If you find yourself here then I am sure I am correct in saying that you’ve felt it too? That moment you walk into a guitar store or browse online, you become like a kid in a sweet shop. It may be your first time, it may be your thousandth time. You may be just browsing, looking for something in particular or you may be secretly hoping for “The One” to call out to you. Whatever the reason, it is always the same, it’s an excitement that is guaranteed to make a couple of hours pass by like a couple of minutes.
But why? What’s so special about these bits of wood and metal? Why do they keep us coming back time and time again? Isn’t one guitar pretty much just like any other guitar?
Well, in short, no! Whether you are new to this amazing world or an old hand; searching for your guitar can often be a bewildering task – with so many to choose from and hundreds of subtle variations across many different makes, models and styles – it can take a lifetime to find the one guitar you are truly happy with. In fact, the chances are, you may never find “The One” at all and if you do, count yourself very lucky, most of us need a minimum of two or three guitars at any one time to satisfy our requirements; those are the rules – apparently. But seriously, that is why you will very rarely here of anyone who owns just one guitar because there are just so many differing characteristics between one guitar to the next that the idea of the one perfect, all singing, all dancing guitar is quite frankly something of a fantasy.
Take for instance two Fender Stratocasters, both made in the same factory at the same time, with the exact same woods and components, exact same pickups wired the exact same way and even both finished in the same colour – you’d be forgiven for thinking that there wouldn’t be one single discernible difference between the two in terms of feel, playability or sound – but 99 times out a 100, you’d be wrong.
You see, I’m sure some scientific boffins could come along and after hundreds of hours of testing, probing and analysis, come up with something approaching an answer as to how two seemingly identical guitars can be so different in terms of feel, playability or sound. But, they could never give a definitive answer and do you know why? Because no definitive answer exists – and therein lies the beauty and the enchantment of guitars – they truly are an enigma and that’s why they keep us coming back time and time again.
Then think of all the different variations and extras you can add to a guitar; different woods, different pickups, solid body, semi hollow body, bolt on neck, through neck, on and on then the possibilities are endless.
The one thing all guitar lovers come to understand very quickly is that the magic of guitars lies not just in the playing, or the sound they produce, or even the admiration of them as objects in their own right – each have their own personality, their own character. There is a never ending adventure to be had in the searching, the discovering, the falling in love with and owning of your very own guitar; this piece of wood and metal, this thing that is far, far greater than the sum of its parts which has a life of its own and the capacity to speak only to you and make you feel, even if for the briefest of moments, like you are the greatest guitarist there has ever lived.
I can say with 100% certainty that every single human being, young or old, rich or poor, man or woman who has ever picked up a guitar and strummed it for the first time has let loose an uncontrollable beaming smile. No matter how brief, every single one of us has felt a spark or tingle of that unquantifiable, universal magic.
Guitars are a bit different to any other instrument – they’ve made the world a better place, they have broken down barriers, empowered people, shaped cultures and fashions, sparked ideas and movements, allowed people to express themselves in ways they never could have done before and above all, brought happiness and joy into the world – and if that’s not something to celebrate, then I don’t know what is.
That is what we at Austin Guitars are all about – celebrating the guitar and putting a smile on your face (and ours) as we help you in your search for your guitar and your sound.
“So, my big brother was playing his guitar and I figured I’d try it too.” – Stevie Ray Vaughan
“My own thing is in my head. I hear sounds and if I don’t get them together nobody else will.” – Jimi Hendrix
“I just managed to convince my grandmother that it was a worthwhile that was something to do, you know, and when I did finally get the guitar, it didn’t seem that difficult to me, to be able to make a good noise out of it.”– Eric Clapton
“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.”– Joan Jett
“The guitar has shown us again and again: Three chords can rock the world.” ― Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar