Learning to be happy with what you’ve got.

nosuch

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I hear you Jakedog. When I was making a living from music like 20 years ago I had a strat, a cry baby, a Rat and the working man's boogie, a 50 caliber. I got the job done and got paid. It was all good. Before the strat I had an Ibanez AS50 - when i got the strat I gave it to my girlfriend – I couldn't imagine why I wanted to play the old guitar as I got a new one. It just didn't make sense to me. OK, I also got a bass, a SM58 and stand and 4 track recorder. Now that I don't make a living from music anymore I have like 10 guitars and two amps that mostly sit idle since corona. Well at least I'm not a dentist and owned a PRS only very briefly. ;-)
 

telemnemonics

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I think we all go through this. It's like "the great circle of gear."
You GAS for stuff, you figure out how to obtain it, and then you realize the CHASE was the FUN part.
View attachment 919902

FWIW I actually find the gear chase sickening.
I don’t really have disposable income in Westerners terms, though certainly do compared to the poorest cultures.
With 45 years buying gear I no longer lust for cheap stuff.
I also don’t lust for wall hangers or man cave decor gear.
If I buy a new piece of kit I want some better sound and response out of it.
Or a solution to a problem like size and weight etc.
Point of diminishing returns was a decade back and I’m like the marksman whose aim keeps getting worse because there’s nothing under $500 that improves my music making.

Yet I wonder.
And shop.
And buy.
 

Jakedog

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Life is short.

Think of how many stories we hear on here of people passing way too soon...car crashes...cancer...or even living a decently full life and being relatively healthy, but still passing in their 70s or something.

That’s not very old. Yeah you could live to be 105, but even then, how much are you able to do what you want to do for the last 15-20 years of your life?

I don’t know. If guitar is a major hobby for you, and if GAS isn’t making you broke, you’ve gotten to a place in life where you can afford it, and you like what you have...good for you, man.
Oh, it’s not a hobby. It’s my job. But if I’m honest, like really honest, nobody needs this much stuff to do my job. I certainly don’t need even more of it. But I want stuff. I really want a Chrissie Hynde Tele. I’m seriously crazy about the idea of having it, and I’m not even sure I’d ever really use it. I just really want it. That’s weird to me. I also really want a Rickenbacker 620. I absolutely KNOW I’ll never use that. But I keep telling myself I have to have one.

I finally got over my urge to own anything semi or fully hollow except for actual acoustic guitars. I’ve bought dozens of them over the years and I’ve never kept one. Ok, I’ve never really kept anything at all for very long. But I’ve finally learned that as cool as they look, and as much as I want to love them, I just don’t. So I’ve got that going for me.
 

Muddyshoes

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I have a lot of cool gear. I don’t have a huge collection. I don’t have piles of super valuable vintage originals, or custom shop stuff, or Private Stock PRS models. But I do have some really, really nice stuff.

I’m looking around my living room right now at six instruments that all rolled together, cost more than some very good used cars. I have more downstairs. I have several cool amps. A monster bass rig. I have pedals out the wazoo. I have a really good PA. I have recording gear. I’ve got piles of microphones. I have all of the requisite accoutrements that go with all this crap. Stands, cases, doo-dads, and probably enough cables of all types to encircle a small planet.

So why do I want more stuff? It just dawned on me that it’s kind of messed up. Starting when I was a teenager, I gigged for years without much gear at all. I made a living at it playing hundreds of dates a year with just one electric, one acoustic, one bass, a bass amp and a guitar amp. I had one mic. I had a minimal PA. Little four channel Peavey that my dad gigged with forever, then I inherited. My only effects were a TS and a wah. I always managed to get the job done and get paid at the end of the night.

Now I have all this stuff. Loads of it. And it’s nice stuff. I absolutely love all of it. It’s demonstrably the best gear I have ever owned in my life. It’s amazing. And if I’m honest with myself, it’s more than one guy could ever reasonably need to gig for a living.

So why do I want more? It’s stupid. Anyone who couldn’t be happy with what I’ve got for the rest of their life doesn’t deserve any of it. I think maybe I need to re-assess some things.

I hear yeah. Truth be told if you are not put a stain on your families finances and you have the means, enjoy it. Is this not why we work so hard.
 

Jakedog

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FWIW I actually find the gear chase sickening.
I don’t really have disposable income in Westerners terms, though certainly do compared to the poorest cultures.
With 45 years buying gear I no longer lust for cheap stuff.
I also don’t lust for wall hangers or man cave decor gear.
If I buy a new piece of kit I want some better sound and response out of it.
Or a solution to a problem like size and weight etc.
Point of diminishing returns was a decade back and I’m like the marksman whose aim keeps getting worse because there’s nothing under $500 that improves my music making.

Yet I wonder.
And shop.
And buy.
I’m with you on a lot of this. I’m totally over cheap guitars. And totally over throwing money at cheap guitars to make them more like the better instruments are. It never works.
 

scrimmer

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I too have pondered all this in the not too recent past and have slowly whittled my collection over the last few years from 14 guitars, 3 basses, 6 amps, down to 6 guitars, 1 bass, 1 mando now, and 3 amps and that's probably still more than I need as I really haven't gigged seriously since the '90s.
Just trying to stay happy with that as it's way more than enough for someone sitting at home noodling, who may play out less than 6 times a year. It's still overkill I reckon.
Plus I never got the 335 or Tele I've always wanted and with the prices of the ones I'm looking at; these days, I doubt I ever will, and I think I'm OK with that now.
That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.
Those dang birth year ('62) 335s and Teles are a little on the expensive side!
 

naveed211

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Oh, it’s not a hobby. It’s my job. But if I’m honest, like really honest, nobody needs this much stuff to do my job. I certainly don’t need even more of it. But I want stuff. I really want a Chrissie Hynde Tele. I’m seriously crazy about the idea of having it, and I’m not even sure I’d ever really use it. I just really want it. That’s weird to me. I also really want a Rickenbacker. I absolutely KNOW I’ll never use that. But I keep telling myself I have to have one.

I finally got over my urge to own anything semi or fully hollow except for actual acoustic guitars. I’ve bought dozens of them over the years and I’ve never kept one. Ok, I’ve never really kept any for very long. But I’ve finally learned that as cool as they look, and as much as I want to love them, I just don’t. So I’ve got that going for me.

Ah...I love a good hollow body or semi hollow....

My problem wasn’t (isn’t?) too much, I’m a minimalist. I’ve only ever had four guitars at once at the most, usually it’s just one.

And yet, I’ve owned well over 50. I get GAS and I cycle through them, sometimes twice a year. So that brings its own obsession that needs dealing with.

I’m coming up on a full year with the one in my profile pic though! That’s a major milestone in my world.
 

Deeve

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FWIW I actually find the gear chase sickening.
I don’t really have disposable income in Westerners terms, though certainly do compared to the poorest cultures.
With 45 years buying gear I no longer lust for cheap stuff.
I also don’t lust for wall hangers or man cave decor gear.
If I buy a new piece of kit I want some better sound and response out of it.
Or a solution to a problem like size and weight etc.
Point of diminishing returns was a decade back and I’m like the marksman whose aim keeps getting worse because there’s nothing under $500 that improves my music making.

Yet I wonder.
And shop.
And buy.

I feel ya, man - and as a result, my gear spending has dropped off precipitously (unless a certain resonator gets a firm price-tag again).
Most of the music that printed deeply in my brain-stem (forty-to-seventy years ago) was made w/ gear far inferior to what's on my rack, currently gathering dust.
Electric or acoustic.

And, while I may know as much (more music) theory as/than my heroes, that's not making a difference either.
Maybe it's my refrigerator - it's always full.
I'm not starving.
Yeah - that's what I'll blame. :cry:
 

nojazzhere

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I have a lot of cool gear. I don’t have a huge collection. I don’t have piles of super valuable vintage originals, or custom shop stuff, or Private Stock PRS models. But I do have some really, really nice stuff.

I’m looking around my living room right now at six instruments that all rolled together, cost more than some very good used cars. I have more downstairs. I have several cool amps. A monster bass rig. I have pedals out the wazoo. I have a really good PA. I have recording gear. I’ve got piles of microphones. I have all of the requisite accoutrements that go with all this crap. Stands, cases, doo-dads, and probably enough cables of all types to encircle a small planet.

So why do I want more stuff? It just dawned on me that it’s kind of messed up. Starting when I was a teenager, I gigged for years without much gear at all. I made a living at it playing hundreds of dates a year with just one electric, one acoustic, one bass, a bass amp and a guitar amp. I had one mic. I had a minimal PA. Little four channel Peavey that my dad gigged with forever, then I inherited. My only effects were a TS and a wah. I always managed to get the job done and get paid at the end of the night.

Now I have all this stuff. Loads of it. And it’s nice stuff. I absolutely love all of it. It’s demonstrably the best gear I have ever owned in my life. It’s amazing. And if I’m honest with myself, it’s more than one guy could ever reasonably need to gig for a living.

So why do I want more? It’s stupid. Anyone who couldn’t be happy with what I’ve got for the rest of their life doesn’t deserve any of it. I think maybe I need to re-assess some things.
I'd never say I "know" you, man, but I suspect at least part of this is, as a working musician, you want to have every possible tool at your disposal. Ever know a carpenter with only one hammer? Or a plumber with one wrench? Then, there's the search for the grail.....that one guitar or amp that fills all needs.....and doesn't actually exist. But you're right that most of us could radically simplify our gear if we had to.
But where's the fun in that?
 

Blue Bill

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I have 2 comments:

First, what you are experiencing may be age-related. They say, the normal pattern, for males in our culture, includes an urge to acquire things, up to a certain point, typically 55-60 years old. At some point around there, we reach peak stuff. Then, the urge is to start paring down the inventory. OTOH, I'm 64 and am really amped about the sweet AVRI68 Tele I picked up last month, so YMMV.

Second, there may be some truth to the "excitement of the chase" theory floating around this thread. I've been seriously on the lookout, for I'd say 6-7 years for a Tele like the one I just got, the right color, vibe, feel, and price. My point is, the chase may be fun, but it's also sweet to eventually catch one and bring it home. Enjoy your guitars, amigo, the world needs happy grateful people!
 

Marc Morfei

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I don’t have any desire to own lots of gear, but I do have a strong desire to try lots of gear. So I end up cycling through used stuff I buy and sell on Craigslist. My inventory grows and shrinks as things come and go. Believe it or not, I get more joy out of selling than buying. But every time I think I’m done, something else pops up that makes me curious. In the end, as people have said, you really only need a few things. Those of us that have more are fortunate.
 

JL_LI

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I don't have nearly as much stuff as you have, but I've had that same conversation with myself, many times. Only thing is, it's like old Loretta sang about, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!" When we were celebrating my wife's birthday all week, and through the weekend, I thought, you know this can't go on forever. We were out playing golf this weekend. I shot 39/42 from the men's tees, not the seniors playing with my son. I don't know how it's possible that we have gone on so well, for so long! I know, but I can't say here, but I am indeed thankful.
Yeah TD. It’s not about material things. I have more than I ever thought possible but none of that comes with me when I go. I’ve never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch (not my own words). My wife has been taken care of and that’s important. There will be enough left over for kids and grandkids. I’ve visited 40 countries on four continents. I’d never believed that would be even a remote possibility when I started college. But the lights can go out at any time. In fact they will. I accept that. It’s something I stared down over the past few months. But that stare down doesn’t go on forever. And that’s all I can say about that.
 
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Ash Telecaster

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I go through this all the time.

I have more stuff than I need but what I have primarily done is buy, sell, buy, sell, buy....

This has allowed me to feed my gas addiction long term while minimizing the over all cost.

There are lots of things I would go back and buy again but my needs are changing and my purchases are changing along with it.
 

Recce

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I think we all go through this. It's like "the great circle of gear."
You GAS for stuff, you figure out how to obtain it, and then you realize the CHASE was the FUN part.
View attachment 919902
I agree the chase is the fun part. I have not bought in awhile because I actually have enough stuff and don’t want to sell anything.
 

Obsessed

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My best friend and guitar mentor, who has been gigging since he was around 14 and now pushing 64 has the exact same … ummm … errr … issue as you have @Jakedog . Both of you have a sincere focus in life. A shared love of guitar beyond anyone I know. Along with this gigantic passion comes with some things that cannot be answered. My buddy’s gear buying and selling is beyond logic, but he is after some special, uniquely his sound in his head for his original songs. In some ways he sees it as a burden and recognizes it like you do, but it is a ravaging passion from within that cannot be stopped. You’ve got one life, so live it to the fullest and don’t be too concerned about some imagined future ramification. Make music.
 




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