Write Now: Making A Statement With Color

A Fender Telecaster guitar in a penny finish.

Every day nature presents us with beauty.

Sometimes we take for granted the colors we see on a daily basis. Granted, in the winter months, colors are more subdued. We get the snow white, but by the end of the winter, we may end up seeing the snow gray because of how the snow melts. What was once stuck in the snow is revealed where, at times, remnants of the Autumn season, and street debris.

We are lucky to live in a region that offers so many different colors. In the spring we have blooming flowers, and leaves growing back on trees while in the summer, blues and greens may be more visible. In fall, we have our harvest colors — reds, golds, yellows, and browns — to fill our palettes. Heck, we are supposed to wear certain colors in the fall and in the spring, and one should not break those social mores.

I have always been interested in how colors get their names. I not talking about colors like purple or grape, orange or cherry, but more like the color gunmetal gray. I say that because not all guns are the same color gray. I wondered who comes up with the names. Instead of listing the color as brown, it may be listed as chocolate, cocoa, and even root beer. Light brown may be listed as beige or even coffee. I have also seen it listed as peanut butter.

I always loved my box of 64 color Crayola crayons with the built-in sharpener. I have not checked lately, but Crayola probably has expanded the crayon count in the boxes.

I remember when I was between ages 5 and 8, I would sit and color with my mom. When we are ready to redecorate our living quarters, we look at paint, tile, wallpaper, and carpet colors that mimic what we see in nature. And we pick the best color that fits our lifestyle, wants and needs.

Colors play an important part in our lives, and sometimes we don’t even know that they do.

Everyone has a favorite color. My favorite color just happens to be blue. I am partial, depending on my mood, to lunar blue and sky blue. We gravitate to our favorite colors because those colors do something for us on another level. We also have many choices of color when choosing a vehicle whether it is a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle. We want the best color that represents us.

The color we choose makes a statement.

The same can be said for instruments — especially for guitars and drum sets. The possibilities are almost endless. If one can’t find his color, then a custom color most likely is the way to go. So that would entail stripping off the original color and applying the new, custom color. For drums, the wraps, or the material that is stuck to the drums can be removed with custom wraps. Because of the work involved, custom colors are more expensive.

Here are some colors I found that are intriguing to me for guitars and drums. I only chose two or three companies for each instrument. Each company may use the identical color, and may have a different name for it. I don’t know the first thing about preparing an instrument to be painted, but I know which colors I like to see.

Some years ago, I was talking to an artist, and I asked her what her favorite color was and was to use when she painted. She replied, “brick red.” So I researched that color, and found it to be a darker red. I didn’t have to look to far, because Jamestown has many streets in brick red.

Here are some color finishes that each company uses for its instruments. The colors are in no particular order, and depending how an instrument is finished, it may look different in different lighting or may look different when you are holding it rather than seeing it in a picture.


Ocean turquoise, seafoam green, butterscotch blonde, buttercream, ultraviolet, Sapphire blue, tidepool (a shade of blue), Lake Placid blue, candy apple red, Pewter, sonic blue, sonic gray, antique olive, penny (shiny copper), mystic seafoam, Daphne blue, shell pink, Inca, aubergine (purple), oxblood, crimson transparent, sunburst, Olympic white, tobacco sunburst, sonic red, paisley, blizzard pearl, black, Torino red, fiesta red, burgundy and natural. (www.fender.com)


Worn cherry, black cherry burst, vintage cherry, heritage cherry, heritage cherry burst, tobacco burst, heritage cherry sunburst, blueberry burst, blueberry fade, blue stain, ebony, seafoam fade, tangerine burst, cobalt burst, Pelham blue, satin iced tea, and natural. (www.gibson.com)



Chopper blue, black, cruz teal, jet black, classic natural, vintage tobacco, aqua sparkle, charging green, burnt apple, charcoal sparkle, dropped copper, HD yellow, trans gold, Balboa blue, purple sunset, Bodhi blue, firemist purple, royal red, imperial blue, majestic purple, vintage turquoise, coral red, charcoal frost, firemist silver, and ivory white. (www.music-man.com)


Blue sparkle, black sparkle, green sparkle, champagne sparkle, silver mist sparkle, gold sparkle, nickel sparkle, olive sparkle, orange glitter, red swirl, red sparkle, ruby strata, sky blue, silver sparkle, vintage black oyster, vintage blue oyster, titanium glitter, yellow glitter, white marine, heritage blue, turquoise glitter, and teal blue. One can also order several natural finishes. (www.ludwig-drums.com)


Ocean blue, raspberry, satin blue metallic, dark burgundy metallic, blue gray metallic, smoky black, atomic orange, coral pink, grand aqua blue, sunny yellow, vintage sea blue, grand royal blue, solid candy red, piano black, dark mocha, mint green, smoky blue mist, phantasm oyster, arctic blue oyster, and satin burgundy fade. One can also order several natural finishes. (www.tama.com/usa)


Tiger oyster, peacock oyster, teal glass, gold galaxy, white glass contrail, black oyster glass, black oyster, gloss black, blue glass, pale blue oyster, red silk onyx, ruby glass, super tangerine glass, Aztec gold, blood red, burgundy wine, Inca gold, magenta, Matador red, pale regal blue, regal blue, root beer, turquoise, and canary yellow. One can also order several natural finishes. (www.dwdrums.com)

I own a Fender Precision Bass finished in Lake Placid blue. I bought it used in the mid-1990s and I have not really looked to buy another bass. Its tone fits for me. But a story on tone is another article at a later date.


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