The first ding on nice guitar

I’ve just noticed that my Vigier has small ding in the finish at the upper horn. :pensive:

The worst thing is that I have absolutely no idea how it got there.

I understand that any guitar that actually gets played is going to show signs of use eventually, but the first noticeable ding is always a little painful.

How do you all feel about dents and dings? Any stories to tell?

I was once at a band practice session where the bass player tripped and knocked over my Charvel which fell awkwardly from the stand onto the floor. Not even the smallest scratch.

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5 years ago I was teaching at a music school, and placed my then-new Prestige RG752 on a guitar stand as I and a student were exiting a lesson room. My student unintentionally jostled the room’s quite-heavy music stand on his way out, which I caught out of the corner of my eye, and it began to teeter back and forth. I whirled around in an attempt to stop what I foresaw happening, but it was too late - like an executioner’s axe, the music stand fell perfectly where the lower horn and neck meet, chipping the finish. I’m quite proud of how well I was able to immediately contain my absolute fury. lol

Ever since, the guitar has acquired many more dings, but as you said, that first one really hurts.


I use my guitars, but I’m quite careful with them. Always in a case or in my hands…etc.

Wear is one thing, but the first bruise on anything is annoying. Especially if you have no idea what happened. I hate that.

If I did it, then it’s easier to live with.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that once it’s got its first ding the rest are easier/inevitable. If I were a working musician, then these would be tools. But I have a fair number of tools….and take care of those as well.

One way I look at it is “Well, can’t deny it’s mine now.”

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At a band rehearsal, many many years ago. Our drummer knocked over his crash stand. I was packing away my guitar. It just missed my head, but the crash cut right into the body of my strat :fearful:

It really bugged me for a long time, I’m not even sure why. I never got it repaired and since then there are many wear and tear marks, the paint is cracking off and certainly looks played.

Interestingly, I don’t seem to care too much about things like that anymore. Damaged guitars have a bit of… character to them :sweat_smile:

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Same, I try to be as careful as I can be with everything I have.

I don’t play guitars that are kept in cases. I have good, solid stands around the house, but I don’t have children or any reason to expect they’ll be damaged when I’m not watching them.

They all hurt, but the first is the one that hurts the most.

Good perspective. I’ve no intention of selling this guitar, so I’m not worried about resale value. If anything, a few distinguishing marks might help to recover it if it was ever stolen.

That feeling of inevitability, absolutely brutal. Well done maintaining composure afterwards.

I think I’d prefer getting hit myself!

I think it depends on the guitar. A sunburst strat? The dents are what make each one unique. A PRS CU24? Not so much.


This is very true, and just after posting, I thought about my most recent purchase. An Ibanez with a really nice black aurora burst finish. I don’t think I’d be too happy with some damage on that… So far it’s damage free and I’d like to keep it that way.

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After a great sounding rehearsal, I was too hyped up and kinda “flubbed” my EBMM JP6 (original run) while putting it back in the case; the back of the neck took a hit on the metal lip of the case exterior. Luckily, it was high up on the neck (almost behind the headstock), so I can’t feel it while playing. That guitar has since had “patina” on the bridge hardware, been modified, etc. It’s the main reason why I never liked (and still don’t) buying expensive gear. If I can buy a guitar with the specs I want for cheap, that’s the route I’ll go.


How much time have you got???

My favorite story is when I played in the hard rock/metal band, they insisted on playing full volume even during practice sessions, mic’d up drums through the PA (SSSOOO annoying and loud). During a sound test to get drum levels, I had my guitar on a guitar stand on the stage. One of the PA speakers rattled so hard it fell off its mount, hit a movable wall partition next to it, and like dominos knocked my guitar stand over next. It fell flat on its face and the tuning post of the high E string took the brunt of the fall, leaving a nasty crack from the post all the way to the side of the head. And this crack was all through the entire thickness of the headstock. I thought my guitar (a nice 10-top PRS McCarty) was done for.

Fortunately, I lived about a 3 hour drive from the PRS factory and they fixed it up for me, good as new. I couldn’t believe it and thought maybe they put a brand new neck on the guitar for me because I just couldn’t fathom a crack like that ever being repaired. I think they charged me $425 for the repair.

That was almost exactly 20 years ago actually. Over the years the glue they used has settled, just slightly, and if I get the headstock in just the right glare of light, I can see that crack

I’ve never left my guitar on a stand since :slight_smile:

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The mark on my Vigier seems insignificant compared to that!

Well I had to work for about 5 minutes to tilt it just right so the glare of my lights highlighted that crack. It’s almost imperceptible even after all these years. But yes that initial injury was very upsetting lol! I wasn’t even close enough to stop it, the whole thing happened right before my eyes in slow motion. Very much like @Riffdiculous said - like the executioner’s axe lol!

I still empathize with you and the rest of the responses. These dings are always painful, particularly on the pricey instruments.

I have a $200 squire strat (my first guitar) and one day I thought it would be fun to try that move where you ‘throw’ the guitar from the strap so that it circles around your neck, then I guess you’re supposed to strum it hard and look cool. Well, the strap pin ripped right out and the guitar went flying. I laughed really hard about that one and didn’t even care. I was alone at the time, for clarity lol! I didn’t try that one on stage!


I’ve broken a neck on two of my guitars. One is a Gibson, the other a Gibson style guitar. Same headstock type which is a sort of flawed design.

The strap came off one as I was playing and it broke near the headstock.

The other was erm… a major case of rage quitting!

Both broke in exactly the same spot. The luthier told me he makes most of his money fixing Gibsons, due to the headstock design, apparently it doesn’t take much to break them.

On my Gibson, you’d never be able to tell it’s been damaged. The other doesn’t look so good… but I’m not a huge fan of that guitar anyway (“indie”, I don’t think that company exists anymore )


Ooofff! Broken neck is a whole different level!


Some good stories here, I’ve done some stupid shit with my guitars too, thankfully nothing that was going to affect their playability.

But the one can still irritate me to this day was when I applied white cleaning cream, carbonara wax sort of thing from planet waves on my lentz’ braz fretboard, I’ve tried all sorts of things and given up, but it’s still got a bit of the dogs hair vibes in the right light.

Battle Scars = Mojo, even if they’re paper cuts :laughing:


I still own the first good guitar I ever had, an Ibanez Roadstar with birdseye maple top. The back is absolutely destroyed with bucklerash, dents and dings, the front is pristine; looks brand new. Gotta love the straight headstock design, I’ve knocked it on the floor dozens or hundreds of times with no broken headstocks.

My first guitar is really messed up too, I’ve routed it terribly, repeatedly, so bad that there’s a hole if you remove the pickguard, but it’s still sounds killer, a 94’ MIM black strat. That neck has a tone of it’s own.
It’s the black one in this picture, can’t see all the checking and dings, but they’re there! The first bump definitely bummed me out for a while.


You guys will probably chase me out of town for this, but:

  • I bought a Charvel Joe Duplantier and it hurt my right arm. I bought an angle grinder and “fixed it”. Sanded the back of the neck.
  • Bought a Heritage H535 - rolled the fretboard with a file; put a Pearson armrest on it and ‘shaped’ it with a Shinto saw which dinged up a bit of the binding on the guitar; sanded the back of the neck.
  • Bought a Les Paul Standard - did the same thing to it that I did the Heritage. Still contemplating give it the “Joe” treatement.
  • Thinline tele - gouged the poly finish off of it with a screw driver and metal paint peeler.
  • …there are more, but I can’t recall.
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That’s all cool with me. Deliberate modification, form over function, etc. Do whatever you need to to make your guitar work for you. Eric Johnson has flattened the fretboards of vintage Strats, Jimmy Page had the necks of his '58 ans '59 Les Pauls slimmed down, etc.

Unnecessary aesthetic damage bothers me. However, damage that changes the kinaesthetic experience of playing the instrument for the worse could make me consider selling a guitar.

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It looks amazing!

No, you’re just like the youthful Edward Van Halen, doing what needs to be done. Ultimately, a guitar is merely a tool.

I haven’t dinged my Ibanez 8570 just yet, but it’s probably inevitable. If I do, I might try to see if I can find a good luthier to fix it, perhaps when it eventually needs to get the frets replaced (sadly, they’re not stainless).


I have no issue with dings. I’m sober now, but I’ve spent a good many drunken weekday nights in a spare room at my fraternity messing around with the other musicians in my chapter. I like to hit a crash cymbal with my strat’s headstock. I think it’s funny. This is not good for the integrity of a guitar’s finish.

My left rotator cuff makes washing my hair difficult some days, my left pinky has been crooked after it shattered grabbing a rebound years ago, and my right ankle hurts on damp days ever since a drunken fall down a staircase. I speak slowly and sometimes struggle to find the best word after five concussions. I have to work harder than most of my classmates to get the grades I want, as fourth-year chemistry major. My little injuries, aches, and pains are reflective of the reckless, dumb ass life I’ve lived, and I see the dings, wear, and tear on my instruments as being the same. No regrets.


In case I missed it, what color is the guitar? Check out Gluboost. I have used their products with great success before. Or just own the ding, which I have also done.

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