I was working in my home office today on a bunch of projects – like normal – when I got the urge to pick up my guitar. Most days, at least once, I pick it up to bumble through something – either something to play for my Music Together class this week, or just something to divert myself from what I should be doing. [Usually it goes like this: “Hmm, I need to get that dissertation chapter 1 edit back to my student, but did Puck REALLY sing a Taylor Swift song on GLEE last night? [find Mean on YouTube]. Oh yeah – four chords…ok, key of Eb (search house wildly for missing capo)….(strum, strum, strum)….really, this is all there is? Ok, now back to…um….what was I doing again?”]
So, today when I picked up my guitar and it was, strangely, exceedingly out of tune I held it out in front of me to see this:
No instrumentalist, no musician, and certainly no guitar player ever wants to see this. I wept. Openly.
After I pulled myself together – it involved and nap and chocolate – I took my Washburn over the the local music store and struck up a conversation with the repair guy. I told him that this was a crack from a traveling boo-boo that happened last year – and it had already been fixed once. We discussed the difficultly of glueing dried glue instead of wood, and he assured me two things: 1) that if he had done it the first time it wouldn’t have popped again, and 2) it would be fine by the weekend. Gotta love a cocky old bastard, so I left the guitar and continued to poke around the store.
I looked at a big wall full of acoustic guitars. I’ve been talking (to myself, mostly) about getting an acoustic-electric model sooner or later. Perhaps in time for our yearly HELLAgoodTIME summer party…(ahem)..I mean…gig. Maybe it’s time. My Washburn is the first acoustic guitar I bought while studying with a Cuban rocker down in Homestead. He had a bunch of guitars in a warehouse, and we tried several to replace the junkyard piece of crap I was playing on. I especially liked the fact that I got real, guitar-maker, answers to questions like “why does this one suck??” But once I played that Washburn jumbo-body, there was no going back.
I love it when people roll their eyes at me when they ask me what I play and then proceed to tell me about their Taylor, or Gibson, or Overly-Expensive-Guitar-with-a-Famous-Name. I’ve played those – they’re ok. Nothing sounds like this one, though. And my guitar playing friends, especially the ones who have recorded this beast, really know that it’s all about the sound.
Looking at this wall of guitars, I felt like I had just walked into a singles bar after 10 years of being married. I’m out of place. They are all new. None of them will be like the one I have. I actually felt like I was cheating on my guitar.
I ran out of the store feeling just a little bit dirty. Maybe I’m not ready to move on yet.