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Rational Irrationality

Published: July 4, 2021
Last Updated: July 4, 2021

I want something, which I can afford fairly easily, but in no way shape or form do I feel that I can justify purchasing it.

That something is a new guitar, and an expensive one. But I don’t really know which one, I’ve just got an itch and some money burning a hole in my pocket.

I am not a great guitar player. I would say I am closer to intermediate than beginner. I already have two guitars. One of them, I just got a month ago. The other one I’ve had for 15 years or so, although over the last 6 or 7 years it basically sat in its case.

It was taken out of its case about two months ago, and once again, playing the guitar has become one of my favorite hobbies.

And unlike many years ago when I last played the guitar (I managed to accumulate 4 at one point – and later sold 3 of them), I have more money at my more advanced age. Enough where I could basically buy something pretty nice (not going totally crazy though) and not have to go anywhere near even thinking about getting it on credit. And I really want to buy a really nice electric guitar now.


And that simple fact stated above has to this point kept me behaving rationally. Or relatively rationally anyway. But the rationalization gears are working overtime, everyday, and the internet marketing machine helps the rationalization gears grind.

But I continue to manage so far, making my plans to practice and have fun and not acquire. The rationalization gears also move in reverse, but without the assistance of the internet marketing machine. YouTube, is not very helpful moving the gears in reverse.

But I persist.

I already have 2 great guitars. And everything I need to play and sound good.

The guitar that I’ve had for 15 years or so is a seriously nice acoustic guitar – a Taylor 414-CE – which is really, really nice, and my skills don’t do it justice. But it sounds great, it plays great, and I love it when I play it. I can just pick it up and play until I really can’t anymore, and have a blast, even if it’s the same 3 or 4 chords I’m just whacking away at.

It’s due for a setup (overdue) and going to get some TLC for the first time in a while in a month or so. If I hold it just right it even developed a little buzz, which makes me sad, and I hope it isn’t a permanent or extremely expensive to fix defect.

The other guitar that I have, and just bought, is a Fender Telecaster. It is the cheaper one, the Player Series, made in Mexico, but it is a totally cool guitar. I got the butterscotch color, with the black pick guard, and I plug it into my new Line 6 Pod Go, which plugs into my headphones. One day, in the hopefully not too distant future, it will play loudly through a speaker or amp. But not today (or tomorrow).

The Telecaster, combined with the Pod Go, sounds incredible. I mean they really really sound great through the headphones. There are so many different configurations and sounds to play around with on the Pod Go, and I could probably play it for the rest of my life and not be able to really find all the sounds you can make with the Pod Go.

So I have a great time playing the Telecaster. Once again I can hammer away at some chords and find a nice groove, and now, with the looper (on the Pod Go), I can loop it and then abuse the minor pentatonic scale pattern for longer than I think is proper. But it’s fun. Hell, I even have it plugged into my MacBook and I record the crap. I think it sounds awesome. Add GarageBand to this setup and it’s more than I know what to do with.

So I have all that I need to play, and jam away for fun.

Now, if by chance you ask me how many songs I know how to play (I mean from start to finish) and you will hear the crickets chirp as I remain mute. Um, one – maybe?

What the hell do you play on the guitar? Well, I know the 1-4-5 chord pattern and how to figure out which chord is the 1 and the 4 and the 5, and I just fuck around making shit up most of the time.

Oh and with the looper and a little knowledge of the pentatonic scale, and the major scale, I could waste all day. Many many hours have gone down the tubes in the past month this way.

While with these 2 instruments and some TLC I could be set instrument wise for the rest of my life, maybe purchasing an amplifier or some type of speaker to play with other people in the future.

For all practical purposes I am set.

Uh huh.

Right, and just like all other Americans once I’m all set I stop buying new things. As the ultimately practical and rational person that I am – I do not buy things that do not make total sense for me to own (I have a nice bridge to sell to you…). So I will not buy a new expensive guitar. It wouldn’t be practical.

Which is exactly why I have decided to buy a new expensive guitar.

What else did you think I would end up doing? Not buy a new guitar? That would be totally irrational.

Or whatever.

But, I have programmed in a bit of logic to make it as rational as a human could ever dream of being.

Well, actually, society programmed in the logic for me, having developed the ritualistic observation of the passage of time, commonly referred to as a birthday.

And the big number 40 is coming up in a wee bit less than two years.

Which means I have about two years to pick one out.

I have some ideas. And a lot to learn.

© Copyright 2021, Tyler Rhodes