Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Dings - Do they bother you?

Hi everyone! I know this is a pretty weird topic, but I have a question for all of you. I just bought 2012 D-18 about 4 months ago, and it already has a couple minor finish dings on the side, and a couple small headstock dings. If you were me, would you take it to a luthier and have them repaired? Or should I just live with them? I know over time guitars get dinged up and it adds ‘mojo’, but I feel like this guitar is too new for a couple of dings. Thanks in advance everyone.

  • Cameron

might keep them as a reminder to handle the instrument carefully.

It’s all up to your preference. Sometimes, I leave them, sometimes I do something about them. For what it’s worth, I have yet to by a ding-free new guitar. The dings on my new guitars have been small, but they are there nonetheless. If I have a chip (as opposed to a ding), I like to fix it. Otherwise the ability to make an invisible repair becomes more difficult over time.

One thing I would caution against is if you have a few minor dings and the suggested repair involves buffing an entire side of the guitar out. Some people are quick to apply a big buffer, but that finish is not real thick. A buffer is not inherently bad, but I would prefer to have a small ding or two than to re-buff the whole thing.

But in answer to your question… do they bother me? Yes they do. Like Dave said, each one is a reminder. I have a guitar that I haven’t taken out of the house to play. The reality is, if you use a guitar, it’s gonna eventually get dinged.

I don’t think my '05 D18 had been played very much when I got it. It only had a couple of small dings on it after 7 years. I put more on it in a month, but I just live with it. If it’s gonna hang around my neck 3 or 4 hours a day, it’s gonna get bumped. I’m just too clumsy.

On the plus side the guitar has opened up nicely for me in the few months I’ve had it. It might not look as pretty, but it sounds better. Guess that’s a trade off I can live with.

— Begin quote from "ldpayton"

I’m just too clumsy.

— End quote

If we get together to play, someone please remind me to not let Larry play my primo Hello Kitty guitar.

Don’t let me near Hello Kitty - especially if I’ve been drinkin’. I’d do unspeakable things to her.

Dings shmings!

Dings and dents are part of playing your instrument. If you are buying an instrument to collect and keep in museum condition, then put it away in a perfectly humidified environment and forget you own it cause that is the only way it will never get dinged. If you bought the instrument to play, ignore the dings. That does not meant you have to pull it out when you need an oar for canoeing through white water. :astonished:

Some folks are harder on their instruments than others. Some folks sweat the small things and some folks just play their instrument…

I purchased a new Recording King RD-316 last year for playing bluegrass. At this point, it has more dings and dents on it than all of my other 23 guitar combined. Play like you mean it, I always say.

A ding will bother me when it initially happens but I get over it pretty quick. I know it hurts a little more when the guitar is new but its gonna happen sooner or later. I wouldn’t consider getting any repair work done unless it was a deep scratch or a gouge that was very noticeable.

My best guitar…doesn’t bother me at all.

I don’t even think twice about dinging a “playing” instrument. Folks I jam with do cringe when I pick up their guitar though as I tend to bang on them pretty hard.

If I would worry about scratching and dinging an instrument I would have never purchased it in the first place.

It is not about how purdy the guitar is! It’s kind of like owning a fast car; you gotta blow the engine a few times otherwise you should have purchased a Prius!

I have a true story that relates to this topic.

Many years ago (18+), I went with one of my students to help them purchase a graduation gift (nice guitar) that their parents were paying for. We went to a local acoustic guitar store and after playing lots of Martins, Collings, and Taylors, she decided on a moderately priced Martin (I believe it was a 16 series OM). Anyway, we immediately took it back to my studio where I did a complete setup including fret level and dress. After I was done, it played amazing and she was very happy. After playing it for about 45 minutes at my studio, she went to place the guitar back in it’s case and in the process of setting it in the case, the top of the case dropped onto the top of the guitar and put 4 nasty dings on the top of the instrument (the brass latch bounced against the top). She was stunned (as was I) and began to cry. I calmed her down and told her that now she didn’t need to worry about dinging up her guitar, she was free to play it with freedom from fear.

I felt terrible for her, but in the end, an acoustic guitar is just pieces of wood with some metal strings attached. It can make amazing music int he right hands, but it is just a piece of wood with strings. Play it, enjoy it, don’t lose sleep over it.

— Begin quote from "fiddlewood"

might keep them as a reminder to handle the instrument carefully.

— End quote

Good one fiddlewood. Or you could put a couple more dings in it to remind you to handle the instrument VERY, VERY carefully. :laughing:

On a more serious level,… dings happen.

A KGM… :laughing: that is hilarious dude!

When I was not so good financially at one time back in the day I had to sell off all my instruments and ended up with a beginner grade guitar. Didn’t have a case or anything. I was playing regularly with some friends and used to drag it by the neck across the gravel parking lot at the place we played as a kind of an expression of my opinion on the instrument. I have to admit The instrument improved vastly and fastly in sound. It sure looked like crap after a couple months but it gained a lot in sound, probably form the big vibrations and from getting rid of some of the thick finish it had.

I would not recommend this procedure just thought I’d share a story from back in the day.

I did that with a girlfriend after my divorce. She got to looking pretty rough too. So I traded her in.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Back in my college days, my lone instrument was a old Epiphone guitar. One day a group of us decided to head out to a local waterfall to waste an afternoon. We’re hanging out strumming guitars and generally having a good time when I leaned my guitar up against a tree for a couple of minutes while I was doing something else. I hear a couple of gasps, and when I turn around I see my guitar tumbling down over the side of the waterfall. The wind had blown it right over. (I know, I know… it was pretty boneheaded to leave it so close to the egde, but I was young and foolish.)

I hiked down and retreived it. It had a pretty big hole knocked through the back and another smaller one through the soundboard, but other than that it survived. Being a college student I had no resources to fix or replace it, so I played it all through college. Now that’s a ding!

As long as the ding isn’t in the neck I don’t care. If someone is selling a used guitar and it’s in mint condition, especially if they advertise tthat the guitar hhas only been played a few times, it’s probably unplayable or stolen.

Thank you so much everyone for your input!

Talking about “back in the day”, I have an** anti-ding** story. The first higher end acoustic guitar I got was a Taylor 310. It was the most that I ever spent on a guitar at that time. I took extra good care of it. After I played it, I carefully wiped it down. Washed my hands before I played it. I was very reluctant to bring it anywhere or to let other people play it.
One day, a great Austin Texas singer/song writer named Danny Schimdt (very good fingerpicker as well) came to town and I had the pleasure of meeting him and being his opening act. We started talking about guitars and I showed him my Taylor 310. I told him that it was a nice guitar, but I wasn’t too pleased with its voicing. Coincidentally, it turned out that he had the same guitar but it was a little earlier model. He told me to try out his guitar because he finally found a brand of strings that fit the guitar’s voice well and that I might like them on mine also. He opened up his guitar case and while it was a Taylor 310, the top of it looked like a worn out bar countertop. The finish was completely fogged up and underneath that haze was wood that was many shades darker then mine. It almost looked like the top of the guitar was made out of weather worn saddle leather… and that’s not even including the dings. I don’t know how many smoke filled bars that guitar was played in, but I know that it played gigs all over the US, and even made it out to Europe a couple times.
Anyways, when I returned my gaze to my pristine, mama boy of a guitar, I was very embarrassed… and felt shame.

Dings give it character.