I’m Poor, That’s Why! A Message To The Guitar Snob.

Feb 2015 (1)I’m poor. Most people would consider me to be poor. I do not consider myself poor at all. In fact with my faith in Jesus Christ and my wife and family, I feel like the wealthiest man alive! But, in the world among my worldly peers I am indeed poor. I am not as fortunate as most of my peers. But this is not why I play the instruments I do! So, I want to get that out and dealt with it.

I am also not a professional musician. I can’t read music. I do not understand music theory. I am a professional computer, network, and network device technician. But not a professional guitarist. Everything I do with regard to music is all amateur, meaning I do not get paid for it. I play very often and practice as much as a professional but I am not one. I will most likely never be one. But this is not why I play the instruments I do!

It has been implied that the reason I have so many cheap and lessor guitars is that I can’t afford one of the expensive and nice ones. It is just the jealousy I have for those that do have those expensive guitars that I seem to talk down to. It is easy for me to puff out my chest and champion the little guys and commit myself to potential music and character martyrdom. After all there are far more people out there with lessor guitars and it would be so easy to get them to rally behind my views. OK, well I think that is something I need to address.

From the perspective of affording a greater guitar, I could easily have a Gibson Les Paul Custom if I wanted it. In fact, if I sold all I had and took that money to buy a ‘nice’ guitar I would have enough to buy three very nice guitars and have some left over. But I have to ask myself why I would do that. You see, with the army of ‘cheap’ guitars I have in my possession I can achieve any sound I want. I can fit any style, any genre, at any time. I know each of these guitars and the personalities they have and what the strengths and weaknesses are. Getting to know your guitar is more than half the fun of playing. So, I guess that is the main reason I have what I have. To me, there is no such thing as a junk guitar. But, I in no way say that people who have the more expensive guitars are wrong. I simply say that if they criticize those of us who play the cheaper guitars they need to think twice before doing so.

Another thing I want to point out is this- just because a guitar costs a lot of money and has a famous name across the headstock does not make it a good guitar. I have played some name brand guitars such as Gibson, Fender, Gretsch and others and found them to be two steps from being worthless. Those two steps being the cost and the name brand. Did you know that Gibson guitars are notorious for having the necks broken at the head? There I know this first hand. It has happened in my own seeing! It is simply a design flaw. But, even a junk Gibson will sell for more than a pristine First Act. That is just the way it is. The name is everything when it comes to resell value.

I have a 2009 Epiphone Les Paul Studio. I got it last year. I bought this particular one because it was a Les Paul, even if it is an import, and because I simply love the sound and feel of the Les Paul and it was in my price range. Mind you, prior to getting this Les Paul I did own an Epiphone Alleykat which I loved playing very much. So, it seemed to make since to stay with the more affordable Epiphone rather than a Gibson. I honestly, sincerely did not see a difference in sound and feel from my Custom I once owned. It is not as elegant and pretty but I am not about elegance and beauty anymore.

My other guitars are all considered low end. My LTD is a fantastic

ESP EC-100QM
ESP EC-100QM

guitar but again it is low end. I have a Hondo Strat from the 80’s that I absolutely adore but looks like a piece of junk but sounds killer even with the original pickups. I have 2 First Act guitars. I have a Squier Strat which I would never part with. There is a Silvertone SIK1 that literally kicks behind. I also have an acoustic guitar that is a Seagull S6 that plays like a dream.

I notice also that the low end guitars are the ones that are labeled ‘beginners’ guitars. Now, I understand that the cost for the darn thing may justify it being a beginners guitar but why in the world would anyone recommend a starting guitar player to get and learn on a guitar that you would not be willing to play yourself? Think about! As a student you do not need the frustration of not staying in tune or sounding like crap. Ah, alas there is a secret to this. If the cheap guitar is properly setup and if required, having any faulty parts replaced such as tuners it would be an awesome guitar to learn on. The same thing goes for the bad expensive guitars. If it is not set up properly and have faulty or inferior parts it will not be a joy .

I recently played a First Act ME301 for a worship service at church. I

First Act ME301
First Act ME301

had with me my LTD but it stayed in the rack until the invitation song. During the morning warm up rehearsal I decided to try out the First Act and see what happens. Well, what happened was nothing short of amazing. This little guitar screamed! The tone was amazing dirty and clean! The action was perfect and the balance was right on! I played the guitar for the entire praise and worship service and it stayed in tune and gave me a wide variety of sound! I could make it sound like a Strat or a Tele without trying hard! Simply put the guitar was simply amazing! So, I don’t need an expensive Stratocaster or a genuine Telecaster! I did just fine with this simple, little, amazing, Walmart sold guitar.

I do not hold anything against any guitar player for what they play! Hey, you are the artist, pick whatever instrument you want to get that creativity out! If it is a top of the line P.R.S. or an old 1970’s Harmony, it matters not. Whatever you have do you best with it and make that guitar sing! After all, look at Jack White! He is an amazing artist playing all sorts of ‘cheap’ guitars!