I'm in my living room looking out on a classic New England snowstorm that blew in over night. With over a foot of snow predicted, it's comforting to see December and Mother Nature back in synch. 50 degrees and rainy are not suitable conditions for Christmas. Truthfully, I enjoy a big snowfall. I love the way life seems to come to a crawl; the way a storm brings people out into snow-covered streets to walk and revel in the newly-minted landscape. Grown-ups feel the sudden urge to make snow balls or grab their kid's sled for a bracing run down the neighbor's hill. A good storm brings the outside world, and the people who inhabit it, to a place and time somewhere decades back. We're all of a sudden 30 years younger, with a spring in our step, and all business commitments on temporary hold.
So, what does this have to do with guitars? Two thoughts come to mind.
Like a snowstorm, buying a great guitar has a timeless, ageless quality to it. There's very little that has changed about the steel-string guitar in the 100 odd years of it's existence. Still the same time-tested body styles, the same materials. Sure, production techniques have changed, but that hasn't altered the overall look or experience of playing a guitar. It's comforting to know, in this age of mind-warping technological advances and built-in product obsolescence, that a guitar is still a guitar: wood, glue and steel. It'll last a lifetime and more without ever going out of style. And if you're lucky enough to have a thriving local music store, you can take that step back in time whenever the urge strikes you. Or you can wait for the next blizzard.
Secondly, there's very little that one can buy which brings such a youthful grin to a person's face than a great guitar. A customer remarked to me the other day, as we were wrapping up his recent purchase: I just love buying a new guitar! And he unveiled this broad, child-like smile as if he were eyeing up a toboggan run down a star-lit, snow-covered hillside. It's a real thrill.
Simply put, a guitar purchase, like a good snowfall, makes you feel like a kid again. The added bonus is that this youthful thrill will last right through the spring thaw and, with the proper care and attention to body, mind and instrument, well into the autumn of your life.