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LIFE STYLE

Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch, Oh My! [by Carina Zaragoza] There it is, encased in an air-tight glass case: a trophy, a prize, a legend. This LawCrossing Weekend you will gaze in awe at the world’s most expensive guitar.

The lights shine brightly. The air is filled with

There’s the fret board, also known as the

anticipation. The crowd is cheering, yelling,

neck of the guitar. The ever-important

panting, anxiously awaiting the first note.

strings are as follows: the thinnest one

There you are, clad in leather. Your heart is

on the bottom is the E string; next is the B

pounding; the sweat is glistening on your

string, followed by the G string (not to be

brow. One hundred thousand people are

confused with an article of clothing con-

there to see you. You raise your pick in the

stantly thrown at rock stars); next are the D

air; the crowd collectively holds its breath.

and A strings. The top string is also an E, but

Dramatically, you strum the chords and

is the next octave higher. Both E strings have

electrify the night.

the same note, but because the top one is thicker, it has a higher bass.

Okay, time to get back to reality. So maybe not all of us can be rock stars -- but we sure

You tune the guitar using the tuning keys. To

can pretend. Especially if we have the world’s

play the guitar, simply strum the guitar us-

most expensive, and perhaps most famous,

ing your fingers or a pick. Produce different

guitar in our hands. And what’s rock ‘n’ roll

notes by holding down the strings on the fret

all about if not fame and fortune?

board while strumming. Piece of cake.

Blackie, affectionately named by owner Eric

Until you get to the whammy bar, properly

Clapton, is the world’s most expensive gui-

called the tremolo bar. In time, you might

tar, going for close to $1 million. The guitar,

become skilled enough to hold both a pick

which was crafted circa 1956, was played

and a whammy bar in your hand at the same

throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s in the stu-

time. Holding down the whammy bar while

dio and in concerts. I bet Blackie has more

strumming bends the notes. The whammy

stories than all of the LawCrossing members

bar is the most sound-altering tool of the

put together.

guitar. There are sounds you can only make with the whammy bar. With enough practice,

Made by Clapton himself, Blackie is com-

you might master the art of the whammy bar

posed from different Stratocasters. All parts

and rank with the likes of Jimi Hendrix.

blend together in perfect harmony. Just think, this musical masterpiece can be in

Okay, so all of this is pretty elementary, but

your very own hands. You’ll be the envy of all

even the best guitarists were beginners at

your friends, and of every Clapton fan in the

one time. Just as the best attorneys were

world. You can play the same guitar played by

once law students. And with a legendary gui-

a legendary musician. But do you even know

tar in one hand and a law degree in the other,

how to play the guitar?

you’re sure to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- or at least LawCross-

Time for LawCrossing Guitar Lessons 101. First, let’s go over the parts of the guitar.

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ing’s Law Stars Hall of Fame.


Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch, Oh My!