10 Things to Know About Guitar Players...

Courtesy of Iris Milanova

Guitar players are a different breed of human. The love they have for strumming the 6- string cannot be matched. When their guitar is in their hands... nothing matters to them - Nothing... 

The guitar player is part of an entire sub-culture of cool and when someone picks up a guitar, and starts getting a few ideas together on it, chances are they’ll never put it down; it’s more addicting and pleasing than the strongest of opiates.

There’s something utterly captivating about this infamous instrument – it represents freedom, peace, and a whole other level of cool; other instruments simply can’t compare. The esthetic of the guitar - as a piece of art - is also difficult to ignore. Even as a piece of art there’s something utterly mystifying about this glorious instrument.

Here is a list of ten things you need to know about guitar players:

1. They can never have enough picks
You’ll see them scattered everywhere in a guitarist’s lair. They’ll also have one exclusive favorite type of pick, maybe even a collection of picks that hold sentimental value which will be kept in a special (sometimes secret) spot. Be careful if you try to take one; even though you may think that the guitarist won’t notice – they will. Picks to a guitarist are like a lighter to smoker…they will always notice if one goes missing.

2. They’re obsessed with a certain brand of guitar
Most guitarists have a favorite brand – Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Epiphone, Jackson, etc. Each one of these guitars fits a certain genre of music. For example: (this is a generalization), those who are fans of blues often gravitate to a Fender Stratocaster and those who are into the Metal scene prefer the Ibanez and Jackson brands. They admire guitar brands the same way vehicle aficionados obsess about cars.

3. Guitarists get upset when non-guitarists critique the way they play
Only other guitarists are the ones who are "allowed" to offer constructive criticism… and as far as other musicians in general, except drummers. Well, ummmm, let’s not go there. But, if you don't play any instrument and you think you're going to criticize a guitarist, you'd better look out - you're not going to like what's comin'.

4. There is NO stereotype of the "typical" guitarist!
There is no one way to define a guitar player, how they look, dress or act, or even to be able to spot one in a crowd. Playing guitar is a feeling when we play. It’s hard to explain if you’re not infatuated with a guitar but it’s sort of like those euphoric emotions you get when you’re petting your dog or cat - except multiply that love by about 100,000.

5. Guitarists always think about "who" is the world’s best player
There will be those who say it’s Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Slash, Tom Morello, Joe Satriani, or Steve Vai. etc. The truth is we will never get to the answer – ever. If you don’t play guitar, please don’t voice your opinion or say that Kurt Cobain was the best. Really, really BAD idea... You’ll get chewed up and spit out alive. Trust me, it's a really, really bad idea!

6. You paid how much?
Guitarists don’t mind shelling out crazy amounts of money on their equipment and we can never ever have enough guitars. Whether it’s on the instrument or the boat-loads of other technological necessities (pedals, cables, strings, amps, effects, etc) we love to buy more and more things to get our fill.

Our homes are scattered with guitar related paraphernalia and we love every part of it, even it means tripping over stuff on a daily basis to support our addiction. PS: A quick note to all romantic partners of the guitarist, there’s no cure for our gear addiction, so please give up on ever trying to figure this one out.

7. If a guitarist is in a band, his/her fellow band members become family
This applies to most people in a band, no matter the instrument. We end up spending so many hours hanging out and jamming that it’s hard not to become brutally attached to these people on a much deeper level than anybody else in our social circle. It’s because we all get it – that trance one enters when they’re playing their instrument cannot be compared to any other craft.

8. Guitarists get very angry at non-guitarist’s stupidity
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve face-palmed because of other people’s incredible ignorance and lack of knowledge. For example, I’ve been asked if one my guitars is a lead and if the other is a rhythm guitar… I’ve also been asked if I play acoustic or electric. The best one: “do you get shocked from the strings on an electric guitar? That’s why you need a pick right?” Mind blown. Yeah that actually happened.

9. Guitarists are insanely protective of their gear
NEWS-FLASH: We don’t find it "cute" when your four-year-old kid picks up our vintage 1960’s strat and starts slamming on the strings. If we do let you touch or hold our guitar(s), take off all of the jewelry on your hands and fingers and place it back in the case/stand gently. And PLEASE don’t bang our guitars on anything, hold it and admire it like its a new-born a baby… and remember - our guitars are NOT a “toy."

10. Once a guitarist, always a guitarist
Tread lightly if you’re considering this instrument. It will mesmerize your senses the moment you learn your first chord, the moment you successfully learn scales, the moment you’re finally able to play a song ...you will fall in love. Guitar is unique in how it grabs a hold of you just by relying on your very own ability to shape sound around what you hear.

You’ll become so attached to this instrument and the guitar-hobby, many of you will change your life around it – you’ll dream about playing on stage, you’ll start to make friends with other guitar enthusiasts, and you’ll certainly never look back.

Iris Milanova... A 20-something guitar enthusiast and an aspiring journalist /writer dealing with the tough realities of; music, art and life. "Humor is my drug of choice."