I have many guitars. Too many, depending on who you ask. But each one serves a very real, important purpose! Of course I have the Fender Mustang my wife’s uncle gave to me. I also have a bass guitar and a G & L Bluesboy Tribute (think semi-hollowbody Telecaster), a couple of Martin acoustics, and the beater.
The beater was a gift from a former coworker. My first year of teaching, I bought a crappy, terrible-sounding Epiphone acoustic, the cheapest damn guitar I ever laid hands on. It played awful, too, and I got rid of it after that first year of teaching.
I was able to get rid of it, in large part, because this coworker came in one morning carrying a guitar case that had seen much better days, probably sometime back before the BC/AD switch over. There was a spot where a hole had basically been punched through the case, the handle was gone and replaced with a shoelace, and the whole thing basically looked like it had sat in someone’s attic for the better part of a decade.
“It sat in my mom’s attic for about a decade,” the coworker said. “Do you want it?”
I shrugged. “Sure, why not?” I replied. “You can never have too many guitars.” And hey, this was a type of guitar I didn’t have: a 3/4 classical guitar (a guitar three-fourths the size of a usual acoustic. Classical guitars also differ from a standard acoustic guitar in that it uses a combination of nylon and phosphorus bronze strings instead of just six phosphorus bronze strings. It also has a slightly-wider neck to accommodate the fact that classical guitars are meant to be fingerpicked, though that’s never stopped me from strumming like holy hell with a pick).
The guitar itself was in rough shape, cosmetically, but still played perfectly after I replaced the ancient strings.
The guitar became my school instrument, the one that I kept in my classroom and picked up to strum when the mood took me. I’ve written dozens of songs with that guitar over the years, and it still sounds lovely. But the case, which was falling apart and pretty worthless when I got the guitar twelve years ago, has recently started deteriorating even further. The shoelace handle was actually breaking, one of the hinges detached from the body of the case, and the thing was just really falling apart completely. So, over the weekend, I went out and purchased a new gig bag for it. The fact that the gig bag is worth as much as the guitar itself was a bit odd, but what can you do? The guitar is still good. It’ll remain playable for years to come, assuming nothing horrible happens to it. And with the new gig bag, nothing horrible should happen to it.
So, farewell, crappy classical guitar case. You served me well, but the time has come for you to retire. To the dumpster.