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Minimalism?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by speedy mcfeely, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    I have been getting rid of stuff that last few years. I'm in the process of selling my huge house on 5 acres to get a smaller home with less maintenance. Also, I've been getting rid of debt and bills too. I want to pare down to things that bring me joy and not just more debt.

    Here's the rub for me: I can't seem to get down to a few pieces of gear. I have 4 guitars and a few amps, plus a small home studio set up. My only hobby/ outlet is music. I love it so much. I am going to keep it as a major part of my life. The question is, how can I learn to be happy with one guitar? I know this is completely rhetorical, but it's one that I would love some input on?

    Have any of you simplified your gear down to one guitar and amp (or plug in, modeler, etc)? How do you feel? Regrets?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. mauer62

    mauer62 Tele-Holic

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    When I was younger and moving a lot I had one electric, one acoustic and one amp. Where you are at today would be about as minimal as I could go.
     
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  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Unless you're happy with one tone, don't go down to one guitar. It's that simple. Nothing says you've got to pare down your one big hobby. I've become somewhat minimalist over the past decade in my possessions; got rid of a lot of toys and crap that I didn't use much. But I still have enough music equipment to outfit an entire band, and I use it all frequently. If you use it, don't lose it.
     
  4. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd just keep what you've got. I for instance was collecting guitar equipment just to have it while being nothing more than a wannabe guitar player. Now that I'm seriously trying to improve, I'm only keeping what I need to do so. That means more than 1 guitar and 1 amp even in my scenario.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  5. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    No never thought about it
    lol
     
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  6. AnAxeNamedBeverly

    AnAxeNamedBeverly Tele-Meister

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    Minimalism is kind of forced on me right now as I have a small living area on the 2nd floor above a 9-5 type family and I keep odd hours because of my work, so I only play through small solid state amps, but even I have 2 guitars. You've gotta have at least 2, right?
     
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  7. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have on acoustic, two electrics, and one amp.

    The #2 electric was a present from my wife, otherwise it would probably be gone - maybe. Maybe not.

    I have a Mustang III, which "does" a number of amps well - it's like having 4 to 6 amps available in one unit.

    I could be happy with my Tele and the MIII only if I had to - but my needs are probably different from a lot of you.

    One guitar and one amp is a lot to ask of anyone that is more than a "once a month" player.
     
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  8. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    That may be my compromise.
     
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  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    You are making a big change by downsizing your lifestyle and I applaud the effort (one of the best things I ever did), but you don't have to minimalize everything. Keep your gear and decide later if you want to reduce more stuff.

    Good luck.
     
  10. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    All of those are worth goals but I would question becoming a minimalist about your only real passion, the guitar and music.
    Unless you need the money, why sell?
    I am faced with the same question regarding instruments. I don't need all that I have. I rarely play my electric of acoustic 12 strings but I don't want to sell them. There will come a time when I want to play music that is best served by them. Would it be awful if I didn't have them? No. Still, it's hard to justify the space they consume or their low utilization. Same with a nylon string Taylor I have.
    I have come to conclusion that, for now, it's not worth parting with them. I can't get what they're worth. It's the same with several other very nice instruments. These are my recreation, my pastime. I can alway sell them later.
     
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  11. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    I like the idea of the Mustang amp, or similar. It would give options without occupying too much space. The space issue is a concern. I have a wife, 3 kids, and 2 dogs. We are hoping to move into a house >1800sqft. I am just so overwhelmed by my stuff.
     
  12. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Unless you have 4 of the same guitar model, I say keep your gear- especially if music is your passion!

    For me I would, at the very least, need a Tele, a classical guitar, and a dreadnaught.
     
  13. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    For me, really I want to be able to accomplish my creative endevours while not taking up too much space. Plus I feel like, if I don't use it, is it just hording? I'm in a weird place, I guess!
     
  14. Rayner

    Rayner Tele-Meister

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    I'm a one guitar man, I often think about buying another but when I had 2 I never played the other one. I've got split humbuckers in my tele which does everything I want it to, I've got 8 different pickup combinations I can choose from. 1 amp (well 2 actually but I haven't used the other one for about 2 years and it's pretty crap anyway) and a few pedals that I rarely use, one I use all the time to get a little overdrive at low volumes.

    I'm happy with that but I've got no desire to play acoustic and my dad has an old squier I can use as a backup so there's really not a lot of point in me having anything else. I guess it all depends what you want though, I'm not trying to live minimalistic by the way, I've just got what I want. I occasionally look at HSS Strats, LP's, Thinline tele's, gretsch's and slide guitars but it doesn't take long for the wanting to go away when I start thinking what the point would be. That's me though, I only play a few different genres and I can get a good enough tone from my tele to keep me happy in all of them.

    I do have other hobbies though, this is certainly my biggest one but I say you gotta be happy, doesn't matter about anything else, whatever makes you happy makes you happy and that's the end of it. I've known people implement timed rules, if they haven't used something in x amount of time it gets sold. That might work but if you like having guitars hanging on the wall then that's a different story
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  15. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    Unfortunately I've gone the other way - more guitars and amps.

    But from 1986 until 2005 I gigged (many different genres) with one guitar and one amp - a '62 Stratocaster RI with EMG's and built-in mid boost, and a Boogie Mk III with extension cabinet. I really never desired anything else. Then the madness began. :)
     
  16. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

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    I have one electric. I just made sure everything about it was the best it could be. I have one amp I did the same. I never really owned a bunch of electrics at once. How I do it is made darn sure my guitar and amp both sound really good. I plug in my guitar and my amp only has one knob it goes from a nitty gritty rock tone unless I crank it then it goes to metal. This type of set up can play any type of music. If I play softer stuff which I do a lot it just sounds better because there is a bit of character.

    I wish I had more guitars. If you play as much as I do it's good for maintenance. If one is being argumentative I can just pick up another one till I figure out what's wrong with the that guitar. If I had more amps and a nicer place to record It would be more versatile. I could mic the different amps more ways. That's about it. As far as tone goes. I do things dynamically with my fingers and picking technique. So even if i am playing metal on an acoustic you probably won't notice much difference besides hey he is playing an acoustic or if I am playing a softer love song on a metal guitar you wouldn't notice a difference in tone. You would just notice he is playing a love song on a metal guitar.

    For amps there are some amps that sound bad playing metal. Try some different tubes if that doesn't fix it the amp is worthless.
     
  17. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    I have a tele, which as we all know can accommodate any style, an acoustic, and a p bass, plus a guitar combo amp and a bass head and cab. That's as minimal as i can get... I still need a pickup for the acoustic, though, or maybe a piezo bridge for the tele?
     
  18. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    `

    I will most likely always have several guitars and least a couple good amps, to cover "all my bases"...

    Guitars:

    2003 Fender AVRI '52 Tele - with 2011 fender AVRI '52 Hot Rod Neck, Fender Nocaster Neck pickup (stock '52 bridge PU) and Rutters brass compensating saddles. This is my personal favorite and is the sweetest guitar I've ever owned.

    2006 Fender Highway-One Tele - with a Fender AV '64 neck pickup, a Fender OV bridge pickup and Rutters steel compensating saddles. This is my rockin' Tele, since it has an edgier, bolder tone.

    2012 Am Std Stratocaster - with stock Fat '50s pickups and an S-1 switch added to get the Neck+Bridge combination. Great for when I need some "quack" in my life... the "token" Strat sound...

    1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio - For when only a humbucker can do the job: i.e. High gain, juicy, distortion mayhem!

    2016 "Inspired by 1966" Epiphone Century - My token hollow-body P-90 guitar. Gloriously resonant deliciousness!

    1996 Fender Std Telecaster - This guitar has been transformed into a "special purpose" instrument; It has a Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless bridge pickup and a Bill Lawrence L202TN (also noiseless) neck pickup, for those occasions when there is too much interference for my regular single coils to handle. It also has a Roland GK-2 MIDI pickup installed so I can access synthesized sounds for various recording purposes.

    1999 Fender DG22CE Acoustic/Electric - My "pluggable" acoustic for various live performance needs. It actually has an amazing straight acoustic sound as well!

    1998 Yamaha FG432S - My main dreadnought acoustic. Sounds great! If I ever get my dream Guild D-40 acoustic this may or may not go away... I haven't decided yet...

    1981 Carvin DC200 - The DC200 is now more or less retired. Although this guitar has been abused and modified (and no longer possesses the magic it originally had), I will never get rid of it since it was my first "real" guitar... so it has sentimental value...


    Amps:

    Mesa Boogie TA-15 TransAtlantic head (25 watt peak) - for smaller, more intimate performances. This amp covers all my sonic needs: Sweet, chimey cleans, smooth soaring overdrive and melt your face distortion! Does quite a lot for such a small package, reasonably covering the most popular Vox, Fender, Marshall and Mesa tones, but is also simple to use and very easy to transport.

    Mesa Boogie TA-30 TransAtlantic head (40 watt peak) - similar to the TA-15 but with more power as well as Reverb, an Effects Loop, a Boost switch on Ch2 and more versatile footswitch functions. This is my high powered rig and it should be able to handle most of the live performance situations I'm apt to encounter these days.

    Epiphone Valve Jr combo - Gets a great Cream "Sunshine of your Love" vibe when cranked, so it does serve a niche' purpose...

    Fender Mustang Mini - This tiny battery powered modelling amp is great for small performances where AC power is not available. I modified mine by adding an external speaker output, since the built-in speaker totally sucks... otherwise it sounds surprisingly great! ...and I have actually used it in live performances, believe it or not!


    Honorable mentions... these are the ones I keep for various reasons:

    1988 PRS Custom 24 Emerald Green Quilted 10-top w/abalone bird inlays - This was made before Paul Reed Smith sold out to the corporate "man" and is mainly a collector's item. I hardly ever play it anymore, not only because it may be very valuable someday, but, to be honest, because it really doesn't sound that great either - other than a couple unique tones that it does fairly well.

    1965 Ampeg SB-12 Portaflex Amp - This was a great amp, until it died. Now I'm deciding whether or not to fix it or sell it...

    Fender Champion 600 - Like the Mustang Mini mentioned above, the Champion 600 needs a higher quality speaker to make it work, otherwise it does have a pretty sweet sound for lower level playing. But, to be honest with you, the only reason I keep it is because I'd practically have to give it away, since no one's paying any decent money to get one these days...

    Vox Pathfinder (solid state) - Cool little amp but, like the Champion 600, I can't sell it for a decent amount so I'll just keep it for now (or maybe give it away to some kid)...

    Stuff I've sold and not regretted:

    2015 Epiphone Casino Coupe - Probably the fastest turnaround I've done! I bought it in early 2016, then Epiphone released the new "Inspired by 1966" Century - which I had to have - so the Coupe got sold to pay for it!

    2011 Fender AVRI '52 Telecaster - This guitar had a beautiful, lightweight ash body with the most gorgeous shade of blonde for a finish... but the sound that was just "blah"! What a shame...

    Fender Blues Deluxe amp - Bought second hand. I could never get a great sound out of this thing (changed tubes, tried different speakers, etc). It may have also been possibly due to the "Fromel Mod" that was added, but I can't say for sure. Played a newer one lately and it sounded great! So you just never know...

    2011 Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster - This guitar actually looked, played and sounded great, but i already had four other Teles at the time so it just wasn't meant to be...

    VOX VBM-1 Brian May Deacy Amp
    - Just one of those cool little things I never used.

    1981 Fender Lead I - Awesome, high gain, single pickup, rock machine! But heavy as hell and not very versatile...

    1999 Fender 50's Reissue Strat - Although the Surf Green finish was beautiful, I never really bonded with the tone coming out of this thing... so it had to go...

    1998 Fender Toronado - Sounded similar to my Gibson LP - and I wasn't going to sell the LP...

    1999 Danelectro Mod 6 - Neat guitar, but I never used it so... chopping block!

    1999 Fender (Lefty) Std Strat - I was going to make a Jimi Hendrix clone strat but never did... what was I thinking?

    Stuff I let go but (sort of) regret:

    1997 Epiphone Casino VT - I actually love this stunning Turquoise guitar but made the mistake of borrowing it to my sister and now she won't give it back! Oh well, what can you do...?


    `
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  19. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Wait, before downsizing you needed 5 acres for your guitars?!
     
  20. since 1963

    since 1963 Tele-Meister

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    I absolutely regret every guitar and amp I have ever gotten rid of: Without exception.
     
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