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October 22, 2013

There are musicians among the Moron Horde . . .

. . . quite a few of them, in fact. Sadly, I'm not one of them -- though, I do play the guitar rather poorly. It's actually a recently rediscovered diversion that I picked up while house-sitting for a friend of mine while he was away on a road trip to Wyoming. It seems he has a really nice Martin acoustic guitar sitting in the corner of his living room gathering dust that I just couldn't keep out of my hands. After a few days of strumming and picking, my fingers were reduced to mere stumps with exposed nerve endings at the tips. And I loved it.

By the time the house-sitting gig was over, my dreams of rock stardom had been rekindled to such an extent that I listened to a continuous loop of "Jukebox Hero" for a solid week and started scraping up pennies. I found myself checking the weather forecast to see when the next rain was expected so I could head down to the local guitar shop at night and shiver while staring through the window at the wares contained within. In the meantime, I picked up a beat-up old Yamaha F-310 from a friend, just so I could have something to bang on until I could get something a little nicer.

After a week or so of skulking about the guitar shop to the dismay and discomfort of the staff, I finally settled on a replacement -- the Lg T66D. It's an entry-level guitar, geared toward those on a budget at $199.99 (your price may vary), but it plays and sounds way over its price point. And it's a great looking instrument with a minimalist sensibility: flat black hardware, no pickguard, no fretboard inlays, and a black rosette with an Occitan cross at the bottom -- a very nice touch, I think.

So, within a few days, I found myself walking out the door with this great little guitar, determined to relearn everything I'd forgotten about playing and maybe even improving as a player someday. I threw myself into it, quickly redeveloping the calluses that adorn the fingertips of every would-be Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Bonamassa the world over. I even took it to work with me so that I could practice during my downtime when the bar was slow, and I was making some real progress.

Two weeks later, as I was leaving at the end of my shift and about to start my weekend, I grabbed my camera and my laptop bag and slung them over one shoulder. Then proceeded across the room where my guitar lay on a table in the gig bag I'd purchased along with it, whereupon I slung it over my other shoulder and made my way toward the door. The next sound I heard called up memories of a cartoon character from my youth, known as El Kabong. I froze in abject horror.

As it happens, in my haste to wash the workweek out of my hair, I'd forgotten to zip up the gig bag prior to slinging it over my shoulder, at which point my brand new guitar fell crashing and twanging to the floor -- landing directly on its beautiful headstock.

Needless to say, I was crestfallen. It was the closest I've come to actual tears in recent memory. There's something about guitars, and musical instruments in general, that creates an emotional attachment in a very short period of time. And that sense of attachment only grows more intense as time passes.

But, by the end of the night, I'd determined that I was going to have another guitar, and I was going to have it very soon. So, I set about perusing local classified ads, and within a couple of hours, I'd stumbled upon a Craigslist ad that struck me as a can't-miss deal on a guitar somewhat similar to one I'd owned years ago: a Jasmine S35.

Jasmine is the budget line of guitars produced by Takamine, and to be sure, this one played like a budget guitar when I picked it up. So, after playing it for a few days, I took it in to the local shop where I'd bought my Lg and had them perform a setup on it. When I got it back, I was absolutely amazed at the difference it made in the instrument. It plays every bit as well as my Lg did prior to my absent-minded and brutal destruction of her. And, yes, I've already developed an emotional attachment.

In any event, the point of all this is to bait other musically inclined Morons into sharing their own stories about their instruments. Maybe you have a nightmare tale like mine, or just have a cherished instrument that you take particular pride in, or one with an interesting story. Or maybe you're an experienced musician who has some good advice for beginners.

That's what the comments section is for, so have at it.

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posted by Damn Dirty RINO at 07:59 PM

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