For many people, a guitar is more than just a musical instrument. We spend countless hours practicing our skills, writing songs, or performing with our guitars, and often form a special bond with them.
It’s common for people to name inanimate objects that they own, such as cars, motorcycles, or boats. Many musicians also like to give their instruments a name, especially if the instrument is particularly special to them.
Should I Name My Guitar?
Naming your guitar is a great way to make your relationship with the instrument feel more personal. Guitars are expressive instruments and are often played with emotion and feel, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t give yours a suitable name.
Why You Should Name Your Guitar
Whether you should name your guitar or not comes down to personal preference. For some people, naming their guitar may have a positive impact on the way they feel about playing their instrument, while others may feel that it is a ridiculous thing to do.
Most musical topics are subjective to a degree, so there’s no right or wrong way to do things. Here are some reasons that naming your guitar may be beneficial to you.
People name their guitars for the same reason that they name their vehicles or the same reason that children name their toys – it makes them feel more connected to these items. Rather than seeing your guitar as simply “my guitar”, you can view it differently by giving it a name.
From a psychological standpoint, this process of personification can improve the connection we have with our guitars. By referring to it as a name, we have made it more human-like, which subconsciously can make us care about it more deeply.
A guitar is essentially just pieces of wood joined together with metal wires stretched across it, but somehow it becomes much more than that when we use it to produce sounds. Any guitarist that has played for a long time understands the imperative of finding a guitar that feels and sounds right.
Once you’ve found that guitar, you form a special bond with it by playing for hours and hours to hone your skills, develop new techniques or come up with original material that expresses your artistic creativity.
The guitar, therefore, represents your progress, and the potential for creation, making it more than just a mere selection of woods, wires, and magnets. It’s an extension of your personality and your inner artist.
Some people may be reading this thinking, my guitar isn’t that special, it’s just an instrument. If that’s your opinion, you probably won’t get much from naming it. If, on the other hand, you feel a strong connection to your guitar, naming it will strengthen that bond.
Naming Your Guitar is Fun
Playing an instrument should ultimately be a fun experience. Indeed, if we want to progress we have to take our practices seriously, but when all is said and done, we learn to play guitar because we enjoy the process.
Naming your guitar can be a fun experience in and of itself. You get to play around with different ideas, and it is a good way to contrast the often serious nature of work, studying, or other everyday things that we do.
Many musicians and artists experience writer’s block when they fall into the trap of taking their art too seriously. This can lead to weeks, months, or even years of stagnation. The best way that I’ve found to break out of a creative rut is to do things that make playing guitar fun again.
There should be a child-like wonder experienced by a musician when they play guitar, but this is often lost as we begin to take it for granted. Naming your guitar may be the fun activity you need to regain your enthusiasm for practicing and playing your instrument.
Even if you’re not experiencing writer’s block, choosing a name for your guitar is still a great way to have some fun when you have some spare time.
Choosing Names for Guitars – How To Name Your Guitar
We’ve covered the reasons that naming your guitar is a good idea, but choosing the name can be tricky. While there is less pressure involved than naming a child or a pet, it’s still important to choose a name that you like.
You can always change the name if you decide you don’t like it further down the line, but it’s best to try and get it right the first time otherwise you’ll be wasting valuable time that could be spent practicing your scales or writing riffs!
If you’re struggling to think of ideas for naming your guitar, you can use some of its details for inspiration. The name of the brand that manufactures the instrument might be a good place to start.
If you’re naming your electro guitar, it may be manufactured by the likes of Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Gretsch, or PRS. If it’s acoustic, perhaps it is made by Taylor, Martin, Tanglewood, or Takamine.
A simple way to come up with name ideas is by using alliteration to choose names that have the same starting letter as the brand of your guitar.
Some examples of this are:
- Freddie the Fender
- Gary the Gibson
- Greta the Gretsch
- Imogen the Ibanez
- Pete the PRS
- Tammy the Tanglewood
This is a common method used by people who name their vehicle, and it’s a good way to get the ideas flowing when you’re trying to think of a suitable name for your guitar.
It might be a good idea to write down all of the names you can think of that applies to this method, but I’ll provide some more tips on brainstorming your potential names later in this guide.
If you’re finding it difficult to think of any good guitar names that match the manufacturer of your guitar, you could try using the model name instead. Guitar manufacturers often name their models with interesting words, so this can be a good place to start.
This method may not work if your guitar has a generic name or a series of numbers, like many of the Gretsch G-series guitars. However, most popular guitar models can be used for inspiration when choosing a name.
Some popular Fender guitar models include the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Jazzmaster, and Mustang. Gibson produces the likes of the SG, Les Paul, and the 335. then there are guitars like the PRS Silver Sky, the Gretsch Falcon, or the Ibanez Destroyer.
Rather than choosing a name that has the same first letter as your guitar’s manufacturer brand, you can use the first letter of the model. Some examples include:
- Sally the Strat
- Tim the Tele
- Larry the Les Paul
- Freida the Falcon
- Damien the Destroyer
Using different brainstorming techniques is one of the most effective ways to get ideas for the best names for your guitar. There are many different methods you can use, but one of the simplest is to take a pen and paper and write all of the potential names you can think of, good or bad.
Once the sheet of paper is filled with different names, go through and cross out ten that you don’t want to name your guitar. Then, repeat this until you are left with only a few names.
You can then narrow down the choices to two names, and the chances are you’ll be happy with either of these.
If you find it difficult to think of names in the first place, use the alliteration method I provided earlier in this guide. Write down all of the names that begin with the same letter as the model of your guitar, and the manufacturer’s name then narrows them down.
Another method you can use is to go to an online name generator. There are many websites that randomly generate names, and this may either help you to decide on a name for your guitar or spark some ideas to build upon.
Naming Your Guitar Based On Its Tone
If you’ve tried the above methods and you are still struggling to think of a name for your guitar, it might be worth trying to choose one that fits the tone it produces. Some people pay more attention to words, while others are more attentive to sounds.
Try to think of different words that describe the way your guitar sounds when you play it. Then, you can think of some names that sound like these words or are similar to them in some other way.
This may sound a little strange, but for some people, the sound of their guitar may evoke the thought of certain names or words.
Naming your guitar is a great way to make you feel more connected with the instrument. Granted, it’s not going to magically make you a better guitarist, but if you feel like naming your beloved axe will be beneficial to you, then you should definitely go ahead and do it!