Are offset guitars nothing but hipster junk?
To those not in the know, offset guitar indicates the guitar body is constructed using an offset-waist position; that means the neck sticks out away from the player slightly more compared to a center-waist construction. On most offset guitars, you can see the "lean" in the body where the top is positioned more forward than the bottom.
What is the hipster's goal concerning guitars?
In the guitar realm, the goal of a hipster is to "look indie", as in to look like you shop at a thrift store and only play guitars that nobody else would play that have a well-used look to them.
Being to look indie is the goal, the offset guitar is the hipster axe of choice (specifically the Fender Jaguar).
"But Rich, you play an offset guitar..."
Yes, I do. I play a Squier Jazzmaster. But I didn't buy it for hipster reasons. I bought it because I wanted the sound of those huge single-coil pickups along with the vibrato system that allows for effortless "slow" pitch bending. In other words, I bought it for guitar player reasons.
The fact my guitar is a Squier brand makes hipsters go "Eww!" instantly, because of course they drink the same Kool-Aid other guitar snobs do.
The offset snob
If you've played guitar for more than a year, you know of Strat snobs, Les Paul snobs and so on. But then there's the offset snob, which is populated exclusively by hipsters. Really, really annoying hipsters (as if there's another kind).
Fact: Offset snobs suck at guitar and barely know anything about them
The hipster doesn't even know how to operate a Jaguar properly. All he knows is to turn the volume and tone to 10, take out the vibrato bar since it will never be used anyway, switch to the lead circuit and then set the lead switches so only the rear pickup is heard.
When you hear a hipster play, it's nothing but droning chords and open strings drowned in ratty distortion or drenched in chorus and delay effects. Why? Because the guitar isn't set up properly and is buzzing all over the place, so the hipster drowns all that out with effects.
What the hipster wants is a Telecaster, but he'll never buy one
When you lock the vibrato down, switch to the lead position and use nothing but the rear pickup on a Jag, what do you end up with? Telecaster tone.
Being a hipster never uses vibrato and never uses a Jag's rhythm circuit, it would make total sense for him to junk the Jag and get a Telecaster instead.
But he'll never buy it. Why? Image. A Telecaster simply "doesn't look indie enough".
Actually, that's not true. This looks indie enough:
Old Tele? No, new one. It's a Road Worn. It's the ultimate for the hipster douche bag because it's a fast, easy solution to make it look like you're indie when in fact you're not.
Offset guitars aren't junk. Hipsters make guitars junk.
Should you be unfortunate enough to buy a guitar previously owned by a hipster, it will be the cleanest guitar you ever owned, no question about that. A hipster knows how to get a bottle of Windex and use paper towels. But the rest of the guitar will require some major work to make it a good, playable instrument.
Truss rod? A hipster knows nothing about truss rods. The neck will be shaped like a banana.
Properly operating controls? Not happening. A hipster knows nothing about how to use contact cleaner to keep potentiometers and other switchgear operating cleanly. All the controls will be "scratchy", count on that.
Stiff-as-a-board screws? They're everywhere on the hipster axe, because they've never been adjusted.
Stiff-as-a-board tuners? Also common, since the hipster has no idea how to lubricate them because he never bothered to learn how.
When you buy a guitar previously owned by a hipster, it will be a piece of crap. A really nice looking piece of crap, but still a piece of crap.
Don't ever buy a guitar just for image
It's important to have a guitar that you think looks good. But it's more important to have a guitar that's a comfortable player for your playing style.
Hipsters buy Jaguars and Jazzmasters because they're trying to achieve a fake "indie" look. Don't be the douche bag that does this. Play a guitar that your hands agree with best. If you don't, you'll never get any better at the guitar because you'll always be fighting with it. And that's not fun at all.
More articles to check out
- Ibanez does a "Negative Antigua" finish
- The guitar some buy in threes because they can: Grote GT-150
- You're not allowed to change a brake light in a new car?
- Unexpected surprise, Casio F201
- Why the Epiphone Explorer is better than the Gibson (for now)
- You should surround yourself in guitar luxury
- Forgotten Gibson: 1983 Map Guitar
- Casio MTP-V003, the one everyone missed
- Just for the look: Peavey Solo guitar amp
- Spacehunter, that '80s movie when 3D was a thing