Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yeah, I Need It

I don’t need either of these guitars.

These are actual images of two guitars I’m thinking about buying (you should click on them for a closer look). They’re being sold by a friend of mine who’s not only a gifted musician but he’s also an incredible photographer. That’s why the guitars look like they’re being auctioned by Sotheby’s and not sold to a mook like me.

If I buy one of these guitars it would be a fantastic deal and they look and sound far better than any of my other guitars. But there's the rub - I already have two electrics, a six string acoustic, a twelve string acoustic, a concert ukulele and a guitalele. What's more, I'm a crappy guitarist.

I could understand the size of my collection if I had some modicum of talent or even if I played on a regular basis. But for the most part my guitars wait for months until I pull them out and force them to make noises no creature with ears should be forced to endure.

I started playing in high school. I took some money I earned and ordered a $250 Ovation acoustic from Sam Ash in New York. I still remember the day it arrived. It was pure excitement, until the pain came. Playing guitar is an exercise in forcing your fingers to do things they don't want you to do. I remember the sore hands, the inflamed fingertips and aching forearms. Barre chords? Yeah, right. . .  I sat in my room with my Mel Bay chord book and tried to push past the discomfort so I could figure out how Steve Howe and Pete Townshend made music.

I never really figured it out. I just learned chords and strung them together in progressions that sounded interesting to me. I have never built a catalog of popular songs that I could rely on if there was a campfire or some gorgeous babe who required serenading. Although, when I decided that Mark Knopfler was going to become my spirit guide I abandoned my pick and developed some decent finger picking tricks. But that's all they are, tricks. To this day I only know one blues scale that I can pull out if I want to seem proficient. Unfortunately after about five minutes it's clear my repertoire is limited.

These days I keep a cute little guitalele next to the nightstand. I pick it up and play for the cat before I go to sleep and sometimes Allie will listen to me noodle as we have a chat. My might-as-well-be-my-brother-in-law, Jeff gave me a copy of Rocksmith for the PS3 at Christmas. I plug in one of the electrics and have an enormous amount of fun with the game every now and again. But that's about as much time as I spend with fingers on strings.

Fun. There's the word. For years I've had fun playing guitar. When I play I shut down the business part of my brain and relax. I occasionally accomplish a run or two that provides the delusion that, with some practice, I could at least become a YouTube sensation.  I make crappy (but fun) music. Just me and my cheap guitars.

As much as I love the orange Paul Reed Smith Custom SE and as generous as he is, I'll let Randy know I already have what I need.

Oh yeah, there's this:

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