Lake Placid Blues
I’ve never been a Strat girl, but one of my major influences — Jimi Hendrix practically ate one every day for breakfast with those giant magic hands he had and so my first, and only true impulsive guitar purchase was a 1960 Mexican knockoff in Lake Placid Blue.
It was not an amazing deal or a pushy sales rep — it was my own ego that got me — if I had a Stratocaster I would soon be playing (more) like Jimi! Right? (yeah, no.)
I did not even try it out in the store and immediately regretted buying it when I finally did play it at home.
It buzzed and fought me with sky-high frets, would not stay in tune, and it just did not sound right. I was relieved my model was missing the tremolo bar which was a good thing because they scared me anyhow.
As you grow as a musician, you begin to understand that the instrument has breath and a soul and it’s own personality and not all instruments and people get along right off the bat.
I did not know that guitars were rarely perfect straight from the large-scale manufacturer and that as your playing level increases the fussier you will be about how your guitar is set up. As you grow as a musician, you begin to understand that the instrument has breath and a soul and it’s own personality and not all instruments and people get along right off the bat.
I wanted to play deep, dark moody rock and Zeppelin and I bought a guitar that (to me) sounded better in my hands as a jazz guitar than a rock guitar. I have learned that is not the guitar that decides how you will sound, but that you must learn how to make your guitar sound like you. I also learned you can’t make a dog meow and you can’t sound like anyone just by purchasing a similar guitar.
After years of collecting dust, my husband sneaked all my broken down ignored guitars away like King Moonraiser collecting misfit toys. One the of the guitars he took was my Lake Placid blue Strat to someone named Eric.
Eric knows guitars. He took my acoustic Guild I named “The Beast” it was so hard to play and tamed it so my beginning daughter could play it.
He also fixed my pretty blue Strat — but it broke down again a few months later and sat for another year until my son picked it up. He also got tired of the buzzing and put it down again.
My violin teacher told me there is nothing sadder than an instrument gathering dust. My friend bought a bass and because I am severely ADHD what followed was only natural.
I did not want to take the Strat back to Eric. Was I such a bad player I broke my guitar again? Would he think I was being fussy? It was a $450 guitar — what did I expect?
So it sat unloved for years until one day, a friend posted a link on Facebook to a bass he had just purchased. It was a nice little student bass so I clicked on it. It is true that I have severe ADHD issues and so within 30 minutes I had looked at the bass, saw a few squirrels, clicked on a few…. and had a Stratocastor guitar kit arriving in two days.
I spent the night hyperfocused and binged for hours on “how to” videos. I fell in love with the entire process of making instruments and so I have no regrets of my first impulsive guitar purchased because it led to a second.
Now I know why my Strat buzzes and I also know how to fix it myself…. but right now I need to go find a new squirrel link to click — I am building a bass next.
Her Story Unfolds
A few “in the process” moments as I build her….