"Axe" for 'guitar'?

Chuck Borsos sqeezbox at CRUZIO.COM
Fri Apr 21 07:05:05 UTC 2000

My understanding of the usage of "axe" is that it can refer to any
instrument commonly used in the contexts in which you will hear it, (not
likely that someone would call a brac or zurna or bagpipe an axe), and that
it will refer to the main instrument that a person plays.  Non-musicians
often think that it means just a guitar.  But if someone plays mostly sax
and he's carrying a sax and guitar, the sax is going to be his axe, not the
guitar.  So it means an instrument that the musician has a relationship of
sorts with.  A guitar player's number one out of the twelve guitars she
owns.  An accordion player's main squeeze.

I occasionally here musicians refer to their instruments as if weapons as
well.  Such as, "Did you come armed?" for "Did you bring an instrument?"

Chuck Borsos
Santa Cruz, CA

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