How To Avoid Your Significant Other’s Wrath After Buying Another Guitar!

By Gabriel J Hernandez

AUTHOR’S NOTE: As a dealer of high-end vintage guitars and amps, the majority of my customers happen to be male. As such, this particular column is not meant to be a partisan or sexist statement in any way. It simply happens to reflect the fact that based on my sales history and overall customer base, most of the guitar players and collectors I encounter are male. That’s why I decided to write this piece from a “male” perspective. Additionally, being male myself as well as a longtime player and collector of guitars – AND married with two children – I have lived with and dealt with this dilemma on a personal level for quite some time. That said, if you are a female player and collector of guitars then please simply reverse the male personifications in this column and characterize them to your gender. I am not in any way taking sides here, rather offering a few light-hearted suggestions and tips based on my own personal experiences, and those of a few of my customers that I’ve had the pleasure to witness with my own eyes and ears.

If you play or collect guitars and have a life partner (in most cases a wife or girlfriend), this column is definitely going to hit home. Trust me we’ve all been there at some point. You’re online browsing Craigslist’s vast musical instrument section, or on eBay drooling on your keyboard as you analyze picture after picture of that gorgeous Les Paul with a killer flame maple top, watching as the seconds tick away inching you closer and closer to clicking your bank account away. Or you’re out and about and walk into your local music store or pawn shop and come face to face with still another guitar you simply cannot live without. In any of these scenarios, and usually with no hesitation whatsoever, you pull the trigger without even the thought of discussing the ramifications of said purchase(s) with your significant other. In many circles there’s a name for this: it’s called G.A.S., or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. And needless to say, it’s not a malady for the fainthearted.

More often than not, money is not the issue. What usually matters the most is the fact that you chose to buy another guitar without consulting (or even telling) your wife or girlfriend, choosing instead to deal with the consequences of that momentary lapse of reason at a later date. The problem, of course, is that “later date” creeps up on you faster than cheetahs chasing wildebeests on Animal Planet. You know it, and your significant other will soon know it. Frankly, you should have known better, or at the very least had a back-up plan in place ready to deal with the aftermath, because in your mind you already knew you were toast the next time she logs in to your mutually-held – and well-patrolled – bank account.

We’ll, consider this column your “how-to” guide on handling these punishing predicaments. Think of this as prescription medicine for G.A.S. Mind you, I’m in no way advocating going behind anyone’s back here (just don’t let this column get into the wrong hands). But if you’re prone to G.A.S. or other seemingly collateral disorders, then at the very least you could use a little guidance (or medicine), right? Read on …

Here are 10 ways to help you avoid your significant other’s wrath after buying another guitar, or piece of gear:

1. At the first occurrence of G.A.S., start with the diplomatic approach: discuss (don’t argue) the fact that “investing” in guitars is generally better than investing in the stock market, most mutual funds, and the majority of bank-issued CDs or interest-bearing checking accounts. This is a no-brainer, unless of course you’ve just purchased Bob Dylan’s 1965 Fender Stratocaster (sold for $965,000 this past December), in which case you might as well just stop reading now. However, if you can get away with this excuse (embellishment is a better word choice here), feel free to forego all other “embellishments” listed below.

2. Get defensive and revert to the truest and most time-tested response of all-time, “But honey, how many purses and pairs of shoes do you own, and why do you have so many?” (Be wary of the potential for flying objects.)

3. Come home with your new guitar or gear in hand AND the most expensive bouquet of roses you can find. Face it, most women love flowers, especially roses. If she’s allergic to floral arrangements, keep reading.

4. Come home with your new guitar or gear in hand AND a very nice, unexpected present, like new jewelry (diamonds and sapphires work best). Items such as sweaters (unless they’re made from imported South American cashmere) and lingerie (because you’re the real beneficiary here) don’t count.

5. Get ready for an expensive night out at a restaurant NOT of your choosing.

6. Take an accounting class and learn basic bookkeeping, then offer to take over the daunting task of balancing the checkbook for your mutually-held – and well-patrolled – bank account (to avoid suspicion, this one usually works BEFORE making your guitar or gear purchase).

7. Temporarily change the password on that mutually-held – and well-patrolled – bank account until your next paycheck, bonus check, or dividends payout check clears. Just know that while this suggestion may delay the inevitable, it’s certainly not a fail-safe solution to your inescapable and ominous doom.

8. Open your own bank account and secretly deposit ONLY bonus checks, off-the-record transactions, and dividends payout checks not expected by your better half. Then again, this suggestion only works if she hasn’t met your entire family, which would allow you the opportunity to blame new acquisitions on that very generous and very rich uncle or cousin she’s never met.

9. Keep playing the lottery. If you get lucky and win, you can then buy all the guitars and gear you want with a clear conscience (and she can buy all the shoes and purses she wants, too). This is definitely a win-win for everyone!

10. Nice and simple: tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then take your lumps, and a few nights on the couch, like a man or (in rare cases) a woman.

When all else fails, one last resort would be to simply take your better half shopping with you when you go looking for guitar or gear. Think about it. If your destination is anywhere near a major shopping center – or in a major shopping center – she could easily embark on her own personal shopping spree and spend a bunch of money on a whole bunch of stuff you probably don’t give two hoots about, which – in turn – might make you less prone to persecution if she happens to take issue with your latest bout of G.A.S.

In any case, happy guitar hunting … and please, don’t hurt each other.

Gabriel Hernandez is the owner of Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc., a shop in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in the buying and selling of vintage and newer high-end guitars and gear. He is also an accomplished writer, having earned a B.S. in Journalism from The University of Florida in 1988. Over a 25-year career he has worked as an investigative journalist for several news organizations and publishing companies, as a staff sports writer for The Palm Beach Post, and most recently as the Web Editor for Gibson Guitars at the company’s worldwide headquarters in Nashville. Hernandez has played guitar since the age of six, and been fascinated (some say obsessed) by the instrument – and music in general – ever since. You can reach him any time at 1-615-613-1389, or visit his company’s Facebook page at

About Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc.

Gabriel Hernandez is the owner and president of Nashville’s Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. He was born in New York City but moved to West Palm Beach, Florida at the age of six – the same time his grandmother gave him his very first guitar. He's been obsessed with the instrument ever since, though he realized early on he wasn't going to be a rock star. That, however, never stopped him from playing music simply for the love of it, and forming what eventually became one of south Florida's most successful cover bands. Along the way he managed to earn a B.S. degree in Journalism from the University of Florida (1988), and forged an impressive and successful career as first a journalist and then marketing and advertising executive for several Florida companies. He eventually moved his family to middle Tennessee in 2006 after accepting a job as the web editor for Gibson Guitars at the company’s world headquarters near downtown Nashville. His time at Gibson, however, was cut short when the country’s struggling economy forced the company to lay off 200-plus employees in December 2009. Not able to find a full-time job and needing to make ends meet – but fortunate enough to know a thing or two about marketing, business and A LOT about guitars – Hernandez began buying and selling guitars and other musical instruments via the Internet. Within a few short months, and with a few lucky breaks and a lot of hard work, Hernandez successfully turned his “part-time” endeavor – and passion – into a full-blown business, now known as Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc., and located in the burgeoning Nashville suburb of Donelson – just 10 short minutes from downtown Nashville. At first, Hernandez jumped right into the retail arena with a small shop near Nashville’s famed Music Row. But realizing that the bulk of his early business was generated thru online sales, Hernandez decided after one year to move into a more “office”-oriented environment closer to his Donelson home. It was a more intimate space where he concentrated on online sales while continuing to build both his global and loyal local following. Armed with just a small showroom and one employee, Hernandez welcomed his local clientele as well as customers from around the world, and over the next three years Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. continued to grow … seemingly parallel with Nashville’s own growth and emergence as one of the country’s best places for new businesses and careers. In early 2016, Hernandez finally decided to reenter Nashville’s renowned vintage guitar market with a beautiful stand-alone retail hub located at 212-A McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214, which is situated just a few minutes from Nashville’s International Airport and less than two miles from Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and the Opry Mills Mall. The results have been nothing short of magnificent. Today, in a city known for its historic musical heritage and internationally acclaimed musical instrument dealers, Hernandez and Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. have quickly become one of Nashville’s – and the world’s – premier destinations for the buying, selling and consignment of vintage guitars and newer, high-quality used musical instruments and equipment. In fact, American Songwriter magazine recently named Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. as “…one of the top three destinations in Nashville for vintage guitars…” in its July/August 2014 “Nashville Music Special” issue. Hernandez has also had the pleasure of buying and selling instruments to and from some of music's biggest names, including The Who's Pete Townshend, Vince Gill, Kacey Musgraves, David Haywood of Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Sam Palladio of ABC's Nashville show, Mike Wolfe of American Pickers, Jimmy Nalls of Sea Level, Brad Smith of Blind Melon, John Prine, among many, many others. Hernandez also found and purchased an old Martin Sigma acoustic guitar once owned by the legendary Keith Whitley – a guitar he eventually sold to Chris Young, who used it for the first time to sing Whitley's classic No.1 hit "Don't Close Your Eyes" at the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 26, 2011. You can watch a video of his performance at this link - - (copy and paste into a new browser). So whether you’re shopping for guitars online or simply visiting Music City U.S.A. to enjoy its rich music heritage and many diverse musical attractions, please make it a point to put Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. on your itinerary and radar. We’ve got one of the country’s largest selections of vintage guitars and newer, high-quality used musical instruments, and our inventory changes daily. And – of course – if you’re selling your guitar or some other musical instrument, please take advantage of our willingness to pay more than anyone else in Nashville, or in the United States of America. Bottom line is you're selling yourself short if you don't call us BEFORE your sell your guitars or other musical instruments! You won’t be disappointed. We promise! And – as always – please remember: “Life is too short to play a lousy guitar!
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