Cecelia and I were discussing one of the most endearing traits we see in many of our customers. This is the Podium regular who finds a guitar and proclaims "This is the last guitar I am going to buy (need, find, play, etc.)". So he (usually, but sometimes she) figures out how to bend the budget, which guitar to sell or trade, or (best case scenario) throws down a card or writes a check, and they have a new axe. A few months later, this scene plays itself out again. Obviously, we benefit from this by selling guitars. But what does this mean to our customer? They often profess feelings of guilt but they need not feel bad. I have come to realize that playing an instrument is satisfying in a number of ways, and each way is valid. The aesthetics of tone, of feel, of wood beauty, of design, and of the hunt, all call to a person. I have a dear friend, Barry, who is a marvelous banjoist. He has owned dozens of first class banjos (read: classic collector grade Gibson Mastertones). He will call me to grab lunch and show me his latest find, come by the shop with, say, one of the five prototype Blackjack RB-75's that were made. It will be spectacular. I will pick it some, marvel at the deep tone and clear note definition, hand it back to him and say, "It's a keeper, Barry." We laugh, he makes a sharp reply, usually involving a classic expletive that reflects his assessment of my character, and we go to lunch. Next month, he is back with a 1929 RB-4 that just sings..... My point is this: My friend loves the search and the discovery of a new instrument. He plays at a world class level already, and his drive and ambition is fueled by the acquisition of a different banjo when he finds them. Totally valid. Me, I have few personal instruments and I have had them a long time. I have my first banjo. I have my first guitar. I still have my stuffed dog I carried with me as a toddler. That's how I roll. But I totally respect the desire or need to find the next treasure. It doesn't matter why or how, it matters that it matters.
The one you'll keep