Guitar Player Prejudice


I came to the realization that many people assume that guitarists perform a wide variety of musical tasks other than playing guitar, when not all of us do. I’m a very loving person, but after being belittled for not performing these unwritten guitarist duties, I’ve started to lose my cool.

The other day I was asked to play guitar at an informal party and I gladly said yes. An enthusiastic lady approached me and asked if I could sing, and I said “no.” The lady, seemingly disappointed, made a facial expression indicating profound disillusion. She then asked, “do you play piano?” Again, I replied “no.” She became completely disenchanted and asked one more question with a tone of despair, “do you know this song?” I, once more, replied with an ardent “NO”. Apparently I had no more credibility as a musician.

Furthermore, more than half way through my performance at the party, I had to use the restroom. I must reiterate that this was a very casual, informal gathering. After playing more than I was asked to, I excused myself to use the W.C. A person in the crowd yelled out suddenly and vehemently, “performers don’t use the restroom!” I thought to myself “wow, they must think I’m not human.”

After this offensive experience, I decided blog about the top TEN questions/comments that bother me the most as a guitarist, and the responses I wish I could exclaim, but refrain from doing. Please feel free to comment about this and add things that irritate you.

1) Do you sing? – No. I didn’t know I automatically had to sing if I play guitar.

2) But, you’re a girl guitarist; aren’t you supposed to sing? – Really? I see no relationship between those two.

3) Do you play piano? – No. Do you? I didn’t think so.

4) Do you know this song? What about this one? How about that one? – Dude, I’m not a jukebox.

5) Can you play Stairway to Heaven? – Yes; every guitarist should know it because of people like you asking this question.

6) Can you play La Bamba? – Yes, but I’d rather not.

7) Why do most girl guitarists play classical guitar instead of rock? – Show me some statistics, then we’ll talk.

8) (When teaching) Do I play it from the beginning? – No dude, play it from the end.

9) “You play pretty good for a girl” – You play pretty bad for being a guy (again, I see no relationship between the two)

10) What do you do for a living? You play/teach guitar? No, seriously, what’s your REAL job? – Roar! This IS my real job. At least I’m not stuck in a 9-5 job that I hate with passion… sort of what like you do.

Cheers… and long live music & those who make it…

4 thoughts on “Guitar Player Prejudice”

  • Some of the points are hilarious… But let me tell you that I am quite surprised that you don’t sing while you play Stairway To Heaven on the piano!! Girls should always do that sort of things after their real job i.e. day job!! o_0

    Funny how people are full of clichés!!

  • Your the bomb and who cares what anyone else thinks, its hard enough trying to play strings in the first place, that’s why the majority of the population is musically challenged to some extent. I feel your annoyance though, it was very unappreciative, but a little criticism will only help in the long run because it makes you that much better.

  • If it's any consolation, I do sing, rather a lot, but it doesn't help because people are always asking me to sing something I don't know or worse, they ask me to sing a song I detest. At least, because my instrument is left-handed, people only very rarely ask if they can play my guitar. Of course when someone does ask it's usually a drunk. There's no way I'm going to permit a drunk to touch my guitar but I'm always powerfully tempted, just to see the expression on his face. My guitar is, however, worth far more than the satisfaction it might afford me.

    You're a wonderful guitarist and a beautiful young woman. I enjoyed my visit to your blog. Thanks.