Buying a Guitar For your Child

Your kid is 12 years old and wants to play guitar.  You can identify with that impulse and it feels good. 

There’s a Kenny Chesney video in which a high school football coach is telling the kids, “everybody wants to be you tonight.”  It’s fun to be a kid and it is fun to play guitar. 

The main thing to bear in mind is that you are creating memories for a lifetime for your child so it’s an opportunity to create something lasting.  It’s funny how guitars outlive us as human beings but the more esoteric question is how long do memories last and do they transcend our very existence? 

The most important aspect of this purchase is making sure your kid has a good experience.   In all nearly all cases the first instinct is the correct one.  It’s ok to buy on color as long as the child has a chance to at least touch and hold the guitar.  Playing guitar is a tactile experience, and the instincts don’t lie.

Another important aspect is finding the right teacher for your child.  A great teacher for one person is not a great teacher for everybody.  Inspiration is often more important than virtuosity. Who inspires your child?

Playing guitar is a broad topic.   Some people want to play folk songs, some want to play like Jimi Hendrix, others want to learn jazz chords.   All are noble pursuits but entail an entirely different set of requirements.   Identify what the goals are and use this as an opportunity to teach your kid about the value of setting realistic, attainable goals early on.

The process is your child’s relationship to music as a participant, just as little league is your child’s relationship to sports as a participant.  Purchasing a guitar is part of that process, but it should be emphasized that this is a process.  The gift is the music, not the guitar.  The gift of music originates from the source and remains part of that source long after we are gone.  This purchase represents something much bigger than a present from mom and dad. 

 

Influence

 

Exile On Main Street and Keith Richard’s Telecaster Sound
Exile is my favorite album and I love rock and roll myths.
This guitar is responsible for some of the tones that defined rock and roll music. Believe it or not I met Keith. My sister got us backstage at a Robert Cray concert, and the Memphis Horns were there. Keith was shooting a video for “Make No Mistake” with the legendary Sarah Dash. They invited us!

Keith was drinking Wild Turkey I think. They poured it into a glass like you’d poor a glass of soda. This was at 4am, after the concert which also had John Hiatt. Great show! Anyway… Keith took the time to shake my hand and say hello and shake my hand say goodbye. He had his amp there so he jammed a little too while I drank vodka with the Memphis Horns. Not a bad night! Btw, Keith claims he gets more options without the low E-string but that just makes no sense

A Blackguard Named Micawber – reverb.com

 

 

How an apprenticeship started Hot Rod Guitars

When I first met Richie I was just a customer. When Richie offered me an “apprenticeship,” I laughed telling him I was too old and that I lacked skills and knowledge. Richie said,

 

“You know more than you think. You’ve been playing for 40 years.”

Richie enjoyed my aggressive blues-based style and I loved his work as well. In just over a year I became his protege, often co-designing guitars for his company or mine. We love collaborating and inspiring each other, and Richie is the most valuable subject matter expert in the world on the subject of hot rodding guitars.

Check out this great article from the NY Times on Richie. Truly a master.

The Secret Master Zen Master of Guitar Repair