Universally, I have a tendency to make things more difficult than they need to be. Call it ADD, call it anxiety, or call it a mild form of some sort of cognitive disorder, most people who would come along for the average ride might simply call it a pain in the nuts. I over-analyze, over-dramatize, and basically over-think every seemingly simple thing I do. One current example of this is my need to change my guitar strings. Should be pretty simple, right?
I have a good healthy handful of guitars of all shapes and sizes. Electrics, acoustics, 6-string, 12-string, nylon string, 4-string bass, 5-string bass, etc.
Each of these has it's own type of strings. So, I could just pick one brand and get a set of each variety, right? Simple?
Each individual type of strings also comes in an endless variety of sizes, materials, and an equally endless variety of coatings for the purposes of sonic girth and longevity. Let's take my Fender Stratocaster for instance. I could get steel strings, nickel strings, nickel-plated steel, even chrome or polymer coated strings. I also need to decide whether I want round wound, half wound, or flat wound strings... Each of these options sounds a little different, and each has a different life expectancy once they're on the guitar. Now onto another very important question; What gauge of strings do I get? Light? Medium? Heavy? A combination/hybrid set or somewhere in between? I've tried them all at one point or another, and they each have their good and bad points. I mean, I really like how heavy strings sound in the hands of a capable guitar player on a Strat. Take Stevie Ray Vaughan for instance. Holy bejesus, he usually played 11's or thicker. I know that means absolutely nothing to those of you who don't play the guitar, but take my word for it. Whatever your "thing" is, just imagine someone doing it well under the highest degree of difficulty. Like knitting a sweater out of chicken wire, playing basketball with a bowling ball, or dominating one of those God forsaken time-based music video games on the hardest level. I suck at those games.
Come to think of it, I'm also only a marginally capable guitar player and I have fingers like a malnourished Toddlers & Tiaras star as opposed to the fingers of steel that Stevie Ray Vaughan was revered for. Maybe I should go with lighter strings on my Strat this time.
But what about the rest of the guitars? Simple?
God no. I have to go through a similar thought process for each and every option for each guitar, rattling all the ingredients around in my brain for a while before trying to pour them out in the form of a coherent result like my head was some sort of cosmic cocktail shaker of thought.
By the time I get a chance to run through all the next options as far as the string brands, vast amount of possible websites to buy from, researching and comparing every facet of cost and shipping, and incorporating the numbers of sets/sizes/types that I want to buy to allow for breakage backups, I'm already exhausted and I haven't even begun to think about actually CHANGING all of them. As a matter of fact, I've been in the process of "buying" new strings for a week now. If we're being honest, this blog in itself is nothing more than a distraction that I've manufactured in order to perpetuate this vicious cycle of analysis paralysis.
Originally I was taking a break from recording a new song. Frustrated with my dull, lifeless old rust-ridden strings, my plan was to just sit down at my laptop and order some new ones. Simple, right?