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"Only Selling Because This Guitar Deserves To Be Played"

Burma Jones

My first electric guitar I bought the guy quizzed me up and down. I figured he was just making sure I wasn't wasting his time. I met him at a buddy's studio in the back of his shop where they basically auditioned it for me, hooked it up to all kinds of amps for me to hear, and kind of had a jam session for me while pouring me drinks. I was shocked how talented they were and enjoyed the hell out of it. He knocked some $ off the price even though I had already agreed to the price. It was a custom job in mint condition and I got a helluva deal. Money clearly was not his motivator and he wanted someone who was going to love it like he had. A couple weeks later I was watching that 2 part SRV documentary and recognized one of the guys from SRV's band as one of the friends of the guy who sold it to me - pretty cool. He followed up with me 2 or 3 times to find out how I liked it and if I was playing a lot. I think we get emotionally attached to things and we do care about the next owner sometimes... and sometimes it's just a way to give a reason why we are selling.
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I've been in situations when I just cannot carry around guitars that I rarely use anymore.. but those guitars, strangely, have a sentimental value... maybe because there's a story behind them like they were a gift to inspire or an even deeper meaning, they mean more than their monetary value. Or you have spent a huge amount of time playing or practicing on an instrument. I don't care about the money, it's wanting it to mean something to the person I'm giving it to and the fear that it may go to some "used car BullSh_tter" or the only thing that matters to the person I'm giving it to is either they're getting something for free and/or they're putting one over someone else. It seems crazy but it all seems so cheap and meaningless at times.


I see this pitch on CL and classifieds all the time when someone's selling an unused guitar. It's like they're re-homing a pet.

Why would anyone care what happens to their guitar after they sell it?
Does this approach make the guitar somehow seem more desirable to buyers? Why?
How do they know it isn't going to just sit in someone else's closet?
Hmm. I dunno. I take it seriously when someone sells me their
guitar and tells me to enjoy it and take care of it. Some guitars do
have mojo imho and who played them and how much they played them make a difference.
But I am one of those players that bonds with guitars. It is not just an instrument.
It is an extension of my personality. Some guitars beg to be played. Others maybe not so much. There is nothing wrong with
stating as much in a craigslist ad.
I have a guitar that I'm likely to sell. A lot of people would be thrilled. It IS the right guitar for someone. Whatever's the reason, I'm not using regularly. Not sure inanimate objects deserve much, but I get this sentiment.

Space and money has value too.


Platinum Supporting Member
I've sold a violin and '57 AVRI Strat for that specific reason, though I never put it down as a reason in the sale description.

The violin was a very nice country fiddle and very good beginner to intermediate level classical violin (very bright but smallish tone which didn't lend itself well to classical). I had developed a neck issue and knew I'd never play it again. The person I sold it to was very happy, which made me feel good.

The Strat was excellent but I'd bought a used MM Silo Special which I love so much that the Strat stayed in it's case for about 3-4 years. The guy I sold it to was so happy he sent me a video of him playing along with a blues track. Good stuff.

I think the saying can be abused, but I know that in my (and other friends of mine) case, it's very real. It's sweet when a nice instrument finds an appreciative owner.


I play guitar for money and women. If the guitar cant deliver at least one of them it deserves someone else to play it. I gotta blame something :(


Gold Supporting Member
Really??? You "play" - not sure what your definition of "play" is - 300-400 guitars before you find a winner? And you have 17? Using your lower figure that means you "played" 5100 guitars to get your collection? How long does it take you to determine whether it's a keeper? And not just in need of a good setup? Can I assume that you are auditioning high quality instruments, not shuffling through 1st Act junk searching for that one in 300-400 that is playable. If in fact you have/buy only high quality guitars and only one in 300-400 Les Pauls/AmStrats/PRS/etc. meets your lofty standards (out of the box!) then I bow before you The 17 winners must be astounding!

I'm not trying to be snarky here, but I've been playing for 55+ years and I don't believe I've played 400 guitars in total! Again, I've never wanted to be "that guy" at GT playing every guitar on the wall at the highest volume they'll allow. I have yet to buy a guitar that was perfect out of the box - each needed a setup to make them fit me, but I've been able to tailor my guitars to my specific desires.

If in fact you devote 10 minutes to each guitar you audition, that's 3000 minutes/50 hours. Aside from the idea that one can truly explore the dynamics of a complex instrument in 10 minutes, at $20/hour that's $1000. Let's say you're buying a $2500 LP. 1st off - where would you find 300 LP Standards to pick from? I suspect that there would have been plenty of your culls that could be ANYONE's #1 with a little massaging. Or conversely, spending that time earning money instead of auditioning guitars would allow one to apply the $1000 to a better model axe.

I'm not randomly beating on you, but the reason I have trouble even walking in the door of a GT is because I know that there's no such thing as a new, unplayed instrument there. Picking up a $4000 guitar that smells like french fries from the burger flipper who spends his lunch hour befouling guitars he couldn't afford in his current lifetime isn't my idea of a dignified shopping experience.

Not implying YOU are this guy, but encouraging his behavior isn't positive either.
Yeah these are the kind of posts that make me want to post less.

Before I even plug a guitar in I have to get get along with how the neck feels. Mostly profile and feel, then weight and balance of the guitar. Then everything else.

I can usually tell pretty quickly if I’m going get along with the feel of the neck. I know this is subjective but I think I’ve got a good grasp on this as most of the guitars I like, my friends like as well for the same reasons. I’m also not limited to one certain neck profile.

So I guess if you want to win your “gotcha” argument I technically don’t play 300 guitars to find 1.

I’ll handle a good dozen or so before I find one I want to plug in and go from there.

I definitely skip over certain guitars that have visible or significant fret damage, twisted neck or popping fretboards etc. Especially if they’re a super low end model that needs a lot of work.

Yes, some of that stuff can be addressed via a set up or some basic fret work and if I’m drawn to a guitar I’ll consider that but I’m not hot on putting 300 dollars in a 50 dollar turd.

As far as frequency goes I was an avid shopper. Between my town and the three major cities I frequent I would hit about 30 pawn shops a week plus the major guitar stores. I definitely look for deals and I flip other things like pool cues, tools, Pyrex and all kinds of other fun stuff I enjoy shopping for. No I do not have a 9-5 and I got a lot of free time. I enjoy the hunt.

Plus my wife and I travel and shop through flea markets and antique shops all throughout Texas and sometimes out of state.

So have I “played” 5100 guitars? No. Have I handled/inspected 5100 guitars? Probably more.

I do not have super lofty tastes. Here’s the stable.

MIM Tele - Maple neck, minor water damage, feels fantastic. Rio Grande Bridge - Pearly Gates HB neck.

Japan Squire Tele - Great broken in neck. Chopper bridge and neck.

Tele Partscaster - Warmoth roasted maple neck. Tone Zone bridge - Evolution neck.

TTH. They’re out of Austin. Strat style - super light weight. No name pickups and hardware.

Another TTHStrat - Baritone Warmoth neck. Nazgul and Sentient pickups. Kill button Buckethead style.

64 Fender Jaguar. Typical older guitar. Unknown pickups. Handles nice.

Jaguar Blacktop - Super distortion bridge and Whole Lotta HB neck. Good weight, very comfortable to play.

200? Les Paul Special. Someone sanded the neck, feels killer looks awful. TV Yellow worn body.

201? SG - No neck dive. Sounds great. Kind of a beater but the action is low with no buzz. One of the better set up guitars I’ve ever played.

Gary Clark Jr signature SG 3 P90’s in Yellow. Killer guitar. One of the kids bumped it and snapped the headstock. Repaired 9/10.

Gibson LP Pro player plus in blue. P90’s. Love the neck. It’s got a natural feel vs. painted.

Takamine - older model.Bit chunky but sounds good.

PRS -Vernon Reid signature in gold. Only V neck I ever loved.

2002 - Gretsch Double Anniversary.

201? - Gretsch Black. Teardrop F-hole.

Warmoth partscaster. Bea Silo Bareknuckles. String through Roasted maple neck. Black Korina Strat body.

Fender MIM Hot Rod Strat. White with the black aluminum pickguard.

18- forgot I had a late 60’s Voxton Gibson knockoff.

Plus my Jazz bass

+2 I found my Dad a higher end Gibson LP Custom and Taylor CE. Most of the LP’s I play are so-so.

Out of my range.
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Member 213540

From one who has but recently began the process, looking at a room full of guitars and amps that your health will no longer allow you to play, has to be the most painful experience that most of us will ever encounter. My guitars are special to me, my children if I may. I'm disabled and live on a tight fixed income, but I would rather know that the mojo is there rather than make the most possible in this tanked economy. Been dealing with acute tendonitis in my left wrist for quite some time now. I was supposed to have it surgically repaired the first of June but that plan got canned because I live alone with no family or friends whom I can depend upon. So now I can barely use my left hand and to look at the guitars here that have gone unplayed these past 3 months just churns up bad juju in my heart. The extra cash would most likely help out, but knowing that my gear is being appreciated and cared for, that's just freaking priceless.


I've said this and meant it. But it is stupid, LOL. So is the buyer question, "why are you selling".

But often when I see this it means someone isn't flexible on price or no hurry to sell or sometimes ship.


as someone that recently sold a guitar to a good home, it felt that much better knowing that person will care for it like I did

I have not sold any of my guitars yet, but I will not sell any to someone that I feel is "unworthy".

Each and every of my guitars has a story and have been with me since I purchased them. Some of them pretty rare.
I am going to have to sell some of my equipment because I am getting old, and nobody else in my family cares about my precious guitars.
I don't want them to end up at the usual "lot purchaser". I would rather know who will continue the legacy and care....

It is not about the money. It is about the legacy. I may come across the wrong way, but my guitars are important to me.
For me - I will say this about a guitar if I sell it because I don't want to wheel and deal. What I mean by that is: I paid a fair price for my gear - because it was important to me. I wanted it - I felt the need to have it, so I spent the money on it.
IF I ever sell a guitar - it's not because I need cash fast - It's literally because I haven't played it in more than a year. And all guitars deserve to be played. I have my main guitars and basses that I use for gigs. but I have a few collectors, that will come out of the case for a few hours every month or so.

If I don't touch it for long periods of time - that means I didn't really bond with it - and therefore - someone else should get the chance.

But I don't want to sell a guitar that's worth $3600 for $1500, or trade it for someones shotgun. Saying "This needs a good home" is a way to build the Value I saw in the guitar for someone else, and deter any crazy offers.

If no one comes to the table - then it'll just stay in a case till someone does want to pay what I'm asking. Or I just let my other friend collector keep it at his house and borrow one of his guitars that I wanna play for a bit.
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Man, some answers are just down right COLD.....
I say, keep Gits forever. Why, simple fact is you need 'em. A lot of us are fickle, wishy washy, and not really focused on just why we like 'em, why we like play'n 'em, and just how we would handle our life IF we did not have that catharsis. Imagine an existence with out the Guitar resonating within our auditory perception. Its impossible.
ONLY in a last ditch effort when absolutely no other avenue is possible may you even consider deserting the lovely things that are a major integral part of your humanness.
I am not religious by any means but I have been exposed to Christian philosophy, Jesus's teachings etc. I don't want to belabor this writ but there are passages that mention Angelic voices soothing the Soul and the vibrating strings of Guitars mimic that I think.
Rock on....


How about the seller that demands to be first in line if the new buyer ever decides to sell?! Designed to instill faith in the buyer that he can always get his money back! Another ‘load of crap’!
Not necessarily. I sold some gear in hard financial times. I had hoped to buy it back if the seller changed his mind and I had the money. It’s also called divorce sale. You gotta do what you gotta do.


Clayton Custom Cabs
Gold Supporting Member
It's all sales pitch. I don't want to buy somebody else's crappy guitar but a gem that just wastes away in the case is a treasure just waiting to be discovered :aok

Call me selfish but I'm not letting go of a great guitar after I spent the time, money & effort to get it. Noticing one that hasn't been played lately is like seeing an old friend for first time in a while.
I am with you 100% on this, I have sold/traded very few guitars because I have always regretted it later.

The EQ

Silver Supporting Member
I see this pitch on CL and classifieds all the time when someone's selling an unused guitar. It's like they're re-homing a pet.

Why would anyone care what happens to their guitar after they sell it?
Does this approach make the guitar somehow seem more desirable to buyers? Why?
How do they know it isn't going to just sit in someone else's closet?
I care where my guitars go. They are personal to me.


I definitely have a guitar like that. I love the thing but it has a massive neck for me. I think the neck might add to the tone that makes it my favorite sounding guitar ever. I just never play it due to my preference on feel.

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