I have a small but fine selection of Taylors, Martins, Gibsons and Fenders picked for their sound, feel and look. All the second-best guitars, budget deals, valuefor-money axes had to go long time ago. Recently, my 14-year-old daughter Helen started to play the guitar. She is a talented singer, too. Being a good dad, I even provided her with a new Squier Mini Strat and a decent no-name acoustic guitar. Electric or not? Her choice.
Coming home the other day, I found the Taylor from my wall covered with stickers on the neck. “What is that?” I asked Helen, feeling annoyed. “That’s a Tori Kelly song,” she replied with the sweetest teenager voice. She grabbed the Taylor and started singing the song All In My Head. I was speechless and emotional. She put the guitar down and said, “That song sounds so much better on your guitar and the stickers give me extra orientation. I hope that’s okay with you?” Oh, yes it was – and it taught me a lesson, too. It’s not about the guitar itself. It only matters what emotions and tunes a guitar sparks. And stickers might help!
Take it from a guitar nerd and loving father: don’t be overprotective with your guitar. If your kids want to learn, let them play. Best wishes to the Guitarist team, you are doing a great job! Peter Funke, via email Thanks for sharing, Peter. It’s natural for a guitarist to take pride in their collection. But it’s also healthy to be reminded that they’re not museum pieces – they’re instruments, to be heard and used. As you observe, your daughter discovered the Taylor inspired her to play more than her other acoustic – and took matters into her own hands. Music that moved you beyond words was the happy result. When we think back to the now-collectible guitars we carelessly carried around without a case in our teens, spilt beer on and generally abused, it makes us wince a bit. But all the good times we had gigging, jamming and enjoying the camaraderie of being in a band more than made up for that. It’s what got us hooked on guitar and we wouldn’t swap that for a showroom full of Custom Shop creations. We wish your daughter every success – and she has the great benefit of a supportive dad to help her on the way.