My guitar collection - Tacoma


With its electric SP1 counterpart, the Tacoma P1 Papoose is the shortest guitar in my collection with only a 19.1” scale, 11” body width, 3¼” body depth, and 30” of total length. Designed by George Gruhn and Terry Atkins, the P1 Papoose has a cedar top with the distinctive Wing (paisley) sound hole pioneered by Tacoma, mahogany back and sides, and mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Instead of pins, the bridge has slots in which the ball ends of the strings are captured. The neck is attached by 2 hex bolts from the back. Not withstanding its diminutive size, it has a comfortable 1⅞” nut width. It is tuned a quint higher, i.e. from A to A as if one has a guitar in standard tuning with a capo behind the 5th fret. Their basically non-existent website has a downloadable 2005 Catalog with the P1 Papoose on page 12. An archived snapshot from March 2005 is still available on Below, scans of the relevant pages in the 2001 Catalog are included.


Tacoma P1 Papoose

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:


Until their demise early in the 21st century, my favorite guitar shop was The Zobrist on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle. Small, independently owned, with great people working there. Thanks to someone like Ron Stoehr and his trusty assistant Andy Salzman, I got introduced to the “other” guitars by Leo: G&L. During one of my visits, this Tacoma Papoose was for sale for a mere $150. So I convinced myself I could buy another guitar if it was a present for my wife ... Right! Of course it was for myself! It did not have a case but they had some old, badly discolored (bleach?) but fitting gig bag. The SP1 came in a Cordoba gig bag but an original Tacoma gig bag was easily found for that model and the swap was made. With a serial numbers consisting of only 4 digits, this Papoose originates from before 1996, early-1997 the latest. It is supposed to have a clear pickguard, but that seems to have been torn off, causing some small damage to the cedar top here and there. The scratch marks seem to indicate where one of the previous owners started peeling off the sticker. But it is still cute ... (While I type this, I cannot help envisioning Susan Sarandon as Annie Savoy in ‘Bull Durham‘ berating Tim Robbins as Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh: “Cute?! Cute?! I don’t want to be cute! I want to be exotic and mysterious!” I have this inkling this guitar is about to slap me around too ... Ouch!)

The story behind this guitar



D’Addario EJ15 Phosphor Bronze Extra Light (10-47)