Mr. Jim Temple - owner  
Jim Says...
"Children always seem to get excited about a new toy or a new project. How many families have had young folks start Karate lessons, gymnastics, sports programs, music lessons, etc. and lose interest after Mom and Pop have invested quite a bit of time and money? But, not all our experience has come from the "parenting" end. Nearly all parents have been on both ends of that scenario. Many a customer has come into the ol' guitar store and complained, 'Jim, I had a chance to learn guitar when I was a kid; took a few lessons; but I didn't stick with it. Sure wish I had taken advantage of that opportunity while I was young, had the time, and my mind worked better.'

"Armed with that experience, young parents will often come into the store with a piece of junk that resembles a guitar and inquire, "I wonder if you could put a set of strings on this guitar. My boy/girl wants to learn how to play and I don't want to put a lot of money into a guitar until I see if he/she is gonna take to it." Well, neighbors, at that point I ease into my "patented" speech about how a bad instrument will prevent a child from ever learnin' to play it.

"You see, if your son came into the kitchen one mornin' and said, "Dad, I want to be a carpenter", you would never consider sayin', "Well, boy, I'll go down to the variety store and get you a plastic hammer. You practice drivin' sixteen-penny nails into a pine board for six months or so and, if you get good at it, I'll go buy you a "real" hammer." Fact is, the toy hammer would prevent the child from ever becomin' a carpenter, even if he had the talent for the job!

"That's true for learnin' to play the guitar, too. Variety superstore toys have discouraged many a young guitar-playin' "wannabe". Talk about wasted money!

"And, another thing ~ let's talk about the cost of a beginner's decent guitar: Compared to the cost of participating in the local school sports program, the Karate school lessons and belt tests, the local school band instruments, the price of such a guitar pales in comparison. Also, long after the kid leaves all the other programs behind, all the paraphernalia in the bedroom closet, he or she will still carry that ol' guitar off to school or adult life with him or her. Sometimes, they'll pass it down as an heirloom to another generation.

"It's natural for a parent to be concerned with wastin' money on a child's whim. But, it's also natural for that same parent to encourage a child's desires in the hopes that something good and permanent results from such an attitude.

"Well, alright then, Jim." "How much should I expect to pay for a decent, beginner's guitar?" Figure on payin' about half of one's months payment for that diesel-powered dually sittin' out in the driveway. Or, maybe, two month's worth of satellite dish tv with its brain-numbing programming.

"Of course, the right choice might require that a parent re-arrange a priority or two for a couple of months. But, maybe the cost of three meals out with friends wouldn't set the family back too much. Besides, if the kid doesn't "take to it", you can run a six dollar ad in the local paper and get nearly all your money back if it is a decent instrument at the beginning.

Just one old man's opinion. Mull it around a bit and see if you can't hear the clarion ring of truth somewhere in it.

Keep on pickin',
Jim Temple, Proprietor