Is there ever a day more akin to Christmas to G.A.S. sufferers than Black Friday??
What a sudden glut of zeros on our bank account statement!!
So let your love affair begin, and let these tips get you ready to…put a ring on it!!
“Who Do Ya Love? Now Who Do Ya Love…?”
It goes without saying (and yet, here I am….saying it!) that, to quote the inimitable Joe Jackson, “You can’t get what you waaaaant, ’til you know what you waaaaant.” You’ll make things a whole lot easier on yourself and her on Black Friday if you’ve done your research, picked your bride, and are simply ready to walk him/her down the aisle….to the “Checkout” page!
Three options will prepare you:
- Research online
- Research in your local stores
- Research both
Totally your call, but I recommend the third option. There’s just something that really ties the knot when you’ve held your beloved after choosing him/her from amidst the other options that are alluring, yet somehow lack that…certain something.
Online research is good for checking out the features and benefits of a given instrument or product, and then comparing it against what you have ascertained is the perfect fit for your style, studio setup or production needs.
In-store shopping is excellent for what really matters in audio – how does it SOUND?? Go in there, pick up instruments and PLAY them. There’s no substitute for experiencing the sound-producing qualities (or sub-par traits) of a given instrument. When it comes to musical instruments, until you hear it, you just don’t know.
One quick caveat though: know what your budget is going in to this. A four or five-thousand-dollar instrument is obviously going to make most of us salivate and quote love poems, but if you know that the best you can muster is under $700, then by all means don’t tease yourself into misery – try ones that fit your budget so you can have a successful end to this courting tale.
No More Dumb-bow – This Elephant’s FLYIN’!
Case in point: three years ago I went to a store called Shar in Ann Arbor, Michigan to check out their “Pre-Christmas Sale”. It is the premiere shop for any orchestral stringed instrument. They are indeed, in a word….awesome.
I had started learning violin two years previous was in the market for a new violin bow. The one I had was a beginner model and I was wondering if a new bow would improve my fiddle tone at all.
Upon arriving, I asked the Shar representative if I could try any violin bows under $500 (see? I knew my budget). I had brought my violin with me so I could hear the end sound product. She soon had graciously brought me a large drawer upon which was sitting about 14 violin bows. She explained to me the basic divisions of each kind and then ushered me to a practice room where I could try each one to my heart’s content.
If you would have told me before that day that violin bows can influence your tone dramatically, I would have listened, but been pretty skeptical. Not anymore. I couldn’t believe the different frequencies that each bow brought out of my fiddle! Two in particular stood out as the clear winners as I played, so I then put those two to the ultimate test: I recorded myself playing with both on my smart phone and then listened objectively (a method of decision-making I highly suggest). The recording made it clear which made me sound like Heifetz on a mountaintop, so I marched right out to the register singing “Got to Get You Into My Life” (the EWF version, my personal favorite)!
So if you can, get in a store and decide upon the specific make, model and variation of the instrument you want. That way, if you do buy online, you have the assurance that you’ll like the exotic damsel that shows up at your door swaying and singing your name.
Crave, but Save!
Once your heart is set on him/her, the most important thing you’re gonna need to woo her to your world is….MONEY, of course. Kinda hard to get around that one. Since you’ve already chosen a specific instrument, look online and find the lowest possible price on it right now. You know on Black Friday it’ll be less than that probably, but for now let that be your maximum price.
Next question: do you currently have that total, set aside, in your bank, or available on your credit card? If not, you must start RIGHT NOW putting aside some cash every payday that will get you to your goal. If you’re really smart you will have a bank savings account (or a drawer in your studio!) all year long, that you stash cash in just for this day. Even call it “BLACK FRIDAY BOOTY”. It sounds pirate-y and makes the bankers wonder, especially if you’re wearing an eye-patch!
Follow this advice and you will have a rich, wondrous rendezvous every year with a website of your choosing. It might not be on top of the Empire State building like our mentioned movie, but, with today’s smart phones….it could be.
Request and be Blessed!
The other idea to make the most of this day takes a little more patience, but still ends up in celebration – even more so because it’s shared with other people. This is a great tactic for those who know that they just won’t have enough cash to get what they need/want on the big day.
The method? Ask your loved ones to buy it for you or chip in on it with you for Christmas! This suddenly increases the funds such that the instrument you desire might be in reach. It’s a win/win – your family gets you something they KNOW you’ll love and you….well, you get to feel the love, both from them and, come the yuletide, your new beloved that’ll be waiting under the tree!
My personal experience with this? I found a guitar on EBay some years back that looked SO COOL – it was A Les Paul-type electric, covered with dragon motif Purfling on the pickguard and up the entirety of the neck. The Seller had forgotten to, um….put the word “guitar” in the heading, so, I kid you not, I ended up being the only one to bid on it. And the starting bid? $230 – with a hard-shell case.
Waking up that Christmas morning, I almost felt like I was 5 again; it was that exciting and fulfilling. Try it. I guarantee you’ll like it!
The Early Riffing Bird…
If you or a loved one is gonna buy for you on Black Friday, score your purchase in the morning. Don’t wait. Many products end up being sold out and you don’t want that disappointment. Remember, there are millions of people online all trying to get the best deal. Girls, don’t let your hot stud of an instrument be stolen by some other hussy! Guys, don’t let your lovely lady be swept away ‘cuz your pillow felt good. Tine to make the doughnuts! Be like David Lee Roth: get up, and don’t let nothin’ get you down!
When you’ve grabbed your coffee, sit down and start surfing. Check any and all websites that list your instrument, and if you’ve risen early…no need to rush. Be thorough and you’re bound to find your beauty able to be freed for less money than you’ve seen yet. It doesn’t happen every time; some websites are obviously still living in the 80s and keeping their marketing heads in the sand by not offering Black Friday specials. Let’s give our hard-earned cash to those who cut us deal after deal. That’ll teach ’em!
On a Clear Day You Can See….Your Tracking Number!
Finally, in true romantic comedy fashion, if you’ve done the work to find your love; if you’re ready for the moment you propose; if you’re there with cash in hand and a winning smile to melt circuit–laden heart…then, don’t be shy – put a ring on it! Make the commitment! It’ll be worth it, and you’ll always have Paris…uh, well, I mean you’ll always have a great Black Friday story to share with your friends, family, children, grand-children, great-grand-children, great-great-grand-children, great-great-great-grand….
Now – go…make…sounds.