Change my mind

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    upload_2020-9-28_10-23-42.png

    I've just been playing a couple of my guitars, and the thought that my guitars have contributed to making me a better player once again came to mind. Then I thought of this basic meme, and I created my own using this image/format. The meme and this post are both meant as a lighthearted challenge on a topic that we care about. I hope it generates discussion, but I'm not actually trying to start a fight.
     
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  2. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    A well setup guitar can make you a better player. That is my definition of great.
     
  3. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Truly great? No. A good guitar can help you become a better player.

    However, there really are not any awful guitars anymore. Well, there are, but not like we used to see growing up. @telleutelleme kind of nailed it.
     
  4. Nubs

    Nubs Friend of Leo's

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    Having great gear is good, but what you do with it makes it great.
     
  5. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Having a guitar that feels really comfortable in your hands can make you a better player. It could cost $100 or less, that doesn't matter. It could have mediocre pickups. That doesn't matter, either. A $5,000 custom shop guitar that doesn't feel right in your hands will not make you a better player, although it may add to your street cred.
     
  6. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    A properly set up guitar that feels comfortable can give you the impetus to become a better player. it doesn’t matter how “ great” the instrument is if you don’t use it to make you a better player
     
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  7. Rocky058

    Rocky058 Tele-Meister

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    My skills might improve a little bit, until the novelty of the new purchase wears off.
     
  8. Buckaroo65

    Buckaroo65 Tele-Meister

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    Get that great guitar. Become the biggest fish in the pond. Realize that there is always going to be a bigger pond. Just play and have fun. You'll get better whether you like it or not.
     
  9. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    not "truly great"- Truly Expensive. see my sig.
     
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  10. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

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    I work with tools for a living. It is definitely easier to do a job well with good tools. I don’t see why a guitar should be any different.

    Good tools won’t make a lousy worker good, but they will make a good worker better.
     
  11. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    A guitar only makes you a better player if your current guitar is holding you back. OR, if you find that "magic" guitar that just makes playing effortless. Most of the time there isn't a big difference in your playing between quality (not necessarily expensive) guitars that are well set up.
     
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  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A guitar that intonates well, stays in tune, and plays easier will definitely improve what one is able to accomplish with it.

    For a beginner, a decent instrument is essential. There aren’t enough fingers and toes on this entire forum to count the number of beginners who quit before they ever even really got off the ground because they were wrestling with a crap guitar and thought they just couldn’t do it. I would venture a guess that probably 70% of them wouldn’t have quit if they had a decent instrument.

    Likewise, as a seasoned player who’s gigged for my rent and grocery money since the 80’s, I have the ability to make just about anything work in the short term. But it sucks. It really does. Having some really nice stuff makes my job a WHOLE lot easier, and yes, I play “better” when I’m not handcuffed by an instrument’s inherent shortcomings.

    Having to play “around the issues” is doable. But it makes for a long night, isn’t any fun, and puts a set of binders on my skills.
     
  13. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    You've got that right. I was Strat shopping recently and I passed on a Custom Shop Strat without even asking the price and picked up an '89 Strat Plus deluxe. I struggled on the CS, the '89 was easy to play.
     
  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I sometimes wonder what kind of a guitarist I would have been (or at least how much "quicker" I would have progressed) if I'd had better guitars when I started out. The first two or three guitars I started with had heavy strings, string action 1/4" off the fretboard, and probably bad frets. Even an uncle's Martin 000-17 that I got to play rarely, had terrible action. I know I developed some bad playing habits that took YEARS to break. (and maybe never fully did) I think at my current stage, a better guitar does more to "inspire" my playing and approach to playing than it does to truly "improve" my playing. Also, having played so many years, and having so many very specific "preferences" in guitars, I prefer not to play one that doesn't meet those preferences. What I think DOES help to improve my playing is being inspired by songs and music, and having the discipline to sit down and LEARN those songs. (and "learning" is NOT just working out the chords)
    But, like everyone else has said.....or at least implied.....a good-playing guitar is almost essential to making any progress. It's a wonder I ever stuck with it when several times I remember going to school with Band Aids on my raw and blistered fingertips.....and I don't recommend that for ANY beginner. ;)
     
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  15. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Watching people learn violin, it is very apparent that a better instrument helps development. Cheap violins are often much less resonant, and players develop bad habits for tone generation and don't even develop the techniques to utilize the way great violins can sing. The more advanced you are when you play a poor instrument, the more apparent and uninspiring the limitations are. I think this extends to "truly great" vs average instruments as well.
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Big difference between "can" and "will".

    I'm 100% certain that case histories could be found where giving a kid a "truly great guitar" was indeed the catalyst that brought all the critical ingredients of a better player into fruition.
    Or where that guitar upgrade did the same for a more experienced but bored player who lacked drive and direction.
    Obviously the idea is not that the player needn't work hard if the guitar is truly great.
    One changed ingredient would be a catalyst, not the whole enchilada.

    If you said "will make you a better player" it would only take one case where it didn't, to make you wrong.
    But to be wrong in saying it "can", we need to prove that it never happened, for the statement to be wrong.

    For me, if my favorite guitar was swapped for virtually any $500 guitar I've checked out at a GC, the "worse guitar" would make me a worse player. Almost every mid priced guitar is to me unplayable for all the stuff I do.
    I can do some stuff on a lousy set up guitar, but those GC guitars play too poorly to do lots of my usual techniques.
    There was a $600 used LP Jr on the rack last Oct/ Nov that would have allowed me to do what I do with a guitar.
    And others could be worked on and made "good enough (to be considered great)" to work for me.

    But really, I just never see a good enough affordable guitar on the racks, and a truly great guitar isn't that expensive but is essential to how I play the durn things.
    In the context of guitar and player working together, the guitar in question being great has to include being suited to the player.

    The degree of expensive or unobtanium required to make a solid body electric truly great only costs $1000- $1500 new production retail, IME/ IMO.

    Archtops or acoustics would be another story, and for my purposes don't really apply.

    Might apply to some players though.
    Swap that high action plywood top Yamaha for a superbly set up beautiful toned acoustic and a player might bloom.
     
  17. Lockback

    Lockback Tele-Meister

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    Having owned a really lousy guitar years ago and some really good ones now, I think it comes down to setup and comfort but also a more esoteric thing: inspiration. To me a guitar has to look good as well as feel good. It has to have an appeal that makes me want to pick it up. Now once it's in my reasonably untalented hands, it's the setup, action, ability to stay in tune, etc. that keeps me wanting to play it.
     
  18. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    "A truly great guitar," eh? And what might that be? "Make you"? Not if it's sitting in its case it won't. No one needs a great guitar to improve. It might inspire you or motivate you or even shame you into doing some work on your playing. On the other hand, a good breakfast, an admiring listen from an interesting person, a healthy mindset, an upcoming performance, recording, turning on the metronome, new strings, stretching, etc., etc. Nothing like a new strap to improve your technique, right?
     
  19. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree that a good setup makes a real difference. I think sometimes it also moves us on as players if we spend time on one or two guitars, really learning what those particular instruments can do.

    I have a handful of guitars but for playing out I take the two that I play most of the time. Their familiarity means I can play them without thinking about it.
     
  20. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Practice.
     
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