For sometime now my guitar teacher has been gently encouraging me to buy a new guitar. The one I practise on is perfectly OK but it is well loved and has seen a lot of use in assemblies and toddler groups over the years. I bought it 27 years ago for £50 at the end of my first year of university using left-over money from my grant. Yes, it was possible to stay out of debt as a student in the good old days!
I’ve been putting off getting a new one for many reasons;
- Counter-culturally I am a complete shopophobic. I don’t like shops. I don’t like spending money. It doesn’t give me the buzz that it seems to give some people.
- I don’t need a new guitar. The old one still works.
- Time. The nearest guitar shop with a big enough selection is in Bournemouth.
- It’s too self indulgent. I can’t even spend the money given to me on my birthday so how am I going to bring myself to buy something I don’t need between birthday and Christmas.
Sad I know! Perhaps it is time to be more generous to myself.
So last week I had a spare afternoon and drove all the way to Bournemouth to try out some of the many guitars in the shop. After half an hour of playing they all began to sound the same. Well not really! The one I liked the most was double the price I was prepared to part with. It really was a beautiful instrument, (lovely wood -sigh!) but I am not prepared to shell out loads of money just on aesthetics even if it did make a nice sound and was easy to play.
Instead I came home with a compromise at half the price. Only …….having spent the evening playing it I knew in the back of my mind that it would always niggle me that I had made the wrong choice. That what I had bought wasn’t significantly better than my old guitar except that it was new!
I don’t like shops, I don’t like looking stupid, I don’t like spending money, I don’t like making a fuss but I also knew that I would be cross with myself if I didn’t do something about the niggle. If I had waited nothing would have happened. So the following day, I spent another tank of petrol (expensive guitar) getting to Bournemouth. I again tried every classical guitar over a certain price in the shop in front of a very patient and lovely salesman.
And no….I didn’t come away with the expensive one. I spent another £20 on one that was the same make as the one I had got the day before but I am much happier with it.
I never did quite get the advert, ‘just because you worth it’! The more expensive guitar would have just been a step too far. ‘The doctor’ was cross with me but I told him that I would reward myself when I was good enough.
It’s a good job God thinks I am already good enough.
It was a bog standard Admira Concerto that I got in the end.