Thursday, March 16, 2017

MJT VTS "Andy": My First Heavy Relic Strat

Meet Andy, an MJT VTS strat I recently acquired from a fellow worship guitarist.

For the non-musicians reading this, I can nearly hear you scream, "So ugly!" This was precisely my dear wife's reaction when I revealed that I had bought this. She couldn't believe that there is a market for "relic" guitars, instruments made to look far older than they actually are. She thought someone had thrown this guitar down a flight of stairs. She also said that if I used this on Sunday morning, the congregation will think that I don't take care of my belongings!

When compared to my other strats, yes, it does strike me that Andy looks really beat up. In fact, Kaede (the maple neck '57 reissue to her left) is a 1993 build, making her 24 years old this year. Andy is supposedly only 2 years old!

On closer inspection, yes, Kaede must have found the fountain of youth. So, why did I buy such an "ugly" guitar? (Well, besides the fact that I am a huge Andy Timmons fan!) I'm reminded of a meme that goes like this:

A relic-ed guitar reminds me of the fact that the guitar is meant to be played. It makes me want to practice even harder so that my skill matches the amount of abuse on the guitar. Of course, the argument can be made that you should be practicing (and taking care of your instrument), but a clean, well-maintained guitar can give the impression that you've never touched the guitar. Which of course is closer to the situation in reality; I can barely squeeze in 5 minutes of practice a day!

I feel inspired to practice more, perhaps not as much as I used to (I won't be able to top 8 hour practice regimes anymore), but to be intentional and disciplined in my practice. I could play clean 16th notes at 200bpm before, so I know I have much more latent potential in me. Onward to practice!

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