Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Guitars

A few months ago, I was sitting in the TV room playing my fabulous Fender acoustic guitar when it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a cheap guitar that I could just leave in front of the TV and not care about so that every time I sat down I could pick it up and practice while watching TV and vegetating. I figured a cheap used guitar would be best so that if it got knocked over or bashed by anyone, I wouldn't care.

So, I went out on Craigslist and looked at a few used guitars. I called a few people. I found what I wanted, got the $100 cash, and headed over to buy it. Just as I was arriving, the guy called and said "I don't have the guitar. It's not at my house. It's at my friend's house and he won't bring it to me. He's being mean." WTF? What is this, kindergarten? Go get it yourself if you want to sell it. Ah, but he didn't. He was jerking me around.

Jerking me around

Time passed without me getting to meet up with the other people selling guitars whom I had contacted. In the meantime, a new store opened up right near where I work. The Guitar Center opened a brand new branch not 10 minutes from my office. Oh, you bastards!

Sure, the first time I went was just to look around. I wasn't there for anything special. I left with a used $50 amp and a used $100 Vox effects board.

I played my electronic-capable acoustic guitar through the new amp. It was nice enough. It would do the job. And then I started playing around with the Vox effects. Holy crap, this is fun! Ah, if only I had my electric here, it would be even cooler! But that guitar is hundreds of miles away. Oh well.

Later that week I went back to The Guitar Center. They had some starter electric guitars for around $100 that would work just fine for what I wanted. They were decent guitars and if anything happened to them I would not be very upset. I looked at them and wasn't overly enthused. I started to get a Squire Stratocaster, fairly similar to the electric guitar I already have. But then I thought, "why buy another Strat when I already have one, just not with me?" So I started looking at the Epiphone SG Junior which was $129. It was ... eh. I picked up the Epiphone SG Special, a little more expensive at $169, but clearly a better guitar.

SG Special

I bought the SG Special for $169, plus in my haste I somehow let slip past me a $45 pro warranty I didn't need. That pro warranty was money I could've saved, but it gave me 2 months to check out the guitar and bring it back if I wanted to.

I played the guitar for a month. I liked it OK. But the next model up the chain, the SG G-310 was better and I knew I wanted that one instead. It costs $249. So I decided to take my guitar back and trade up, plus cash, for the better model. One month and two weeks after I had purchased it, I took it back for the exchange.
SG G-310

Ah, but wouldn't you know, they never have that model in stock. I would have to turn in my guitar and order the G-310 to be shipped.

"Oh, but hey, we have the G-400 right here! In fact, we just got 2 of them in today. How lucky! Why not buy one of those instead? It's only another $100 more," said the sneaky tattooed salesman.

So I did.

Plus, despite my telling the sneaky tattooed salesman that I did not want and could not afford the pro warranty on this new guitar ($65), he slapped it on my credit card anyway. I had to go back the next day to get that refunded.

SG G-400 

What began as a seemingly logical idea, to buy a cheap used guitar which I planned to keep by the TV so I could practice every day and not care if it became damaged somehow, has ended with me now playing a $349 + tax very nice guitar that I very much do care about and don't want banged up or scratched or otherwise abused.

What the hell happened??

The most famous SG in the World


  1. So you'll be starting up a band soon, yeah? ;o)

  2. Ute, I was thinking of trying to get the Beatles back together, with me on guitar. I figure with Ringo and Paul still alive I could take the place of George on guitar and John as the snarky, funny one who makes random political statements.

    AlleyCat, oh, I need so much more practice!

  3. My husband's 'mess around' guitar is actually his Ukelele. It travels well too! He just saw the photos of guitars on the screen as I was reading and it drew him in. He completely agrees with the wanting to upgrade from your original guitar. He also said that the worse thing to do is to go into the guitar store and play a $3000 guitar and thus ruin your ability to be satisfied with a cheap guitar. Have fun with your new 'toy' is what I say!

  4. It's the way you tell your story that makes it worthwhile. I was very entertained by your account of how hard finding the right guitar can be and how much crap a man must endure to find his soulmate (aka: the right guitar).

    You're a good writer man and methinks you can spin your story into a funny movie or something.

  5. PaddedCellPrincess, only once have I picked up and played an expensive guitar, a nice Fender Stratocaster. I just wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It wasn't even hooked to an amp for me to hear it fully. But right away I could feel a difference. It was just so much nicer.

    MoviesMind, I appreciate you saying that I'm good at telling a story. I had wanted to write, but never felt like I was good at it. If I do write this into a story, do you think Angus Young would play the part of me? That would be nice. Granted, he's a little old, but when he played the guitar parts it would sound SO much better.