You know who you are, Guitar Guy at the Party. Everyone’s hanging out and having a good time, and then you pull out a guitar from god knows where and start playing the opening riff from Dave Matthews Band’s “Satellite.”
You think you look soft and sensitive and that your only intention is to bring the gift of music to everyone around you. In reality, you have effectively ground the good time at the party to a halt in order to center all of the attention on you. Let’s be honest, dude, you’re a lot.
If you’re not sure how to spot one in their natural environment, here are a few key features to watch for:
- A guitar permanently attached to their hand (obviously).
- Long-ish hair that can flop into their eyes while they play.
- A catalog of songs that always includes “Wonderwall.” Nobody likes “Wonderwall” that much, not even Noel Gallagher.
- A desperate need to be the center of attention.
- Your girlfriend, staring adoringly at him while she imagines what it would be like to inspire a song.
I know all of this because I dated this guy. A lot. And many of the stereotypes are true; these dudes are thought of as being classically insufferable for a reason. But, every once in a while, they turn out to be great. I dated one such Guitar Guy who was actually as sweet and sensitive as most of them pretend to be, and he was actually super talented–still is, as a matter of fact. He’s currently in a German bluegrass band called St. Beaufort and I know I’m biased, but they’re pretty really good:
Look, there’s nothing inherently wrong with playing the guitar. In fact, playing music can be really good for you. According to the University of Pennsylvania, playing an instrument can be hugely beneficial to your brain because it engages both the left and right sides by utilizing the peripheral nervous system, gross and fine motor skills, executive function, and by creating a total sensory input. And if you are committed to playing an instrument, you have to practice. But maaaaaaybe…you don’t need to be the douche at the party who pulls out a guitar anytime they feel like they’re not getting enough attention.