I went shopping for a guitar this morning and I went to one of those trendy guitar shops downtown that sells nothing but expensive overpriced guitars. There's one thing I learned very quickly in a store like that. Nothing they sell in a trendy guitar store is about making you a better guitar player, it's about making you a bigger douche bag.
Let me put it this way, how do you spot a man going through midlife crisis at a party? He's the guy holding a $3000 Les Paul Gibson guitar and doesn't have a clue how to play it.
This is the same kind of person who is going through mid life crisis and they buy a motorcycle and the very first motorcycle they buy is a 200 mph Suzuki Hayabusa. And the next two wheeler they get after that if they're lucky is a wheelchair.
So I tell the salesperson in this trendy guitar store I'm a beginner and this is what he sees, a middle aged man who wants to pretend to be a rocker with a $10,000 credit limit on my Mastercard and before we even look at guitars he's trying to sell me $4000 worth of amplifiers. You know, so my neighbours will love me.
Then the salesman says, "If you're going to buy these amps, you're going to need a monitor."
And I'm thinking you mean like a monitor for your computer to control all this equipment with?
And the salesman says no, a monitor is another speaker that sits in front of you between you and the audience and point towards you so you know what you sound like to the audience. Ahh, I can see how knowing what I sound like can be a problem when there's 600 watts of amplifiers sitting right behind me. Because there could be nuclear explosions going off on the back of my head and I won't be able hear it.
And then the salesman is telling me about gels. Do I have any gels? And I'm figuring this is some kind of suave that musicians put on their fingers because of the calluses they get on their hands. No, gels are rotating state lights with alternating colours. What the hell do I need stage lights for? I just told you I'm a beginner! I'm a complete novice!
And the salesman goes, "Well you gotta have stage lights for presence, because, you know, if you don't have stage lights then all you're really doing is just... playing a guitar."
So after pitching a few thousand dollars worth of accessories to me, the salesman finally gets around to showing me guitar. Which apparently is the least important part of the purchase. Since you're going to be a shit player anyway, the most important thing is to buy a guitar that looks impressive rather than do anything decently, so most of what they had were Gibson. Gibson is the big name brand among guitar players. If you're a poser and want to be seen with a guitar, you want that guitar to be a Gibson. Preferably a Les Paul (or a shameless imitation). But when you peel off that Les Paul sticker you can see underneath it says Fisher Price "My First Guitar" in molded plastic underneath. For the ladies this is kinda like buying a $3000 Prada bag and it falls apart just as quickly as a purse you got from the dollar store.
Anyway I didn't buy anything and I wound up buying a guitar from the music school I'm attending. A Fender Stratocaster Squire.