The guitar shop expert

Today I decided to do go buy some new strings for my guitar. Apparently you’re supposed to replace guitar strings around every 3 months or so to ensure your guitar is at its best musically. I’ve err.. been not too disciplined with this. Being quite new to acoustic guitar and the whole changing strings myself business, I haven’t quite been changing them every 3 months.

Excuses? Oh definitely. I’m mostly just lazy and forgetful and pretty much deaf (I’ve been told you can hear when you’re strings are quite old while playing, but I guess I’m not that advanced yet. My motto is – if it sounds good, it is good.)

Anyways! So I paid a visit to the Rockshop (for all your musical needs!) to buy new strings. Like I said, I’m pretty new to this so I always buy the most standard set that have been recommended for me as a beginner. But the ‘friendly’ helpers at the shop are always a bit condescending. I think they think of themselves as the ‘Guitar Gods’ that are all-knowing. They give you the “look” when you bring something up to the counter. I once got the look for buying two different sizes of picks. I’m quite a pack rat when it comes to guitar picks. And I always seem to lose them, so I have a million. But I desperately needed 2 more of course. But this guy with the look asked me “Are you sure you want both of these? This one is quite thin and that one is quite heavy.” I assured him that my eyes are fine and I was perfectly aware of the thicknesses of the picks, having read the numbers on them. But it was so nice and pointless of him to ask me that. And I would be ever so grateful if he would give me permission to buy them.

Okay I didn’t say that. But I think I should have. Instead I just smiled and said “yup I’m sure” and he let me buy them. How nice and helpful of him.

But back to the string story! So anyway I asked for my usual string set and the ‘Guitar God’ went into his lecture about the strings. “Yup these are phosphor-bronze and they’re quite good, gives you a nice warm sound” and I smiled (Yes I know. Hence I’m buying them). But he proceeded to suggest I buy another set of strings instead. “These are also phosphor-bronze, but they’re coated and a bit heavier and more expensive, but they’ll last you much longer and you wouldn’t have to change them as often.” Now this I was interested in. I thought well that sounds good. I’m pretty useless with this 3 months thing so maybe if I get these I wouldn’t have to worry about them for a while. So I asked “Oh so how long would they last?”

The God smiled brightly and said “Well if you get them, you won’t have to change them for the rest of the summer!”

I cannot explain how hard I had to work to keep a straight face. I politely declined and bought my standard strings and ran.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him… I hadn’t changed my strings in 9 months…

Guitar expert, I am not.