I NEED all those guitars! G.A.S. – Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. Like the intestinal discomfort those far more childish than myself (ahem) may associate with this term, many of us suffer from its condition. I’m here to defend any accusations that I have an acquisition problem. I will set the record straight that the multiplicity of instruments creating an obstacle course in my apartment exist based on necessity rather than material desires or weakness for inanimate objects that express the innermost feelings of one’s soul providing endless hours of pure musical rhapsody… Ahem, pardon me.

Man (and woman) is a constantly evolving creature: learning, growing, exploring, and diversifying. Throughout this fluctuating journey a variety of tools are required for success. As a guitarist I require the appropriate tools to adapt to a wide diversity of guitar playing environments.

My first guitar was a Yamaha nylon string. Purchased on the advice of my first guitar teacher, he promoted the wide fretboard to help stretch my fingers and softer pliable strings to ease the transition from callous-free to anvil-like finger tips of steel. Check one.

The Yamaha served its purpose but wasn’t suited to my rock oriented preference. After putting my fingers through basic training I bought a Vantage steel string from my high school’s resident pot dealer. It was cheap in price but full in sound and played great. Check two.

You can rock a steel string but you can’t ROCK a steel string the way you can rock an electric. Next in line, my creamy white Squier Strat made in Japan but built as well as any American made model and half the cost. Check three.

I loved my Strat (still do), but just like endless hours of sampling different styles of music and dialing knobs on amps and pedals to discover one’s tonal palette, the choice of paint brush, or in this case guitar, is equally important. A reissued 1962 Telecaster with antique sunburst and ivory colored binding expanded my ‘musical Picasso’-like strokes. Check four.

I went through a long period of guitar hibernation after school, referred to as my dark days (years). One day I woke up with a renewed passion, just like that. I still had my babies, less the Yamaha, and played them daily. This was no passing phase. What better way to reward myself than with a new guitar? This was easily justified as my acoustic could now serve as my take-anywhere beater guitar. I allowed myself a budget of $500 – $700 as I walked into the guitar shop. I walked out with Guild’s beautiful CV-1C. And just a few bucks less than allotted for the purchase (“a few bucks” is relative)… Check five.

Whether for business or pleasure I find myself away from home several times a year. Traveling with a full sized guitar is rarely an option due to the hassle. I needed a travel guitar. Aria’s Sinsonido fit the bill. This instrument breaks down into a soft padded case just under 1’ x 3’ – very light, very compact, and unobtrusive as the sound is amplified through headphones. Check six.

I think slide guitar is one of the coolest techniques and sounds around. I’ve had as much fun experimenting with this style as I have with effects pedals. The action on all my guitars is set up fairly low for flatpicking so I really had no choice but to pick up a Republic resonator. Not only did I get a guitar with proper action for slide but I got that jangly tin can sound that can’t be replicated any other way. It was a two-for-one deal – a no-brainer! Check seven.

My justifications end here. There are those who will question the lack of a 12-string or hollow body or [fill in the blank]. I didn’t say I was done, I’ve simply illustrated that I don’t have G.A.S. Rather I have provided myself with the tools necessary to…who am I kidding? I’ve provided myself with guitar gluttony to feed my ceaseless addiction!


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