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


Platinum Supporting Member
They’re my old buddies who are always there for me. I treat them well but, just like me, they show their age.


I don't exhalt the guitar as though it were Excalibur. By the same token I also don't view it as though it were a fork or a screwdriver that gets tossed into a drawer, or a shovel that hangs in the garage and never gets a look even if it may be slowing gathering rust along the edge of the blade from use. I view the guitar as a favorite part of my vocation; the same way a ballplayer feels reverence for a number of go-to trusted baseball gloves that help him succeed on the field.
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Every guitar I have owned, regardless of price or build, has gone with me on stage to get sweat on and at risk of dings. It’s only when I’m using the guitar this way that I feel the money paid was worth it. I’d rather experience using the guitar in this context rather than selling it in 10 years for $200 more or whatever. Even my new silver sky already has rust on the bridge and my Charvel GG has battle scars.

the only time I’d change my mind on this is if I was given a guitar worth $10,000. And I’d have to be given it, because I sure wouldn’t pay that amount.


Silver Supporting Member
My two cent's?

When I design a TCM guitar, it's utility as a musical tool always takes precedence in my thinking, initially. I'm thinking about sound and ease of use, and from there I turn my attention a bit more to the cosmetics of the design.

As you know I spend an inordinate amount of time building to the best degree that I can, and I'd not particularly enjoy seeing my work intentionally abused; but over the years countless TCM owners have been sheepish about showing me their TCM if it shows scratches, dents, and the like.

Actually nothing makes me happier than seeing my older work showing the wear and tear of being used as I intended. I consider these things to be "Marques of Honor" and at in the end, I suppose that this is why I get up in the morning!

When I see one of my guitars showing the signs of being used for hundreds of shows, tours, etc, I am absolutely delighted.
Can't remember where I read/saw this, but your feelings are akin to a school teacher who loved the pupil that came with the most beat up, dog-eared text book, because she knew that that kid now carried the book around in his head.


I would like to be buried with my guitar. And I would too, except both my kids have learned to play, so whichever one misbehaves the least gets it.


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?
My guitar is valuable to me because my music is valueable to me and without a guitar I cant play music. Some have more monetary value than others but I don't intend on selling them. To me they are like different paint brushes for a painter.
just a tool. But an expensive and important one, so they get maintained and are always in working condition. But mine are covered in scratches and dents and get put in a case and thrown in the back of a truck and so on.


My PA gear is a tool. My spare bass rig, drum kit...kinda just tools. My main two guitars and two of my main amps.....much more. I’m attached. If something happened to one, I’d be sad and replace it sooner or later, it’s an object or material possession but that doesn’t mean I don’t cherish them and protect and maintain them. I wouldn’t flip for the money but might sell to care for family kinda thing.

My 67 BFSR was with me for over 30 years.. but I ended up selling it. It wasn’t a tool. I sold it because It was too heavy to keep and not practical anymore for me. I’m happy with what I use now. If I ever found myself needing another SR though I would search high and low for the very same one.



Sorry, that’s how I see it, although I do understand that others derive pleasure from the artistry, provenance, rarity and other aspects of their instruments not directly related to function.


Silver Supporting Member
A guitar isn't a tool in the colloquial use of the word as a handheld device to accomplish a task. It is an instrument in that it is the means to achieve a performance.

People calling it a tool are using the word metaphorically. No one uses the guitar just to move air.. unless you are a toddler


Another way of saying it is, do you look up at or down on it? I don’t pick up my Les Paul and bend it to my will. I try to live up to the legacy and earn the right to have it in my hands in the first place by making some quality sounds on a quality instrument. There’s history there to be honored. I never felt that way about a hammer or any other tool no matter what I was using it for.


My PRS & Taylors are tools that I have owned a while, like & don't plan to sell.

My guitars are still tools just like me :cool:

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