Guitarists often get hit with strange and annoying statements and questions. Unfortunately, as female guitarists, the level of frustration can often be higher with some of the questions can become somewhat...frustrating...and insulting...to say the least. Most people may not even be aware that some of the things they say to a lady with a guitar may be extremely offensive.
So, if you ever intend on talking to a lady with a guitar, here's is a list of 5 things you should never say:
1. Is That Your Boyfriend’s Guitar?
It’s possible that a lady is wearing a guitar for someone else, yes, but in most cases the guitar belongs to her, and she cares for it.
Whether you’re looking at a beginner or an experienced female guitar player, you're looking at someone with a passion for music. You’re looking at a musician – with her own guitar.
2. Oh, You Can Play? Play Something!
Some musicians love the attention and will jump at the opportunity, but this is a very common statement heard my many guitar carrying ladies. It might not be meant as an insult, but it also sound like: “You say you can play the guitar, so prove it”.
When you see someone reading the newspaper, your first response isn’t: “Oh, you can read? Read me an article!”.
Why not show your interest by exclaiming how cool it is that she is a guitar player. And adding that guitarists are bad-ass will score you extra points.
3. There Aren’t Many Female Guitarists
With a remark like this, you are not going to be taken seriously. There is a lengthy and impressive list of female guitarists who left their mark on the music industry, including Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Melissa Etheridge, Sister Rosetta Tharpe...and many others.
4. You Know Who You Sound Like?
To some degree, everyone sounds like somebody, and you're probably just trying to be nice by putting her in good company.
But as a musician, everyone wants to feel original. Hearing that you sound like some other female pop artist isn’t always a compliment.
Although all musicians have their influences that help shape their music, no guitarist wants to become a successful “B” versions of someone else.
5. You’re Good... For a Girl
Honesty and detail are always good when telling a musician what you think of their music. That is how they can grow and improve as an artist.
But telling a lady with a guitar that she is good for a girl, after she worked on that song for hours on end, is one of the biggest insults you can give.
A remark like this shows that you believe women aren't capable of doing things that men can do, or that women are weaker than men. Playing guitar is not a just “manly” thing. It’s a for-the-love-of-music thing.
Food For Thought
If you're sitting and wondering what you are supposed to say to a lady with a guitar from now on, it’s simpler than you think. Whatever you would say to a male guitar player.
And if you still don’t know, keep it simple by telling her how much she rocks as a guitarist.
About the Author: Julie Adams
I am a mom, a music lover and teacher from Tampa, FL. After completing a Bachelor of Music in Performance Arts, I traveled for several years before returning home where I started offering private piano and singing lessons as extra income. I met my husband in 2009 and 2 years later moved to Dallas where we settled down and I started focusing on vocal training to aspiring singers and performance artists of all age groups. I still enjoy playing the piano very much, and in my spare time you will catch doing some horse riding, drawing, doing some light reading, or just spending quality time with my family.