You guitar is musically a part of you just like your voice is.
When you speak or sing you express and communicate to others. When you play and strum the guitar, you are also expressing and communicating to people.
If your vocal cord is a part of you and can do the work only if its fully represent you, we have to ensure the guitar is part of you too.
The challenge is that the guitar is a tool of a different physical entity compared to our vocal cord which is already a part of us. Therefore, it is essential that some form of connecting is needed to begin with.
If we spend time connecting with our guitar before we play it, we embrace it as a part of our ‘communication arm’. We extend ourselves with a guitar in our hand. The great thing is that if we do it with proper respect and honour, it will rewards us with amazing expression.
Here are several ways you can do it.
Gratitude to The Tool
Saying thank you to the guitar may sound weird in a meta physical way. But yes talking to your instrument is a way to really treat it not as a thing but as a friend that is a part of you.
It is not so much that the guitar needs it but we do. We know gratitude changes us more than the things we are grateful for.
We often try too hard and make enemies with tools (or even people) we work with. So a deep sense of thankfulness makes us use it and play it more that fight it. Many people fight the instrument they play with; they curse it when they have a bad practice day. Some even smash it like Hendricks. While superstars can do such thing (often for different reasons than learning to play), I don’t recommend it for you.
Maybe saying ‘thank you’ is too creepy for you, try the rest
Care for Your Tool
How is the condition of the strings? I have seen too many people say they don’t have a good instrument and that hey want to change it when what is needed is just a change of strings. If we don’t care for our expression arm, its not going to give you the love needed to play good.
Caring for your tool could mean also to set it up to play optimally. We may spend the money getting new strings but if the action of your guitar is not right, you may find that the money spend on new strings don’t bring about a better connection with your guitar. I suggest you send your guitar regularly for a check up so that it plays the best if finance allow it.
Clean it if you care for it. After every practice session, giving your guitar a wipe with a piece of lint free cloth and maybe use some guitar cleaning products will make us love and connect with our tool more. Invest in a cloth and dirt remover to clean your guitar and maybe a polish to get it back to the shiny condition.
Caring for your tool makes us connect with our guitar better.
Accessorise Your Tool
You may just want to accessorise your guitar by buying a nice strap for it. A good strap not only customises it and makes it personal to you but it helps to make playing while standing up easier. It’s a sure and easy way to connect with your guitar better.
You may also want to accessorise your guitar by giving it some sort of modification. It could be a change of pickups if its an electric guitar or it could be some hardware change that will make your guitar play better. It could of course just be something not permanent like customise stickers.
I have to warn you that doing certain modifications would mean lowering the resale value of your guitar but if it helps you connect with it more and its a going to be keeper guitar, I would say to consider the balance of the resale value to how you value it eventually.
The guitars that stay with me for a long time are the ones I will never sale as it has too much sentimental value to me.
Tune Your Tool
Another way that will really help you connect with your guitar is to never let it play out of tune.
Sometimes all it takes for someone to overcome their frustration with their guitar and playing is to have that thing tuned.
I suggest investing in a tuner, those clip on type that makes it permanently attached it to your guitar is a good way.
I’m not for those apps when it takes too long to whip out your phone and tune as sometimes one more step to get to practicing is a step too many. A clip on tuner helps us consider to tune our tool often so that every time we play we are playing in tune.When your guitar is in tune, it serves you better. And it makes the relationship you have with it so much more harmonious. Tuning your guitar is like making sure that your tool is in the best “communicative” state. And when it is, the connection is so much better. Well that’s the 3 tips I have to connect with your guitar more. I hope you enjoy this and if you have other ways you can suggest. Maybe you can drop a comment. I would love to hear from you.