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Should you sell a guitar you never play? Even if it’s got some meaning?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by jamz, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. jamz

    jamz TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2016
    New Hampshire, US
    i don’t have a ton of guitars and play only as a hobby. Since I got re-interested in playing a couple of years ago after 20 years of other stuff going on, and discovered the telecaster, I have not played anything else.

    Quick history-Got and sold a nice arch top but was afraid to touch it. Bought a Les Paul studio because I thought it would be nice to have. I impulsively bought a cheapie strat copy because it was thirty five bucks. Last week I found an Ibanez thin entry level arch top in a beautiful blue, talked the guy down to a laughably low price and walked out with it. I also have the second guitar I ever bought, a 1983 Ibanez roadster II that I never play, and I think was actually the reason I stopped playing for so many years. Oh, also I have my first tele, a lovely upgraded MIM that I don’t play since I got my MIA one.

    So I have a lot of wall hangers, none valuable, none very nice. Everyone says that they regret selling guitars. What to do? Keep them? Sell them?

    I think my goal is to get down to three guitars- a tele, a LP, and an archtop.

    But will I regret selling the rest? Help me friends at tdpri, you are my only hope!
    chemobrain likes this.
  2. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    My answer is yes and no. I have sold many guitars because I stopped playing them. But I have a White Falcon that never gets played that I would never sell. I always wanted a Falcon so that's why I have it. If emotional attachment is there it is tough to get rid of something.
  3. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    I now play way more that i am down to 4 guitars..and 5 tube when i get a guitar and amp dialed in, i pick up a dif guitar and plug it into a random amp ..and let the tone games begin...big prob i have is when i switch back n forth between 25.5 and 24.75...gets mighty expensive...but man is it fun...
  4. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    In your case, I'd sell some. But not necessarily all of them.

    I have a refin'd 1960 Jazzmaster that my ex-step uncle ( dynamics) used when he toured as a sideman with the Isley Brothers and during a brief stint as a rhythm guitarist for Chuck Berry in the late 60's. He was really cool to me and showed me my first Hendrix riffs on that guitar.

    Long boring story, but unfortunately he wasn't cool to his wife and kids, and when he disappeared for good, my half brother got the guitar, which was no longer a viable musical instrument...

    It held nothing but bad memories for my brother, so I bought it from him, paid him top dollar. I had it set up so it's playable again, but it was very damaged from years of neglect and abuse. It's not a great musical instrument, but it's a great guitar, at least for me.

    I don't play it, and it's not for sale.

    If that guitar could talk, we'd have to shoot it! :cool:
  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Nope .

    Just stuff.

    I have quite honestly had 100+ guitars go through my hands (20+ Teles alone) and out of that number, I regret selling maybe 5 ?

    Sell ‘em !
  6. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 12, 2016
    Don't have tons of guitars and none of the new ones is expensive. Last purchase was a xmas present for myself, a Chinese strat-style guitar (a proper Chinese, not an Aliexpress special :)). All those can go - if I ever miss them I'll probably find decently-priced replacements.

    The only one I won't part with is my old girl, a -67 Hagström Viking I've had for 30 years. If my hands don't work anymore, off to the wall the beauty goes.
    bloomz likes this.
  7. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    I have been working very hard to thin the herd and I too have many guitars that I haven't played in months. The problem is two-fold, most are not overly valuable and they all have a story behind them which is why I ended up buying them in the first place. You could sell them off, but probably not recover much money so you just gain space and lose a few stories in the process. I find memories more valuable than a few bucks at my age, so I have only sold off the guitars and amps that were purchased simply because it was a great deal rather then there being any story behind them. In those cases, the monetary gain and added space is valuable.

    I have one telecaster that is an unplayable mess, but it was built all by hand by my nephew who has since died in a car crash. The neck is twisted, the tuners crooked, and the routing looks like it was done with a pocket knife, but it will never be sold. I suggest that you look at your inventory and find the pieces that you have no attachment to and sell them. The rest, hang onto them unless you really need the cash to keep the lights on.
    bloomz likes this.
  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Unless it’s a family heirloom, let em’ go.
    They were made to be played, not ignored, or looked at.
    RadioFM74 and Piggy Stu like this.
  9. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 30, 2010
    New York City
    The only right answer is the one that's right for you. I only have two guitars that really have any true meaning to me. My first electric, which I never play any more but I'll never sell; my first acoustic, which is still my goto trusty acoustic. A third that has a bit of meaning to me is a recent Gibson acoustic purchase that fills the hole of a regretted sale more than 10 years ago. The rest I like/love to varying degrees, each gets varying amounts of playing time from zero to a lot, and each has enough differentiation from the others to have its own place in the herd.

    Are any of them completely off the for sale block? With the exception of the first two, probably not, but I personally don't understand the need to sell stuff just to sell stuff and "slim down" unless you really just don't have enough space. There was something about each that made them an impulse purchase in the first place. When the honeymoon ends for me, that's when those impulse pieces become viable sale items to get something else I really want...until I want something else. Lol
    Bobby73, kuvash and gitlvr like this.
  10. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    The few instruments I’ve sold I’ve regretted selling. But not so much that I replaced them except my acoustic guitar which I replaced with another (better) one and a mandolin which I wish I still had but have five others to help me forget.
  11. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2008
    Northern Va.
    Nope. What's mine is mine. If I want to keep it, for whatever reason, that's my right. If I want to sit it in the corner and look at it fondly, I can.
    It's a guitar. It has no emotion but what I give it or ascribe to it.
    It does not have any rights or privileges I do not grant it, certainly it does not have the "right" nor does it "deserve" to be given or sold to someone else because I choose not to play it.
    bloomz likes this.
  12. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    This situation is personal and specific to you, but I'll share one experience that might apply. I bought my first "real," playable acoustic new in 1969 - a 1968 Standel AKA Harptone baby jumbo designed by Sam Koontz. (Zero fret, arched back, just one weird guitar.) This and a blonde Tele were my go-to guitars through to the late-70s when I quit music and bands altogether - sold my Tele, Twin Reverb, Fender Rhodes & other keyboards, the stupid-giant-heavy sound system, mics, etc. Everything except the Standel which I stuck in the back of our various bedroom closets as we moved around the map. In the late-90s when I became interested in playing again, my Standel was there and, lo and behold, my wife - the Real Keeper - noting in the early-90s that it was deteriorating had taken it to a luthier and gotten it restored. Long-winded as usual, but my point is that some instruments can have an emotional connection that you may not want to lose. I got the Standel restored a 2nd time in 2015 and, even tho I hadn't play it for those 20 years, I now play it a lot around the house. Had a Fishman Rare Earth soundhole humbucker installed with the 2nd restoration and play out with it pretty regular. Still a half century later an amazing playing and sounding guitar that I'm very fond of.
    Jimmy Owen and bloomz like this.
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Objects only have meaning if we assign it to them.
    Piggy Stu and kuvash like this.
  14. Arafel

    Arafel Tele-Meister

    Oct 19, 2011
    I've sold two acoustics and one Tele. One of the acoustics was a Takamine, a dreadnaught that was really the first "good" guitar I owned, and had a lot of sentimental value to me. I sold it though because I have osteoarthritis in my right shoulder and playing a deep body acoustic gets painful very quickly. I don't regret it. Guitars are meant to be played. Same with the Tele I sold; had a maple neck, and I realized I didn't like that particular maple neck, because it's sticky.

    On the other hand, when I was going through a divorce I had to sell a Santa Cruz OM/PW, and that broke my heart. I loved that guitar. I regret having to sell it. Eventually, I plan to buy another, or something very similar (an OM), from a company of similar quality, or perhaps I'll ask the guy who built my electric to build an acoustic.

    ultimately, I think guitars should be played. Same with amps. collecting them just because is something I find weird. If I have something and I'm not using it, I feel I should sell it to someone who will enjoy it.
  15. kuvash

    kuvash Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2010
    Upper California
    At the end of the day isn't that a personal call that feels right or works for you not what a majority of people on a forum advised,though well meaning as they may be....unless of course you already have come to an "almost" and are looking for support before pulling the trigger...or if it goes south and you have regrets...then it was those people on the forum.
    jamz likes this.
  16. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    I’m curious about how that Ibanez led you to stop playing. My first guitar was an Ibanez Roadstar II; I like those things.
    studio1087 likes this.
  17. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I'm about ready to unload 3 or 4 of them. Same story as a bunch of you... not really worth that much, but some of them don't really have stories either. Other than "once upon a time, I bought this, and played it a bit, the end." But since the local consignment shop just closed, boo hoo, it's tougher to move things out. Guitar Showcase said they would only put things on consignment above $1000, otherwise they'd buy it for about half what you thought it was worth.
  18. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Heck, my #1 is one of those!:)

    If something has meaning for you, and circumstances aren't pushing it out of the house, why NOT keep it? You don't have to play it.
    bloomz likes this.
  19. Ex-riverman

    Ex-riverman Tele-Holic

    Jun 17, 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    I get the impression that most of Chuck's rhythm players had 'a brief stint.'
    JayFreddy likes this.
  20. jamz

    jamz TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2016
    New Hampshire, US
    Well, the roadster was the one I played in my first college bands and afterward. But I always disliked the neck- too thin, just did not feel great, and I had no other frame of reference for a guitar neck. The action was higher than I liked and I never got it adjusted properly. Eventually, decades later, when I found a tele, I realized what a guitar was supposed to feel like! (For me)

    I just have had it since I was a kid, it’s my only “vintage” instrument with a history, I did play the snot out of it and it shows, have otherwise left if in freezing and boiling attics for decades, etc. I will probably never play it unless it’s to brush the dust off. I have it setup better now, (thanks, internet) and it plays fine except for that weird narrow neck.

    I will probably sell my MIM tele even though I will feel terribly guilty because it treated me so well for the last two years. The LP, I dunno, maybe just keep it as a backup or something.

    It feels like being a hoarder or something, having guitars and amps that are particular “just in case” I need to play this or that, when just in case is unlikely to come around.
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