What goes? What stays?

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,478
Age
68
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
I’m going through my guitars and gear to determine what I’ll sell. I need the room, and there are items that I just don’t play. But while I generally adhere to the principle of “If it doesn’t play, it doesn’t stay,” there’s more to it than that. To quote the hackneyed rejoinder, “It’s complicated.”

I’m not going to list the specific make & model info on each of my guitars/gear items. I’m not asking for others to make my decisions for me. This thread is about the principles and circumstances connected to the gear. I’m just mulling over what—in theory, at least—will help me make decisions about “what goes, what stays.”

What guides you in this process?
 

StrangerNY

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Posts
5,940
Location
Somewhere between here and there
I moved out a lot of guitars a few years ago in order to 'trade up' to fewer guitars of better quality. I ended up selling off about 10 guitars, and it was rough picking which ones had to go - and naturally there are 2 or 3 that I wish I had back. :)

My main criteria is how much a guitar is being played, but like you said, it's complicated. I've got a few that I rarely play, but they're either gifts that I'd feel bad selling or something rare or unique enough that I know if I got seller's remorse I'd never be able to replace them.

And then there are the partscasters, which I love for different reasons and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get back what I put into them.

I'm currently considering donating a few guitars to a local School of Rock or Guitars for Vets, but even that will be difficult.

Good luck! I hope you choose the right stuff to move out.

- D
 

toomuchfun

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Posts
1,437
Location
PA, US
I think a little more info is needed, like is this a hobby or do you gig and make a little or a lot or your income? Also what you want to do musically down the road?

I'm old and it's a hobby for me, my friends used to think I was a hoarder. I bought most of my stuff 25 - 40 years ago. I bought Fenders and Gibsons and took care of them. Now a '75 Tele Deluxe I got for $275 goes for ? I don't think it's quite the same today but I would keep the quality items, they should hold or increase in value.

For me, I'm hoping to retire next year and record some of my collection before seeing what the market is like. I have a few I may keep after I can no longer play them, they're old friends.
 

Brad Pittiful

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Posts
20,145
Location
Philly Burbs
if i have a place for stuff i keep it...if im tripping over it...with no place to put it...then id consider getting rid of it
 

oregomike

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Posts
1,531
Location
Hood River, OR
I’m going through my guitars and gear to determine what I’ll sell. I need the room, and there are items that I just don’t play. But while I generally adhere to the principle of “If it doesn’t play, it doesn’t stay,” there’s more to it than that. To quote the hackneyed rejoinder, “It’s complicated.”

I’m not going to list the specific make & model info on each of my guitars/gear items. I’m not asking for others to make my decisions for me. This thread is about the principles and circumstances connected to the gear. I’m just mulling over what—in theory, at least—will help me make decisions about “what goes, what stays.”

What guides you in this process?
Personally, it’s one or a combination of the following.
It doesnt get played, it’s a duplicate tone-wise, no sentimental value. If I make it anymore complicated than that, I’d have too many guitars.
 

Killing Floor

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
9,059
Location
Austin, TX
Do you use it? Do you love it? Do you legitimately believe keeping it will bring you joy or that the item will increase significantly in value? Then move it.
 

burntfrijoles

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
9,819
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
I've gone from 17-18 guitars to 5 guitars since 2015. I liked almost all of the guitars I sold, some more than others. Some just filled a niche like the Rik 620-12.
In some cases of similar guitars, it was which do I like best or which do I perceive to have an attachment. Here's the bottom line to me. It really didn't matter in the long run. There is one guitar that stands out in terms of being difficult. It was my first custom ordered guitar. It was a thing of beauty. I had an emotional attachment to it. The sad truth was that it was no longer one of my favorites.
I remember a Gilmour interview regarding his auction. He was asked about his famous black Start. How could he part with it? He was matter of fact and almost indifferent to this iconic guitar. It had served it purpose but it was still just a tool and he could be happy with his other guitars. I thought, if he can do it, I can part with a few more.
I don't ever think about the guitars that have departed. I have what I need.
Soon, I'm going to sell my Martin 000-18 and one of my Strats (that's a tough decision but I'll make it and move on). That will leave me with 4 guitars, three electrics and one acoustic. I'll be fine. At some point it will be two guitars. I'll be fine.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,358
Location
Manassas Park, VA
My own decisions, on reducing guitar gear (over the years ) were 'informed by a few real-life realities:

- I had spent too much household $$ money on guitar gear, and needed to sell guitars/amps ( more than a few times) asap!, to pay rent, or bills

- running out of storage space in a teeny house ( now in an apartment) for all this stuff

- related to points #1 and #2: sell or give away anything you are really never playing at gigs or home

There were some items that I was not thrilled to part with ( sentimental), but as I had all 'budget' or 'player' ( non vintage) gear, I knew I could always replace ( and would) later, if I had a real need, and the $$...

Today, I'm down to only stuff played on gigs regularly, or at home- and NO duplicates of any guitar style. So, 1 Tele, 1 Strat, 1 SG, 1 Martin, etc.,

This doesn't mean I won't buy another guitar or amp, it's just not going to be something I already have.

Everyone ( me and stuff) is happy like this.
 

sax4blues

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Posts
5,986
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
I’ve always been a less is more kind of person so clearing out is easy for me. I guess this also means I never end up with a lot of stuff in the first place.
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Posts
120,038
Age
65
Location
Austin, Tx
My “nest” fluctuates.
I keep the stuff I gig with, the rest stays as long as I enjoy playing it, recreationally.
I play chord melodies for fun, at home.
I play country lead guitar for fun and profit.
Strats seem to come and go quickest.
Perhaps it’s odd, but others seem to like it when I play Strats more than I do.
I guess I got “Stratted-out” by how many Strat players there are in the world.
Even my favorite, Eric Johnson plays em’!
ES-types are kinda transient, too.
I really like both of my current ES-style guitars.
I tend to keep/collect Les Pauls.
It’s kinda dumb.
I just love the way they look.
Youthful hero worship on my part.
Anyways, I’m not particularly sentimental about it.
If I don’t play it at work, or home, I sell or trade it.
I’ve done this my entire guitar playing life, since I was a teenager.
 
Last edited:

loopfinding

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
5,029
Location
europe endless
If it doesn’t play, it doesn’t stay. Just like you said. I’ve thinned the herd to ONE guitar I don’t play, but because it’s worth something, I’m going to trade it. The money it can fetch will be gone quick, but I can get a very nice (and likely permanent) guitar for a trade.
 

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,478
Age
68
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
I moved out a lot of guitars a few years ago in order to 'trade up' to fewer guitars of better quality. I ended up selling off about 10 guitars, and it was rough picking which ones had to go - and naturally there are 2 or 3 that I wish I had back. :)

My main criteria is how much a guitar is being played, but like you said, it's complicated. I've got a few that I rarely play, but they're either gifts that I'd feel bad selling or something rare or unique enough that I know if I got seller's remorse I'd never be able to replace them.

And then there are the partscasters, which I love for different reasons and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get back what I put into them.

I'm currently considering donating a few guitars to a local School of Rock or Guitars for Vets, but even that will be difficult.

Good luck! I hope you choose the right stuff to move out.

- D
Your reply touches on quite a few factors that I relate to. I would like to move some to move up, but the budget and space considerations means that I would have to see a 3/1 or even 4/1 sell/purchase ratio. IOW, I'd need to get top dollar for each of several used items in order to buy what I'm after. That or else make a bunch of money gigging. I had a really great gig last night, but I don't book paying engagements every week, and they aren't all as lucrative as last night's gig ($150 base pay + $102 in tip money).

Yeah, gifts are a thing for me, too. Seven of the guitars I currently own were gifts, going back to 1983. Of those, four I wouldn't ever consider selling, and I feel like a traitor just even occasionally thinking about selling the other three in that category.

I have a Wechter Nashville parlor that was designed and built for Nashville/high string tuning. The sound doesn't work for a whole gig, perhaps not even a whole set, but it's a unique sound that has its place. So though I have rarely gigged with it, and go weeks or even months without playing it, that Wechter is unique enough to stay in my guitarsenal.

Also the getting what I think they're worth factor applies. There are those that I want to sell, but are not likely to fetch a price that justifies selling. A few months back, my wife advertised one for me on her social media marketplace, not even a nibble.

So I may wind up doing that Guitars for Vets thing. If they don't sell, that's a good option.
 

bgmacaw

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
10,074
Location
Near Athens GA USA
What guides you in this process?

To never do it again unless extreme financial hardship made it necessary.

drwhocryinginrain0.gif
 

985plowboy

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Posts
5,987
Location
South Louisiana
I sold a bunch of gear a few years ago.
My guiding principle was something along the lines of, “I’m tired having all this unused stuff laying around”!
I sold all my electric guitars except my Tele.
I sold all my acoustic guitars, save three.
I could, theoretically, go to two acoustics.
But I’m not gonna.

My advice is go slow.
Choose one thing at a time to sell and see how it makes you feel.
For me selling unused gear was liberating and I don’t really know how to explain that.
 

kuch

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
896
Location
Great Northwest
I've been playing guitar s since the 60's. A lot of gear has co3me and gone. in the early 2k's after my kids were out of the house, I started collecting more and more and more music stuff.

in the last 5 years, I've started to sell gear and "trading up" for better quality gear. One of the most effective method of thinning the herd has been to give some of it to my kids and grand kids. My son has a 335 and a D28; my daughter has an old aria acoustic that i've had since the 70's; one grandson has a LP, a strat, and a martin; another grandson has a martin and a LP; another grandson has a breedlove acoustic. All of that with assorted amps too.

I'm down to 2 martins, 3 tele's, 1 strat, a es 330, electronic drum set, a keyboard, and a uke. I'm thinking of getting rid of a couple tele's, although i just might give them to my grankids too. I asked my son about that this morning and he said "he's only 15". The kid is really talented....

I've also either sold or passed down of all of my amps and kept my fav's: a silver face vibro champ and a 65 princeton reverb ri.

That's what is working for me. :)
 
Last edited:

naveed211

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 16, 2009
Posts
4,068
Location
Iowa
I’m pretty ruthless. No guitar is immune to being sold, I’m not very sentimental unless they were gifts (my bass was a gift from my dad, so I’ve held onto that). At one time I thought I had some guitars I’d never sell, but tastes change, and eventually they got sold.

So, I don’t know, I just trimmed from three back down to one guitar. One was the most recent and I had no connection to it, it was an impulse, so it went. And the other stayed in tune slightly worse and had an imperfection in the build that always kinda annoyed me, so it went, too.
 

TeleTex82

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 4, 2010
Posts
4,594
Location
Out there
Check out Keith Williams YT channel, Five Watt World. His whole show is centered around the notion of getting the most music out of the least gear, and often ponders the question, "what is enough?" . In the past be has talked about Marie Kondo, who wrote a book and has a Netflix show about organizing your life and getting rid of things you don't need. She proposes sticking to one rule, which is to only keep things that "spark joy". If a guitar truly brings you happiness when you play it, keep it. If it's merely nice to have around and kind of fun once in a while then move it on.
 

Jupiter

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Posts
27,870
Location
Osaka, Japan
I find not buying more guitars to be easier than selling the ones I have, so that’s a good starting point :cool:

I am at a stage now where I just will not add to the number; I don’t even consider it. I got into building for several years and I have made a bunch of mutants, most of which now are more decorations than anything else: they can’t really be sold, and they represent a story of my hobby. So they hang on the wall and their main function these days is to block anything new from coming in. 😅

I only have three guitars left that 1) don’t have a strong sentimental claim and 2) are valuable enough to go through the hassle of selling, but I never thought about them as investments and I’m not keeping them just because I would lose money if I sold them. I’m just not bothered enough to mess with getting rid of them atm. It could still happen!
 




Top