FRETS.COM New Instrument Review
December 11, 2001

A "Taut-Key" Guitar?
Tacoma Papoose

© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF

This little fellow is a deluxe model, as if you couldn't tell that by the gloss finish and high grade figured koa top, back and sides. It's the smallest guitar made by Tacoma, and, indeed, the smallest of many so-called "travel" instruments that are so popular today. In fact, it's so small and has such a short scale, that it must be tuned considerably higher than standard pitch. The high tuning really brings out the power of a small body instrument, so this little guitar sounds really strong. Its owner plays Hawaiian slack-key guitar on it, using the classic "taro patch" G tuning, a fourth higher than standard so it comes out as a C tuning. (I suspect he also uses it to accompany himself as he sings his own papoose to sleep.) Makes for a terrific new Pacific Island voice!

Please click on the small photos

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