7 Rules a Guitarist Should Never Break

Danelectro 12-string

The 7 Deadly Sins of Guitar

As a guitar player, you know that there are certain things you just can’t do if you want to play with others or for others. You may not have known they had a name, but now you do. These are the seven deadly sins of guitar. committing any one of these sins will lead to poor playing and frustration for both you and your audience. So how can you avoid them? Read on to find out!

Whether you’re a beginner guitar player or you’ve honed your chops to become an accomplished player, please be forewarned that what you’re about to read may change your guitar life.  Is it a reasonable presumption that many of you reading this have certain issues with some aspects around the guitar?  Especially with how others fall into the seven deadly sins of guitar.  If you don’t agree with my presumption then get help.  You may have already succumbed to the trap of believing naively that you’ve never been guilty of any of the following, right?  Or so you think.

1. Playing out of Tune

Anything I write to explain what is already clear in this point to the reader that requires further explanation.

You cannot help but cringe whenever the dude’s g string is 20 cents flats.  Even blind people wince when they hear you ride your flat g string.  Nothing worse than listening to an out of tune guitar than being stuck listening to an out of tune guitar being played by a bad player!

Have you ever been playing your guitar and all of a sudden something sounds a bit off? You try to adjust, but no matter how hard you try, that one note just keeps slipping out of tune? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, even the most seasoned guitar players find themselves dealing with tuning issues every once in a while. 

Guitar players often struggle with keeping their instrument in tune. Even veteran musicians sometimes have to battle with that one note that just won’t stay put. The difference with a professional musician is that he can instantly detect that his guitar is out of tune.  Or he play with high-quality guitars that stay in tune.  The point is, even veterans experience an out of tune situation, but they immediately stop and fix it rather than continue playing.

2. Purchasing a Stolen Guitar

Any musical instrument that has been played and cherished by its owner has some of its owner’s energy.  If it’s been played for a long time and well taken care of by the same owner, that, in my opinion, adds some karmic bonus points to your guitar karma bank account.

Now you may say that stealing a guitar that has fallen off of the back of a truck in the alley, one which has never been adorned by an appreciative person, has no potential karmic curse.  I don’t condemn those that by honest means went out and bought or traded up to a guitar may not be aware that it was stolen previously.  However, knowingly buying a stolen “new” never-before-owned guitar is not the best either.  Especially if you intend to sell it immediately to turn a profit.  

Have you ever had the opportunity to purchase a stolen guitar? If so, what was your reasoning behind it? Was the guitar a particularly rare or valuable model? Or did you just get a good deal on it and figure that you could always resell it later if needed? Whatever your reasons may have been, I’m sure you can agree that buying a stolen guitar is never a good idea. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the potential risks and consequences of doing so. We’ll also discuss some tips for how to avoid buying stolen guitars in the first place. So if you’re thinking about acquiring one of these instruments, please keep reading!

3. Unnecessary drilling or altering modifications

Think before you drill! That’s the message we need to send to guitar players everywhere. Why would you want to drill holes in your guitar? To change the tone, of course! But is that really worth it? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at why drilling holes in your guitar might not be such a good idea after all. So sit back, relax, and don’t even think about picking up that drill. We’ve got this!

If you’re going to change the pickguard or the machine heads on your favourite guitar, make sure you replace them with the same hole patterns. See my other article about my decision not to drill holes in a Danelectro 12-string

On some vintages, drilling unnecessary holes to fit non-original parts can greatly reduce your instrument’s value.

4. Stickers and Decals

My palms get clammy and my heartbeat rises 20 more beats per minute.  When a graffiti’d guitar is in the same room as me.

If you’re a guitarist, you know that there are few things worse than putting stickers on your guitar. Not only does it look tacky, but it can also ruin the finish and make your instrument difficult to play. So if you’re looking for a way to decorate your guitar, skip the stickers and try one of these alternatives instead.

There’s an age-old debate in the guitar world: should you put stickers on your instrument? On one side of the argument, you have people who believe that stickers add personality and character to a guitar. They argue that stickers can be used to personalize a guitar and make it stand out from the crowd. On the other side of the argument, you have people who believe that putting stickers on a guitar is a big no-no. They feel that it’s an easy way to damage or mar the finish of your instrument. So, which side of the debate are you on? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at both sides of this argument and help you decide whether or not you should put stickers on your guitar.

Do you like to put stickers on everything? It’s so much fun to PERSONALIZE things! But there is one place where you should NEVER put stickers: your guitar. Here are four reasons why. 

1) Stickers can interfere with the sound of your guitar

2) Stickers can damage your guitar

3) Stickers can make it hard to sell your guitar later on

4) Stickers just look kinda tacky

Here’s a little secret for all you guitar players out there: never put stickers on your guitar. That’s right, I said it. You may think that adding some flashy vinyl to your instrument is the perfect way to show off your personality, but in reality, it will just end up looking tacky and cheap. Trust me, I’ve been playing for years and I know what I’m talking about. So if you’re thinking of giving your guitar a makeover, avoid stickers at all costs!

Danelectro 12-string
WTF is wrong with the pick guard and all those crappy stickers?
Unnecessary Drilling in a Guitar
Seriously, wtf? Get the right machine heads!
Never put stickers on a guitar!
WTF? A smiley face sticker on an Ibanez Les Paul
Danelectro 12-String New Pick Guard No Holes Drilled
Danelectro 12-String New Pick Guard No Holes Drilled
Danelectro 12-String Original Pick Guard
Danelectro 12-String Original Pick Guard with stickers and paint!

5. Scratches and Preventable Blemishes

Belt buckles and bracelets.  

We’ve all been there. You’re playing your guitar and suddenly you feel something scratching the back of your neck. You look down and realize that your belt buckle is the cause of the problem. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to avoid this issue and keep your guitar sounding great.

When you’re a guitarist, your instrument is your baby. You want to take care of it and ensure that it always looks and sounds its best. That’s why you never let your bracelet scratch your guitar! Even though it might seem like a minor issue, those scratches can really affect the sound and playability of your guitar. Here are a few tips for avoiding this problem.

Does anybody remember the Axe Sack?

6. Not Asking Permission to Pickup Someone Else’s Guitar

I’m not sure if it’s because of the warm weather or what, but I’ve been seeing a lot more people out and about playing guitar lately. It’s really awesome to see – there’s something about picking up a guitar and making music that just seems to make people happy. But I’ve noticed that a lot of the time, the people playing other people’s guitars are getting strange looks from their owners. Maybe it’s because they’re not “supposed” to be playing them, or maybe they’re just worried that someone is going to steal their instrument. I get it – I used to own a nice Gibson Les Paul, and I would have been pretty upset if someone started casually strumming away on it without asking first.

7. Playing too Loudly

Have you ever been playing your guitar and someone tells you to turn it down? I know I have. And, typically, my reaction is a little something like this: “What do you mean by ‘turn it down’? This is how I play!” In reality, though, playing too loud can not only be annoying to those around you, but it can also damage your hearing. So, today, we’re going to take a look at some tips for playing quietly – without sacrificing your tone or relationships

If you’re one of those guitar players who likes to crank the volume up to 11, you might want to think again. Playing too loud can actually damage your hearing, and that’s something you definitely don’t want to happen. So next time you pick up your guitar, make sure you keep the volume down to a reasonable level. You’ll thank yourself later.

Here are some additional guidelines:

  • Never play louder than the singer, especially if you’re in a duet.
  • If the drummer can’t hear himself or loses his beat, you may be playing too loud
  • If the band keeps staring at you and the members nod in consternation, you’re probably playing to loudly
  • When the police come knocking at your apartment door, it usually means you’re neighbours find you too loud.
  • Your pets run to hide and cover their heads with their paws.

If you’re a guitar player, chances are high that you have committed at least one of these sins. After all, it can be hard to avoid making mistakes when playing an instrument as complex and nuanced as the guitar. But committing any of these seven deadly sins will make your life more difficult on stage or in practice so take heed before breaking any of them! 

About Grasshopper James 35 Articles
Hi I'm Grasshopper James from Montreal. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I've been rocking it here since 2007 with my Fender Stratocaster American Standard, Fender Telecaster American Standard, Fender Blues Deluxe '57 Reissue, Ibanez TS9, Boss TU-3, Boss ME-25, Boss GT-3, Boss OD-1, Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46, Jim Dunlop Jazz III Pick, and a Parkwood PW-510.

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