Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guitar Gets a New Home

It's been another work dominated week. I'm heading toward my deadline now and, as tends to be the case, I'm now doing 7 day weeks to get it all done. As I mentioned last time, I went up to my mother's last Friday night and cleared out all of my old stuff that she'd been storing as she's moving to a smaller house next month. One of the very few things I brought back was the second guitar I ever owned. I bought it nearly twenty years ago and as I graduated onto better instruments a few years later it has sat in its case at my mum's for about sixteen years. My plan was to bring it back, fettle it up into playing order again and give it to someone who was wanting to learn the guitar.

How it had sat quietly in its case

When I actually got the case open I found that two of the strings were missing, not a problem as I was planning to swap them all anyway, but it made me wonder what I'd been doing to the poor thing all those years ago. It was also fairly filthy, had creaky machine heads and trem plus when I plugged it in to see if it still functioned electrically the horrid hum and buzzing told me something was wrong somewhere. When I had got the remaining strings off and opened up the guitar the source of the hum became clear: my dreadful soldering at age 15. I had feared this might be the case and so I dutifully went through the guitars' innards and resoldered any of the dodgy connections afresh. I am still not good at soldering but I'm a damn sight better than I was back then clearly. After that I cleaned up the front, oiled all the mechanical parts and restrung the beast. This is how it looked after some surgery, a clean and a fresh set of strings:

Back up and running

Once the strings were on I fixed the intonation which was so far off I wondered how I'd managed to think anything I'd played back then was in tune and then plugged it back in. This time all was good. It's actually a really decent guitar. I had a play for a few minutes as a last goodbye and then put in into a gig bag ready to take into work.

I haven't played this guitar in 15 years

Once it was safely stored in the studio I sent a message to the company news group to the effect that I had a guitar to give away and wanted to give it to someone who'd always wanted to play but never had - I wasn't going to give it to someone who already had an instrument. I got twelve responses and randomly picked the name of the receptionist. I was a bit surprised she'd asked to go into the draw as she didn't strike me as the guitar type. When I gave it to her she explained that she had two sons who desperately wanted a guitar and that made me feel very good. It had done me proud in my early teenage years and now it was going to get the chance to do the same again.

Long live rock and roll.

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Blogger Mandi said...

Aww, such a sweet story! Thanks for sharing. :)

6:03 am  

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