Christmas is coming. And, to many a prospective six-stringer, that means asking Santa for a new guitar.
Whether or not that new guitar materializes, though, is another matter entirely. If, like me, your answer to the question “how many guitars should you own?” is always “one more than you currently have,” it’s difficult to make the case that you really “need” that new instrument to the powers that be (usually your better half).
I’ve talked before in this blog about strategies for smuggling a new six string into your home. Recently, I heard mention of a new approach, and given that the holiday season is almost upon us; I thought it pertinent to share with you all.
(I should offer a disclaimer at this point. As with all my previous “how to get a new guitar past your significant other” advice on this blog, I’m almost 100% per cent certain that this will not work. But heck, it’s the festive season, and Christmas miracles do sometimes happen!)
If you want that sweet sounding new Taylor acoustic or Gibson solid-bodied electric, then you’re going to need to find a sacrificial lamb. And, if you can bear to part with said lamb, then the rewards are yours for the taking.
So what is a sacrificial lamb? It’s that guitar in your collection that’s been
gathering dust. Perhaps you bought it on a whim. Maybe it’s a mid-level instrument that you outgrew or upgraded a way into your guitar-playing journey, but didn’t want to part with for sentimental reasons.
I’m guessing you’ve got one somewhere; sat forlornly on a guitar stand or hiding in a dog-eared case under your bed. You probably forget to mention it when running through your collection with guitar playing buddies and it certainly wouldn’t be the first thing you grabbed if your house was on fire.
What you’re going to do is make a very visible display of either selling or giving that guitar away.
Now, it’s really important that you do this before making any mention of the new instrument that you covet. You have to make sure that the sale of this guitar and the purchase of the next one appear in no way related.
That’s because sacrificing the lamb isn’t just about getting rid of a guitar. It’s about making you look like you’ve turned over a new leaf; like you’re not the sort of person who hoards all things six string, someone who has a financial compass and isn’t prone to impulsive guitar splurging (or asking loved ones to do the splurging for them once the holidays roll around). If you really want to seal the deal, consider using a coaster or getting a haircut.
All of this is a lie of course. Said new leaf remains resolutely unturned, and chances are, you’ll be trying this or a similar tactic next birthday/holiday season/time you drunk buy a replica Black Beauty Les Paul after watching videos of Led Zep at the Albert Hall on YouTube. But those are problems for future you. Right now, let’s get back to the matter at hand.
With your lamb sacrificed, it’s time to mention that new “best guitar ever” to your partner. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re in a much stronger position to ask for a new axe. After all, you just sold a guitar. That means you’re no longer a man-child with a G.A.S problem (gear acquiring syndrome – not flatulence); you’re a well-adjusted adult who can let go of the things they don’t need…
Until next year, at least.
Coming up with a great cover is an art in itself. Effectively, you’ve got to take a strong template established by someone else and rework it enough that your voice shines through, while retaining the integrity of the original piece. It certainly isn’t easy. When you think about it, there have been many, many cover versions released over the years, but only a minority of those can hold a candle to the original version.
“Playing the guitar is like telling the truth - you never have to worry about repeating the same [lie] if you told the truth. You don't have to pretend, or cover up. If someone asks you again, you don't have to think about it or worry about it because there it is. It's you.” – B.B. King