Fear, that unpleasant emotion that is born from danger, whether real or invented. An emotion that nests inside us to come out sometime and scare us. I will not go into behavioral and psychoanalytic aspects of my musical fears, I leave that to the lovers of psychology who enter here. What is clear is that if you are a guitarist or a musician, maybe these fears have already crossed your mind. If not, maybe with this entry you will start to think about them.
- 1- The rope will break while you change it and you will be left without an eye
- 2- Swallowing a spike
- 3- Having your guitar stolen at night in an alley
- 4- Lose your arm and start practicing with the other one (or lose both arms and have to play with your feet)
- 5- Suffering an injury and having to be operated on by an inexperienced surgeon
- 6- Have a nutcase give you a choice between keeping your hands or losing other…members
- 7- That you have the dreaded focal dystonia
- 8- Losing your mechanical memory and forgetting everything you’ve learned
- 9- Staying deaf
- 10- Losing your job as a guitar teacher because you’re not good enough
- 11- Dying before 30?
1- The rope will break while you change it and you will be left without an eye
It doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen. That fear and anxiety increase as you push that pin which refuses to turn, and when you manage to turn it, the sound of a convent door or an old boat causes your whole body to be driven away from the imminent danger of being whipped on the whole retina. It is important to have oil for these cases.
2- Swallowing a spike
Many guitarist forums discuss this issue and also give very stoic advice about it. I don’t think it’s a nice feeling to swallow a pick and just in case I don’t try (if it happens let’s hope it goes out the back door). Anyway, my advice is that you should never try tapping with the pick in your mouth, try putting it under your middle finger. Also, don’t try to play Van Halen songs while your feet are tickled, for practical purposes it’s the same thing.
3- Having your guitar stolen at night in an alley
A few months ago you bought an American Fender from the 60s, spent all your salary on it and now it turns out that you are in a dark alley after your friend Arturo, the bass player of the group, has left you in a very gloomy little alley that you have to cross to go home. Then two suspicious people appear a few meters away and walk towards you. You grab the case tightly and plan your escape or defense. Fortunately, they pass you and you arrive home safely with your beautiful guitar.
4- Lose your arm and start practicing with the other one (or lose both arms and have to play with your feet)
This thought is horrible for most musicians, especially if you live from music, I don’t mean a guitar teacher like me, but a concert performer who, for example, earns his living playing on big stages all over the world. Many of us have seen tremendous musicians who, in spite of having lost both extremities, have pursued that dream of playing the guitar even with their feet, and it is admirable. But we all know that it is not the same, that the feet sound nice because the tuning of that lying down guitar will always have an open chord.
5- Suffering an injury and having to be operated on by an inexperienced surgeon
I don’t know if this one is worse than the last one, you will judge, but I don’t want to imagine the impotence of seeing how your hand doesn’t work as it used to, and how all those years of work and dedication are wasted because a surgeon has made a mistake cutting the tendon he shouldn’t have, or making it more difficult, that he makes the wrong hand and ends up operating on both of them (this has already happened). That said, beware of chronic injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendinitis, but especially, beware of crazy surgeons.
6- Have a nutcase give you a choice between keeping your hands or losing other…members
This is unlikely, but extreme torture has been seen throughout history and in all cultures. That great dilemma between two things that have a primary function in life. Anyone who’s ever seen Game of Thrones will know what I’m talking about.
7- That you have the dreaded focal dystonia
Focal dystonia is a very rare neurological disease that affects approximately 1 in 200 musicians and is also predominant in males. It is characterized by a loss of voluntary control of movement when playing the instrument and consequently the musician (or guitarist) is unable to play naturally and accurately. The automatic movements (those that are acquired with years of practice) begin to fail in difficult passages and later make it impossible to execute easier passages.
8- Losing your mechanical memory and forgetting everything you’ve learned
It sounds like science fiction but let’s imagine you wake up one day and don’t remember anything, you know that instrument in your room was played by you but you don’t know why you can’t manipulate it again. You know the theory, you know you know, but you don’t even know how to play Smoke on the Water.
Music experiment for curious guitarists: Reverse the strings on your guitar or ask a left-handed guitarist friend to lend you his guitar. Play it for a couple of days and you’ll notice the helplessness of not being able to play even a single blues click. You’ll end up like this man:
9- Staying deaf
Imagining a world without sound and music is a very unpleasant thing. Nothing would make sense to the musician, the isolation would be total and the only thing you would hear would be that music that sounds in your head when you read a pentagram, the only way in is through the music and you through the sense of sight. That is why it is essential to learn how to read a score and reproduce the sounds you read in your mind, you never know what might happen. Maybe we will end up crazy like Beethoven and maybe composing a great symphony.
10- Losing your job as a guitar teacher because you’re not good enough
This is very frightening, especially in these times. Whatever your profession, fear exists in a world where results are what matter. However, you must always be optimistic and try to improve every day so that this does not happen and if it does, try to analyze the causes. It won’t always be your fault, life goes on and you don’t have to get upset.
11- Dying before 30?
There were 10 great guitarists who died before their 30th birthday. Drug abuse, senseless accidents, suicides, illnesses… What is clear is that death comes to us all. It’s a shame about the tragic way of death of the guitarists on this list.
- Sean Costello
- Les Harvey
- Duane Allman
- Randy Rhoads
- Tommy Bolin
- Clarence White
- Brian Jones
- Charlie Christian
- Pete Ham
- Nick Drake
The choice has not been easy since other good ones have been left out of this top 10 like for example Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain but we all know how their deaths were due to their fame. For this reason, we are going to pay a tribute to these 10 magnificent guitarists who are a little less known but also deserve recognition.