Now that the weather is starting to get colder, parties are starting to move indoors. That can only mean one thing: now there is finally a concentrated audience for you to serenade with your musical prowess on the acoustic guitar. Just as the Victorians gathered around the household piano for their entertainment 120 years ago, so will the partygoers of today flock to that dude in the button down polo “casually” strumming “whatever just pops into his head”. Of course, this cannot be simply be a “spur of the moment” event, but carefully planned and executed.
So now, Golden Words would like to present Douchebag Guitar 101:
Step 1) Plagiarism! Nothing defines the rock n’ roll spirit better than ripping off another, more successful artists. Every song writer today owes a debt to Lennon-McCartney, who were just ripping off Buddy Holly, who was just ripping off great Black blues artists. Now its your turn to take your place in this pantheon of plagiarism by passing off someone else’s song as your own. Taking an obscure album cut by your favourite artist is a safe bet, especially if they’re “super indie”. But sometimes you can straight up steal a progression from a popular song, twist the words around a bit and announce it as “one I’ve been working on for a while”. Worse comes to worse, people will be too drunk to remember that you said it was yours and start singing to this song that was playing like 10 minutes ago on the stereo.
Step 2) Simplify! Being the guitar-playing guy at a party means that you are in no position to show off your technical skills. You have to strip your sound and style down to the bare-bones basics. No more than 4 chords, no fancy scales or, as much as you think you can own it, epic 9 minute solos. If you have an electric, maybe, but that’s a whole other situation – if you’re playing in a plugged-in Les Paul at a party, one would expect you were called upon to entertain by the host, and not just casually grabbing an acoustic someone accidently left out.
In addition, make sure those chords are basic, no bullshit stuff. If the song calls for an F#m, get that into an F. If it says to play an E7, play an E, or even just the E string. Which E string? That’s for you to figure out. Don’t bring any fancy equipment into the mix either unless you mean business. Because once you break the capo out, it can only be used for some serious, professional shit, like Wonderwall.
Step 3) Location, Location, Location! In order to reach your largest audience possible, you must scout out an optimal location prior to grabbing the guitar. This is just common sense. No one wants to be stuck in a cramped staircase with some idiot playing guitar. They want to be stuck in the largest, most acoustically viable room of the house with some idiot playing guitar awesomely. By positioning yourself as the organically-developing centre of the par-tay, you will be able to maximize your sonic reach.
PRO TIP: clear some space around you so the bitties can be free to congregate around you as you softly serenade you. (now I’m not saying that the douchebag playing guitar at a party has to be a guy, but it is simply statistically more likely. While the door is certainly wide open for female guitar douches, usually when a girl starts singing or playing an instrument at a party, she is quite talented and not douchey at all).
Step 4) Have Fun! No one wants to listen to minstrel who’s not having any fun. You gotta belt out those covers of mindless pop songs with feeling! How do you think Mumford got his start? Hardwork? Bullshit! He just kept hanging around parties, playing music that was popular 100 years ago, then eventually three other guys were like “that’s not terrible” and BAM 6 million albums sold. All because he put some soul into it, man. So let’s try “Shake it Off” again, with feeling.
So there you go – pound back a few brews, grab a git and get ready to shine, ya beaut. And if you steal my Am C G F progression, I’ll sue your ass!