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9 Things Guitarists Hate…..


Whether you’re in a band, busking, playing round a campfire or just practicing in your bedroom, its not always easy being a guitarist.

We’re a pretty competitive bunch, but here’s a list of things we can all agree that we hate.

Tune Up / Shut up.

You’re about to start band practice, you’re pumped, in a great mood, everything is finally plugged in and the beers are at a safe enough distance from anything that can cause an electrical fire.

You hit the first chord and notice that you’re out of tune. No problem right? Just a quick fix.

Unfortunately you’re bandmates don’t see it that way, and you’re only halfway through tuning the A string before you realize the bassist is using this opportunity to loudly work on his slap technique, the singer has decided to tell you all about his weekend through the microphone and the drummer is well, being a drummer, and still crashing his way through the first song oblivious to what the situation is.

Thinking of starting a band? Buy a tuning pedal because you’re gonna have zero chance of hearing yourself tune-up.

What do you mean you don’t know any Ed Sheeran?

Eventually, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where there is a group of people in a room with a guitar in the corner. One of your friends is going to put you on the spot and tell everyone how wonderful a guitarist you are, leading to you getting pressured into playing something.

Get ready for some odd requests.

Suddenly it’s going to seem like you wasted all of those months practicing Hendrix and those strange Jazz chords you’ve been trying to learn when a room full of people are quietly disappointed that you don’t know how to play the latest Justin Bieber song.

Everyone Thinks They Can Play Guitar

Much like the previous situation, even if you do get to do your thing, play a few cool riffs or some sweet finger picking that delights the group of people that have circled around you…

Dave from next door wants to have a go next, and he learned 5 chords back in 2004 that he’s going to strum through for the next 20 minutes.

The worst thing is, he’s going to get exactly the same amount of respect and recognition as you did.


Not only are you going to get compared to other musicians in your extended friend group, but some people are also going to find comparisons in popular music with whatever you write.

“Yeah, I mean it’s really good but you’ve essentially just ripped off that Nirvana b-side that you’ve never even heard”

Other Guitarists

Guitarists have a remarkable knack for antagonizing each other. Whether it’s petty squabbles between bandmates over who gets the solo, or whether it’s some of the stupid things they say (I’m sure I’ve probably annoyed a few people with my whining) there’s always something.

Finding Bandmates

Everyone’s a guitarist, and they’re all looking for bands, and as most guitarists can’t accommodate 20 blokes with 6 strings things just aren’t going to add up and unfortunately finding a decent drummer is going to be a pain.

We all know it’s fun to joke about the caveman at the back, but getting the right sweaty bloke who feels hitting things with sticks is his calling can be a complete pain in the arse.

Guitar Shops

Guitar shops can be lovely, wonderful places with high-quality merchandise and friendly staff. They are heaven for guitarists as long as you’re just browsing or picking up some strings. Its when you’re actually there to buy a guitar that the problems start.

Expect to be plugged into a super loud amp and have everybody stare at you while you strum through a few chords to try and get a feel for your potential new axe*.

Also, there’s usually going to be a 12 year old child prodigy sat across from you flawlessly shredding through a mega impressive song and adding greatly to your anxiety.

Changing Strings

It takes forever and the first few times you try it you’re going to break at least one.

Despite the cost of having to then buy another new pack, its also probably the most dangerous task for a guitarist to undertake. Everybody has a story about cutting their fingers or nearly taking an eye out.

Also expect of a lot of re-tuning for the first week or so after putting new strings on.

The Guitar Doesn’t Make The Guitarist

Drummers are usually judged by their abilities on whatever they play, a good kit, a cheap kit, some old barrels or some pots and pans. Even Bassists tend to be more forgiving of each other for what equipment they use (God forbid you use a pick though!).

Guitarist’s however, seem to put way too much worth into what is being used.

Having a Les Paul and 15 pedals doesn’t necessarily make a good Guitarist in the same way that turning up with an old ‘hand me down’ Squire is going to mean you suck.


*Bonus: People who call a guitar an axe.


  1. I like the comment about the guitar makes the player. Bullshit. I’ve got an old 80’s Fender Gemini I’ll put up against any Martin or Taylor for playability, tone and sustain. Also I’ve never ever called my guitars axes. Thanks

    • I have a couple of Corts guitars worth less than a hundred bucks. I like them every bit as much as my my Fender strats. Better for certain instances.

  2. First the joke: Guitarists hate to read music (some simply can’t). If you give us ten minutes listening to a song, we can play a passable version of it. Put a piece of sheet music in front of us(at least without tablature) and we’ll sound like we’ve been playing for two weeks!

  3. I do hate changing strings because it takes so long to get them stretched out so the tuning will stay stable.
    It’s like doing dishes. I only want to cook and eat…I don’t want clean up!

  4. Guitar shops. I’ve been playing (for my own entertainment mainly) for 30 years. I’m still rubbish but I have aspirations that guitar shops roundly fail to deliver. Sometimes they look at you like you’ve trodden in something nasty. They should all display a sign
    “Welcome. If you see a guitar you want to try, help yourself. We all love guitars so we know you’ll be careful. We also know that accidents happen so don’t worry about it. We don’t care whether you’re beginner or virtuoso, we all start somewhere. If you need a tuner or you want to learn something please feel free to ask. We are here to help you learn. We’re not here to sell you anything. We just love to show and play guitars. If you see something you love, we consider that job done. Please feel free to come and play our instruments as often as you like. Thank you for sticking your nose round our door. Don’t leave so long before you come back…”

    Now that’s a shop I’d go back to. Hell it’s even one I could own…

    • Well it wouldn’t be a shop that you would own for long.
      Too often I have witnessed in my own shop, as well as the GC stores I now visit, young virtuoso’s shredding away for hours on a guitar –that is often 20x more expensive than the guitar their parents bought for them– with no regard for belt scratches, pickguard scratches, scratches on the finish.
      No self respecting customer would pay you the asking price for a product on your walls that has become in essence a used instrument because of the approach you advocate. And if mommy or daddy ever come in and determine to buy their young virtuoso a real instrument, they go on-line and buy from Sweetwater, etc.

      • If it is an online guitar, and it is not perfectly set up as your store instrument is, Mommy or Daddy will bring it to you and demand you fix it for free. ” Accidents do happen” to expensive instruments in stores. That never happens to a production instrument from in a cardboard box unopened since China,
        from Sweetwater or some Ebay person selling stolen goods. And yet that is what happens in your store when “you see a guitar you want to try, and you help yourself”. We all love guitars so we know you’ll be careful. How many dings happen that the customer didn’t even know he put in a finish? Some customers are clumsy or drunk. If you ever want to put someone out of business, we know that “accidents happen so don’t worry about it” would be a good place to start.

    • I don’t like the Chinese kids mainly who stand there technically brilliant but look bored shitless. Rather have one less talented who puts feeling into it

  5. I disagree. I have a totally different mood when I pick up my Strat than when I pick up my Les Paul. The guitar can make our break a musician. It is divine to master more than one guitar.

    My Strat has “blues”, “SRV” and Jimi written all over it. My ’59 Les Paul has Jimmy Page, Gary Richtath, Duane Allman, and the entire Lynyrd Skynyrd band written all over it.

  6. My biggest mistake was that I took my 1969 Fender Jazz Bass and stripped the Candy Apple metal flake finish off. I then sanded it down to bare wood and stained it a dark brown. It stilled played great but ruined the value of a classic guitar. So my advice is to leave these beautiful instruments alone . The manufactures know their business.

    • I did exactly the same with a pre CBS sunburst Jazz bass, stripped it down to bare wood then gave it a glossy varnish finish like one that Sting played ….
      Probably would have been worth a fortune today😟

  7. Then there’s the time you are invited to an open session and some guy asks to look at your axe. You let him and he won’t give it back. You get to watch some hot dogger show off with your instrument while you sit on your hands. And he’s not that good.

    • We were the house band . And as such, were expected to ost jam sessions and accommodate whoever came up and wanted to play. Being the passive aggressive person I am, I didn’t come right out and refuse the use of my amp…. I would, however, reach behind and remove the fuse and pocket it for the duration.

  8. Me watching the other guitar player at an audition unpacking his $3,000 guitar, boutique amp and pedal board with 50 pedals: Please be as good as your gear, PLEASE be as good as your gear, please be as good as your gear……
    Him: I picked up the guitar last year to relieve stress. Can you show me the chords to Sweet Home Alabama again?

  9. Some have told me my hands change the tone. Only to a very very small degree.there are way to many other factors that come into play like pick ups, strings, amp, guitar, and there are many different variations to each one. So when my hands can gain, reverb, and bass and treble, I’ll quit. thanks Chuck Lee

    • This is true. Try this experiment: jam out for a little while to get your ears used to hearing you play, and then get somebody else to play. It will sound a little bit different just because of the way the hold the string and fret the strings. It might sound bogus but I have found it to be completely true.

      • Agreed. I host a jam every week. I bring along a fender Blues Deluxe, and a mexican-made strat. On average six different people will play my rig each night. All six people sound differently.

  10. My pet peeve is guitarists with no musicianship. Ex. A) who spend years of hours practicing in their rooms and can shred and wail like masters, but then tell them you’re gonna play a 12-bar blues in A and the look at you like you’re speaking Swahili and they can’t find their way around the changes; Ex. B) no sense of timing – count them in 1-2-3-4 and they’re either at the wrong tempo or the wrong time signature altogether; Ex. C) distortion everything; Ex. D) learn how to tune your guitar by ear, dammit!

  11. Whenever you’re with a group of people and you pick up a guitar, someone will request a Jimmy Buffett song. Always.

  12. Pet peeve- don’t like other players who
    Don’t know how to trade fills and rides and
    Walk on each other.
    It’s like two people trying to talk at the same time it doesn’t work.

  13. Justin Hayword(moody blues,made the dotneck 335 famous,,,his roadies tell me hes using a squier affinity(china) and he wont let the guitar tech even string it for fear of,,,go figure!!!
    And as a former dealer, i agree with Christof ,,,look ,tuch,play for 5 minutes without amp,5 more with your amp preferably,and then buy or move on!!

  14. Can’t stand playing with a guitar cable tethered to my amp. Makes me feel like a dog tied to a big rock with a short rope in the rain. Also can’t stand all other guitar players. Cause if you play something and I think it sucks. I don’t like you cause I think you suck. And if you play something I really like…. Oh now I really hate you !!! 😄

  15. How about when you wash your hands first, then some greasy handed guy wants to play it, sticky necks SUCK !! ALWAYS KEEP A CLEAN CLOTH OR 2 near by

  16. The guitar is an instrument…..like a paint brush, air brush, or whatever used to create some form of personal expression. It can be an instrument of employment…..playing the same songs each set to make a living. But in my 50+ years of guitar I have found the most precious moments are when my brain steps aside and my soul, hands, and the guitar take over…….it just happens, I cannot force it or influance it, I have no idea where it is going or how long it will last…….and when it is over…..it is just over…….I cannot duplicate it or ever play it again and my soul is drained. It happens maybe ten times a year……..That is why I still play the guitar……I have exposed my deepest feelings in the form of a masterpiece that no one else will ever hear.

  17. What drives me nuts is when someone who doesn’t know squat about some aspect of guitaring, and asks you (who does know the answer or solution), then stands and argues with you about it.


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