The Future of the Guitar
Guest author, Andrew Haddad
Since the 15th century, the guitar has been the epitome of cool. Romanticized stories from the past show common guys at the bottom of a castle's tower playing up to the woman he loves as she watches from the top. Why? It's because as long as a real instrument coexists with true emotion, there will always be a place for it.
There will always be a future for the guitar, as long as:
- new ears can hear Robert Johnson chugging away at the most stripped down forms of music on his Gibson L1 Flat Top from 1937
- new eyes can watch in disbelief as Jimi Hendrix plays the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in '69
- future rock and rollers can hear Jimmy Page sliding his bow across his gorgeous Gibson Les Paul on Dazed and Confused from Royal Albert Hall in 1970
The first time you fall in love with a guitar
As a child, and the youngest of eight grandkids, I had to sit by and watch my cousins and brother receive the coolest thing I've ever seen in my young life... a Fender Stratocaster. I played it way more than they ever did. As soon as i saw the curves, the colors of the body, that glorious headstock, and felt the strings and neck with my own hands, I was hooked.
I still look at my Fiesta Red Fender Strat today with the same awe and curiosity as the day I first saw it hanging on the wall in Too Many Guitars in Tucker, Georgia. (Thank you Kerry Marchman! The first Gibson Les Paul I got did the same thing to me, and still does. They are too cool to ever be replaced by anything--even another guitar (which is probably why I have so many)!
The point, though, is that the lusting one feels over that shiny (or incredibly not shiny) instrument you see in the window at a pawn shop or your local music store can never be outweighed by a piece of electronic equipment. Nothing can compare to your fingers endlessly dancing around a fret board, building calluses, sometimes bleeding, but always wanting more.
Remember the first pentatonic scale you learned? How about the first time you used harmonic minor live in a solo? Pressing buttons won't do that for you, and only serves to remind me of playing with a Fisher Price toy.
And then there's the strong emotional and physical bond of owning and playing your "babies." I don't know what I would do if my Strat, Les Paul, SG, PRS, and others were all of a sudden not in my life; I would be lost. If my laptop disappears? I'd go to Best Buy and replace it.
How does one replace a guitar he or she has had for over half their life? I'm not sure it's possible.
Always a Place and a Need
At the end of the day, as long as you can bend a string, play your heart out (no matter your level or skill set), and listen to the guitar greats of our past and present, there will always be not just a place, but a NEED for the guitar.
So go to the pawn shop, fall in love with something you didn't know you'd ever fall in love with, and write your own future for the guitar, with you at the helm, and Rock and Roll in your heart.
Rock On, Everyone.