I have not been buying for more than two years...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by omlove, May 15, 2019.

  1. omlove

    omlove Tele-Meister

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    Unlike many great players on the forum, I am not a pro. I play guitar as a hobby, although been playing for more than a decade since college.

    I went through the "gear" phase or "GAS" period of my life and were overly enthusiastic about gears. I learned about vintage Martins and Gibsons, I bought and studied vintage Martins and Gibsons, I even built one OM. I learned about Strats and Teles, I bought and studied them, I bought books, learned about electrics and schematics and bought sold various amps too...

    In the end, I realized it is the player who matters. Gears don't help. I'm a good player compared to my average office coworkers, obviously; but not at all in my own standards and compared to any of you pros who are actively working.

    I sold everything but kept very good one OM, one Strat, one Uke, one Classical and one Amp. Those five will probably go down the grave with me. Today I realized I have not been buying for 2.5 years. I am constantly learning on TDPRI, I am informed of the latest and greatest, I browse Reverb and Craigslist from time to time. But every time I am reminded of how bad a player I am and what use of those beautiful pieces could have if I cannot play them well.

    I feel being too analytical may have driven me out of the passion. Years ago I would go into my local music store, play some fingerstyle Freight Train or Danny Boy and came home with a "great sounding" 1956 D28. I was ignorant of my deficiency but I was filled with joy. Now I look at that younger myself as a fool but I am also almost not passionate any more. GAS may not be bad? I am looking for new inspiration...
     
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  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've only been playing electric 2.5 years and acoustic 4 years and I'm feeling like I'm getting towards this point too. Even going and looking at gear seems futile/silly compared to just going and spending that time playing. When I think my sound isn't quite right my thoughts go more towards how I can pick differently or fiddle with my tone knob to get to where I need to be.

    I mostly churned through some pedals, I haven't churned through guitars or amps at all really. The pedals was about learning how they work but I think I'm getting close to having that locked in at this point. 1 each of Fuzz, Overdrive, Delay, Reverb, Tremolo and I seem to be done. The issue was figuring out which one of each of those was going to work. The delay can do Vibrato & Chorus sounds as well.
     
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  3. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

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    I feel pretty content in my gear. Its all working and worth keeping for my tastes. I'm haven't been gasing for any thing new for some time now.

    But...It sure would be neat to have a dobro or a lap steel or even a mandolin. These tools are looking pretty interesting to me currently.

    After re- reading your post, it sounds to me you need some pedals:D I'd suggest a looper...if you don't have one. Cheers!
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suspect (at an earlier age than many of us) you've reached the stage of "wisdom". It took me nearly fifty years, but I've realized, while one should never say NEVER, that new or different gear is NOT what brings me my greatest joy in playing music. You have a good selection of instruments which serve just about any purpose you would have, so now I would urge you to simply PLAY.....
    Acquiring a new guitar can SOMETIMES inspire one to expand their musical horizons, but that's not always the case. In my world, listening to new music, learning new things, and utilizing the tools I already have are the best things for me. I don't necessarily consider all of the time and money I've spent on gear to be a waste, because it all contributed to where I now am.....but the need to obsessively try different gear no longer "burns in my loins"......GOOD LUCK!!!!!
     
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  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You have hit on one of the great inconsistences of GAS, and playing. The forum for the most part has great admiration for a well played guitar, always admiring someone who has played a Tele or Strat that reflects the work ethic that has caused the instrument to look the way it does. So much is that look admired, the forum admires an instrument that is artificially made to look like a well played one. Conversely GAS is espoused as a good thing. My question is: If one is to play a guitar until it becomes a sword of a Samurai, how then can he accomplish that if he has twenty five guitars? If he only plays the one to achieve the look, what then does he do with the other twenty four?
     
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  6. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Meister

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    Umm...it doesn’t sound like you have a Tele?

    Also, playing well has nothing to do with owning a beautiful instrument. If you can afford it you’re worthy.

    I’m also quite satisfied with my instrument collection right now after an eventful 2018.

    I go into music stores but have not found anything better than what I have in many months. Same with online browsing. I’m very grateful for this.
     
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  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Point is some people can feel fulfilled/satisfied by buying stuff and some people can't.

    There are people who understand this right away and are cool with whatever bucket they fit in. If you get a lot of satisfaction out of buying & selling & collecting and you realize that's who you are that's fine, it's not necessarily different than collecting baseball cards or stamps, and no one is going to give a baseball card collector a hard time cause they didn't play pro baseball and no one is going to give a stamp collector a hard time for never having worked for the USPS.

    The other side is you realize right away your playing is what makes you happy and you can just accept whatever gear you have and learn to play to that gear, or work for a while just to make sure what you've got works, then just concentrate on the playing.

    I think the issue is when you don't realize what's going on and you are not actually a collector but you aren't getting where you want in your playing, and then you go down this path of swapping gear and no matter how much gear you swap out you're not going to feel satisfied because you are not actually a collector type of person. That's the person that could be miserable.

    I actually have this impression acoustic guys are WAY more screwed up with GAS than folks here. The changes in tone are so subtle compared to playing technique or different electric guitars or different electric FX and the dollars involved are so huge.

    Last year I went to the Taylor Road show and they were subtly trying to sell the idea you need multiple body shapes of acoustic guitar & multiple wood combinations to get through different songs. There was absolutely nothing they played the whole night that wouldn't have sounded delightful on any one of the guitars.. take any single guitar they brought and just play all the music on it and all of it would been great.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As many as nine out of ten guitar stores, are quite happy with people who have advanced cases of GAS. (if they have the money to support their habit) (or a handy credit card) (or parents who are generous) (or as a last resort a house or an automobile they can borrow against)
     
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve posted about this before. I have four electrics that cover all my needs with very little sonic overlap, one beautiful acoustic, and an amp that meets my low, medium, and high volume needs without pedals. GAS? I like to play other guitars in the same way that I like to dance with all the pretty ladies. I enjoy playing a vintage guitar way more than dancing with a vintage lady. Do I need anything I don’t already have? Not really.
     
  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    To me, the look of a guitar is important - nobody wants to own a guitar that makes them look like a dork - but ultimately it's secondary to how it plays. I've got a few guitars that are well-played (or built to look that way, and I've built a couple myself to look aged), but I've also got a few that look relatively untouched, despite their age. I'm really not that picky about keeping my guitars in pristine condition, so if a little damage happens here and there, so be it.

    And until earlier this year, I was still in the thrall of GAS - looking for cool guitars and figuring out a way to acquire them. But I recently realized that I've got all the gear I need to get the job done, and I find myself grazing on Reverb and Craig's a whole lot less nowadays. I've sold off most of what I considered extraneous gear, and I still have 25 guitars. But they're 25 that I'm going to hold on to for the rest of my life. They all get used in one way or another (gigs, practice, recording, etc.), and they'll all continue to accrue wear. But achieving a certain look is secondary to how useful they are for getting a track done or a gig played.

    - D
     
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  11. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    How many instruments did it take to get you to this point?
     
  12. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Tele-Meister

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    I dunno...as I posted on another thread yesterday, I really did not need to buy a Tele, already having two Strats and an Epi Casino. Yet, buying the Tele and a new Super Champ opened a whole new window in my playing and those two items have allowed me to expand what and how I play, even though it makes no sense from a logical standpoint.
    I don't think one needs to GAS for no reason, but if something is lacking in your playing or a particular guitar or amp leaves you uninspired or bored, there's nothing wrong with checking out new gear.
     
  13. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I go through buy and purge phases now and then. Sometimes guitars, sometimes studio gear, sometimes other stuff. That's all part of my enjoyment, and part of how I buy/sell/trade myself into a variety of different gear. I guess it could impact someone's playing if they started chasing tone or whatever, but that's never really been something I've experienced personally.
     
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  14. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

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    Remember one thing. Music is not a competition sport. You should never feel like a fool for your ability, wherever it is. The more you play, the better you will become. I was once that young man myself, and was not what would be considered a good guitarist, but I loved playing and just never stopped. I sang and accompanied myself and eventually attracted some other players and friends. I kept at it, played in some bands as well as played solo. My skills improved and I eventually became a "good lead guitar player", ha ha, whatever that means. I have often been inspired by the good music that is out there, back in my day it was the music of the 60s through the 90s, and I learned songs and wrote songs and learned more songs. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that no matter what level I was at, I was myself and didn't (or couldn't) really sound like anyone else and as long as I could "sell" what I was doing I could gain some inspiration from it. Hope this ramble makes some sense. o_O :)
     
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  15. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love pedals, but I haven't bought any in almost two years.

    I credit my superhuman willpower to being broke.
     
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  16. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Not quite 2.5 years, but for me it ended a bit over a year ago. Same situation and skill level as yours. After more than 5 years of buying a new guitar every other month it ended here ... I still get a wee bit of gas once in a while, but nothing that really matters

    I could do with a lot less than all of these, but there is a bit of a collector in me. Apparently a strat, a tele, humbuckers, P90s and an archtop is what satisfies that.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    There are lots and lots of different things to try out there. But it is very unlikely than any of it will be "better" than what you already have. Generally, "good enough" is good enough.
     
  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    So make your passion about playing, not collecting.

    Goals must be balanced against your current situation in life. You mentioned your "office coworkers," so you have your day job, and you refer to guitar playing as a hobby. No doubt that day job cuts into your playing time, and therefore slows your progress to becoming a better player. But I would encourage you to enjoy where you are in the journey. You may not have as much opportunity right now to play, but if you keep at it, what you're learning now will be a foundation for future learning, performing, whatever you want to do.

    For many players here on TDPRI, being a hobbyist is all they care to do. For some, that means they have no plans/desire to gig. For others, being a hobbyist includes gigging. For example, I read just the other day comments by our TDPRI brother @studio1087 (John) in another thread (don't remember which one, right offhand) where he most definitely has his day job and a family to support, but he rehearses and gigs with a band. For him, such playing out is analogous to the way other guys get together to play golf.

    Many of us on TDPRI are geezers, either approaching retirement years or already there (as in my case). And so for a lot of us, the "GAS period" of our lives has come in more recent years. We worked our jobs, made do with less gear when that circumstance coincided with less time to play, we scrimped and saved. Now our life circumstances have changed. I myself, for example, didn't play out, or own more than one guitar at a time until the kids were grown and gone and we had an empty nest. I have 12 guitars now, and I'm planning on adding other guitars and amps to my arsenal. But it hasn't always been this way for me.

    And for many years, I was in the same place with my playing; progress was slow. But I stuck with it because I couldn't see myself not playing guitar. I've said for many years that guitar playing is cheaper than therapy. :twisted: In 2008, when I bought my first electric guitar (a tele, of course), my new gear actually did make a big difference, and made me a better player. Of course, it was built on decades of playing, but a new type of guitar, and a quality one at that, took me in new directions, opened up more of the fretboard for me, and tremendously boosted my passion for playing.

    It sounds like you've kept what serves your purposes for now. And maybe that's all you'll ever need. But make your passion about playing, not collecting.
     
  19. Just-Jim

    Just-Jim Tele-Afflicted

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    Th OP's post is scaring me it's so close to my situation. I have gone so long without buying gear, it's worrying me that I don't want anything...and I really do not have much of anything. I do eventually want another guitar since I only have one, but I don't day dream about it 24/7 like I would have a couple of years ago. I am worried I am going to fall off the wagon and go on a bender buying pedals again. I like being able to see a post about a new pedal coming out and saying to myself "more snake oil" instead of "when is the first batch shipping". Pedals were my drug of choice.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I only buy gear on holidays when gifts are given, and most givin' folks know I need nuthin' 'cept maybe $50k to finish an upstairs rental unit so I can retire before I drop.

    Last night I dropped $41.99 on a used Vick Audio two knob muff.
    Got $50 from my wifes parents on my 21 year anniversary off the dope!

    Quality used gear is generally worth as much when you get tired of it as when you bought it.
    Much of my gear is worth more by the time I'm tired of it, if that ever happens.

    I do not go a day without playing guitar.
    Usually plugged in and fairly loud.
    Love those sounds!
    Love music making!
     
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