Sunday, May 24, 2009

Loosening The Strings


Last week, I loosened my guitar strings. I haven't been playing much & don't expect that I'll be playing anytime soon. Its not that I lack motivation... The creative "spark" just isn't there.

As I was sitting in church today, I got to thinking about the act of loosening the strings- what that means. In a musician's world, its a way to keep the guitar from warping. It takes the strain off the neck.

When one loosens something, it typically signifies a release. Loosening the shoelaces releases the foot from the shoe. Loosening a wrapped cord allows it to extend to it's full length. Loosening the screws on a bookshelf allows it to be taken apart. Loosening the vice relieves pressure on the object caught in it's grip. Loosening the shackles of a prisoner can help free them from captivity. Can you see a theme emerging?

Once the strings are loosened, other parts of the guitar become more accessible. The nut, the bridge, the tuning pegs... These things are under pressure when the guitar is in tune. They help create the sound. If any of these are in disrepair, chances are the guitar won't stay in tune or produce the best tone. The loosening of the strings is necessary to get things fixed. While the strings are only part of the whole, the whole part relies on the strings to produce what it was intended for. Loosening the strings is an act of maintenance & preservation... Its only temporary, but necessary.

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