Dear Musician - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Embrace Change
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
I was recently speaking with a group of guitarists about the instrument itself. We were having a friendly chat about the shape of guitar necks and the makeup of the instrument. This led us to the subject of CITES and the use of rosewood. All I can say is that guitarists take this subject very seriously.
That discussion further lead Team HC into a conversation about our entire industry and the need to embrace the earth friendly philosophy of reduce, reuse, and recycle. But to do this, you need to be able to embrace change!
Change is difficult but sometimes necessary. Imagine what musicians thought when manufacturers changed ivory piano keys to a synthetic ivory, or when cat gut guitar strings were changed to nylon. How about when drummers found calf skin heads being replaced with all-weather-friendly plastic? How about when rosewood xylophone bars were replaced with synthetic counterparts?
All of these things must have really seemed major at the time, but over time these changes have become the new normal. Today, however, we are faced with dwindling resources to produce instruments in mass quantities, and manufacturers are being challenged to discover new materials that are either an approved renewable resource or are an acceptable alternative synthetic product.
Lacquered products will be phased out and replaced with waterborne urethanes. Endangered hardwoods will have to be replaced with an alternative renewable resource.
Some manufacturers will resort to building instruments out of a recycled resource. Prisma Guitars, for example, makes guitars out of recycled old skate boards, and they're pretty cool. This is a great example of a manufacturer's taking a product that might otherwise find itself in a landfill and producing a great music-making instrument from it.
In a previous Dear Musician, I discussed Cool Change as it relates to the season. Just as fitting as the change of season, musicians will need to dig deep into their souls and determine if they “really” can tell a difference in the material being used to produce their guitars or if they are falling prey to perception deception versus reality.
Our planet has grown in population to the point that we are consuming faster than the planet can replace. So a change is gonna come. -HC-
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett