Shared rehearsal space, do you share your guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by djw, Sep 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM.

Do you let your rehearsal space mates use your guitars?

  1. Sure, it's cool

    4 vote(s)
    2.0%
  2. Only if they're in my band

    8 vote(s)
    3.9%
  3. Only if I know them and they ask nicely

    28 vote(s)
    13.7%
  4. Um no, are you crazy?

    164 vote(s)
    80.4%
  1. djw

    djw Member

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    TL;DR -- This is a sanity check for me, regarding the question: Is it unreasonable for me to say, "No, you can't use the guitar that I keep in a case inside our shared rehearsal space." The problem is easily solved via a few different means (locking the case, or not leaving guitars at the space). Mostly just wanted to get the pulse from the community on this. Thanks for reading!

    Fuller story/OP:

    Help me out, community.

    I have been renting a room one night a week in a large rehearsal facility for several months now. Ours is one of the larger spaces in the building, thankfully, with plenty room to spare beyond a full drum kit, 5-6 guitar amps, keys, a small PA, guitar and bass cases, and a storage loft.

    I share this room with maybe 4 other tenants (individuals and bands), a couple of whom are friends of mine. I'm at least loosely acquainted with everyone. Most of the others were in the room before me, but I'm the oldest member of our little club by a decade or two (I'm in my 50s).

    Each room has good locks on the heavy-duty doors so it feels safe to leave our amps and instruments there. Several guitar cases generally live there full time, and I have been keeping 3 of mine there too. Currently there's one band in our room that provides a drum kit, with conditions for shared use -- this seems standard in my experience.

    Prior, it had been years since I frequented rehearsal spaces like this -- the stale cigarette smoke, the metal bands down the hall, waiting for the freight elevator... it's a familiar place for me, like going home again (though nowadays I could do without the smoke). I'm a former touring musician -- I've done this forever and I've been around the block.

    What seems less standard to me now is this: lately I've noticed that whenever I open one of my guitar cases, it's clear to me that my guitar has been used by someone else. This has happened at least 4-5 times now that I know of. I'm a creature of habit with my instruments, so there's no question about it.

    So... I know there are remedies to that (I'll probably start locking my cases, etc.). The reason I'm bringing it up is this: I've been in similar shared studio situations all through my professional life (except for the last 20 years of parenting), and there has never been a chronic situation in which I felt like I had to raise this issue with my studio mates. I've personally never felt entitled enough to just blithely pull out their instruments when they weren't there, and either they were equally respectful of mine or they were clever enough to not be so obvious about it. Back then, the unspoken (or spoken) rule was that there would be hell to pay if people played other people's instruments without asking.

    There's another aspect of this: I think I know who's doing it, because they finally asked me (via IM) if they could -- after I'd been aware of the problem for several weeks. The guy is not one of my friends.

    So, asking is nice... but then that puts me on the spot. I want to keep the vibe cool and all, and saying "NO" out of hand seems "un-mellow". But to be completely honest, I am not cool with it, and it's bizarre to me that anyone would be. Furthermore... where's your guitar, dude???? And: Would you be ok with my just deciding to play your guitar?

    Being cool about stuff like this is fine I guess, but I feel like there are plenty of good reasons not to let people play your instrument. This post is long enough already -- maybe they'll come out in the comments. But I'm curious about your experience with this. Am I the uptight one?

    EDIT: I should add, the guitars I leave there are not my most precious, valuable instruments -- those stay home, I'm not THAT crazy. These are not so precious that I'd be heartbroken if they were damaged or lost, but they're good enough that I enjoy playing them and, yeah, I'm not comfortable sharing them at all.

    It does seem to be a surprise to some that I'd leave ANY guitars there -- truthfully, this is how it was always done back in the day if you knew your studio mates and your room was secure. And as I said, others do this in my room now -- I just can't imagine they'd be as ok with my using theirs as this guy seems to be with his using mine.

    So maybe I AM the uptight one, if I'm willing to leave a guitar in the space but not share it. Weird!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 4:58 PM
  2. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

    Messages:
    3,204
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm ok with people using my amps but not my guitars. I've had people ask and I generally say that you just never know what could happen and I'd rather not. I use the real life example of my former bandmate using my Les Paul and have the strap post rip out, resulting in the guitar dropping and a broken headstock. Not his fault, but something you don't want to happen or have somebody else have the responsibility for. It's just not worth it. For the same reason, I don't like to borrow gear either.
     
    Digidog, monty, Larry Eh? and 6 others like this.
  3. djw

    djw Member

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Holy crap. It doesn't get a lot more germaine than that right there.
     
    jvin248 and morgan918 like this.
  4. CanuckChris

    CanuckChris Supporting Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Personally I'd go through the pain of hauling my gear back and forth to keep others from using it. I don't have an issue with the guys I play with using my guitar when we get together. Probably wouldn't let them borrow it for extended periods though.
     
  5. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

    Messages:
    3,204
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, and that was a 1975 LP Deluxe. Here's another real life example. I borrowed a friend's mint 60's Supro Thunderbolt for a recording session. While carrying it in, the original handle broke. I felt horrible about it since the amp was so clean. It's just not worth it to share or lend. I've had to turn down friends that I trust who wanted to borrow stuff and it's awkward, but if you're clear about why they're generally ok with it.
     
    djw likes this.
  6. Suave Eddie

    Suave Eddie Member

    Messages:
    9,916
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    Ask your doctor if lobotomy is for you.
    You've got to be kidding. No way. I wouldn't leave my guitars there at all.
     
    jmac006, ixnay, Phil M and 15 others like this.
  7. pickdropper

    pickdropper Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,782
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    If I was there, I’d let somebody play a guitar I own. If I’m not in the room, things can happen, even if people are trying to be careful. Not worth it.

    I would politely explain that to the person who asked. Tell them that there are too many horror stories about accidents.
     
    djw likes this.
  8. dspellman

    dspellman Member

    Messages:
    7,354
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Abso-flippin'-lutely not.
    I've occasionally had no other option but to leave gear in one of these places, but that gear was wrapped in chain and secured to plumbing with padlocks to prevent it from being used or walking off. I suppose that could have been interpreted as a challenge for some, but I got lucky <G>.

    I have loaned gear, but rarely.
     
    djw likes this.
  9. JosephZdyrski

    JosephZdyrski Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Sure they can use them when I’m there....

    Can someone barrow a piece of gear from me.....

    Not anymore....
     
    djw likes this.
  10. Dreams Burn Down

    Dreams Burn Down Member

    Messages:
    134
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Generally, that’s a hard “no”. Bringing a guitar to practice is the bare minimum, IMO.

    Speaker cab? All good. Amp or pedals? Generally no, but I’ll make exceptions. For example: I share a space with several friends/bandmates who do other projects, so if they ask ahead of time due to their gear being repaired or text mid-practice due to something suddenly going on the fritz, all good. But borrowing on someone I don’t know’s behalf or bringing someone in with “yeah, I’m sure there is something you can use....”? Nope. Never worth the headache.
     
    djw likes this.
  11. djw

    djw Member

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    This, precisely this. I do let people I am playing with at the moment use a guitar if they need to.

    However, even that is a little uncomfortable for me. Aside from the risk of accidental damage, when I think about it what also gives me the willies is just issues of basic hygiene. On top of, "Where have this person's hands been today?", usually you develop AT LEAST a little bit of a sweat when you play, and that person's sweat getting on your guitar, strings and whatnot -- which you'll be playing in the foreseeable future too.

    I'm not a germaphobe, but I feel like it's a good idea to avoid sharing that stuff if it's avoidable.

    ...I also remembered thinking about the fact that I see a lot of guitar players who idly put their pick in their mouth when they're not playing and stuff like that. Yikes.
     
    morgan918 likes this.
  12. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

    Messages:
    15,602
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    There is no way in hell that I go somewhere, anywhere, with any of my guitars and I don't come back home with it.
     
    ixnay, Jimmy Dean, Winterwind and 3 others like this.
  13. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

    Messages:
    6,773
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic US
    I have some friends who I will let play my guitars if I'm there, and a select few who I trust enough to let them borrow things from me (not that they've ever asked to borrow a guitar from me, but if they did I'd let them). But I'm not about to leave my guitars at a rehearsal space where anyone can use it, the guitars always come home with me at the end of the day.
     
    pedalparty and djw like this.
  14. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,744
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Clifton, VA
    I treat my gear as I want it to be treated. Nobody else is going to treat my gear the way I want it to be treated. I let people play my guitar or amp if I'm right there, but they're not using it for a rehearsal, show, or session.
     
    morgan918 and djw like this.
  15. Scary Uncle G.

    Scary Uncle G. Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Anyone I trust enough to loan my gear to respect me enough not to ask to borrow it in the first place.

    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
     
    JohnSword, EarleG, MaxTwang and 3 others like this.
  16. Gevalt

    Gevalt Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    The first and last time I left a guitar out of my sight, a bunch of scratches appeared. Nobody knew how.
     
    djw likes this.
  17. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

    Messages:
    5,104
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2017
    Location:
    Goldeneye
    [​IMG]
     
    djw likes this.
  18. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,924
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Camas WA.
    The only way I would leave a guitar in a shared space, would be if I didn't care about the instrument ( stolen, damaged, etc. )

    I don't loan out my instruments anymore. I did once with my Gibson J45 deluxe.. the guitar came back with scratches on the pickguard. Guitar amps .. maybe if they were solid state. Certain pedals I might loan out.

    Your situation would make me nervous: stuff could be stolen and you might never know who took it.

    I have loaned out some beater acoustics before, that I wouldn't care if they never came back.
     
    djw likes this.
  19. SgMaster

    SgMaster Supporting Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    We have 4 bands in our rehearsal space. We control the lease of the space and our band made the rules for it. The rule is drumset and amps are shared, each drummer uses their own cymbals. Any cases left on the floor are or can be shared instruments but any guitars on the lofted shelf are off-limits. Simple as that.

    Don't want to share - put the guitars or pedalboard up on the shelf. Don't want to share an amp or cab - leave a note or email the group email or denote on the rules which are posted on the wall inside the room.

    It helps us avoid these specific scenarios altogether
     
  20. Oinkus

    Oinkus Member

    Messages:
    2,574
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Yorktown VA
    Just had nothing but bad experiences over 4 decades plus of letting other people play my gear. My gear is for me. I don't even like for other people to look at it on the internet.
     
    apeekaboo, Cam1936, Gevalt and 4 others like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice