Thursday, September 29, 2011
On Being a Female Guitarist.
Every Thursday, I look down at my extremely worn in Chuck Taylors with the red laces, or my black slip on vans that are finally starting to look aged and I hear the strum of an acoustic guitar.
At that moment, I know that I arrived at guitar club. Some days, I bring my Gibson SG, while on other days, I like to borrow an acoustic, while at other times I just dont' play at all. Some days, I give basic lessons for free just out of the goodness of my heart (I could easily charge 25 dollars for lesson). It really doesn't' matter what I do, I'm at guitar club, I have fun, and other people are having fun. I've been in the club for three years, and I hardly ever miss a week (although, I remember missing a week or two because I had an extremely important debate meet, and the other time I had the flu and I didn't really feel like playing guitar). People know who I am. I know who people are, but one thing is always apparent, I'm the only talented, non fan-girl guitarist in the whole club.
I'm not trying to brag about this. Some weeks, I'm the only female in the room that is plugged into an amp, waling off solos. I don't care if the guys go in there with their condescending looks and macho attitude; I don't stop playing, I don't get scared, I just stomp on my stomp box and I unleash the pain on them.
On other weeks, I'm not the only female there. I think to myself "Yes! Another Female that plays guitar! I might go talk to her about some guitar related stuff and see if she really likes guitar". But something always happens right before I step over and say something about guitar strings. 95% of the time, the other guitar holding Female goes back to her boyfriend and then hands the guitar over to him. By then, I always say "I knew it". That other 5% of the time, one of my Female friends has a guitar, and they are coming over to me asking for power chord pointers.
I'm not trying to whine about "Why don't more Females play guitar at our Guitar club?" and I'm also not trying to say "Why don't I have a boyfriend?". Hopefully, I'm showing the injustices of being the only good female guitar player in our guitar club.
I guess it is because people don't understand how hard it is coming from my point of view. I've been playing for around 8 years. I started on a really cheep, crappy acoustic guitar. I played until the strings were broken, and until all of the other strings were out of tune. I played that thing as long as I could until all of the strings were broken, and right when the other strings were rusted. I sold that thing to save up more money for an even better guitar. A part of me really wishes that I had that beat up old acoustic back.
Fast forward 4 years. I wanted to get into music again, so a younger version of me saves up some money and I buy an off brand bass guitar. I still have it. It came with a 20 watt amp, and it just sounds great. I loved playing my bass, but I wanted to play 2 more strings. So then, I get my Gibson.
It was an accident, I really wasn't looking for a Gibson SG. I really wanted a Fender Jaguar (I still do) but I found this guitar hanging on the wall. This white SG with 3 pickups instead of the standard 2. I surely thought that it was a fake. But it wasn't a fake. I walked out the store with a steal. From the time I got home, I knew that I'd never give this guitar up for nothing.
I played the heck out of that thing. I still play the heck out of that thing. I played it so much, that I named my guitar White Fang. Why the name? Well, White Fang is a beast of a guitar, and also, Because I'm a lover of books, I think my guitar is kind of "different" in a good way, and the name has stuck like glue ever since.
As you can see, I have a lot of experience with guitars and I love playing. I might not play metal, I might not play speed licks, but doesn't give anyone the right to say that I'm a bad guitarist. I might be a Female, but my gender has nothing to do with how I play. I just wish that those macho guys could understand that. I hope I have my guitar the next time someone says "She's a girl. She can't play", because you know what I'll do to prove them wrong.