December 12, 2023


It’s a funny old world that’s for sure. While some of the population seems hell bent on preserving their youthful good looks, brainwashed by the shallow whimsies of Hollywood`s plastic people, or even their own vanity; the world of the guitar is steadfastly running in the opposite direction. There is currently no botox available for guitar – but Keith Richard’s dermatologist is down at Gibson and Fender charging big bucks to mess up your axe with an old flask of tea, an ashtray of fag-ends, a rusty chisel and a dirty old palm sander!

Let’s face it,  guitar design remains predominantly trapped back in the 1950’s -and in this world change is a suspicious and malignant blight that the the guitar stoic must resist!

We’ve had a look at modern materials here, but accepted wisdom holds that concepts such as old, vintage, traditional and classic are the foundations upon which tone, sound and greatness are built.

Indeed, the Fender custom sheep, sorry shop, have taken it upon themselves to introduce the Road Worn(tm) series – guitars that come pre-loved, pre-stressed or what have you!

You can of course do it yourself, but in reality there is no substitute for time tested, genuine, cut your teeth, on the ciricuit wear and tear.

Some fellers on ebay have been pre-loving their guitars and putting them up for sale but the results are often a little over cooked. One guy even dragged his Strat’  body behind his  I-roc – man he must just hate guitars.

These, on the other hand, are in fact rather tastefully replete with all the realistic accoutrements of a life spent gigging out on the road.

Gibson have also released a series of worn and aged pseudo-vintage guitars but at some seriously high price levels – you’ve got to ask yourself is it worth it when you could just wait 20 years, become a great player, save the money and gain your wear and tear the real and the hard way.

The interesting thing about the world of guitar is the way in which the old and the new harmonise, where difference and innovation fuse with tradition.


Jake Edwards

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