Jump back to Nina, Age 17.
There I was walking to my local music store to buy new guitar strings. Bella, my 6 string, had suddenly become a 4 string because some macho douche bag had tried to impress me by “tuning her” so he could play some shitty song he wrote. Well he broke my A string and my G string (hold your comments; I’ve heard it before, not funny.) I enter the store, ready to get my new strings and then go home to play some new songs I had written. The clerk was a fat middle aged man in a Steve Vai t-shirt and the worst mutton chops I had ever seen in my entire life. He and the pimpled young man in the store were discussing wrestling and who was better. The bell rang as I entered and they looked at me like I had three heads. Mr. Mutton Chops gave me an unctuous smile and greeted me with “Hi sweetheart, what can I help you with.” I told him I needed a pack of Elixir strings for an acoustic guitar. He sold the pack to me, asking very condescendingly if I “knew how to put them on.” I assured Mutton Chops that yes, I did indeed know how to put them on.
“So are you a beginner?” He oozed.
“No, I’ve been playing for a year and a half.”
“Aw, how sweet.”
I left that shop feeling dirty, and very underestimated. In his eyes I could see that he imagined I would probably sit there, in a red fluffy teddy, trying to restring my guitar, realize I had no idea what I was doing, and then break down in tears wishing I had gotten a lesson in stringing guitars. After that I would just use the broken strings to tie up some of my attractive female friends and…well…you get the point.
And now to Nina, present day.
It is very difficult to become active in a band, because nobody ever really things you can play. I’ve been playing since I was 16 and I’ve become one hell of a good rhythm guitarist. Most guys have the misconception that I either, can’t play very well, or only play lesbian singer/songwriter music. These are the problems with being a female guitarist in a male dominated music scene.
I get a bevy of different responses when I tell other musicians that I play guitar.
“Oh, that’s nice. Like Jewel? She’s got a pretty voice.”
“Aw, how cute.”
I know that this is never the response that guys get when they play guitar.
Fortunately for me, there are many good factors to being a female guitarist. When they actually find out for themselves that I can indeed play the guitar like a mother fuckin’ riot, I get a hell of a lot of respect from them. Some, I dare say, even find it attractive to see a girl rocking out.
Playing the guitar has made a huge impact on my life because it gives me a whole other outlet to express myself. I’m glad that I picked up playing the guitar, and I hope to do it for the rest of my life.
So up yours Mutton Chops.
Jump back to Nina, Age 17.