What It Is To Be A Guitarist
Without doubt, the guitar is one of the most universally liked instruments on the planet and their players thought of as cool, fly-by-night, larger than life characters, destined for greatness. And yes, while all of that is true (not), there may be certain aspects of being a guitarist that the everyday listener doesn't expect. So, what does it mean to be a guitarist? Tone . Searching for the unattainable tone - unattainable because once said tone has been attained, another one will present itself for the goal of being pursued. Sore fingers . Calloused finger tips , cut into from hours of trying to nail that new solo you've just heard. Idols . Page, Hendrix, Clapton , Vai, Van Halen, Gilmour, Knopfler. Musicians who have gone before, leaving a line in the sands of time for the rest of us mere mortals to do our best to follow. Gear . "I'm sure my pedalboard has room for just one more fuzz pedal. There! Right next to my MXR Phase 90 from '86 that I use in two bars of that Heart song I like." Empty rooms . Hours spent in your bedroom running up and down scales, practicing chord fingerings and changes, learning more and more about how little you know . This sets you up beautifully for the many, many empty venues you will perform in. Inadequacy . An eternal struggle of never feeling good enough. Not helped by the YouTube video you just watched of a 3-year-old playing a pitch-perfect rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody from start to finish on a Fender Squier she got for Christmas. Joy . Bending a string a full step, perfect vibrato, sustain for days, mastering a diminished chord for the first time, thumb independence, hearing a recording of yourself and not utterly hating it. Pure joy.
The eternal, unanswerable question. What does it mean to be a guitarist?