Godin guitars’ are quickly making a name for themselves in quality and in price. In 1972 Robert Godin started building his guitars’ in the small town of La Petrie Quebec Canada.
Robert always wanted to be professional musician. He’s left-handed and in the 60s left-handed guitars’ were rare, so he was forced to play right handed.
He taught guitar lessons for several years and even started his own music school with his family in Montreal Quebec. When his Father had passed when he was just 15 he had to quit school (including his Music School) and find a way to make money for his family.
During the mid 1960s there was a huge shift in guitars’ at that time. Guitar strings were quite heavy (13 gauge) and so bending the strings was very difficult. He took banjo strings and started making guitar strings that sounded better and had better sustain. He quickly realized that the guitars’ he was putting these strings on couldn’t handle them, so the intonation was way off.
Robert did some research and discovered an American company that made electronic tuners so he bought 6 of them (this was analog at the time, so he needed 6 one for each string), to fix the intonation.
People starting catching onto his new lighter strings and Robert quickly became well-known for his guitar tech savvy. It wasn’t until he went on hunting trip with a window maker (wood framer) named Normand, who was bragging to the group about how had built a guitar. This intrigued Robert, and went to Normand’s house to see this hand made guitar.
Later, Robert gave Normand detailed instructions on how to fix the errors of his guitar and Normand built 10 guitars’ which Robert sold in a week. Robert asked Normand to build 20 more with slight variations of the original 10 and sold those within a month.
Normand quit his window making business and starting building guitars’ with Robert.
They called the acoustic Guitar the “Norman” (dropping the ‘D’ from his name).
Robert had a keen eye and ear for what guitars and guitar players need and for what makes a great guitar. Since then Robert has created several brands of guitars’ such as: Seagull, Norman, Simon & Patrick and Art & Luthrie. Here are the top 5 reasons why I love playing Godin Guitars.
Made in Canada – eh!
So maybe I am a little biased being Canadian myself, but I remember first hearing a Seagull acoustic when I was in high school (in the late 80’s). At that time, I was an electric guitar enthusiast and had 2 acoustic guitars’ a 6 string and 12 string, but when a friend of mine showed me his new Seagull acoustic I was blown away.
Even more so when he told me Seagull was a Canadian company.
Several years later when I was teaching Guitar one of the teachers had a A6 Godin, which was an electric acoustic hybrid of sorts. It played like an electric but had a great acoustic sound to it.
It sounded incredible!
But I never bought one. Instead I bought a Levinson Blade a very expensive copy strat that has all the feel of a strat but sounds WAY better.
But I never forgot about the Godin.
It wasn’t until recently that I picked up my first Godin. It’s the “Session” series which are strat like copies, that sound in my opinion, even BETTER than a strat for a fraction of the cost.
I mean this Guitar sound like a $1,800 guitar and I paid $899 for it brand new. I had to learn more!
Godin – Innovation
As I mentioned earlier, Robert Godin has an engineering mind and his passion for creating amazing sounding guitars’ at a great price has never let up since his first acoustic guitars’ in the 1970s.
In fact, he had a hard time when he introduced the new Seagull Guitar in the mid 70s because the Guitar was so far ahead of it’s time. The changes were too many too soon. He made a great go of it in Europe but sales struggled in North America.
On top of that Robert and his partner had split and he needed to fund a new guitar making facility.
But his innovations never stopped.
Let me give you an example. If you have even played a Les Paul you know that over time you end up with a sizable dent in your forearm of your strumming arm. It’s like this with many guitars’, and to have Robert bevel out the edges of the guitar while keeping the great sound and making it easier to play in my mind is amazing.
Not to mention using a different style wood that creates the same deep rich sound of a Mahogany wood but much lighter just to make the guitar feel better is just incredible.
With all these details of the shape to the wood is just the beginning of why I love to play Godin guitars’.
Godin Sound – the Electronics
Robert takes advantage of great sounding pick-ups including Seymour Duncan P90’s and he creates his own, but Robert will take classic pick-up and will take it one step further.
If you research the Godin Summit CT Classic you will know what I mean.
It looks very much like 1950s Les Paul Gold Top and has that same classic feel and sound. However, the P90s used on that guitar have tiny toggles switch that changes the pick-up sound.
You can use the P90 standard pick up with that warm sound and with a flick of a switch you can change it to regular humbucker. Giving you that classic Les Paul sound, but then with one more flick you change it from a Humbucker to a Single Coil that sounds like a Strat.
I mean it SOUNDS just like a Strat!
The flexibility having that many sounds on one guitar is incredible! Many of Godin Guitars are like that. The “Session” strat that I have has a humbucker pick-up, but I can lift the tone knob and it switches the humbucker to a single coil.
What I love about playing these guitars’ is that he keeps the classic styles and adds his own ingenuity to it. Everything from the type of wood to the bevel edges.
Even the cut away’s are slightly different to give you the best feel possible and the best access to the higher portion of the fret board. The Godin Core CT model is made out of a Spanish Cedar so its not technically a solid body guitar and gives you that hollow body sound found in many ‘F’ shape hole guitars’ adding a ton of sustain.
Artists Who Play These Guitars
When I looked on he website I was blown away by the number of artists that play Godin Guitars.
Among them are:
Ian Thornley – Big Wreck
Roger Waters – Pink Floyd
Steve Stevens – Billy idol
Steve Fister – Bon Jovi / King Kobra
Mike Scott – Justin Timberlake
I could go on and on, but just amazing how many profession guitar players are now using strictly Godin Guitars.
The Guitar Players Guitar
Robert has though of everything when he builds his guitars’. I am truly happy with my Godin Session guitar which is not even the top of the line models.
I will be picking that A6 Hybrid that I mentioned earlier along with a few others. I just haven’t decided on which one yet!
Please feel free to leave comments below, and let me know your experience playing with these guitars’!