Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Are you more of a gearhead than an actual player?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sbpark, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Like many, when I found this forum MANY years ago I discovered "modding", and fell for it hook, one and sinker. Why not? It's super easy to swap saddles, pots, pickups, caps, etc. Next were pedals. Why not, right? Why go with just a regular old RAT pedal when you can get a boutique, modded, and supposedly "improved" version of a classic? What I discovered over the years was, and as bitter of a pill as it was to swallow, was NONE of that stuff made me a better player, and although I had spent countless hours "researching" and thinking about the next mod that would surely take me to the next level, I still sucked!

    I refocused my energy to play more and worry less about gear. In the quest I learned what I liked and what I didnt like, and found that if something wasn't going my way or sounded the way I wanted, it usually wasn't my gear that was to blame, it was me. I also learned to dial in the gear that I currently had and instead of coming up with an excuse to get a new pedal, new pickups, etc., I just worked more with what I had.

    I know it all depends on what each person's goals and priorities are, but my guess is many of us want to be better players, but it's just way easier to go buy something new than it is to practice, plain and simple.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017

  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    More of a player, but I have become somewhat of a gearhead over the past few years. I'm on the never-ending quest for tone.
    SquashBlossom and JustABluesGuy like this.

  3. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2015
    Caraquet N.-B. Canada
    I am both since I fell in love with vintage amps some years ago.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  4. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    I'm a gear hoarder, but also a player. I've been playing and buying equipment for well over thirty years and I've just accumulated a LOT of stuff! I don't play probably more than half of the stuff I own, but I don't buy anything, unless I at least think it will actually be used for playing. So, I fit both categories, I think.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  5. Grux

    Grux Tele-Holic

    Jan 10, 2017
    Clarksville, TN
    Player. I'm building a guitar and aside from that and maybe changing pickups I don't bother nit picking everything down to the screws. 90% of the things people obsess over like saddles and wood (among other things) you will never even hear if your playing with people anyway.
    Rospo and Ricky D. like this.

  6. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    They are not mutually exclusive imo.
    guitrr, studio1087, P Thought and 4 others like this.

  7. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    More of a gearhead at this point, due to the limitations of current life.
    headly21, Steve 78 and Chip like this.

  8. gitold

    gitold Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2009
    Greeley Co.
    I learned how to play well when I was young. Practiced scales, studied theory, etc. I had no money at the time and usually owned one crappy acoustic. Time went by, kids grew up, more money came in and more gear. Now I have more gear then ever and more time to play and I don't play near as much as I used to. I have a good friend my age who was never the guitar player I was. Over the years he's studied classical and fingerstyle jazz. Now he's in his 60's and working on his lead guitar playing. He just slowly keeps improving as a musician and plays his collection of inexpensive guitars and Cube amps.(who needs effects pedals when it's all built right into the amps right?) He lives in another state so we only see each other every few years but the last time we got together I was ashamed of my playing. I haven't practiced or grown as a musician in years and he was so much better then he used to be. He was like a kid in a candy store with all my gear but he went home and continues on with his ss amps and cheap guitars. So yeah, I guess it's all about the love of music and really wanting to create instead of acquiring stuff.
    guitrr, Tsquared, studio1087 and 4 others like this.

  9. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Respectfully disagree. You don't have "that friend" that knows everything about guitars, gear, etc., but can't play a lick?! There's more of them out there than you think.
    Tsquared, Asmith, Felino and 2 others like this.

  10. Chip

    Chip Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 25, 2005
    Northfield Center, Ohio
    I'm a total gearhead and suck at playing always have and probably always will,
    but I'm okay with that.
    puddin, elmoscafeo, Ambience and 5 others like this.

  11. TMMC

    TMMC Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2013
    I think I'm squarely in the middle. I play, play, play. But I play my 30 guitars, my 7 amps, my various instruments, and I collect, alter, mod, swap, fix...
    JustABluesGuy and Grux like this.

  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    After not playing for so long, becoming a gearhead was a bit necessary to get equiped again. Always searching new sounds new stuff... its very fun! I do need to spend more of my time on the music though...
    JustABluesGuy and TMMC like this.

  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    WAY more player.
    I like gear.
    I LOVE playing.
    I live to play.

  14. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Port Moody, BC
    I'm more of a player. I don't know enough about the differences between different tubes, pots, pickups, bridges, and toggle switch tips to be considered a gearhead. I still don't even know the difference between an American Standard Tele, an American Vintage Tel, and a Standard Tele.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  15. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Holic

    May 23, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    Hey Chip, it seems that we are more alike than different. Top ten of the world worst players, that's me ...... but still love to fiddle and fart about with motorcycles or better still, guitars. I do love to 'fix' things though. Set-ups in my sleep. Changing pick-ups? - no problem. Built my own amp etc. But getting those licks down is something just a tad beyond me.

    Still - can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing.
    Chip likes this.

  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I certainly felt like a gear geek as I built up my pedalboards from a modest few pedals and building up my recording gear, but I now have that sorted out and spend most of the time playing. Finger picking is probably what changed me the most by just getting the right tones from my fingers. It is a nice feeling not researching pedals, mics and amps anymore. Now, with that said, I'm still chasing tones with wanting a few more guitars (P-90 and a reso), but I think I'm settling into really enjoying my few guitars, and especially my tele and song writing. Another issue is my bad timing that really becomes evident while playing with others and gigging, so I'm concentrating on playing with a metronome much more.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.

  17. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I have no band so that leaves looper pedal and/or multi track recording to achieve an "orchestrated" result. I enjoy it but it's not the same at all as playing in a real time, live band. There are gear choices to be acquired to provide the latitude that your imagination hungers for. I don't see this as the same thing as "GAS".

    In a perfect world I'd be able to play in a hobby band and need a guitar, amp and a couple pedals. I also have a bass and bass amp and keyboards. In the past I was able to adapt to what ever was needed by a band at the time.

    Except drums...

  18. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have always been a player, obsessed with playing guitar. I have been a gearhead but motivated by the technical details of what makes 'em work. Not by market status or presence of unobtanium diodes, lightly relic'd nitro finish or swirly painted enclosures.

    Lately I am more on the player end of the balance beam, and finding gear to be trifling and boring.

    I play alot at an open mic at a local bar. They use a Marshall MGFX100 or something cheap and not great. Sounds good to me!

    Meanwhile I've sold 3 guitars and 3 tube amps in a row and haven't had a second thought about any of them.. but I'm buying more acoustic instruments now... used Korean Alvarezes though, stuff under $200. Works for me.
    Route67 likes this.

  19. Fred Rogers

    Fred Rogers Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2013
    Long Island
    I am both. I love gear and chasing tone. I don't know theory and I don't read music, just tabs. I'm not a shredder or picker. I mostly play rhythm and sing.
    jjudas likes this.

  20. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Meister

    Nov 4, 2016
    New Mexico
    LOL! I was thinking the same thing, except I'm a really good player who wishes to be a much better musician.

    I'm an EE by day, I love playing with gear:D

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