If you look hard enough, you can find a philosophy in anything. So, while we torture a metaphor to within an inch of its life, here are some life lessons taught to us by a humble act…
1. All is flux
Sometimes things just have their time; sunrise, sunset. That pitted, corroded spent husk of a string, currently known as ‘G’, has reached its terminus; but that sad end is replaced by a new beginning, and the thoughts of what new and fantastic journeys your new G string will take you on.
Sometimes the blameless get caught in the crossfire; wrong time, wrong place. When that stubborn kink of nickel-coated steel finally pops through the tail-piece it can release its built-up tension and frustration on that most innocent of bystanders: the perfectly glossed and buffed top of your guitar. It just happens. Always has, always will.
3. Everybody hurts
Just like when you’re trying to push that B string back through the hole in the tuner’s capstan and, rather than enjoy a graceful and dignified end, it bites back by disappearing into the end of your thumb. Until blood comes out.
4. Each to their own
There will always be someone who tells you that your way is wrong. Regardless of how many strings you’ve changed, how much experience you have in the art of marrying the string to the tuner in perfect harmony, how much demonstrable experience of never having a string slip out of tune, someone will tell you that their way is better. If they’re older than you, it’s because they were handed down the secret from some mythical guitar-playing hermit from the back country. If they’re younger, Wikipedia told them.
5. Persevere, and the whole world will be yours
The long-term benefits are often worth a bit of regular effort. If you wipe those strings down after playing, they’ll last longer; change them when they need changing and your playing fingers and instrument will thank you. Things might seem like a bit of a chore at the time, but they’re often worth it in the long run.
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