A couple months ago my dad called to let me know that he had purchased a vintage guitar for me as a gift. I've been wanting a second guitar for a long time, because I play in alternate tunings and it's not super entertaining to watch a guy retune his guitar between every song during a concert. I've also been dreaming of the mature sound and sweet vintage look of an older guitar. My 2014 Martin is nice, don't get me wrong, but I've been hoping that someday I would get my hands on something classic. When my dad told me the news I was excited, but also uncertain.
Would I like the guitar? The look, sound, feel? A guitar is something that you really want to play before buying, and on top of that my dad and I don't always like the same things. Why couldn't he just let me pick a guitar out and buy that one? I was a little frustrated... frustrated that my dad had gotten me this gift without talking to me about it first. I told him about some of my concerns, and he assured me that if it didn't meet my needs, I could sell it and get something else.
When it arrived my fears were confirmed. It looked cool, but it was a bit beat up. It had a crack in the top, the sound hole was sinking, the bridge had been replaced to compensate, and the new bridge was big and funny looking. It sounded good, but the neck was too narrow, and my fingers stumbled over each other trying to fret their notes. It would never do. I planned to sell it and get something else.
Here's the kicker though, about a month later I picked it up again... and I have hardly touched my Martin since. This guitar plays so smoothly, and it sounds fantastic. I have had as much joy playing this guitar in the last few weeks as I have ever had playing guitar. What a blessing it's been! I may still sell it someday, but not just yet.
I'm sharing this for a couple reasons, first I'm excited about this guitar, but second, I'm embarrassed about the way I responded to this gift and I feel like there have been some good life lessons in this experience. They may be fairly obvious, but give me just a couple more sentences.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It's rude, and you never know... that old horse just might fly if you give it a chance.