The Beatles famously sang that they’d ‘get by with a little help from their friends’. As guitar players our ‘friends’ are something that we should not take lightly. Although playing guitar is a very subjective thing, when it comes to the big picture of guitar playing we simply wouldn’t be able to survive without those who empower and support us.
If you’re fortunate enough to live within close proximity to a music store consider yourself lucky (some of us are not!). With the invention of the Internet your local music store perhaps isn’t as important as it used to be, but it’s still a resource that should be utilised as much as possible when it comes to information, gear, expertise etc. If you’re lucky you may be able to strike up a good relationship with the staff which means that you get even more support.
Not all of us are tinkerers or have the confidence to have a go at the number of things that can be adjusted or might need to be replaced when it comes to gear…after all when it comes to valve amps the things can kill you if you’re not careful! Knowing someone who knows a thing or three about the intricate workings of guitars and amps is a good thing. There are two vital elements that need to be considered when it comes to a Tech. The first is that they know what they’re doing. The second, and perhaps most important, is that you trust them. Remember you’ll be handing over your pride and joy to someone else so you want to make sure it’s in safe hands.
Like ‘em or loath ‘em they’re what you’ve got to work with! They’ll of course have their annoying traits like not showing up to rehearsal on time but as long as you’ve picked good ‘uns hopefully your bandmates will always have your best interest at heart. They should be supportive and encourage you when it comes to playing, and be able to offer advice and guidance on everything from which bit of gear you should buy next, to what to do if your marriage is breaking down. That said they’ll also be first in the queue to ridicule you for that bum note in the middle of the solo.
Sometimes the best help and advice comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Manufacturers are busy people (remember they’ve got empires to run) but most will do their best to make sure that the experience you have when using their gear is the best it can be. That’s not to say that you should immediately get in touch with them when you have a query or a problem but if you’ve tried everything else they may be able to help.
The internet is a very powerful resource. Blogs like the one you’re reading and forums such as the Orange Amps Forum offer an endless supply of information from those that interact with it. If you’re not able to find the answer to your question ‘locally’, it’s a fair bet that either you’ll be able to find the information on the internet or you’ll be able to find someone who knows.
Family & Friends
And last but definitely not least we come to those that are closest to us. The people who put up with us hashing through the same song a million times as we learn it, the late nights and dodgy venues and help carry the gear for us show after show after…. They might not be a necessity when it comes to playing and a lot of the time they’ll never fully appreciate what playing does for us as individuals or understand the need for us to have more than one guitar but they do have a massive impact on us as people. And remember even if they say they’re not a fan…they are really.
So if you’re ever pondering your guitar playing existence spare a thought for all those who make it possible because one thing is for certain…you wouldn’t want to be without them!