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Your New Gibson Guitar: Tool or Work of Art?


jimmiJAMM
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Dings, dents, scratches, blemishes... how much do these things bother you? Okay, so your brand new guitar arrives and naturally your thrilled. You unbox it with the care of heart surgeon and inspect it. Perfecto! Absolutely stunning. A few days later you're wearing it, strap locks and all and jamming out. You're parched and stroll over to the fridge to grab a frosty beverage and oops! The headstock hits the refrigerator door and leaves a nasty ding. Do you get incredibly upset and let loose with a cascade of F-bombs or simply take it in stride? I suppose if you play your guitar regularly with gusto, wear and tear is inevitable. I mean it's a tool not a work of art right? Quite frankly it's both. So, what are your thoughts on the subject? Also any thoughts on daily storage, for instance wall mounts, stands, cases? What's your preference? Thanks!

Personally, I try my best to treat mine with extra loving care but then again, accidents happen. I've heard some say after the first ding they can relax!

 

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I keep them in the case unless they're being played regularly.  

I try to keep mine in perfect shape but they do get wear just playing them and sometimes I am a clod and bonk something.

That whole mojo thing, just another way of saying beat to snot by people who didn't care.

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7 minutes ago, SteveFord said:

I keep them in the case unless they're being played regularly.  

I try to keep mine in perfect shape but they do get wear just playing them and sometimes I am a clod and bonk something.

That whole mojo thing, just another way of saying beat to snot by people who didn't care.

My D-15M was $750 used, and is my I don’t give a rip guitar, the rest are treated like royalty. I do keep all mine in their cases unless they are in my hands.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I fluctuate wildly. I perfectly understand it's just New Gibson Syndrome in most cases when people post on here with blemishes that would be imperceptible to the rest of the world, and then fail to see when it happens to me. Kind of. 

I guess my attitude is, if it happens in the proverbial line of fire, fine. I'm more bugged if I ding a guitar sitting at home. 

It's an interesting question, though. 

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40 minutes ago, SteveFord said:

I keep them in the case unless they're being played regularly.  

I try to keep mine in perfect shape but they do get wear just playing them and sometimes I am a clod and bonk something.

That whole mojo thing, just another way of saying beat to snot by people who didn't care.

If you take them out of the house and use them you don't have time to care, no matter how much you do care.   Guitars are meant to be used.  Using them wears them out.  Wearing them out makes them desirable "relic"s.  People pay a fortune to have someone else make their guitar look and seem like it has been out for many great nights, without ever actually having to do any of the hard work it takes to use a guitar. 

It's not that they don't or didn't care, it's that they couldn't.

rct

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23 minutes ago, rct said:

If you take them out of the house and use them you don't have time to care, no matter how much you do care.   Guitars are meant to be used.  Using them wears them out.  Wearing them out makes them desirable "relic"s.  People pay a fortune to have someone else make their guitar look and seem like it has been out for many great nights, without ever actually having to do any of the hard work it takes to use a guitar. 

It's not that they don't or didn't care, it's that they couldn't.

rct

That's a good point about "Relics." Some folks will pay an exorbitant amount of money on one that looks like it's been through a world war!

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My five guitars are all treated the same. Stored in cases until taken out to play.

To me they are primarily tools, but like all expensive tools are treated with care, so they will last longer and give maximum performance. I have no need nor desire for reliced posessions that look like they've been through the wars. 

I apply this policy to, among other things, my carpenter's tools, camera equipment, guitars and goaltending equipment.

RBSinTo

 

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I only have 2 cases. One for the Gibson and the other for the 12 string. Both those stay in cases. I love playing both but am very careful playing both. Both are still in mint shape. 6 guitars stay on my rack that are played mostly. 3 are Epiphones, 1 is a Gretsch, one a Jaguar and the other an Ovation acoustic. They get hit or banged a little but I try hard not to. I really see no damage to any of them though. But they are all in the $400. to $500.00 dollar range so if it happens, no big deal. I always play sitting in my chair and not standing. 

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I usually have about a dozen different Acoustic & Electric Guitars out most of the time… Plus one Acoustic in my Bedroom. Most on Wall Hangers.  And the 3 I’m using the most on Stands. Available to grab & play anytime…

They are to play.. They are also Art.. I do have Pride of Ownership with regard to everything I own & keep them in pretty immaculate condition.. That said, You can have some bumps, bruises & scars yet still be beautiful…

Edited by Larsongs
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Yes, there would be a lot of F bombs in my efforts to quickly draw a crude picture, sign a grandkids name to it and hang it over the dent I just put in the wife’s new $2000.00 fridge! 
 

Actually keep one on a wall hanger, one on a floor stand and the rest in their cases. 

Edited by gdecant1
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A do believe a guitar is a tool, however even though I take some of mine out to band practice and small charity gig's I do like to keep them pristine.   I do have one 2014 Les Paul Traditional that rarely comes out of it's case, it's almost a brand new guitar, it even has the new Gibson smell and it's a great guitar but I never use it (and I really don't know why).

Maybe I should bash them around a bit and then sell them as Ian Henry Lab instruments😄

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It has taken me a lifetime to come to the realization that I prefer to play guitars that have a bit of road-rash on them. 

Don't get me wrong, I have owned, (and still own & play a couple of), guitars with pristine, shiny finishes on them. 
But I tend to be precious with them.
I'm concerned about getting fingerprints on them. 

I have actually sold a few guitars over the years because they were too pretty. 
And I didn't want the responsibility of keeping them so pretty and perfect. 
That first ding, scratch, or gouge would have just killed me. 

It's liberating to grab up my beat up old tele or Les Paul and play the heck out of it. 
Schlep it to practice, or (hope springs eternal soon) a gig. 
No pressure there. 
I just play it, enjoy it, and wipe the strings down with some Finger Ease before I hang it back on the wall. 

To the point of the OP, yes, a well used guitar becomes a beloved tool. 
No different from that shovel or branch trimmer that I used the other day. 
I worked with them, wiped them down with a bit of oil, and hung them back up on the garage wall. 

*boom*
No worries. 

🙂

c1WzYLg.jpg

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I think we all get a bit annoyed when we put a nick in one of our nicer ones. 

one of my favorite guitars tho is my 1978 Yari acoustic (looks just like a D28)  it's my I don't care guitar.  It came to me with a lot of cosmetic little scars on the top

but it plays/sounds insanely good.

One of the worse misshaps was an SM58 hitting my Taylor Grand Symphony, I just watched it all happen in slo mo from about 5 feet away.

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

It was kind of like a massacre

102319494_10214507456119680_453608687654

Sent it to Taylor and it came back like this

103283012_10214507461039803_537860926595

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guitars are tools and art. So I have my art on display and clean the dust off as required and enjoy looking at them each time I enter the guitar room. I try not to damage any of my guitars of course but since I do play them every day they do have wear and tear, some bumps and bruises. But to me they are the scars of a life that was exciting, fun and not spent living inside a case. 

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11 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

They are tools. Some are blinged up. Some happen to look nice anyway. Whatever they look like, they remain tools. 

 

Not when the uber rich buy them just to put in glass display cases in their mansions, and show off to their cronies and never play them.

Then they are trophy guitars.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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19 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Not when the uber rich buy them just to put in glass display cases in their mansions, and show off to their cronies and never play them.

Then they are trophy guitars.

I have some nice spanners... um 'wrenches'. Can I get some display cases for them?

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2 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Not when the uber rich buy them just to put in glass display cases in their mansions, and show off to their cronies and never play them.

Then they are trophy guitars.

so true

when we had the house fire in 2020, we hired a public assessors firm.  The head honcho came out to look damage over and start their work.

At the time, I was there taking gear that I didn't want to be part of the claim out.

so he says "ah a musician,  cool,,  ya know I've always wanted a sea foam green telecaster!!"

I says,, "that's a good choice!  so you play"

"nope, I just want one..."

ooooooh...  [blink] 

he really was a great guy, helped us a lot, he knew quite a bit about blues / classic rock music and had gone to many shows and concerts.

if he had the time, he'd probably have picked it up at some point

 

 

Edited by kidblast
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Far too many moons ago I bought my first Les Paul. A wine red standard. 2002. (Come to think of it, it turns 20 on the 16th. I seem to have lost touch with its current owner so I can't wish it a happy birthday).  I was young and foolish and treated it like a glass baby. A mate knocked it off a stand after about a week and made a long worm dent in the finish on the top. I remember being heartbroken for the rest of the day and then forgot about if for weeks. When I spotted it again I realised it didn't matter as much as I thought it did. 

A few less, but still quite a lot of moons ago I bought my R8. I noticed finish cracks around the strap button while it was still in the shop, and a poorly scraped patch on the binding but all cosmetic and it played the arse off all the others so I bought it anyway.

A week later I dinged a corner of the headstock. Beyond checking for real damage I didn't give it a second thought. 

10 years later that guitar has swirls, checks and marks everywhere. The neck binding has rolled to fit my hand. The finish on the neck and under the forearm is noticeably thinner.  Theres milky patches on the nitro from my acidic sweat and the odd drop of beer. Ive worn through the nickel on the base end of the bridge and the rest of the nickel is grey. I love it and wouldn't choose to have it like new if I could. Guitars improve with playing and playing leaves a mark.

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4 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

I have some nice spanners... um 'wrenches'. Can I get some display cases for them?

I know what a spanner is, we used them to tighten fire hoses together and connect them to the Fire Main on the ships I was stationed on when I was in the military.

http://www.dcfpnavymil.org/Equipment Des/Systems-Equipment/Submarines/spanner/wrench_spanner.htm

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I gig for a living. All my musical instruments, guitars included, are tools.

I make a reasonable effort to keep then decent, but I do one-nighters, and one-nighters are notoriously hard on gear. They all have road scars.

I don't enjoy the wear and tear, but then I don't mind it either.

As long as they play nicely, I'm OK.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

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