Two types of players

By Paul DeGuiseppi, MACS manager of service training

I’ve always contended that there are two types of guitar players. No, I’m not talking about “lead” or “rhythm.” Nor am I talking about “electric” or “acoustic.”

When it comes to guitarists (and bassists as well), it is my contention that there are “E/A/D” players and “C/F/G” players.

The chords don’t have to be in those exact orders, and there can be variations. In other words, an E/A/D player could also often be an E/A/B player, and a C/F/G player will also usually dabble with C, F and B♭. Heck, either type of player will often throw in a seventh or minor of one of those chords, or add another harmonious chord or two to the mix. But my theory is that a particular musician’s ear and expression mostly favor a certain set of sounds. To help my musically challenged readers understand, I’ll explain it a different way. While all types of music can and do use those notes and chords, and further, when it comes to chords, their bazillion different structures, much rock, metal and associated genres often lean toward the brooding and dark E/A/D progression (and its variations). Songs you may know that go with E, A and D are The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and Bob Seeger’s “Turn the Page” (with Metallica’s version maybe a better representation than Seeger’s). Whereas genres like folk, bluegrass and many others often go the happy, light way of C, F and G. Songs you probably know that are usually performed using C, F and G include “You Are My Sunshine” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” Moreover, every other polka that’s so far or yet to be written most likely is or probably will be a C/F/G composition. Once again, keep in mind that any tune (sometimes with questionable results) may use any note or chord its writer dreamt up. Plus, there’s a process called transposition, through which a musician may switch the song to use a different set of chords that also naturally go together, but that are different from the ones its writer penned, or different from those in which it’s usually performed.

At this point in the yarn, you might be thinking “has Paul finally fallen completely off his rocker?” Why is he talking about all this music theory stuff, and what the twaddle does it have to do with cars or fixing them? I must confess – nothing really. However, the spark that lit everything you’ve read so far did come from a conversation I recently had with an old, long-time associate of MACS. To conceal his identity, I’ll refer to him as “OTB.” OTB was performing a condenser swap on a certain domestic vehicle. He said it seemed to him that the condenser had to come out the bottom with the vehicle in the air, and he called to pick my brain to see if, one, he was correct about that, and two, if so, did I know of any shortcuts or an official procedure to do the job – what absolutely needed to be unbolted, moved or removed to allow the condenser to slip out, and what didn’t. OTB was right – on this particular vehicle, to remove the condenser (or radiator), it does have to come out the bottom. And unfortunately, I told him, as far as I knew there weren’t any shortcuts and indeed, a fair amount of front clip disassembly would be required.

“Dag nab it,” he said, “I was afraid of that” (he really didn’t say “dag nab it,” but I can’t tell you here what he actually did say). “But oh, well,” he continued, “as much of a pain as this is, I’d rather work on this thing any day than work on an imported car. I just can’t get my wrenches around how they do things.” I immediately retorted that while I like them all (because they all eventually break or need something replaced or renewed), I prefer working on Japanese or Korean cars instead of most domestic or European ones. Give me my 10, 12 and 14 millimeter sockets and wrenches, a few Phillips screwdrivers and a few other tools, and I’ve got covered probably 75% of the work that ever needs to be done on them. OTB strongly disagreed, and restated that he only liked working on American cars, and not even them so much anymore. So OTB and I have our preferences. Then again, I know guys that thrive working on pieces from the continent, who wouldn’t dream of touching anything engineered in Detroit, Tokyo or Seoul.

Then there are others who work on big rigs, ag and construction equipment who would rather rebuild an engine working through an exhaust stack than put even one wrench to a passenger conveyance. But you know what? Tomato/to-mah-to, potato/pa-tah-to. And let’s not call anything off. Thank goodness that when it comes to mechanics (and musicians), there are players of different types.

Hey, one more thing – am I a “C/F/G” or an “E/A/D” player? Clues you need to help you figure that out are on this page.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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