Guitar doctor: local man builds life around music

Linden Butler inspects an electric guitar at his house on a Saturday afternoon. Butler inspected the Floyd Rose system on a Jackson Dinky guitar, finding out why the strings would not stay in tune without yanking the tremolo, or “whammy bar”, up.

Linden Butler inspects an electric guitar at his house on a Saturday afternoon. Butler inspected the Floyd Rose system on a Jackson Dinky guitar, finding out why the strings would not stay in tune without yanking the tremolo, or “whammy bar”, up.

by Josh Marler

Rap, metal, rock, pop, country, whatever genre it is, music plays a big role in people’s lives; however, from 2011-2014 the number of people in the United States who play a musical instrument has decreased by over 1.5 million people, according to Statista.com.

Inspired by Leonard Cowin, Bill Withers, and Black Sabbath, Linden Butler, a 25 year old kitchen hood cleaner traveling state to state has been playing guitar since 2000, 16 years, however Butler also makes a hobby of playing the bass.

“There’s a few different reasons I started playing,” Butler says, “I don’t wanna say girls ‘cause that’s everyone’s go to, I had a lot of aggression that I didn’t know what to do with, my step dad let me borrow his guitar and it was pretty much hearty eyes from there.”

About a year after getting his first guitar, Butler got a new guitar and tore the old guitar apart, which he still uses as a reference for things today.

Butler has had a variety of instruments throughout his life, and first learning to play the clarinet at six years old he is a determined musician. “I’ve had two clarinets, four trumpets, three french horns, three tubas, a banjo, a mandolin, a ukulele, three harmonicas, a djembe, holy god now we’re getting into guitars,” Butler says, “I’ve had nine acoustics, 21 electrics, I haven’t had many basses, I’ve only had six, and I’ve had two drum sets.”

One of Butler’s most impressive talents is his ability to fix up a cheap and abused guitar into something much better. Butler repaired a Fender Starcaster, a $50 knock off of a Stratocaster, that had belonged to a friend. The guitar had been left for over a year unplayed, nail polish designed the pickguard and pickup covers, the strings were rusted, and when played it gave an awful tone that sounded like it was coming through a toilet. Butler borrowed the guitar for a few weeks. During that time he took the strings and pickup covers off, cleaned the fretboard, adjusted the intonation, and put new strings onto it. When he brought it back the guitar played good as new.

“That guitar certainly turned out worth the time and effort I put into it,” Says Butler, “I just think it’s amazing that something like that turned out being amazing.”

Butler still borrows the guitar now and again to make sure it plays well, and so that he’ll have something to play around his house.

“Practice, practice, practice,” Butler says to advice beginner musicians, “If you feel the need to explore the inside of a guitar don’t do it on one you’re already playing. Tools you should always have just in case would be a screw driver of every size and shape, allen wrenches depending on the guitar, pliers, wire cutters or strippers, and a soldering iron.”

Also, keep in mind that something expensive is not required in order to start playing. Butlers first guitar was a Squire Stratocaster, which he didn’t change the strings on for eight months and they were rusted when he went to do so.

“For regular maintenance clean your strings and clean your tone pots,” Butler says, “Sitting your guitar face side out, often thought to be harmless, will push the neck out of place.”

Butler believes that if he did not have music he would be an English teacher, as English is his second love.

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