Is your guitar a noble musical instrument, or just a tool?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by p6x, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:21 PM.

  1. p6x

    p6x Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Houston Tx
    I was always careful about just everything I owned, even if I did not.

    And of course, my guitars have always been very precious to me. No matter if expensive or not, I treat them with equal care.
    I never leave them laying around, they are in from their cases or gig bags, played, and returned into them. No way I let them laying about, to be just knocked down inadvertently.

    It is just out of respect and worshiping the enchantment they produce when played.

    I detail them so they always look best. No greasy finger prints, no ding, immaculate like the day they came out of the factory.

    I can't describe what I felt when looking at Pete's destruction craft. Like someone desecrating his own creativity.

    Anyway, I maybe obsessive compulsive about my guitars, and I was wondering if you guys were just considering your stringed instruments as mere tools, or noble companions?

    Look at those using Stradivarius Violins... why should we treat our guitars differently?
  2. Pongo

    Pongo Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    First and foremost it is a tool.

    And it is wise to treat well any tool that is as vital to your ability to unwind, express yourself, perhaps even make a living as your guitar.
    Losov, p6x, -speakeasy- and 4 others like this.
  3. Well Done

    Well Done Member

    Oct 19, 2019
    For me it is both. It is a tool yes but a tool which is used to express yourself with and therefore it also becomes an extension of you.

    Other people may have a different view of course but for many of us there is alway one instrument that always feels like home.

    I do also have a favourite shovel too.
    p6x likes this.
  4. joelster

    joelster Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Portland, OR
  5. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

    Dec 16, 2011
    My guitars don't get into a case unless they're traveling or not being used for long periods. I keep them handy so that when the mood strikes, I can play. That's important to me, to minimize the fuss and get down to brass tacks. I've only got three, so it doesn't take much work to keep 'em at the ready.

    Playing music on guitar is good therapy for me, so yeah, I take care of my guitars, but not to the point of making the setup become a chore. I'm a single guy and don't have to worry about a wife's opinion. Guitars on stand, cables on the floor.
    Babaroo, Rocco Crocco, p6x and 6 others like this.
  6. GA20T

    GA20T Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Electric guitars: New and shiny is just offensive. They are tools for (mostly rock of some sort) expression. Paint brushes get paint on them.

    Quality/vintage acoustic: more a delicate instrument and a work of real craftsmanship I will not hand over to drunks, tend to keep polished and humidified, and put away for safe storage when not in use.
    p6x, makeitstop and Carbohydrates like this.
  7. Cody

    Cody Well, look who’s undead! Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Beyond Thunderdome
    Bolt necks are tools. Set necks and neck-throughs are, by and large, objets d’art, and treated somewhat gingerly... except when temper gets the better of me. I’ve been known to thump the occasional Les Paul into the stage.
    makeitstop and zweston like this.
  8. halcyon

    halcyon Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    I’m irreverent by nature, so... guitars don’t move me to reverence. Certainly I like them! But regard them as some sort of noble, musical conduit? No.
    Quintus, -speakeasy- and zweston like this.
  9. fitz

    fitz Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    My guitars for the most part have to have a vintage cool appeal to me as well as playing and sounding good. Same with amps. When I pick up my guitars I am inspired by the looks, tones and pairing with whatever amp I am using at that time. Mine are out all the time with the exception of my Martin guitars so I can grab them anytime and plug in when the mood strikes.
    Babaroo and p6x like this.
  10. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    It's a club that makes noise.
    p6x likes this.
  11. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Somewhere in between. As tools theres cheap dollar store stuff and then theres snap-on tools.

    I suppose the gtr can really only be as noble as i am as a player.
    p6x likes this.
  12. Monkeyboy23

    Monkeyboy23 Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    A guitar is wood and strings with a soul
    Brutus and p6x like this.
  13. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    It's an object of desire, a cool thing that I enjoy for its own merits and aesthetics as much as I enjoy the music I can create with it. I treat it with respect, but not reverence. Just like my car: if it picks up some scratches and bumps from use, then so be it. I'm not gonna think twice about it.

    Edit: to be clear, no soul. No supernatural qualities, no transcendent idealism. It's a great thing that is capable of great things, and no more.
    p6x, Mobass, stratadp and 3 others like this.
  14. monty

    monty Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    parts unknown
    A bit of both. They are tools I use, but I dont really have feelings for other tools I use like hammers and stuff. I become attached to some of my guitars.
    p6x likes this.
  15. rizla

    rizla Member

    May 9, 2010
    Just a tool.
    Just want to make it clear that most of the hand tools I bought in 1980 to do my apprenticeship are still in perfect working condition.
    Full set of chisels, hand saws, scribes and squares etc, clamps etc.
    An Ibanez I bought in 1982 as a gig guitar is still very much playable and in good condition. An amp I bought in 84ish to gig is still very much in good working order after decades of gigs. A strat bought in 93, 3 re frets in is my most played guitar.
    Guitars, like my hand tools have no soul. At the core they are useful devices to do specific jobs that people have given me money to do.
    I do find enjoyment and pleasure in using these tools. I chose them specifically to suit me or I learned to be flexible and use them. They all bring forth memories of conversations, friendships and battles from inside me.
    They are all totally replaceable. They arent art for me. I dont celebrate the workmanship that went into them, I expect it, and wouldnt have bought them if they were less.
  16. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    My 54 is more of a Sarah. My 65 is a Monique.
    p6x likes this.
  17. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    It's a tool…

    Which creates art and is a form of expression which may move somebody other than myself. For me, it's an escape. Suppose I have two hours to kill alone -- what would I do? On most days, I would use that time to play some music. I handle them all with care but they all have at least minor signs of use and I don't worry too much about that. Some have small dings or chips but I am cautious enough that a lot of my gear is in great condition for its age. I've done some debatably abusive things live, in the moment. For the most part, I am very reluctant to let other people use my gear because I fear they haven't learned how to handle nice instruments with care. To me, "battle scars" due to negligence is undesirable.
    p6x likes this.
  18. vokeyz

    vokeyz Member

    Oct 15, 2017
    Calgary, Alberta
    Some others have pointed out that some guitars are tools for them others are more noble musical instruments.

    When I pop the latches on my
    Gibson SG, I have a hard time not feeling a level of nostalgia. It’s not old (2010~), but my Dad basically gave it to me. It was my first “upper mid/tier” guitar. I only had epiphones up to that point and I feel like as it is a tool to make music, because it’s not a livelihood for me, I tend to have many moments of infatuation with guitars that are sentimental.

    Ironically, some guitars that I beat the crap out of now will probably be sentimental to my kids.

    C’est la vie
    Ti-Ron, p6x and makeitstop like this.
  19. The bear

    The bear Member

    Jun 10, 2005
    New York
  20. Highnumbers

    Highnumbers Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Orange County, CA
    Don’t know where this lands, but I’m primarily a player and collector of vintage guitars.

    Part of the attraction of an old guitar is the history that comes with it. And in the course of owning them and enjoying them (as the tools they are), I recognize that I’m a part of the history of that instrument.

    To me, most modern stuff is purely a working tool, without the mystique or history that comes with a half-century of use.

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