always, thank you for your time, and know your gear.


Contributed by: M. Sawyer

The Journey

Rock Rabbit Guitars

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Who Is RockRabbit

Passion, innovation, creativity, and drive. These are just a few of the words I would use to describe Joe Neal, the founder of RockRabbit Guitars.


Joe, a cabinet makers son, grew up in a small town in Indiana, where hard work was a part of life. When Joe was 14, like many kids of the 80s, he dreamt of learning to play the guitar. Unfortunately, at the time, a new guitar wasn’t in the budget. It was then that Joes father said, “Why don’t you just build one?” After laboring every weekend in his fathers shop for a year, the guitar was finally complete. Joes excitement quickly turned to utter dismay however, when he realized the guitar was virtually unplayable. 


As the years passed, Joe did finally get his hands on a guitar, and learned to play. However, at the age of 22, while working in the family business, Joe cut his left hand at the base of his fingers, right down to the bone. Needless to say, this had a dramatic affect on his ability to play. 


For the next 20 years Joe continued honing his craft as a cabinet maker. One day, he decided to give the guitar one more try. After a bit of time, the strength began to return to his fingers, and Joe was playing again. With renewd excitement, Joe also decided to give guitar building another try. You see, over the years Joe came to learn a valuable lesson from building that first guitar when he was 14. That lesson was, that sometimes it takes a few failures to find success. In fact, it took Thomas Edison a 1,000 try’s before he created the light bulb.


Joe began building guitars in his spare time. One day he realized that he was beginning to build some pretty amazing handcrafted guitars. Joe then decided to take a leap of faith, and began building guitars and guitar parts full time. 

 

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RockRabbits Products

Joe is a custom guitar builder who makes stunning handcrafted guitars. However, what first drew our attention to RockRabbit, was his line of guitar parts that included an innovative control plate for the Fender Telecaster. Anyone who’s ever played a Tele knows that the pickup switch is difficult to access while playing. As a result of feedback from customers, Joe created a control plate for the Tele that angles the pickup selector switch, making it much easier to switch pickups in the middle of strumming the guitar. It’s one of those simple solutions that makes you wonder, Why didn’t they just do it that way to begin with?

 

RockRabbit makes a whole line of custom parts, such as, control plates, bridges, saddles, truss rods, etc. Joe personally fabricates each of these parts out of aircraft grade polished aluminum, or, out of titanium. Yes, you read correctly, I said titanium. I think it’s interesting to note that it took Joe several months just to learn how to bend and craft titanium parts. It’s an extremely difficult metal to work with. Therefore, the titanium parts cost more. Are they worth the extra cost? Well, let me tell you the benefits of titanium parts, and then you can decide for yourself. 


First of all, titanium is 200 times stronger than steel. Therefore, the parts can be made smaller, and thinner as a result. Also, imagine what the strength of a titanium truss rod might add to the neck of your guitar. There are also those who are allergic to certain types of metals and coatings such as nickel. However, there are no allergies to titanium. That’s why it’s used by orthopedic surgeons to repair broken bones. Finally, the tinanium can be polished to look like chrome. So it needs no bulky coatings like chrome or nickel. Most importantly, it will never tarnish. 


Finally, RockRabbit is a custom guitar and guitar part builder and fabricator. That means Joe can build just about any guitar, or any part to your specifications. So if you don’t see what you need in the RockRabbit store, just talk to Joe, chances are, he can build it.

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In Closing

Before writing this article I had the distinct pleasure of having a conversation with Joe Neal. To say I was impressed with the man is an understatement. I truly admire any individual with the gall and drive it takes to suddenly change career paths, and pursue their passion. 

If you’re interested, please go to 

https://rockrabbitguitars.com/

As always, thank you for your time, and know your gear. 


Contributed by: M. Sawyer