Expensive guitars make you a better guitarist, says Gibson.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by regularslinky, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Afflicted

    May 16, 2003
    The only guitar that inspired different styles of playing was a Gretsch Anniversary. They play very different than Fender or Gibson. It just made me play more be boppy solos; I only kept it a couple of years as it seemed one dimensional. But I'd say my playing changed for the better.
    Shuster, Greggorios and JL_LI like this.
  2. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Jul 30, 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
    Another conspiracy theory.
    Greggorios likes this.
  3. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
    The headline is really misleading. In 1980 he played an explorer but bought a custom. It wouldn't have been that expensive back then especially if he bought it used. I agree with him for the time period it would have been easier to play compared to a budget guitar. But it wouldn't have been earth shattering. My first Les Paul was a 69 custom I paid $400 at E.U. Wurlitzer in Boston in 78. So I doubt he paid that much more in 1980.
    The headline makes you think he's talking about buying an R9 instead of a studio.
  4. skerwo

    skerwo Tele-Holic

    Apr 5, 2007
    near Munich, Germany
    Ok, now I recognize why my guitar playing is so poor. I don´t own any Gibson guitar and of course therefore no expensive Gibson :eek:
    Rev Rhythm likes this.
  5. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England

    My "Number One" is a "beginner's guitar" I got from the Charlotte, North Carolina Salvation Army via eBay. It cost me $56, delivered.

    It looks like a Telecaster if I take my glasses off.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Here's the thing:

    Decades ago I fumbled along trying to play guitar. There were no tab books, no YouTube, no proliferation of guitar magazines, none of that. I had Mel Bay. Maybe Mel Bay taught Van Halen how to play like Van Halen. It wasn't workin' for me.


    Along came Van Halen. OMG! The tone!

    If I was awake and aware I would have listened to Ronnie Montrose's tone, or Joan Jett's "Eighth Floor Record Plant" tone, or Barry's tone from Boston's first album, or many, many more iconic tones.

    But I didn't.

    I set off on a path that eventually took the better part of three decades, my own personal tone quest. Even though I mostly got there twenty years ago, there are still epiphanies.

    First Epiphany: I was chasing after tone when I should have been practicing, a big reason why I still suck. Sure, there were challenges. Like I said, Mel Bay isn't an easy and direct path to playin' like Van Halen.

    Second Epiphany: Although I suck marginally less with a Custom Shop Strat in my hands, I still suck. Operative terms: "marginally", and "suck."

    Third Epiphany: Another musician recently demonstrated that he sounds like Sonny Landreth plugged into Sonny's Dumble only using my $56 guitar plugged into my amp.

    Fourth Epiphany: Same guitar player using his own expensive guitar plugged into my amp sounds marginally better. Mind you, there ain't much wiggle room when you already sound like Sonny Landreth plugged into Sonny's Dumble.

    Ah, so!

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Greggorios likes this.
  6. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Tele-Meister

    Dec 30, 2014
    I might be missing something here, but the title of this thread seems misleading to me. If i missed it, apologies, but i didn't see anywhere in the article that mentioned, "Gibson says expensive guitars will make you a better guitarist". Base on my reading, this one specific experience of purchasing an expensive guitar helped make Mr. Barresi a more confident guitarist. When someone has more confidence, they can certainly be better at what they do, regardless of what that is. It just happened to work for this guy. I didn't see any insinuation that everyone should do this in order to be a better guitarist. o_O But again, if i overlooked it, my apologies.
    Rustbucket, Humble Pie and NewKid like this.
  7. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    One of the central claims is here:

    "...and going into the rehearsal room the next day and playing it, instantly made me a better player because of the confidence that you exude when you have something of substance and it just sounded so much better than the guitar I was playing at the time..."

    Here is what I take from it that I think can be true (but is not necessarily so):

    Our perception of tone and the acts of playing and the like can be affected by things like color and feel of the wood or paint, smell of the nitro or roasted maple, etc.--other sensory categories. If these bring excitement or give us a positive, creative spirit, those can undoubtedly affect our playing. It seems at least possible to me that such inspiration can bleed over into better playing.
    JuneauMike, Greggorios and Humble Pie like this.
  8. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Yes that is true...

    If it’s 1979 and the cheap guitar is the $100 no-name Les Paul knock-off I had and the expensive guitar is literally anything other than the $100 no-name Les Paul knock-off I had. Every other guitar I played was better and as a result, I was more inspired and played better.

    Today, we are in guitar nirvana. The low priced guitars like Squiers and Epiphones and much better than that old $100 no-name Les Paul knock-off I had back in the day.

    EDIT: Keep in mind, as far as guitars are concerned. These are the good old days. I don’t know how it can get any better.
  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    It works the opposite for me cost wise, the more expensive and mint the guitar is the less comfortable I feel playing it.
  10. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 10, 2003
    White Mountains
    Utter nonsense. Anyone who believes this is a fool. I've seen guys who were playing Norma and Teisco
    in The South who could absolutely prove my point.
    Listen, Flagship Models are decent alright...BUT, You can get a better quality Guitar in every aspect
    buying Asian at less than half a Flagship's street price. But stan USA pickups...please another fallacy conceived in someone's marketing department.:mad:

    Finally - the most important question...Would You Gig It? Look I won't even bring my Washburn J9 Washington because I know it's an L5CT and cannot be replaced at what it was originally purchased for.

    Unless You played in The Yardbirds or You're named Joe Bonamassa or Greg Koch or Eric Gales or Brent Mason GET REAL.
    Buy decent products and run what Ya bought. Over 90% of People that own expensive stuff can't even play - even if They play. This I know after being left Scattered Bleeding on Dawn's Highway like Chief Jay Strongbow by The Guy with The Norma.:D

    Snooks Eaglin played a Squier Telecaster and Snooks is in the same company as Wes and Django.

    Save Your money for food and rent.
    Don't be a dink.
    Rowdyman, Greggorios and muchxs like this.
  11. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

    Jun 2, 2015
    A well constructed easy playing guitar that you enjoy playing can make you a better player.
  12. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2016
    In the South

    Where do I apply for a refund?
    Rev Rhythm and Chunkocaster like this.
  13. Humble Pie

    Humble Pie TDPRI Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    for me a quality instrument drives me to be as good as the instrument is!

    also the heavily reliced ones turn me off completely! kinda like owning an old bomb of a car, no pride of ownership AT ALL!

    compare that to owning a nice shape 1958 corvette!
  14. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

    Oct 30, 2011
    The article was a testimonial about a young man’s first Gibson electric guitar. It said he didn’t want to handle the $35,000 guitar that the legendary Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers put in his hands for fun. Yes, it’s marketing but I enjoyed the story and didn’t take away that I needed an expensive guitar to play well, just a good one.

    I’m a Fender player and never consider Gibson electrics, but their acoustic instruments are generally wonderful and desirable.

    PS: I loved Stan Jay, especially his unbelievable descriptions of instruments.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I think it is the easy way out to blame your guitar for how well you play. It's called, "The blame game". In today's world, if you have a $300 guitar, you have nothing else to blame for your guitar playing, but yourself.
  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I think this sums it up. One customer was so awe struck by a guitar that the guitar inspired him to practice more.

    Good for him. Gibson is repeating the story; it's a human interest piece. I don't think that Gibson is saying much other than publishing an endorsement.

    I bought my first Martin in 1998. It is a D15. It was more expensive than any acoustic that I every had. It inspired me to learn fingerstyle, it inspired me to learn several Beatles and Clapton pieces written for solo fingerstyle, it inspired my ability to read music better and it inspired my desire to put together a solo acoustic act.

    This is common. There's nothing special or bad about this.

    A guy buys a really nice driver and then hits buckets of balls with a coach at a driving range - his golf game gets better.

    A man or woman buys a really nice new clothing outfit and it inspires them to get some exercise and they loose 5 pounds.

    I could go on and on.

    "Inspiration comes from strange places" - Patty Larkin

    I think it's all terrific.
  17. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

    May 28, 2016
    Between Clever and Stupid
    There are two sides to this question. As a young guitarist using junque for gear, it can be terribly hard to get a good sound and the action of the guitar can indeed prevent you from being able to execute some musical stuff on the fingerboard. Back in the 1970s there were basically two levels of gear: total crap and royalty such as Fender and Gibson. I struggled from 1970 to 1977 to get a decent sound and to even be able to play some stuff at all, always playing crappy gear. In that time I began saving for my first really decent electric, a Les Paul. It was a terribly inflationary period so for years I stayed behind the eight-ball on the price. But one day in '77, as I was invited into a really serious band, I actually caught up and was able to buy a used LP. Lo and behold, I could make respectable sounds and could play stuff I hadn't been able to on previous instruments. There was a level of instrument I needed to accomplish the quality of music I was attempting. I made playing progress by leaps and bounds from that point on. My previous guitar had been holding me back. I still have the guitar and use it quite a bit in recording sessions.

    But then there is the other side of this. That side is the insecurity-driven side of things that is pushed forward by the notion that "I am not enough," that I need something, some addition, in order to become enough to succeed or be paid attention to.

    Take a look at this clip from a modern-day version of A Christmas Carol called The Family Man. Pay special attention to the moment at :47 in.

    And that, friends, is the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. It started with TV, print, and radio advertisement telling us we were somehow less or inferior if we didn't buy whatever it was they were selling. Now it pervades our lives. Social media started out with us catching up with friends or developing a few new ones via the Internet. It has morphed into something else. It has unleashed a spirit of advertising in us that makes us want to present ourselves as completely together. The effect is for our social media "audience" to look at the glossy lives we present and to want what we have. We don't simply write a Facebook post because we know that far fewer people pay attention to a a text posting than do to a picture. Instead, people come up with a picture meme with whatever drivel comes out of their head at the moment, hoping that the wrapping will make it more significant and righteous. We've turned into an advertising society. The result can be that creeping sensation that we are not enough...

  18. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2015
    If I had a $6,000 Custom Shop Les Paul, I would be afraid to take it out of the house. On the other hand, I'm never afraid to take my $500 partcaster Tele to a gig. And since most of the money went into a Musikraft neck that was made to my specifications, it plays better than any Gibson I ever owned.
    stantheman and NewKid like this.
  19. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

    Jan 23, 2019
    New Orleans

    Well, it's a Gibson interview from Gibson's YouTube channel, so it's more an advertisement than anything. I think it's that it's being passed off as a news article on UG is what people snicker at.
  20. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    At the time he was 17, 1980, you practically had to buy a Gibson to get a professional quality guitar, what else were you going to buy, a HondoII Les Paul copy made from plywood with a bolt on neck and razor sharp frets? The difference now is there are tons $300 guitars that will get you 90% of the way to a Gibson.

    Having said that, I love my Gibson Les Paul for the way it plays and feels and also for that "that's what all my guitar 'heroes' played " vibe.
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