Guitar as Graphic Notation

An ongoing series cross-posted from

This is a photo of scratch marks on the rear of a Telecaster guitar.

After working in this little rental office for a while I realized I hadn’t been practicting guitar as much so I bought a used electric guitar from someone who plays in a funk band and was about to become a parent for the first time. These are the markings of the previous owner’s belt buckle on the back of the guitar (it’s a Telecaster, so it’s got a very flat, even back). I love the idea of such scratches being a kind of reverse transcription: musical notation after the fact; the imprint of performance rather than directions for a performance.

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