Acoustic Guitar and the Phrase "Singer/Songwriter"
My relationship with the acoustic guitar is one that blossomed in earnest over the past four months. It really began about a year ago when I bought my Taylor, but it probably wasn't until at least six months after I bought it that I really began to develop a true love of the acoustic guitar. Now I love playing the acoustic guitar. These days I play it more than I play electric which is a surprise to me as much as it is to anyone who knows me.
See, when I first began playing guitar, I didn't want to be another girl that could play a few chords on her acoustic guitar. I wanted to be the real thing. So I solely played electric guitar (save for borrowing friends' guitars) for more than six years. And even after I got my Martin I still wasn't terribly keen on the acoustic guitar. It didn't hit me the way the electric guitar did at the outset.
It was a cliche. And I didn't want to be a cliche.
I didn't want to be a singer/songwriter self-indulgent repetitious dink.
The phrase "singer/songwriter" is thrown around too casually for my liking. I love singer/songwriters. But the real ones. Carole King is a singer/songwriter. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young (he's everything), CSN(Y), those people are singer/songwriters. The guy down the hall from me in my dorm at Berklee, a singer/songwriter? Technically, if he sings and writes his own songs, yeah, he is, but is he really? Bruce Springsteen is. Taylor Goldsmith is. Laura Marling is. I feel like there's a level that needs to be ascertained before using the phrase "singer/songwriter."
I don't consider myself a singer/songwriter for a number of reasons. Do I write my own songs? Yes. Do I sing them? Yes. Am I singer/songwriter? Again, technically, but no, I'm not. I'm not comfortable with calling myself that out of respect to those who came before me and truly are singer/songwriters.
I know, I know. I know it's silly, but maybe in a little while (or a long while) I'll be more welcoming of the phrase "singer/songwriter." But for now, I'm not.