Today’s Music: Brooke Shive and the 45s
I was going to talk about QUOLPS (Quality of Life Purchases), but several of mine are guitars, so lets save that for another day, and talk just about guitars.
I love my guitars. I don’t mean that in a consumerist “My toys are cooler than yours” way, or as a narcissistic “Oh, my guitars. smooch smooch smooch” kind of thing.
I mean I love my guitars. I love what they represent to me. I love what they are capable of, and I love what they do for me.
I have a lot more than I need, and I’m still looking for 2 more besides, but that will have to wait until I learn how to play the ones I have…
The first guitar I owned was a piece of junk. Nylon strings, cheap cracked top. It was my sister’s, and I have no idea how it went from her to me. It took me 3 weeks of going through her music book before I could pick out jingle bells from end to end, and keep time while doing it…
I learned the very basic rudiments of how to hold a pick and fret a string on that guitar. It was a horrible beginners guitar. The strings were about 1/2 an inch above the neck (instead of 1/16th or closer), and it was very hard to hold a chord. But because of that difficulty, I can set an E or D til the end of the world!.
Now it sits in a corner, waiting for me to repair and reset the top, reset the neck and replace the tuning hardware.
I’ll get to you darling…
When I was in high school. I took lessons for a while. I picked up all sorts of new skills – barre chords, scales, and the pentatonic minor, which haunts me to this day…
I got this guitar when I graduated from High School. It’s been with me a long time now. I’ve busted the bridge, scratched every solid piece of wood on it, dinged it, abused it, and always come back for it.
Even when I’ve left it sitting in a corner for months or years at time, it always welcomes me back with a rich bass and balanced middle tone, and a strong high end.
My third guitar was a QUOLP. After a very long, difficult, soul crushing stretch at the restaurant I was managing, with no end in sight, I needed a toy, just for fun, just to remind me that there was something besides work.
I don’t care if you have talent or not, read music or not, like music or not – You stand behind a Fender Stratocaster, and you’re going to look cool, and you’re going to feel great.
I love this guitar. And when I play it through a wah wah pedal over a loop I recorded, It. Sounds. Great.
Also, you can’t really tell anymore, but it’s signed by Spinal Tap, Kevin Smith, and Charels DeLint!
Then I moved in with my girl. I ha a duffel bag of clothes books and music, a stereo, and my 2 guitars. I had a decent job, one that was not in fact killing me. Instead it was mind numbingly boring. So I started bringing my acoustic to work on the weekends.
But the weekdays were pretty bad too…
So I got myself a cheap travel guitar. And when i tried to tune it, it Exploded.
So my wife went out and bought me a Washburn Rover travel guitar.
it has a thin short body and a full size neck. For its size, it has an incredible sound, though it is a bit tinny in teh higher ranges.
I carried this guitar to and from work every day for years.
Then I started taking lessons again. Learned a whole new set of moves.
But I didn’t have a cutaway – where the bottom of the guitar where the neck meets it is swooped back to make playing further up the neck easier.
This is the only guitar of mine I’ve named – Becky.
She has a sweet innocent sound, that can turn racy and throaty in a second, and she can lighten my heart, or be ribald and suggestive. I love this guitar, and she is probably my favorite one to play, not just because of her sound, but because the love of my life got it for me.
There’s one other guitar. This was given to me by a guy I worked with at Worlds Most Boring job. It’s a 12 string, and the only acoustic i have with a pickup in it.
It’s made by SX, who must also make furniture and military grade bunkers. This thing weighs a ton, and I have no idea how to play it.
But I plan on learning. One day.
Everyone of these guitars is special to me for different reasons. And they are markers, of a sort, down the path that I’ve walked.
I’m honored to have each and everyone of them.
And oh lord, what a joyous sound they make!