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…