Choosing Which Guitar to Play
Although Ted was grateful for the luxury of having a multitude of guitars to choose from, there were numerous reasons for having such a collection. Ted did indeed feel as if he were “rescuing” Guilds from the neglect of the times, (no one wanted Guilds then), and he couldn’t bear to see such beauty or potential beauty laid to waste.
Potential is one key word here. When Ted played any guitar in a music shop, he immediately could sense the potential in every instrument, and knew just what it required to attain its optimal sound.
But Ted’s sensibilities were also a key factor in determining which one would lend itself best for practicing on a particular evening, be it a Guild or a Tele. Because Ted possessed a heightened sensitivity to all things, especially to his musical needs at a given moment, many considerations went toward the decision of which guitar would “speak to him” so he could get the most of his practice session. The choice was contingent on his mood, or a certain tone quality he preferred or sometimes even craved, and sometimes even how the guitar felt as he held it, or some combination of the above.
Ted enjoyed the process of trying different guitars and amp settings almost as much as the discovery. He would choose a guitar and begin playing as he tweaked the knobs on the guitar and the amp, listen a bit, tweak again, listen a bit, then put the guitar aside and pick up another one. And when he eventually found the perfect resonance – wow! even I felt the connection. I’d look up from what I was doing and Ted would catch my glance, smile and nod. Then hours of enjoyable and productive practicing and playing ensued.