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Author Topic: Dealing with people who feel entitled to play your guitar?  (Read 3011 times)
Paraclete
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« on: March 05, 2018, 08:25:54 PM »

I play in the band at my church every Sunday.  Yesterday, we had a substitute on bass who also happens to be the mom of one of the vocalists.  There was one tune that everyone really wanted me to play cajon on (because we donít have a drummer at the moment), but I really preferred to play acoustic, since the first part of the tune was fingerpicking.  So the mom asked her daughter (who is a high schooler), if she could play the song on my guitar?  Say what?!  And didnít ask me if I was okay with that?!  Yeah, and that was my LSV-11, not the Seagull.  Needless to say, I insisted on playing guitar (even though I switched to cajon halfway through the tune.)

Anyone else ever dealt with people that think they or others have a right to play your guitar (without permission) if you arenít playing it at the moment?  Anyone have any tactful ideas of how to address the issue?  This is church, and I was trying not to make a scene. Why do I feel like others will treat me like Iím being selfish by having problems with others, especially kids, handling my not-so-cheap guitar?  mad
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George
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 08:40:12 PM »

Tell them you don't let anyone play your ten thousand dollar guitar.  Doesn't matter it did not cost that much, it is worth that and more to you.  They back up every time...
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 08:50:11 PM »

I think George is on the right track. Tell the person politely that it is a very expensive instrument, and you are uncomfortable with others playing it, since, while no one ever intends an accident to happen, that's why they're called "accidents". If they don't understand that, then they're socially inept, and however they respond is not your problem.

This is one of the blessings of playing lefty. There's seldom another lefty player to "share" my instruments with.
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 09:02:31 PM »

My guitars arenít so precious that I wonít let people play them...  unless they are too drunk.  The people, not my guitars.

I decided a long time ago if an instrument was too precious to play and share, I didnít need it.

Ed
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George
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 11:47:12 PM »

I am to much of a perfectionist; I keep my guitars extraordinarily clean and am very careful to not damage them, no matter their worth...

My worst experience from allowing someone to play one of my good guitars is that they acted like they knew what they were doing up front and then left buckle rash damage all over the back from just a couple of minutes of playing.  I vowed never again...

My second worst experience was not from allowing someone to play one, it was from me being too dumb to realize one of my wild ones (both human and furry children) would knock it off the stand unexpectedly...

the safest place for any guitar, at any time it is not being played, is in its case...
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 01:35:48 AM »

I play in the band at my church every Sunday.  Yesterday, we had a substitute on bass who also happens to be the mom of one of the vocalists.  There was one tune that everyone really wanted me to play cajon on (because we donít have a drummer at the moment), but I really preferred to play acoustic, since the first part of the tune was fingerpicking.  So the mom asked her daughter (who is a high schooler), if she could play the song on my guitar?  Say what?!  And didnít ask me if I was okay with that?!  Yeah, and that was my LSV-11, not the Seagull.  Needless to say, I insisted on playing guitar (even though I switched to cajon halfway through the tune.)

Anyone else ever dealt with people that think they or others have a right to play your guitar (without permission) if you arenít playing it at the moment?  Anyone have any tactful ideas of how to address the issue?  This is church, and I was trying not to make a scene. Why do I feel like others will treat me like Iím being selfish by having problems with others, especially kids, handling my not-so-cheap guitar?  mad
I can really relate to this. My late father in law was a pastor who played his old Martin in church every week, and inevitably someone would ask to play his guitar. He never had the heart to say No, so his guitar suffered the consequences. Itís downright sad what people will do to someone elseís guitar. I guess that comes from not having any skin in the game.

I have several guitars so when someone asks to play one that I donít want them to play, Iíll offer them an alternate guitar, one that has a bruise on it already. Short of that, I politely tell them I donít let anyone play my expensive guitars.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 02:42:46 AM »

Many years ago I read a church guitar horror story on the old AGF/original Taylor forum.  Some kid had saved a pile of money for a long time and bought a nice Takamine.  He brought it to church to play.  Some other kid asked to use it during a song he was going to play with someone else.  The kid used an extra heavy pick and sawed away as he played.  The poor owner sat and watched as the pick dug grooves into the top of his new guitar.  The moron who did it sort of shrugged it off and said, ďO man, sorry...Ē  
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 03:16:39 AM »

My guitars arenít so precious that I wonít let people play them...  unless they are too drunk.  The people, not my guitars.

I decided a long time ago if an instrument was too precious to play and share, I didnít need it.

Ed

I donít necessarily have a problem with competent guitarist trying out my guitar.  But I do have a huge problem with people thinking they have a right to play it without even asking
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 03:22:23 AM »

Many years ago I read a church guitar horror story on the old AGF/original Taylor forum.  Some kid had saved a pile of money for a long time and bought a nice Takamine.  He brought it to church to play.  Some other kid asked to use it during a song he was going to play with someone else.  The kid used an extra heavy pick and sawed away as he played.  The poor owner sat and watched as the pick dug grooves into the top of his new guitar.  The moron who did it sort of shrugged it off and said, ďO man, sorry...Ē  

This same kid to whom that mom thought it was appropriate to hand my guitar without permission once picked up a different Larrivťe onstage (there are three of us that play Larrivťes).    It was left handed, strung right, and she just starting banging away right handed on it with a pick....and because it was a lefty, the pick guard was opposite.  Ugh!  Again, no permission sought.  My guitar doesnít even have pickguard!
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 03:25:23 AM »

I think George is on the right track. Tell the person politely that it is a very expensive instrument, and you are uncomfortable with others playing it, since, while no one ever intends an accident to happen, that's why they're called "accidents". If they don't understand that, then they're socially inept, and however they respond is not your problem.

This is one of the blessings of playing lefty. There's seldom another lefty player to "share" my instruments with.

Thatís likely what Iím going to have to do.  I just felt really awkward having to potentially address the issue in the middle of a rehearsal!  Read my comment about the lefty Larrivťe that one of the band members has onstage sometimes....itís strung right, but setup left.  That is a whole different mess!
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 03:40:17 AM »

I donít necessarily have a problem with competent guitarist trying out my guitar.  But I do have a huge problem with people thinking they have a right to play it without even asking

I donít necessarily have a problem with competent guitarist trying out my guitar.  But I do have a huge problem with people thinking they have a right to play it without even asking

Yeah, understood.

I guess Iíve been lucky...  for a long time Iíve been surrounded by folks who know to ask (and arenít offended if I hesitate).  I know people whoís kids have taken up guitar.  Pretty often, Iím the guy who jams a guitar in their hands and enthusiastically asks them to wow me. 

My wife is a trained oboe and saxophonist, and we talk about this sometimes....  the inexperienced players get the worst ďstudentĒ instruments.  Itís great to see them play an instrument they donít have to fight with.

But yeah...  the folks who grab without asking are irritating.

Ed
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 03:54:30 AM »

I once had a player who was asked to sit in on one song by the other guitar player in the band,though I didn't want to every one said he cool.Well he was cool until he walked off stage and handed me back my guitar and said the guitar was a pice of "pig s**t".I told him if he ever wants to sit in with us again to bring his own guitar and amp.I told the other guitar player what he said over the mic and next time he should give up his guitar.The people in there sit's and the rest of the band were shocked.I no longer allow anyone play my guitars or sit in.If they ask all I have to say now is "i use 14-58's and I don't think they can handle it".Most get scare off by the gauge of strings any way.
If someone come's close to my guitars I stop them on the spot and give my best look of "touch and die".
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 10:44:31 AM »

Tough situation to be in, no doubt. On one hand, I love sharing my guitars, and particularly my Larrivees, but with considerations. The person has to possess the wherewithal to appreciate the guitar and the circumstances. If I don't feel they understand what's going on, and I'd guess this group knows what I mean by that, then it either becomes a polite refusal or a risk we may or may not be willing to take. Just because someone can strum a few cowboy chords doesn't mean they truly appreciate the beauty and nature of the instrument. And similarly, I've known excellent players whom I wouldn't let near my guitars for fear of damage by their heavy technique.
I was asked by a complete stranger if he could play my pretty new at the time Larrivee LV with IAS top. It was at a public in-the-park weekly jam. There were a lot of people watching and this guy pops up off his blanket where he was watching with his wife and young kids and asks to play a song for his wife using my guitar. He made a lot of promises and claimed to understand the circumstances. I made him one promise...that if I felt he was abusing my guitar in any way I would stop his song and most likely embarrass the heck out of him. He did really well! He also loved his first opportunity to play a Larrivee.  
Now, having said all that, entitlement, as in your situation, is a whole 'nother story. I'd've just said "no, sorry but it's still too new and I don't let others play it", or something of the sort. If it's looking like the kid (and mom) might be an ongoing presence, maybe having a cheap backup church guitar might help the kid out.   
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2018, 02:04:28 PM »

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unless they are too drunk.  The people, not my guitars.

I do NOT let my guitars play with other people when drunk.

They are NOT to be trusted.

The guitars, not the people.

 angry

 
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 06:39:47 PM »


Hi Paraclete,

When the answer is "No", the reason doesn't matter.

When people ask, I reply "No, I don't do that."  While "I don't do that" is unnecessary and redundant, it is emphatic and correctly conveys that I'm not open to discussion.

Given the context where this situation arose for you, this shouldn't be a difficult concept.



I play in the band at my church every Sunday.  Yesterday, we had a substitute on bass who also happens to be the mom of one of the vocalists.  There was one tune that everyone really wanted me to play cajon on (because we donít have a drummer at the moment), but I really preferred to play acoustic, since the first part of the tune was fingerpicking.  So the mom asked her daughter (who is a high schooler), if she could play the song on my guitar?  Say what?!  And didnít ask me if I was okay with that?!  Yeah, and that was my LSV-11, not the Seagull.  Needless to say, I insisted on playing guitar (even though I switched to cajon halfway through the tune.)

Anyone else ever dealt with people that think they or others have a right to play your guitar (without permission) if you arenít playing it at the moment?  Anyone have any tactful ideas of how to address the issue?  This is church, and I was trying not to make a scene. Why do I feel like others will treat me like Iím being selfish by having problems with others, especially kids, handling my not-so-cheap guitar?  mad
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 09:29:38 PM »

I do NOT let my guitars play with other people when drunk.

They are NOT to be trusted.

The guitars, not the people.

 angry

 

I've been working at keeping my guitars in line.   

Ed
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2018, 11:59:12 PM »

I have some friends I let play my guitars.  No one else.  I just say, I am sorry, but my guitars are not lenders.  If they donít like it, well, they are my guitars and I have pretty thick skin.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2018, 01:29:39 AM »

The only 2 dings my JCL 40th Anniversary Edition has came from a guy who borrowed it on stage and bumped into a microphone stand.  It was almost new at the time and even though they are small, they are on the front on that beautiful spruce top.  I havenít let it bother me too much.  These days I use both the JCL and my Goodall on stage on Sundays.  I do let others play them but it doesnít happen too often.  I think it is the biblical concept of stewardship: Take care of and use the talents and gifts God has given to us.  And also remember they really belong to him....
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2018, 02:31:39 AM »

 
I am a hermit.
No one except Danny has played any of my guitars, except one guy who works at the music shop who asked if he could play my BZ when I took it in for a set up.
It was really cool to hear the guitar in the hands of a pro.
Mike
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Paraclete
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2018, 03:26:06 AM »

I do NOT let my guitars play with other people when drunk.

They are NOT to be trusted.

The guitars, not the people.

 angry

 

 
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2010 LSV-11e
2002 4E Jose Ramirez
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1986 Charvel Model 3A
2001 Fender Jazz bass
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