In my last post I mentioned that that my son didn’t think that his old Ibanez guitar was really worth much. I was fine with that. I promised myself that if I kept at it for at least a year then I’d buy myself a new guitar. I kind of ignored what my son told me about the Ibanez needing a fret job. I could see that the frets were worn but in my mind I figured that, as a beginner, it didn’t really didn’t really matter. I mean, when you first start playing you’re not supposed to sound great, right? I plowed through the Justin Guitar beginner course and started to be able to play a few chords. I could hear the chords didn’t sound great; there was lots of buzzing. I didn’t mind.
And then in September 2022, my wife and I visited my son and I got a chance to play his new guitar. It was a super low end Epiphone Les Paul (like a $150 guitar) but it shocked me. It was just so much easier to play that one than it was to play the old Ibanez. I think I had been pressing down on the strings much harder than was needed in order to compensate for the worn down frets. That made it harder and more painful to play. I think it also slowed me down a bunch. It took me just a few minutes to realize that I had been working a lot harder than was really needed. It seemed obvious that I needed to replace the Ibanez.
When I got back from that trip I asked Zack, a good friend of mine, who has been playing guitar for years if he could lend me a guitar for a few months. I still wasn’t sure if a different guitar was going to make a big difference and I wasn’t ready to go out and buy new one yet. Zack came through; he lent me a Squier Telecaster. A sweet looking one in Butterscotch Blonde. It sounded great!
When I started playing the Tele it became pretty obvious that I had missed stuff while struggling to learn on the worn Ibanez. I skipped back a few lessons in the Justin Guitar course. It never feels good to do stuff over but this was different. Stuff that I had struggled with got a little easier. Lesson learned! don’t play shitty guitars.