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View Poll Results: Do you think all guitars have unique personalities or a 'soul', so to speak?
Yes 75 53.96%
No 55 39.57%
Other (explain) 9 6.47%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #21
Offworld92
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I used to think so.

But then I graduated from high school.

Some guitars are better than others, some pieces of wood and metal resonate better, some cuts and layering of paint feels better. No doubt about it. But you don't have to be overdramatic and immature about it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #22
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No, I don't. Guitars made of same woods, hardware, electronics, etc will all sound different because wood is a natural material. It's not consistent. There will always be subtle differences, I don't consider finding certain ones pleasing means that the guitar has a "soul."
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:09 AM   #23
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i didn't read through it. i voted no, because they are just a tool, however i believe that your soul transverses through the guitar. so no they don't have a soul, but it channels your soul to the world.

its hard to phrase but that is how i look at it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
My interpretation of what a 'soul' is (as it is a very subjective idea) goes hand-in-hand with 'personality'.

I think the reason why people in this thread are scared off from the idea of a 'soul' is because the word has been stigmatized by religion. That's not what i'm getting at.


Except that one can't simply change a word's meaning based on "interpretation".
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:54 AM   #25
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:40 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE

My interpretation of what a 'soul' is (as it is a very subjective idea) goes hand-in-hand with 'personality'.


The 'soul' may be a subjective idea, but only to a certain limit. It can mean the immortal essence of a person, or the spirit, mind, psyche or self, but it always implies something that can experience emotions, basicaly trhe soul is supposedly a living entity. Infact, the ancient Greeks used the same word for'alive' as they did for 'ensouled'.

When you say 'personality', I suspect that what you are actualy referring to is 'distinctiveness', one guitar sounding not only different from other makes of guitar but also different from another guitar of the same make and model. Being distinctive, on it's own, doesn't imply something that can be considered alive or can experience emotions, therefore it doesn't imply a 'soul'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
I think the reason why people in this thread are scared off from the idea of a 'soul' is because the word has been stigmatized by religion. That's not what i'm getting at.


Dude, the 'soul' is a religous idea, the word was invented by and belongs to religion, that's like saying that the word 'god' has been stigmatized by religion and from now on we should all start calling random inanimate objects 'gods', which obviously wouldn't make any sense whatsoever. You can't just hijack words that have a particular meaning or implication and use them for completely different meanings, it just ends up as gibberish.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:49 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trashedlostfdup
i didn't read through it. i voted no, because they are just a tool, however i believe that your soul transverses through the guitar. so no they don't have a soul, but it channels your soul to the world.

its hard to phrase but that is how i look at it.


I agree, its sort of like a tool you can channel your emotions through. I think some semi-famous guitarist said something like that..
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:07 AM   #28
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To me, it really all depends on "what level".....

Pretty much any machine can have a "soul"...frick, I also tinker with outdoor power equipment and I can tell you one Lawn-Boy mower has a different sound, cut, and happiness to start from another? The difference could be anything from who set the carburetor adjustments that day to what particular batch of (and the molecular stucture) of the material the carburetor is made out of.

Same with guitars.

Also any machine will be "happy" with you if you treat it nice. For example, I have a FREE Epiphone Les Paul that was thrown in a dumpster covered in mold, beer, and rain. Now, as you can imagine, and guitar that has sat in a damp environment, had beer thrown at it, piss poor mod-work, and likely had a horrible teenage brat throwing it around because it seemed "cool" at the time, of course the instrument is going to try and cut your fingers off with it's rusty strings and scratched up hardware. I bring the poor thing in, disinfect it, clean it off, polish it up, fix the electronics, put on new strings, and give it a proper setup, now it plays fast, and sounds like a far more expensive guitar, and does not want to kill me.

Now here's some spice for the thread at-hand, I once read a thread on the Telecaster Discussion Page where some guy was listing off certain guitars like characters of a boot..

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/bad-dog-...nification.html

In a way, via aesthetics and sound, they are a bit like individual characters, both in as broad a way as model to model, or even from guitar to guitar. Call it a Soul, call it what you will, but it's just what makes that piece of gear special to the person who feels it's their axe-mate or whatever.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:18 AM   #29
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I do believe every guitar has a different 'character', because despite the manufacturer's best efforts no two guitars will ever sound completely the same. There must be something there, though I wouldn't call it a 'soul' per se. A soul implies that something has emotions of its own, which I doubt in the case of guitars.

However, I do think a guitar is a tool to show one's own soul to the world, and in doing so it colors the soul slightly. Because of this, when a guitar doesn't match your 'soul', it won't sound and/or feel good to you, and the soul won't be shown as clearly.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:30 AM   #30
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I believe that an instrument has "character" since you could make two of the same instruments with the amount care and time but ultimately both would feel and sound different to each other.

Differences of the woods and metallurgy has a part in this but it mostly comes from the craftsman or the lack thereof.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:11 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine86
Except that one can't simply change a word's meaning based on "interpretation".

Its a grey area because a 'soul' is a subjective idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerBabbath
The 'soul' may be a subjective idea, but only to a certain limit. It can mean the immortal essence of a person, or the spirit, mind, psyche or self, but it always implies something that can experience emotions, basicaly trhe soul is supposedly a living entity. Infact, the ancient Greeks used the same word for'alive' as they did for 'ensouled'.

When you say 'personality', I suspect that what you are actualy referring to is 'distinctiveness', one guitar sounding not only different from other makes of guitar but also different from another guitar of the same make and model. Being distinctive, on it's own, doesn't imply something that can be considered alive or can experience emotions, therefore it doesn't imply a 'soul'.

Dude, the 'soul' is a religous idea, the word was invented by and belongs to religion, that's like saying that the word 'god' has been stigmatized by religion and from now on we should all start calling random inanimate objects 'gods', which obviously wouldn't make any sense whatsoever. You can't just hijack words that have a particular meaning or implication and use them for completely different meanings, it just ends up as gibberish.

I guess so. If you're going to look at my view on a strictly rational level, it will be gibberish. I suppose the concept of an instrument having a 'soul' isn't exactly the correct word, i just use the word 'soul' because 'soul' is sometimes used in the medium of music. You can describe a kind of music as being 'soulful'- that's the kind of 'soul' i'm talking about. You can describe music as being 'soulful' without really referring to religion whatsoever.

..Unless you start going into the whole "MUSIC IS MY RELIGION" affair; that's another kettle of fish.
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M O J O !!!

If 'soul' isn't the right word, MOJO definately is.
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Originally Posted by PsiGuy60
I do believe every guitar has a different 'character', because despite the manufacturer's best efforts no two guitars will ever sound completely the same. There must be something there, though I wouldn't call it a 'soul' per se. A soul implies that something has emotions of its own, which I doubt in the case of guitars.

However, I do think a guitar is a tool to show one's own soul to the world, and in doing so it colors the soul slightly. Because of this, when a guitar doesn't match your 'soul', it won't sound and/or feel good to you, and the soul won't be shown as clearly.

This is why the topic is interesting because some people romanticise the idea of pouring ones 'soul' into their own music, thus giving the guitar a 'soul' onto itself. I would consider myself a fairly romantic person, but in a way that's at least somewhat justified or identifiable to most people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Offworld92
you don't have to be overdramatic and immature about it.

You don't have to be overdramatic about music, yet most of us choose to, do we not? If we feel so much emotion from something as innaminate as music, why not guitars?
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:15 AM   #32
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This is an interesting discussion.

No, i don't think guitars have souls by any definition. They are made from pieces cut from a living organism which may or may not have a soul depending on what you believe, but that piece of wood is no longer alive.

That being said, because wood is an organic material, each piece is going to be slightly different to the next, meaning each guitar is going to have a slightly different feel and tone to the next - each one will have a certain unique character. Moreso when you get into hand crafted guitars as the craftsmanship will add to that character too.

I don't think there's any need to get philosophical about it though - As a few others have said, i think that guitars are tools to do a job, and what we interpret as soul, mojo, emotion, whatever you wanna call it, comes from the guitarist and not the guitar.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #33
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If you love something enough and care for it enough, use it enough and treasure it enough, it gains a soul through your love. It becomes part of you and your soul.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by JKHC
Yes.
I never understood why people name their guitars and treat them like they're a pet or something.


+1. Yes, every guitar is different, that doesn't mean they have a "soul..."

One of my friends gets on my nerves a bit because he is always naming his basses various different names. Quite annoying after a while.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #35
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I think the guitar's personality is a reflection of our own. Unless "piece of shit" counts as naming my guitar, I haven't actually named it. But if it has a personality, it's a reflection of my own. I'm "generally" pretty upbeat and positive about what comes my way, and those types of melodies really come out well with this particular guitar
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #36
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I think it depends. That's a total cop-out answer on the subject, but I'll explain...

My dad and I put together a guitar years ago, a one-piece Les Paul style of guitar that he had gotten the parts from a Detroit luthier back in the 70's. This guitar has survive a garage fire, been finished and refinished by each of us, gotten countless electronic repairs done, and generally been gigged to death (probably above the 300 gig mark now). This guitar is, and will forever be irreplaceable to me. It's got character (blood stains in the natural finish from my gig accidents) and few chips from general use, and tarnish on the bridge and machine heads. It's wired backwards, so no one wants to take the time to figure out how to make it sound good, and has custom parts from various local dealers in the places I've lived. This guitar has a soul because I can look at it and remember a musical family history, gigs that I've played, and my learning process about fixing and changing out parts on a guitar.

I have several other guitars that may sound "better" than this guitar, but none of them quite feel as good as this one does. They all feel somehow less personal and therefore less substantial in comparison. If a tornado tore through my house, this guitar would be the one thing I grabbed before shit hit the fan (probably my dog too), as I know that there will never be another like it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #37
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I used to think so.

But then I took an arrow to the knee Yngwie to the ears.


It had to be done
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
Its a grey area because a 'soul' is a subjective idea.

I guess so. If you're going to look at my view on a strictly rational level, it will be gibberish. I suppose the concept of an instrument having a 'soul' isn't exactly the correct word, i just use the word 'soul' because 'soul' is sometimes used in the medium of music. You can describe a kind of music as being 'soulful'- that's the kind of 'soul' i'm talking about. You can describe music as being 'soulful' without really referring to religion whatsoever.

..Unless you start going into the whole "MUSIC IS MY RELIGION" affair; that's another kettle of fish.

If 'soul' isn't the right word, MOJO definately is.

This is why the topic is interesting because some people romanticise the idea of pouring ones 'soul' into their own music, thus giving the guitar a 'soul' onto itself. I would consider myself a fairly romantic person, but in a way that's at least somewhat justified or identifiable to most people.

You don't have to be overdramatic about music, yet most of us choose to, do we not? If we feel so much emotion from something as innaminate as music, why not guitars?


Because he is clearly too mature for this discussion. Remember, he graduated whatever, yet still felt the need to contribute.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #39
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No.

A guitar is a tool for you to express yourself with. It allows your soul (if you like) to extend itself.

It's nothing to do with the guitar, its you.

Same with some people and a paintbrush or a camera. A paintbrush does not have a soul. It's a ludicrous notion.

Only humans and dogs have souls.

FACT.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:53 PM   #40
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Guitar definetily has soul, except if you are a lame player or have a guitar for a short time. I would probaby recognize that a guitar is different from mine, even if it's the same model. I played so much trough my guitar, I'm so psihically attached to it, it's worth very much to me and i wouldn't replace it
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