Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Be A Guitarist on the Internet who's not an Asshole: Part 6 of 7

6. Not Everyone is a Luthier 

This sort of shit runs rampant in the guitar-playing community. Every blue collar handyman thinks you're a "complete fucking moron" because you aren't too keen on changing your strings / setting your action & intonation / adjusting your truss rod / swapping your pickups/ changing your amp tubes/ or dealing with that fucking Floyd Rose.

Because if you can't play guitars well, you might as well fix them well.

It might sound unrelated (because it is), but I fix office equipment for a living. So I'm not exactly a stranger to a screwdriver or a soldering iron. But working with customers in this field for as long as I have, it's safe to say not everybody is totally comfortable pulling their shit apart, even in the most basic fashion. Especially if said shit was expensive. Even more especially if they're smart enough to recognize they don't know WTF they're doing, and don't want to risk the very likely possibility of busting anything.

Of course, stringing a guitar is pretty basic and a vital skill for DIY gigging, but I can tell you from personal experience, it's real easy to do a sloppy job at it. You can also irreparably damage your instrument if you do it wrong. A lot of the people are just happier to have it done at their local guitar shop by a pro to make sure it's done exactly right. It's their money, it doesn't cost that much to have the shop tech do it, so B-F-D if someone wants to pay a little extra to have their ax set up by a pro. People who are tech savvy tend to consider themselves so brilliant, that you'd think they'd own enough brain cells to figure out not everyone else in the universe can be bothered to know how to do all this shit perfectly.

 In my travels, I once read on a guitar forum that "changing pickups is easier than changing a tire". From the tools required, to the practice, that sort of thinking is so apples to oranges, I can't even breathe trying to work out what this human winner could have possibly meant by that. But working off that stupid analogy, let's look at things this way: lots and lots of people drive cars, but the sweeping majority of them aren't mechanics. Most people don't even change their own oil. Shit, the smartest people in the world don't change their own oil. Do you see Stephen Hawking climbing under his car? Ok, bad example.

"Wow, thanks for the Carvin kit, dad. Hope you saved enough dough on this to put me through fucking therapy."

Regardless, in the same way that people drive cars without knowing how to fix them, I think it's a reasonable expectation that you should be allowed to play music without complete knowledge of your instrument's repair and maintenance. Also, professional luthiers need to eat too:

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