Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Be A Guitarist on the Internet who's not an Asshole: Part 2 of 7

2. Just because you didn't buy one, doesn't make it the wrong choice.

Every generation of video game consoles, it's the same story: Nerdy, sexless fanboys pile into internet message boards to claim that the console they spent all their hard earned money on, whether it be from Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, is the very best one, and the reasons why are clear. Oh, and also anybody who went a different route than they did is a complete retard who is incapable of proper use of a spoon, let alone a well educated purchasing decision. The same exact sort of low-level, congress of baboons debate rages on in guitar forums; except instead of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, we have to hear about who got the very best piece of equipment from Gibson, Fender or PRS. Or Ibanez. Or Schecter. Or ESP. Or Jackson. Or Washburn. Or Dean. Or even Carvin if your father never told you he loved you.

Or EMG or Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio...

... or Elixer, or D'Addario or Ernie Ball Slinky...

... ... or Peavey, or Marshall, or Orange, or ENGL, or Randall... ...

This sort of thinking is most commonly witnessed among pick up truck drivers out and about wasting the world's precious oil reserves on American highways. Ever drive behind someone in a Dodge Ram with a white trash bumper sticker of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes pissing on the Ford logo? You'll also see the same thing vice versa, of course. Bootleg Calvin doesn't care, he pisses on everything. It's just simple human psychology. When someone spends a relatively large amount of money on something, they typically do extensive research before acquiring said item, to make sure that they pick the very best one among all the available choices. We are all dangerously confident in our intelligence when making these sorts of personal choices. It's narcissism run amok. To each one of us, if it wasn't the absolute very best, correct choice, we wouldn't drop that kind of money on something. So none of us can possibly wrap our head around why other people made the other choices. They must not have done their research. They must not know quality when they see it. I should go log in to a web forum regarding this subject so I can tell all the Tundra drivers what a bunch of shameless fucking traitors they are for getting the Tundra instead of the Silverado. Don't they care about apple pies and eagles and the troops and our freedom?

The major brand debate among guitarists gets a little more hairy than it would with other subjects of interest, given the insanely wide variety of options available to players. Things only get more complicated considering the fact that one guitar from one brand will not sound or play anywhere near the same as a different guitar model from the same brand. Hell, even the same exact model will play and sound differently, depending on how much focus was put on one's quality control over the other, or what year or "generation" said model was produced. It's a game changer depending on whether you got a Gibson model before their "quality control went to complete shit", rather than after. But why does it even matter, when 40% of online guitarists agree that "all Gibbies are garbage anyway. They only sell themselves with a name these days." This sort of discussion then usually deteriorates to how "Fender's in the same boat" and then ultimately, of course, "get a Carvin".

No. Leave me alone, God damn it. I will never buy a Carvin. Carvins are hideous and played by goateed dads that wear necklaces and sunburns. They sound as basic as they look. And even if you customize your own personal gem for well over $2,000, it's gonna be a hard resell for $500 the second after you take it out of the fucking case. The only way to make any money off of a Carvin is to return it.

Because God knows where the thing has been.
Most of what I just shared about Carvin is something called an opinion (the resale value bit, sadly, is true). It's just my opinion, but it's the only thing that matters when it comes to any of this crap. If Carvins give you exactly the tone you're looking for and they are comfortable for you to play, then please, by all means, go forth and customize your Carvin to match your flaming bowler shirt. Sorry, look, I love that you love Carvins. Good for you. You have my blessing, you always will, just don't expect me to ever want one. On my worst day. Ever.

If you were ever curious about checking out a Gibson, or a Jackson, or a PRS, please, go to your local music shop and try each one of them and then some before buying anything. Don't waste your time with videos or reviews or message boards. Go grab each one and see how they feel, how they sound, how they play to you. Base your entire purchase decision on that concept alone. Don't let some walking mullet/mustache/fedora/saggy blue jeans combo quell your interest because he picked up a random Schecter once and it "felt like/sounded like/played like" shit to his cheetosy fingers. You don't know him. He's just some asshole. He's an asshole because he's trying to use his personal taste and experience to warp the outcome of other people's lives. He's an asshole because he custom ordered a Carvin California Single Cut Carved Top guitar with a quilted maple top and he thinks that every other guitarist is wasting their time if they haven't done the same.

Trust this man.

Yes, okay, my new guitar happens to have a quilted maple top, but there are bigger things at stake here than who does, or does not have a quilted maple top, alright?

But if it's not a flame(--d maple top) war focused on what major brand to choose over another, it's how much better the real guitar is versus its overseas mass produced counterpart. Which will be discussed tomorrow in Part 3.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Be A Guitarist on the Internet who's not an Asshole: Part 1 of 7

This is you from the future, should you decide not to heed my warning.
It's March. This is important for two reasons. For one, as an Irish-American who lives in New England, nothing makes me check out harder than the way local mongoloids celebrate St. Patrick's Day. You're fucking Polish. Change out of that leprechaun shit and go home before you vomit green vodka shots all over your ugly face. I hope you flip your car.

Secondly, it's tax season. I got married late last year, so this year's cashwad was substantially larger for me than the last. (Thanks Obama, etc.) Seeing as how I'm a giant man baby who can't do anything responsible with a large sum of money, I decided to embark on the quest for a new ax at my local Guitar Center. Guitar Center, of course, being like the Grand Manbaby Congregation.

I knew from the get go that I wanted something way up there on the quality scale -- but only because I could afford it. Not because I have a playing ability worthy of a proper instrument. I don't. A walrus could shred more accurately with his giant dumb ass flippers than I ever could with my chubby, stiff paws at my highest concentration level. And I'm not even talking about some majestic wild beast of a walrus out in his natural arctic environment vying for dominance amongst his herd. I'm talking about some sickly, depressed, piece of shit Walrus who mucks about all alone in a dirty pool at Sea World in a pile of his own fish-laden filth. That's me. I am the shittier Walrus. 

Goo goo g'joob.

So why did I want to make this sudden leap to an expensive guitar? Because I need to practice. A lot. I wanted something that would guilt me into practicing. Something that would catch my eye every time I walked past it in my apartment. Something of such premium quality, that I couldn't cop out by blaming my piss-poor playing on a piss-poor instrument. What proceeded was weeks of tireless research before my tax refund would arrive. I watched countless YouTube videos, read gear reviews, compared prices, and worst of all, lurked on forums.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I am a Lead Singer, and Live Only for the Thrill of Combat

Rivers shall run red with the blood of hecklers this night.

The fuck you say to me?!  The fuck you just say?! Ok guys, stop playing stop playing.

WHOA WHOA WHOA Stop playing.

Stop. Stop.
GUYS GUYS GUYS. Guys. Stop playing. Okay. Stop. Okay. Stop playing. Jimmy, k stop.

Look, I know that the rest of you are professionals. And actually musicians. But your integrity as entertainers doesn’t even compare to the critical importance of me acknowledging this one person in all of the crowd, who has expressed an opinion of our music out loud that is something other than blind positivity within my ear shot. So stop playing for a second, alright? Thank you. This is truly worth halting our entire performance, of that much I can guarantee. I also reasonably expect you guys to back me up on this.