Please tell me I'm normal

Here’s the thing. I’ve had my guitar now for about a year. I started learning with Justin’s course at the beginning of January. I’ve never been apart from my guitar for more than five days. So, being the addict that I apparently became when it comes to my instrument, I’ll bring her home for the holidays. My parents are okay with it and probably hoping to listen to what I play (I’m not at all nervous, no. And yes, that’s a blatant lie).

Anyways. During Christmas, my sister, her husband and my niece will be there for a day as well. My sister asked on the phone yesterday, if I’ll bring my guitar. I said yes and then she asked if my niece would be allowed to “try it out”.

My niece is 6, she’s a very careful child if you tell her to be and I love her to bits and I’d love nothing more than for her to be interested in learning guitar herself.

But that’s… well… my guitar.

I already had half an anxiety attack when the experts from the store changed the guitar’s strings. I call her “her” (and by her name) even though grammatically correct would be “it” (even in my mother tongue). I’m currently a bit panicky because the air in my flat is way too dry (22%!).

Anyways. Yes, of course I’ll let her hold my guitar and maybe trying to play a note or two. But please tell me I’m not the only one that is feeling that protective about their instrument. Because if I wouldn’t love my niece as much as I do, I’d probably say no.

Do you have similar stories? I’d love to hear them, because I’m a little bit worried I’m going crazy. :smiley:

Thanks a lot!

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I think it depends on the instrument… when it’s your first or a special gift it’s normal to feel strongly about it.

Honestly, in your case, I would just buy the cheapest guitar from Amazon and take it to the holidays… you can relax, and if it breaks it’s not only not a big deal but your family owes you one, and that is always something very handy :wink:

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Hi Sarah,
I have not had a similar story,…I have experienced a few opposite situations,…a guitar is a thing,…and I don’t feel love for things,…only for animals and some people , so if someone comes in and asks can I try one I say … choose which one, … the youngest was 5 years old the oldest 78
Greetings,Rogier

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You’re perfectly normal, many people become very attached to their guitars.
That being said if you can spark the interest of play music in your niece what a great life time gift that would be.

As for others playing my guitars I don’t mind and often let total strangers play my guitars at jams. I do have a friend that really wants to play my 1947 Gibson but is afraid she will break it. I offer it to her every time I bring it to the jam but she gets all nervous and declines.

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I’m the same, the only place I would draw the line is if they were noticeably intoxicated.

I’m often jamming in public places (camp kitchens and such) and the kids love to have a strum on my guitar. I keep holding the guitar and let them take the plectrum and strum the strings. Often they strum a bit too hard so I encourage them to do it lightly. i had to laugh recently when one of them managed to drop the pick into the sound hole on the first attempt.

I hear you on the possessiveness of it being your guitar. I’ve got friends who rarely let others play their guitar. i personally don’t feel that way but it’s not an unusual way to be.

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:grin:,…Okay,… a very thick line there for me too,

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I understand completely and you’re absolutely not going crazy! My 6 year old granddaughter always wants to hold and play my guitar when she comes to visit. I let her play my acoustic but don’t let her play my electric. She likes to sing Christmas songs with me when I play, and I love that she’s showing an interest in playing guitar herself. I’m happy to encourage her!

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Another idea is to take the approach of “I’ll play, you sign” approach.

Here’s a song that expresses it well, just discovered this artist from another thread on this justin community

I’m thinking back to when I was younger and I had a bunch of cousins and when I consider them (if I could hop back in time with my guitars), there’s some of them who I would allow to play and others who I wouldn’t.
I don’t think I’ve got such a strong bond with my guitars yet but they are still pristine and if anyone is going to put the first marks or scratches on them then it should be me! I have a pretty similar feeling about my motorbike (although my motorbike is definitely an “it”, I haven’t assigned a name or gender).
I do try to remind myself that they are just things that can be replaced. There’s nothing of mine that are family heirlooms or have seen me through an important time of life etc. Maybe it would be a good thing to let your niece play your guitar and while I’m sure it would be an anxious time, perhaps it would be better in the long run for your own mental wellbeing to be a little less attached to it?

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While I agree with almost everything said above, and I have been there. The conclusion and thought now arrived at is: a guitar is a tool with which to make noise, and hopefully that noise will become musical and please the listeners ears. If the guitar collects a few dings in the life of being played, and it will, that is part of the tool thing and is to be enjoyed. IMHO. :grinning: :grinning:

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Hello,

It wouldn’t bother me if a curious 6 year old was interested and trying out my guitar. I love it when young children are curious about my music. Once in a while a random curious kid will come up to me and the parent will ask if he or she can touch the guitar. For sure, as long as they are careful. LOL
Have a good day

Jeff

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Hi Sarah not crazy at all to me, especially if this is your only guitar and perhaps on top of it it was on a more expensive end of a stick I would be a bit afraid too! Although guitar are quite resilient little puppies so unless your niece smashes it against the floor in Kurt Cobain style or checks how much strength is required to pull the string out of it position then you should be fine :grinning:

Alternatively a cheapo guitar to stay at your parents house. If I had my nephews visiting which are devils I would give them one of guitars I care less of :grinning:

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The child is six! :laughing:

It’s normal to become attached to inanimate objects.
Actually, that’s one reason I’m giving my daughter the guitar I learned on (with all the famous signatures) for Christmas :smiley:

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Oh wow so many replies! Haha, to be honest, I didn’t expect that.

Maybe a little more context, so you don’t think I’m too weird. :smiley: The guitar has been a gift from one of my best friends and - along with other things - has pulled me from a rather a dark place. I never even knew I’d be able to learn how to play an instrument (let alone guitar) and music as a subject in school was something horrible for me. She simply said “I think it’ll help” and gave me this beautiful guitar… 12 months later and I still can’t quite believe it.

Anyways :smiley:

@GreenRider Great idea with the spare and cheap guitar! Unfortunately, money’s really tight at the moment, but I’ll keep that in mind.

@stitch I’d probably decline as well - but more because I’m still very much at the beginning of the learning journey. (Do you have pictures of that guitar here? I’d love to have a look - no chance of breaking anything through the internet.)
The thing you said with the life time gift is what really makes me get over my fears, to be honest. The little girl already is a book worm just like me and it’d be great if she chose guitar as her instrument. I’d be able to take lessons from her in no time :smiley:

She’s got this wonderful course after school where once a week all the kids are encouraged to make music. It started with basic clapping excercises but apparently now they progressed to trying out instruments. She liked the drum set and was interested in the accordion, but my sister said, they didn’t yet get to guitars. If at the end of the school year the kids like playing a specific instrument, there’s only a small fee to be paid and then they’d each get their chosen instrument as a loan. I wish there had been something like this when I was a kid.

@tony Would you mind helping me with the “specific” situation? :smiley: My acoustic guitar (Fender CD-60 S) is quite big compared to her small body. On which side should I sit to assist her? Hopefully, now that the nut has been adjusted a little, it’ll be easier for her to push down on the strings. I’d give her one of my “paperthin” picks (0.30). What do you think?

As for the video: That’s great! It looks marvellous! New problem though: Letting my family hear me play is a first after a year of playing just for myself. I doubt my niece knows any of the songs in Justin’s app :joy: She’s still singing mostly in German :joy:

@Sarahsus2 Ah see, that’s the best argument for getting an electric guitar. “She’ll be allowed to play on the acoustinc then” :joy: I’ll need to call my sister so she can tell Santa :joy:
But in earnest: Yes, I’d love to encourage her and it probably shouldn’t come with all of this anxiety for me… I’ll try to think of your words (and the others’ encouragement) when it gets too much. :see_no_evil:

@Malz @mattswain Yes, of course you’re both right (and others here said it too) that it’s just a thing. And if the worst happens, yes, there’s my sister’s liability insurance that will probably cover it. Still, it’s the gift of my friend and it helped me so much during the last year… So when I think rationally about it: Yes. It’ll all be fine.

@adi_mrok I absolutely love the phrase “resilient little puppies” :smiley: That made my day, thank you! And well… for me it would’ve been an expensive instrument (as said above: Fender CD-60 S). I know, relative to other guitars, it’s definitely not. Still. I can’t afford another. So she really needs to be a resilient little puppy :smiley:

@brianlarsen Is there any chance you’re adopting? :joy: Or at least show us a picture of that guitar? :innocent: I hope the guitar accompanies her for a very long time. What a wonderful present!

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Lol, I was thinking the same thing. What a sweet thing to do for Christmas. She’s gonna love that!

My take from all this is:
Make sure she washes her hands first.
Don’t get the 6yo intoxicated, especially before she holds your guitar.
Encourage her enthusiasm By sharing yours.
Don’t fret, but watch her like a hawk.

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@Estel
It’s the one in the middle.

If you ever find yourself in the Canadian Rockies and need a guitar to play you can play any or all of mine. My guitars don’t mind if your still a beginner.

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Although I’m not worried about letting others handle my guitar, I am insistent that they wash their hands. I don’t want grease and sugar and whatever on my strings! :grimacing:
I can relate to the feeling that learning guitar has brought you out of a dark place. I feel very much the same way. That said, I think you have already received some great thoughts and suggestions. I don’t think anything bad is going to happen to your guitar no matter what you choose to do. But even if it does, try to remember that no one can take away the loving intent behind your friend’s gift, and no one can ever take away your music! As you build confidence, I would love to see some of that music here! :guitar: :sunglasses: (I am also pushing myself to get through my performance anxiety.)

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With the times I’ve had the kids playing on my guitar, i sat down holding the guitar, and they just strummed standing facing me and the guitar. While they strummed I would fret the chords, typically a C or a D and as they strummed I’d say to them “That’s called a C” then I’d change to a different chord and say “That’s called a G, hear the difference”

Keep in mind their attention span will be far less than yours. It may be a bit ambitious having her hold and fret the chords, might be more realistic when she expresses more interest to start her on a Ukulele, much easier especially for someone of her age.

I agree on using the paperthin picks. I only have much stiffer ones.

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Hey Sarah,

Firstly, ‘normal’ is a much overrated trait. Never really taken to it myself. So don’t let that one bother you. :nerd_face:

I understand your anxiety, as I too am now pretty protective of my guitars. Not sure how cashed up you are, but perhaps a cheapy/used guitar for your niece for xmas? Then she can ‘jam’ along with you. Plus, you’ll already have the audience on your side before your performance. :+1:

A few years ago my daughter, then about 15, borrowed my, then only, guitar. Ended up on the floor soon after with a broken headstock. I should have known. She breaks alot of things somehow. Ironically though, after I repaired it, I reckon it actually sounded better :sunglasses: Always an upside.
Have a great xmas, and enjoy your playing.

Cheers, Shane

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