Are Guitar Players Generally Financially Poor?

Robert Alger

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Poor? not a word I would use.


Do you see a Guitar Center in this Pic?

b5dd71d7-dbe3-48a0-9308-80fc8c179360-2060x1236.jpeg
 

Jakedog

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Accounting for inflation, stuff doesn’t really cost any more now than it ever did. It hasn’t really gone up. It looks like it has though, because pay has stayed so stagnant. I got $100 a man or better for bar gigs back 30 years ago. Guess what I’m still getting paid for bar gigs?

In 1993, I was two years out of high school. I could hold a part time minimum wage job in a retail shop or restaurant, say 30-35 hours a week, and gig on the weekends.

With that money I was able to rent an apartment. It wasn’t fancy, but it wasn’t scary or gross. It was a decent place to live. I was able to buy a decent and dependable used car, keep it insured, and keep it on the road. I could keep some food and beer in my fridge, clothe myself, buy a pack of smokes a day, and still afford the occasional guitar or amp, and to take my girl out for some fun fairly regularly. I wasn’t getting ahead. Nothing was going to savings, and I had no health coverage. But I was twenty years old and didn’t care. The point is, at 30-35 hours a week at minimum wage, and weekend bar gigs, I could live like a pretty regular guy.

In 2022, that would be utterly and completely impossible. I don’t even want to think about where or how I’d be living while gigging for a living if it weren’t for my wife and her career.
 

David Barnett

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Quality guitars are cheap compared to most other types of instruments. Try finding a good sousaphone or bassoon. Guitarists like to talk, and I’ve found that one of the rules of human behavior is that once you start talking, it’s only a matter of seconds before whining about money becomes the topic.

Ain't that the truth. Getting into a student-level bassoon costs about as much as a Murphy Lab Les Paul.
 

David Barnett

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Ooh, had to go there. I don't need to check it out. Senior at Baylor and a high school senior on the way to college. College costs are completely off the rails. Thank goodness for some scholarships.

With children they get you at both ends. A reasonable day care costs about as much as a state university tuition these days.
 

JL_LI

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The likelihood of making it big in music is about the same as the likelihood of making it big in sports. There are bit parts to be played in sports and music both, but in sports, if you’re still shooting at a hoop without a net at 25, you give it up and find something else to do. Musicians tend to hold onto the dream longer.

On the other side, folks with means don’t play sports. They buy season tickets. In music, they buy PRS guitars.
 
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teletail

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Quality guitars are cheap compared to most other types of instruments. Try finding a good sousaphone or bassoon. Guitarists like to talk, and I’ve found that one of the rules of human behavior is that once you start talking, it’s only a matter of seconds before whining about money becomes the topic.
The daughter of a woman I work with took up bassoon. She needed a better bassoon when she went to college and it cost $10,000.

When I was young, we took pride in our instruments. Now people brag about their dumpster save. Too each his own.
 

thejackofhearts

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To the point of brass and woodwind instruments...1000%! If hobby guitar players spent any time at all checking new and used prices of those instruments alone, many would have a stroke.

I'll say this, most hobby guitarist just want to own the "good stuff" for as little money as possible. Semi pro & pro players just deal and get what they need to do the job. Watch any rig rundown if you need proof.

The moaning on and on among the internet guitar community about gear prices is soooooooooo f'n lame. It's a FACT that pricing for the big two (Fender USA & Gibson) have pretty much stayed the same for nearly 70 years!

Sorry, just had to rant...sometimes the negativity when it comes to pricing for guitars compaired to other instruments (cellos, trumpets, harps, piano, etc) just gets under my skin.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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I'm in no position to throw money at anything right now. But I would say in the spectrum of instruments, guitars are one of the cheaper options. Start pricing out accordions - my Oktoberfest tribute to Rammstein is going to be on hold for a long time.

And compared to other activities, even more so. I know guys who spend $$$$ on a new snowmobile. Up to 5 figures in some cases. They get to use them three times year. Boats, same thing. Motorcycles, the same but maybe 3 months of riding realistically in this climate.

Even owning a car. I remember buying a car for what would have been the same price as 5 Gretsch White Falcons. 10 years later I sold the car for half the price of one White Falcon. Arguably, I could have bought 4 of them, spent the rest on public transportation as needed, and still ended up with 4 White Falcons, and still been ahead after the maintenance, repairs, consumables associated with owning a vehicle.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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To the point of brass and woodwind instruments...1000%! If hobby guitar players spent any time at all checking new and used prices of those instruments alone, many would have a stroke.

I'll say this, most hobby guitarist just want to own the "good stuff" for as little money as possible. Semi pro & pro players just deal and get what they need to do the job. Watch any rig rundown if you need proof.

The moaning on and on among the internet guitar community about gear prices is soooooooooo f'n lame. It's a FACT that pricing for the big two (Fender USA & Gibson) have pretty much stayed the same for nearly 70 years!

Sorry, just had to rant...sometimes the negativity when it comes to pricing for guitars compaired to other instruments (cellos, trumpets, harps, piano, etc) just gets under my skin.
I was looking as a bassoon once. The price was an obvious deterrent. Not even remotely possible.
 

aging_rocker

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Accounting for inflation, stuff doesn’t really cost any more now than it ever did. It hasn’t really gone up. It looks like it has though, because pay has stayed so stagnant. I got $100 a man or better for bar gigs back 30 years ago. Guess what I’m still getting paid for bar gigs?

In 1993, I was two years out of high school. I could hold a part time minimum wage job in a retail shop or restaurant, say 30-35 hours a week, and gig on the weekends.

With that money I was able to rent an apartment. It wasn’t fancy, but it wasn’t scary or gross. It was a decent place to live. I was able to buy a decent and dependable used car, keep it insured, and keep it on the road. I could keep some food and beer in my fridge, clothe myself, buy a pack of smokes a day, and still afford the occasional guitar or amp, and to take my girl out for some fun fairly regularly. I wasn’t getting ahead. Nothing was going to savings, and I had no health coverage. But I was twenty years old and didn’t care. The point is, at 30-35 hours a week at minimum wage, and weekend bar gigs, I could live like a pretty regular guy.

In 2022, that would be utterly and completely impossible. I don’t even want to think about where or how I’d be living while gigging for a living if it weren’t for my wife and her career.
Sadly, I can only like this once. You nailed it!

Seems hard to believe now that we could live like that, but we did! 'Decent' was all I aspired to in everything, and it was achievable.

Life was much simpler when I was 20. I can finally feel it starting to get simpler again.:cool:
 




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