today i want to teach interested students about this "with-it" but somewhat rare art of guitar breaking. guitar breaking has been around since the early days of guitar.
within days of this funny instruments invention, talent-less people have given vent to their frustration by making mince meat of their instrument (not that one silly, i meant their guitar). and thus was born the new art form of guitar breaking. it was taken to dizzy heights by some pro guitarists who made it a point to break their guitars on stage, often much to the delight of their bedazzled spectators.
it isnt as easy as it seems to break a guitar. ofcourse the most vulnerable part in a guitar's anatomy remains the neck. thats the long part that sticks out of the guitar's torso, much in the same way our necks stick out of our torsos. and just like our necks, its real easy to wring apart the neck of a guitar. standard techniques include holding the guitar by the toe end of the neck and then smashing it on the floor or stage or on a piece of furniture. this usually results in the neck being fractured near the region where its attached to the torso, just as would happen to a human if he were to be similarly smashed.
to rub the salt deeper, some talented guitar breakers prefer to stand on the torso, after the initial asault (as described above) and pull at the neck. This results in the gruesome spectacle of the neck becomming totally detached from the torso and the strings er…"running free". lead guitars by virtue of having more strings make for better "pulling apart" than bass guitars.
other ways of guitar breaking include smashing a hole in the torso of the guitar. accoustic guitars with rounded torsos come in real handy. M-Tv unplugged was the hotbed of guitar breaking from the torso end.
the "spice" value of guitar breaking on stage should never be underestimated. girls have been known to throw their undies on stage in extacy after witnessing the spectacle of a guitar being broken - thats most probably because they wanted to thank the guitarist for giving them a rather good idea regarding what they should attempt to do with their ex-bf's who ditched them.
similarly guys have been known to have headbanged themselves into the nearest... mental asylum after seeing accoustic guitars being smashed from the torso end. thats because many guys secretly harbour fantasies of doing a smiliar thing to the upper part of their vulptuous gf's torso.
but the real talented guitar breakers remain the un-talented guitarists. people like me. who having failed to play anything thats crosses the noise barrier (in musical jargon, "noise barrier" means the barrier at which point noise begins to get accepted as music. ofcourse the noise barrier isnt very well defined), discovered that their real guitaring talents lay not in playing the guitar but in playing the guitarbreaker (as in "playing the fool").
the biggest victims of such talented guitar breakers are invariably their guitar teachers, who's head is more often than not, used to do the guitarbreaking. first the neck (of the guitar, not teacher) is broken by smashing the torso (of the guitar) on the teachers head. subsequently the torso (of the guitar) is smashed by hammering it down the already battered head of the hapless guitar teacher.
in case the student is "really" frustrated or alternatively, if he is the sort who is exceptionally talented - at breaking guitars that is, then he may take it to the next level and proceed to shove the neck (of the now broken guitar), down the torso (of the teacher), till all of the guitar’s neck disappears inside teacher's torso.
combine that with the fact that the teachers head has already most likely completely disappeared inside the GUITAR's torso, thanks to a talented piece of (guitar's) torso-smashing by the student, and you will be able to picture a person AND a guitar - with a combined value of one neck (his own), 2 torsos (his and the guitars) and no head !!
it is to avoid the aforementioned fate that most guitarists arnt very attracted to the idea of taking up a instructors job - lest they run into students with the wrong kind of talent - as most of mike tyson’s and bin laden’s guitar teachers would testify.
but comming back to the art of guitar breaking, other variations of the techniques to decimate guitars include the famed guitar fights. here the guiter is used as a mace, with the neck as the handle and the torso as the er.. warhead. the origins of this artform lie in the hoary past when guitars were neither used to smash heads (and nor heads used to smash guitars), but instead the plain old stick-and-stone-combo was in vogue.
soon however, people got disappointed at the lack of agreable/musical sound produced during mace-fights. but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and so was born the guitar (in case you didn’t know). the reason the first guitars had big torsos and were unlike the flat chested electric guitars (or women for that matter) of today was precisely that – because they were used as maces. later they were also used as musical instruments.
but since old habits die hard and humans, especially male humans, are at any point of time only inches away from berserk fits of primeval animosity, the guitar fights (alternatively "musical mace fights") often made a comeback, especially in music schools, stages, jam sessions etc. in jam sessions oftentimes its an inept vocalist, drummer or synth player who is at the receiving end of his bandmate’s wrath, conveyed via the guitar.
ofcourse, such a senario doenst quite result in a guitar fight (unless the lead and bass guitarists try to find out who's more er… talented), nor even a guitar breaking session, cos its the vocalist/drummer’s head that bears the brunt of the assaults. and then again there are situations where the vocalist or drummer of the band gets pissed with their so called guitarist and smashes the guitarist’s own guitar on his head. refer "guitar instructor" to know what sort of scene ensues. btw that’s the real reason “hair” bands were so much in vogue sometime back – cos a shitload of hair on the head often manages to protect both head and guitar.
so that pretty much sums up the pros and cons of guitar breaking, and the consequences (and victims) thereof. hope you enjoyed the lesson and feel free to ask me about any technical questions (ex- in which part of the anatomy should i shove the plecturm after i am done shoving the guitar?? etc) that's bothering your musical mind. keep trying to discover your real talents and happy breaking.