The bond with your instrument(s)...

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Logan, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    Do you bond with your instruments, or do you view them as tools? Are they an extension of yourself, or just something to use to make music? How do you find them?

    What made me ponder this was I played an L-00 after oogling at J-45s. While the L-00 wasn't my first choice, I bonded with her immediately. Something about parlor guitars' top end is just magic.

    I tend to get called by the guitar to try it. It's hard to describe unless it happens to you. I immediately bond with a guitar if it's something that was calling to me to play it, and I would have walked out with that L-00 if I had the cash. I put my SG on layaway back before I got it after I strummed a G Chord on it. It's just something that's hard to describe.

    So, how do you bond with your guitars?
     
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  2. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    Mine watches tv with us.
     
  3. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    My Yairi is like that. When I bought it My fingers were not built up enough for playing acoustic but now that I'm playing acoustic more and finding it's voice, it's delivering on a promise it made when I first saw it.

    My SG? when I got it it was the first L/H guitar I had ever even seen and I had to grow into it from square one. I had been attempting to play R/H for many years prior to that. It does "give it up" pretty easily these days.

    Of course my guitars are a lot like me. Tools to (sometimes) make music.
     
  4. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    I have one that hibernated under the bed for 25 years...........
     
  5. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    My four electrics are pretty much just guitars. Like them all. Enjoy playing each of them. But my Ovation acoustic I’ve had since I bought it new in ‘74. If I’m not playing it, it’s in the case. If the house was on fire it’d be one of the first things I’d grab and carry out.... once I was sure everyone plus the puppy was out and safe.
     
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  6. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Well-Known Member

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    Different strokes for different guitars. I've got a core cadre' that I've bonded to: the Les Paul I bought in '77, the ES-335 and Taylor my wife bought me, the G&L S-500 she helped me with, etc. Some of the rest are mostly tools. But in reality, there's always a degree of bonding because they are helping me express something that is inside me. Check out my siggie for why this post is sort of ambivalent.

    Bob
     
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  7. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Well-Known Member

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    I have guitars that are part of me, they've bonded that much. My 72/73 SG Standard felt like it was a missing piece of my musical soul when I picked it up the first time. Yes, I could have had the Custom, or that wonderful 67 Special that was next to it, but they didn't have that..... feel, that vibe that mine does. Same with my 86 Ibanez RS RG440 that I believe is one of the finest guitars I have ever played. And I felt the same way with the 1978 FY40 Alavarez Yairi that a friend of mine brought to me for a set up. One strum, and I told him he was not leaving with this guitar. He didn't. And I am NOT an acoustic player, but this thing transcends all boundaries, and is a part of me just like my SG.
     
  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    The right guitar "clicks", it's a strong feeling that this one is special. With me, when a guitar "clicks" I get rapid fire ideas on what she "wants" and that's how mods are born.
     
  9. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

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    Jack white said something about picking a fight with the guitar. I got a squire strat mini 3/4 scale when I was 6 and never cared about it till I was older and bought my current strat. I realized the minis pickups where outright phenomenal. I gifted it to my little 4 year-old sister. There is a bond with that instrument. I later bought an SG bass for 80$ and so I played that for many years before migrating to 6 string guitar on an acoustoc I stole
    I hated the acoustic until I picked a fight with it and finally came to love playing it. To this day nothing feel more at home than my cheap old stolen naturally reliced Ibanez acoustic.

    When I got my SG it was a tough decision because I knew an SG was what I wanted and liked but the only one I found had a neck crack. I bought it anyways and love it to this day. Neck crack is fine and doesn't seem to cause a problem. I dont feel very connected with the instrument though, it feels too fragile for me. I dont want to be so careful. I really want to put a Vibrola on it, bigsbys dont hit the spot for me.

    I used to hate fender for some reason. They just seemed so cheap and lesser than everything else I liked playing. I dont like to be a biased person so I decided to buy a strat. I played one at a pawnshop for an hour or so. It was labeled $85 and I only had 80$ I argued with the manager for half an hour over it. He wouldn't budge but I loved the strat. He went in back and brought out a red squire strat and said "how about $60?" I rold him "I'm going to hand you 40 for that damn thing and I'm going to walk out of here with it." I hated it until I saw Sonny Landreth rocking one with slide and later found a video of him explaining the set up with .13s. I had used those for a long time on my acoustic. .13s made my strat sing and made it a real slide guitar. Best purchase I've ever made. The guitar was a mistake until I made it right.

    TL;DR
    What I'm getting at is that you need to pick a fight with it, wrestle it into submission, dress it the way you want it and then you can make love with it.
     
  10. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Member

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    I'm left handed, but have never played that way a day in my life. Growing up in a small place, with every other player in my family being right handed, I just learned as I saw. Never knew any different. For years, I didn't even know left handed guitars existed......

    I tend to be the same. I buy what clicks with me, feels good overall, and eventually decide where to take it from there. All mine are on the lower end of the price scale, none are stock anymore. And, after I've put the work in to make them exactly what I want, I tend to be bonded.........:D
     
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I believe that some guys will never understand this thread.
    But I am not one of them.

    I am a guitar slut... I confess. I like them all, and have no trouble getting
    emotionally involved repeatedly and with multiple music partners. *grins
    ...and I'm fickle too, and can change my mind in a couple of heartbeats.
    come in the room with one, and leave with another. tsk tsk tsk...

    But there are a few that are exceptionally emotional for me. Usually it happens
    with a touch. or a chord, or a few strokes. Then I'm lost, and happily so.
    Guitar love... there's no substitute. ...well, women are better I suppose.

    Now that I think about it, I believe this has happened to me over and over,
    beginning way back before I had any words to articulate what was happening to me.
    The first guitar I ever bought with my own money was a MIJ "Crest" ES-335 knockoff.
    It was probably priced about $69.95 at a pawn shop in like 1965... I was like 16
    and had a job that paid $1.25 an hour. The MasterCard had not been invented yet,
    and no one would have given me one anyway. There was no internet, no M/F catalogs
    only Sears & Monkey Wards. If you desired a guitar, you drove to where they were
    for sale, and played them before you bought anything.

    I don't know what drew me into that pawn shop, probably guitars in the window.
    But I didn't buy a stolen Telecaster, I bought the Crest brand new.
    It seemed like the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
    I took it down from the wall and played it, and it seduced me.
    (which wasn't difficult).

    At that time, a new 1965 Gibson ES-335 Dot would have cost more like $369.95, so it was
    way too expensive. There was no way I could afford even a new Telecaster for $199.95.
    The Crest was a guitar that looked a lot better than it sounded, but to my adoring eyes
    it was the first step on the yellow brick road.

    Fickle me, I traded the Crest in on this Gibson FJN acoustic in like 1966, which I regard
    as the first GOOD guitar I bought with my own money.
    1968_Liz Carson_Diag.jpg
    you can see what I was up to with that. I bonded with this Gibson and played it until it was stolen
    in like 1977.
     
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  12. blastronaut

    blastronaut New Member

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    +1 for them being like partners. Inevitably they all end up getting compared to the first true love.

    Bigamy suddenly makes a whole lot of sense.
     
  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I believe the term you want is "polygamy." Both crimes, but bigamy is worse, somehow. I bond with all mine or they get sold down the river. Here are a few of my faves:
    misslizziesm.jpg n225.jpg biddlinfive moons.jpg asmsd.jpg DSCN1817.JPG DSCN1155.JPG
     
  14. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    My guitars are tools. But I definitely have a bond with them. The guitars I play the most are because they are the ones I have the strongest bonds with.

    When I bought my Derek Trucks SG I went to the store with buying an SG in mind. T tried different ones, a 2014 Standard, a 2012 Standard, a '61 Reissue, and because one of the guys in the store suggested it, this 2014 Derek Trucks model that I hadn't really considered, because it was a bit more expensive than the others, and I didn't really like the fact that it lacked a pickguard. But as soon as it was in my hands I realized that this was the one. It is a keeper for sure. Everything about it feels right. At the moment it is my dedicated slide guitar, an in a few days it will get some new pickups (again...). I found a set of Ox4 Hot Duanes that was on sale in a Norwegian web store at 40% off. I've been thinking of those pups for a long time, and I just had to pull the trigger.

    When I bought my Les Paul Traditional gold top a couple of months back, I did so without trying it first. The seller was a well respected fellow forum user at a Norwegian guitar forum. The price was really good, and the guitar looked in good shape, with a professionally repaired headstock break. The guy said the guitar played very well, and I took his word for it. When I got it I was blown away. It looked better than in the pictures he had posted in the ad, he had set it up very well too, so I only had to adjust the trusted a tiny bit to get the action I wanted. I loved it right away. I pulled the Throbak PG-102s I had in the Derek Trucks out and put them in the Les Paul. Sonic bliss. It's my number one for standard tuning, and will likely be so for a long time.

    I also have a special bond with my 1975 Gibson SG II. It was my first Gibson and my main guitar for many, many years. Really because I couldn't afford anything else, but I had some great times with it. For that reason alone it is a keeper.

    My main duo:
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. blastronaut

    blastronaut New Member

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    You're absolutely right. Polygamy was the word I was looking for. Bigamy is a much more terrifying prospect (I mean, who needs any more than one set of in-laws?).

    I love all of mines. Though none are perfect or even considered high end, they each have their own things going for (and against) them. There's also definitely seems to be an established hierarchy which I have little to no control over. They seem to group and organise themselves. I just go with the flow and make myself available for the heavy lifting.

    It's not a bad setup, truth be told. If I'm in the mood there's usually at least one of them begging to be played with.
     
  16. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    Great question...I pondered it over and over in my head, and the answer is....no.

    Even guitars I have painted or heavily modded or have owned for decades, I don't feel a bond as I do with, say, a car. I love and enjoy my guitars and am very protective of them, but a bond? No.

    I should with these two. My dream guitars, my Holy Grails. Took years and years and years to get them...but no emotional attachment at all. If my dream guitars don't give me that, then how the heck could a Standard SG give me a bond?


    [​IMG]
     
  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    When I think of bonding...
    Covalent vs Ionic comes to mind.

    For me, the SG are tools to produce music. How they feel, play, and sound is most important. Aesthetics are secondary, but when form and function are on point, that is a great thing.

    My SG are not assigned any gender, nor do they have names. However, they are color coded for tuning purposes. The darker the color, the lower the tuning...

    E, E-flat, C#, Drop C, etc.

    [​IMG]

    This post was sent using 100% recycled electrons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
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  18. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    You are in some good company then. Glen Campbell and Mark Knopler to name a couple are lefties that play righty to good effect. Not all lefties are like that though. If you ask Paul MacCartny why he plays L/H he will answer quite simply, "because I am left handed". When he started out L/H guitars were as rare as hens teeth but still he fought the obstacles and prejudices to play in a way that was natural to him.

    When I was 10 I was loaned a R/H guitar and turned it around L/H because it just felt completely natural. IDNK that anyone even made L/H guitars at the time, but playing L/H just felt natural.

    One day I was in my room trying to learn me some Chet Atkins licks from a record and my dad comes in and is appalled that I was playing "backwards" and made me turn the guitar back around to R/H. I gave up trying to learn to play shortly after that because there wasn't much point in it anymore for me.

    I got my first lefty when I was 29 so you might say I was screwed out of many productive years of playing because society does not recognize that for some, handedness is a very basic and real thing.
     
  19. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Member

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    I suppose that's where it's different for some lefties vs others. Long before I was playing myself, I was exposed to those of my relatives who played. All righty, so I just assumed that's how everyone played. Never thought once about handedness. When they gave me my first guitar, I never felt any inclination to turn it over, just held it as they did and started learning. And they had told me it would be awkward and painful until I built up finger strength and coordination "because that's what it takes to play guitar. You just have to work through that." So I did.

    That does suck. For me, no one would have cared if I had flipped it over, strung it upside down, whatever. But, again, I never once had the instinct to do so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  20. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for replying. I would imagine your fretting is absolutely awesome and it's really great your strumming hand learned to cooperate. Mark Knofler would be proud.

    My chording was really great, however, I could never get the strumming hand to play with any type of articulation. It was like I was clubbing the strings without much expression. Finger picking? Just wouldn't happen R/H.

    You might be wondering about the time line. When I was in the Army, I took the guitar back up and wasted almost 20 years off and on trying to play right hand. Since going L/H in 1979 I have noticed that if I work at it I actually see improvement where I just hit a plateau and didn't get any better playing R/H.
     
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