My Guitar

I like to keep my action very low and general am always tinkering with the damn thing to try to get it to do what I want it to do, and there are always two opposing suspicions in the back of my mind:

  • Suspicion #1: I really don't know what I'm doing- every time I mess with it, I'm probably just screwing it up. The action should be lower, but it already buzzes a lot. The tone isn't as full as it should be. Maybe the body should be denser; maybe I need a hollow body guitar. This pickup isn't as meaty as I would like; maybe I should try a pedal steel pickup, ect.
  • Suspicion #2: All this is just a bunch of excuses for my lame-ass playing. If I had Bill Frisell's Klein for a month, I'd probably find just as many things wrong with it. I should just learn to deal with it the way it is. If I'm a good player, I'll sound good no matter what guitar I'm playing, and vice versa if I suck.


A Voice / Technique / Feel / Spreading Myself Too Thin
Sounds / Getting Nervous / Guitar / Introduction



As I mentioned in the introduction, the essay was written several years ago (during the summer of 1996). Since that time I feel like a lot of my questions and frustrations have begun to resolve themselves, almost without any conscious effort on my part. I don't know if it was the influence of Mick Goodrick, what he had to say, or simply the fact that I wrote out all these thoughts and was able to discuss them with someone who had been more or less down the same road already, but soon after my lesson with him I felt like I began to see things a lot more clearly, and really DID stop worrying so much about "when will I find my own voice" or "am I talented/good enough to even be trying to do this music/jazz thing?" When I go back and read the things I wrote I find that the answers to most of the questions I was asking fall somewhere in the middle of the possibilities I speculated about, and that again, time and patience seem to have a way of making everything fall imperceptibly into focus.