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Mysterious scratch on guitar. Seething with rage. Anyone else relate?

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
41,005
I looked in the mirror this morning and found a scratch on my ass. Now I’m afraid to take a s-!
 

The Pup

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,490
I cannot fully relate.

Not long ago, I received a $6,500 custom ordered guitar from a well respected/known builder who did not install the tremolo backplate screws in perfectly straight. On day-1, I needed to setup the guitar (including adding a tremolo spring). As I was tightening down the last backplate screw, my screwdriver tip wandered off and marred the finish (and I was trying so hard to be extra careful) .

Immediately, I went into perspective mode (e.g. I am fully ambulatory, not on fire, riddled with disease, starving, or homeless, etc. -- essentially counting my blessings). Next, I equated the damage relative to the total surface area/mass of the guitar and any impacts towards playability and tone.

All said, it was a nothing more than a mouse-fart in the big scheme of things.

Acknowledge, learn and move on.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
11,810
Was about to play my new guitar. Noticed a scratch on the edge of it that I have not seen before and I was so angry I could not bring myself to play it. I'm incredibly fussy with my guitars now that I am sober. So much so that I have vowed to not buy new guitars anymore, because the first scratch literally makes me so mad I almost want to smash the things. How do you guys deal with getting dings/scratches in your guitars? I realize I am overreacting here, but I'm just so bloody angry at myself for scratching it. Keep in mind that I don't even wear belts or clothing with zippers or metal buttons. I put on pajamas or soft clothing and sit on a chair in the middle of the room and make sure not to bump anything. Getting the guitar ready to play is even difficult for me. I have a new Les Paul and a Gretsch Duo Jet and I won't even play either of them because I don't want to scratch them, so I play guitars that already have scratches.

Seriously, am I totally nuts about this? Does anyone relate?

Maybe I should start drinking again....I never cared about stuff like this when I was drinking. I used to actually have fun when playing. Maybe being sober is hazardous to a musician's health. Lol.

Thanks for reading that.
Have some FECO instead of the drink or do some shrooms. Nothing stays new very long.
 

dumdums

Member
Messages
59
Thanks for all the replies. I had no idea there would be this many of them.

For those who think I'm in AA....I'm not. Quitting drinking was easy for me. Never had a problem with that. It wasn't as though I was a bottle a day alcoholic....more of a guy who drank too much, and then quit. My life was not in shambles from my drinking. Just stopped for my health is all. Wanted to be healthier. To those who have or have had a problem with alcohol, I wish you all the best, and do whatever works for you. The good thing is that I still love guitar, despite my sobriety. I just get way too fussy about the guitars themselves now. Ha.

This has been a great thread to read. Musicians clearly have different levels of fussiness regarding their guitars.
 

Attuned2U

Member
Messages
21
Alas, I am not the social type. Introvert musician with little to no social skills. Forums like this are actually the best place I've found for life advice. I know that may sound sad, but there really are a lot of smart people on forums such as these, with lots of great advice. At least, I've found that to be true. Without turning this into an AA meeting, I'd say that I always used alcohol as a way of connecting with my musicality, and now that I don't have it, I have a hard time getting into the music, and now the aesthetic stuff, such as the cosmetic state of a guitar, can overwhelm my interest in the music itself. This never happened when I drank. My guitars from my drinking days are all scratched and dented...I could not care less about that stuff when I drank. Now, I care a great deal. I guess it's just a long adjustment period for some people. A few beers can really work wonders for the music, unfortunately. I just miss being able to solely focus on the music, with my left-brain idiocy taking over.

I guess I posted this to see if anyone has felt this way about stuff like this. I don't have any musician friends to talk to. Thanks for replying, guys.

Now I'm researching if it's possible to fix nitrocellulose finishes. Haha.
My man,
A scratch does not ruin a guitar. Recently, I had my Gibson ES-339 Traditional Pro, a couple thousand $$'s worth of guitar, fall face first off it's stand when my foot caught on the bottom of the stand as I walked by. The neck snapped at the head stock, total screwed-ville. I happen to be a guy who was lucky enough to have taken guitar repair/lutherie lessons from a pro. I thought I'd never get it right so I asked my teacher to fix it. He said he would, but because of Covid, I couldn't be there to watch and learn, as is the usual with him and I. He gets paid, does the work, I learn.
So, I looked at everything I could find on the subject on Frets.net, Stewmac, Youtube,and ended up buying some recommended Fish glue from Stewmac, I glued it, clamped it, refinished the area as best I could and fixed it. The broken area has been repaired, you can't see it anymore. I would never sell it. It's stronger than before it broke.
If I can deal with that, you can live with a scratch. Learn how to fix this ****, it's not that hard. Or, do what most do, and say what the hell and live with it. It seems you are not a guitar player, but a guitar fanatic. Best of luck.
 

Seth Tyrssen

Member
Messages
1
Was about to play my new guitar. Noticed a scratch on the edge of it that I have not seen before and I was so angry I could not bring myself to play it. I'm incredibly fussy with my guitars now that I am sober. So much so that I have vowed to not buy new guitars anymore, because the first scratch literally makes me so mad I almost want to smash the things. How do you guys deal with getting dings/scratches in your guitars? I realize I am overreacting here, but I'm just so bloody angry at myself for scratching it. Keep in mind that I don't even wear belts or clothing with zippers or metal buttons. I put on pajamas or soft clothing and sit on a chair in the middle of the room and make sure not to bump anything. Getting the guitar ready to play is even difficult for me. I have a new Les Paul and a Gretsch Duo Jet and I won't even play either of them because I don't want to scratch them, so I play guitars that already have scratches.

Seriously, am I totally nuts about this? Does anyone relate?

Maybe I should start drinking again....I never cared about stuff like this when I was drinking. I used to actually have fun when playing. Maybe being sober is hazardous to a musician's health. Lol.

Thanks for reading that.
Yeah, you're over-reacting. The occasional blem is part of a guitar's life.
 

ToneDeVille

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,704
My first run with a paying band was when I was a young man and the band furnished me with the gear...Fender P (SB), Fender Bassman amp. The bass had no case, nor did the other guitars or the drums. It all crammed into the back of an old station wagon. Consequently it was all road relic'd. But no one cared. We drove from town to town, played our sets, and got paid. That was 1969....a good year for sure.
 

Davoroups

Member
Messages
2
Was about to play my new guitar. Noticed a scratch on the edge of it that I have not seen before and I was so angry I could not bring myself to play it. I'm incredibly fussy with my guitars now that I am sober. So much so that I have vowed to not buy new guitars anymore, because the first scratch literally makes me so mad I almost want to smash the things. How do you guys deal with getting dings/scratches in your guitars? I realize I am overreacting here, but I'm just so bloody angry at myself for scratching it. Keep in mind that I don't even wear belts or clothing with zippers or metal buttons. I put on pajamas or soft clothing and sit on a chair in the middle of the room and make sure not to bump anything. Getting the guitar ready to play is even difficult for me. I have a new Les Paul and a Gretsch Duo Jet and I won't even play either of them because I don't want to scratch them, so I play guitars that already have scratches.

Seriously, am I totally nuts about this? Does anyone relate?

Maybe I should start drinking again....I never cared about stuff like this when I was drinking. I used to actually have fun when playing. Maybe being sober is hazardous to a musician's health. Lol.

Thanks for reading that.
He he, totally relate! Been there done that.
I’m sober too now and yea it sure changes things. But I resolved my guitar issue some time ago now. I bought a bunch of guitars after an inheritance, noticed I was neurotic about the new ones and especially old classics in pristine condition (ie: a perfect Ibanez George Benson, a gobsmacking PRS Macarty 2 arch top, unplayable gorgeous) and avoided them most of the time, freaked whenever I did anything to them. Insane. Slowly realised I really enjoyed beaten up war wounded ones, I felt sorry for them but also super comfortable playing them. Even drinking I knew not to mess with a 4K instrument in perfect shape. So wised up and sold all the pristine collectors grade ones and started only buying worn instruments, major benefits include the fact they’d been played in, well loved, so obviously were capable instruments, worn in nicely, never worried about damaging them and the enjoyment level reached max. The whole thing came to a head when I bought a worn JP6, the frets were well down but still in pitch, a few dings and scratches so no worries but it still looked mega pearl red. Loved playing it so much I bought an as new Neptune blue one, pristine, completely unplayed. It felt stiff awkward, lifeless, like an overly made up face you don’t want to kiss. That was it for me, I never want a guitar like that again. If we’re serious about playing rock then player grade has to be the way for me, as long as they hold tune and pitch that’s all that matters. Sell your mint guitars to a collector who want them to hang them on the wall!
 

Red_Label

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,201
It's why I won't spend more than $ 200 on a guitar. I bought a 2005 Squier Bullet SSS HT Strat that already had scratches and I treat it ike it's brand new out of the box. Anyway, it sounds great in other's hands, that are more accomplished, I enjoy the sound it makes even in my more modest hands. I bought it with scratches, the neck has a couple of dents in it, but it adds character, even though I didn't add any abuse & neglect to the relic it has.
$200? Have you ever spent more than that on a guitar in the past. I've been playing for 36 years and the stuff we had in the 80s that wasn't a USA-made Fender, Gibson, Jackson, Charvel, etc was pretty much crap. These days, you can buy really nice import guitars for $400-800. I've owned many $4K+ guitars and there are definitely diminishing returns once you get over the $1K price point. My Korean Ltds were easily 80% plus of my Japanese ESPs, as were my Korean PRS SEs to my USA PRS', and my import Schecter Nick Johnson to my Schecter USA traditional. I do find there to be a bigger gap between Epiphones and Gibsons, but still... I've had a few Epi LPs that weren't all that far off from my Gibson LPs (my '56 "gold" top Epi in candy red is as beloved as my U.S. and CS LPs for instance). Anyways... if you haven't owned a $500-1,000 instrument... I HIGHLY recommend doing so at least once. There is a vast difference between a $200 guitar and a $1K guitar. After that, the curve starts to level off a bit. I will admit that the difference between low end and medium electrics is far less pronounced (assuming a good set of pickups is installed), than the difference in acoustics between the levels. The sub-$1K acoustics have made massive improvements from the water-logged, dead planks they used to be. But the difference in quality of tone betweem a $500 acoustic and a $2K one has been like night and day. I've seen brands like Breedlove, Guild, and Yamaha narrow that gap big time over the past 5-10 years.

Anyways... sorry for the thread derail... I just wanted to encourage anyone who hasn't owned at least one mid or high level instrument to treat themselves to the right one (for them) eventually.
 
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Dirtman

Member
Messages
22
Was about to play my new guitar. Noticed a scratch on the edge of it that I have not seen before and I was so angry I could not bring myself to play it. I'm incredibly fussy with my guitars now that I am sober. So much so that I have vowed to not buy new guitars anymore, because the first scratch literally makes me so mad I almost want to smash the things. How do you guys deal with getting dings/scratches in your guitars? I realize I am overreacting here, but I'm just so bloody angry at myself for scratching it. Keep in mind that I don't even wear belts or clothing with zippers or metal buttons. I put on pajamas or soft clothing and sit on a chair in the middle of the room and make sure not to bump anything. Getting the guitar ready to play is even difficult for me. I have a new Les Paul and a Gretsch Duo Jet and I won't even play either of them because I don't want to scratch them, so I play guitars that already have scratches.

Seriously, am I totally nuts about this? Does anyone relate?

Maybe I should start drinking again....I never cared about stuff like this when I was drinking. I used to actually have fun when playing. Maybe being sober is hazardous to a musician's health. Lol.

Thanks for reading that.
That may be considered extreme. I love pretty guitars and all that I own are beautifully finished and I keep them polished, tuned and humidity controlled, but I do play them. There are scratches only on the pick guards so far... Fender Ultra Strat is my latest in a beautiful Plasma Red Burst. I know the day is going to come that I'll see a scratch, but like they say, it adds character! I'll deal with it. You know it's going to happen eventually.
 

SLO freak

Member
Messages
3
I was mildly OCD before I quit drinking, and it heightened after I quit. You're not alone, and you're not crazy. Not preaching here, just sharing my personal experience- spirituality is the only thing that has ever brought any balance to my life. Everyone has to choose their own path and I hope you find one that brings you peace. OCD is just as debilitating as alcohol in my book. Funny fact, my favorite overdrive is the Fulltone OCD. Dings and scratches don't bother me anymore, which is a good thing- my favorite Strat has a nitro finish. That finish dings up easier than any other guitar I've ever owned but it sounds incredible. I still don't wear a belt when I play it though.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,753
Was about to play my new guitar. Noticed a scratch on the edge of it that I have not seen before and I was so angry I could not bring myself to play it. I'm incredibly fussy with my guitars now that I am sober. So much so that I have vowed to not buy new guitars anymore, because the first scratch literally makes me so mad I almost want to smash the things. How do you guys deal with getting dings/scratches in your guitars? I realize I am overreacting here, but I'm just so bloody angry at myself for scratching it. Keep in mind that I don't even wear belts or clothing with zippers or metal buttons. I put on pajamas or soft clothing and sit on a chair in the middle of the room and make sure not to bump anything. Getting the guitar ready to play is even difficult for me. I have a new Les Paul and a Gretsch Duo Jet and I won't even play either of them because I don't want to scratch them, so I play guitars that already have scratches.

Seriously, am I totally nuts about this? Does anyone relate?

Maybe I should start drinking again....I never cared about stuff like this when I was drinking. I used to actually have fun when playing. Maybe being sober is hazardous to a musician's health. Lol.

Thanks for reading that.

Stopped drinking 30 years ago. I was one raw nerve for quite a while. Took a long time to incorporate a "how important is this really?" mentality into my neurotic mind. Maybe I could have found a calmer view earlier but my path was/is my path. Sometimes I get a bit caught up in it now and have to pull myself back. Its ok to be this way unless your not ok with it- which seeing as your posting about your not. Sometimes I think about the things that truly matter to me as it helps put my clinging to material stuff in perspective. Sometimes I think of a more cosmic perspective and how fleeting things are. Its a scratch on a guitar on a large rock called earth traveling around a star called the Sun at 67,000mph while that star drags it around the galactic center at 500,000 mph and the galaxy is moving in an ever expanding space... anyhow how important is it really? ...Its a scratch and like Ron said -scratches happen.
Reminds me of finally getting a house with a garage. My new WXR had a home! The roofer left a pack of shingles against the wall in the garage. I didnt pay them any mind until they slowly buckled, fell over at hit my car. Not terrible but some light scratches in my new fender! Much to my surprize I took it pretty well. Buffed out what I could and told myself one day the car would be a piece of scrap metal...
 

wox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,633
A guitar is intimate. It knows me, knows my touch. It responds to me and we understand each other. There are very tiny things that only we know about and no one else will share.
Whatever magic edibles this poster has consumed, I would also like some.
 

dumdums

Member
Messages
59
I wish there were more people who would mention the negative side of sobriety for some people. I swear I was a way cooler person when I drank. Haha. The man I am now is....lesser than the one before. Sharper, for sure, but also colder and not as able to enjoy things. Sense of humour is not as strong as it was. After 9 months, I'd say that I can barely remember what it was like to relax. I take everything so seriously it's ridiculous. Not to sway this too far from the topic, but I figure lots of musicians drink for similar reasons. It's amazing what the creative process is like now. Very analytical and less about being moved emotionally by the music. The viewpoints espoused by many in this thread - namely that guitars get scratches - were views that I shared a few months ago. When I drank. Haha. We always hear about obnoxious drunks....what about all the obnoxious sober people?

It's true that I have no friends or social life to speak of, so that probably fuels my obsession with my guitars. They're really all I have to care about. I don't really want it to be that way, but I suck at talking to people, so, guitars it is.

BTW, I just ordered a used 1970s AVRI stratocaster. All black with rosewood fretboard. Now my Two-Rock can really shine. Needed a stratocaster.

Again, thanks for all the posts, guys. I am glad I have this forum.
 




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