Monday, March 26, 2012

Purge of the Day: Guitar

Hi, Readers! This is Jonathan, occasional guest poster to blog/full-time husband to Molly. You may look at this picture and wonder, “Why would you get rid of a guitar?” It’s a fair question. Another fair question I get asked a lot is, “How come you have four guitars?” This is usually followed by something like, “I didn’t even know you played the guitar,” and, “Because I never see you playing or hear you talk about playing. Also, you don’t seem to know much about guitars, especially considering that you have four of them.” To which I say, “Maybe it’s because I play the guitar all the time, just in secret, in preparation for the launch of my awesome band in which I play all four instruments, which are all guitars, about which I know a lot but don’t like to brag to make you insecure about your lack of guitar-related knowledge.” But I don’t actually say that, because I almost never play any of my guitars (partially a result of neighbor-y problems that are now resolved by a move, but largely just a lack of time issue), and I know next to nothing about guitars.

I’ve never been a “good” guitar player. For a brief period of time in tenth grade, when I took weekly lessons and occasionally practiced between lessons, I may have been as highly regarded as “not bad”. In the time since, as I’ve played less and accumulated more guitars, my skills have eroded so little that my initial complete lack of skill has become ever clearer. Yet it’s important that I get to make my case for four guitars.

This is one of those “It made perfect sense at the time” kind of cases, but it’s important nonetheless. The above pictured guitar came first. It was my first guitar. The purchase of this guitar is self-explanatory. It was a present that I begged for when I was in tenth grade. Next came an acoustic-electric guitar, about a year later.

This fills the necessary acoustic guitar-sized hole in any terrible-to-mediocre guitar player’s arsenal.
The following year, I crossed the country for college and left my two beloved and frequently played guitars behind. I knew I wouldn’t have much space in a shared dorm room, and I didn’t think I would miss them much for a few months. But after just a month or so, I decreed it a problem and decided to solve it with the inexpensive (by guitar standards), compact, derision-drawing Martin Backpacker, later made (not so) famous by the recurring SNL sketch where Horatio Sanz sings about Christmas alongside Jimmy Fallon on keyboard, Chris Kattan holding keyboard, and Tracy Morgan being inexplicably hilarious just dancing a tiny bit.

SNL Christmas Song
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It was a neat solution at the time, I think you’ll agree, considering the price tag and tiny amount of closet space it required.

To review: three guitars, completely logical reasons for each.

Some three years later, on a trip to Guitar Center to pick up some sheet music, I came across a gorgeous electric guitar that was on some kind of crazy sale. I mean 70% off kind of crazy. I had no intention of buying another guitar, and certainly not that day. But it was such a good deal! And look at it!

Nevermind that it was a much better guitar than someone of my skill level required. I would grow into it, especially because I had been playing more recently and my roommate Robbie had a keyboard in our apartment and we occasionally did what we assumed “jamming” was together. Okay, so this last one was a totally unnecessary splurge. But Robbie was with me when I bought it, and he did not in any way discourage me from buying it, so really it’s just as much his fault as mine.

Now it’s another [mumble, mumble, more than I'd like to admit] years later and I barely ever play any of my guitars. As I mentioned earlier, we just moved, and as part of a massive pre-move effort to lighten our load, I decided to take a hard look at my completely reasonable collection of guitars. At first glance, everything seemed in order: electric guitar, acoustic-electric guitar, travel guitar, better electric guitar. Just like anybody would have. But then, upon closer inspection, I discovered a redundancy. And so, with a heavy heart lightened by the thought of someone else finding the joy I found with something I no longer needed, and the added bonus of not having to move it or find a place for it in our new home, I bid a fond farewell to my first guitar. And now I must bid you, dear reader, a fond farewell. Until next time!

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