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When does DIY become more important then playing

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by pinchegil, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Feb 8, 2010
    Near Cleveland Oh
    I think it's just this FORUM. I never did much with my guitars besides play them until I joined here.
    Since then I've modded guitar after guitar; pickups, pickguards, wiring switches and pots the whole gamut.

    At my age my time should be limited to playing not fooling around with soldering irons and such.
    I've gotta get outta this place!!!

    tongue>cheek ;)
  2. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Jul 21, 2020
    new jersey
    I have the same thought. I spend about 20 mins / day playing, about 1-2hrs on the bench.
    matty428 and pinchegil like this.
  3. Tommyd55

    Tommyd55 Tele-Holic

    Sep 25, 2013
    Southern Louisiana
    I like doing it all... Then I watch something like this....

    and I wonder why I even try...

    Timmay and pinchegil like this.
  4. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

    May 29, 2016
    I go where my feelings and mood take me. At the moment I get so much more excitement building and working on guitars than playing them. So that's what I do.
    KS6V, Timmay, Mouth and 1 other person like this.
  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

    Dec 30, 2019
    Ya know... I could wind a pickup for that guy to bring out a better... or maybe give that amp a tweek...

    dang that is some nice playin'... now which finger is on fret 7 when...
    pinchegil and Tommyd55 like this.
  6. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    As long as it amuses you and fills in time before your impending doom then how could it be bad?
  7. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    May 12, 2019
    United States
    That's why I don't DIY anything but setups. I don't begrudge people that choice if they make it, no question.

    I have told people getting into guitar: "You can have a guitar playing hobby, you can have a guitar gear hobby, you can have both, or you can have neither. But don't fool yourself into thinking they're one and the same." And by "gear hobby" I just meant shopping, buying, selling, trading, discussing... DIY would be a third item on the list. It's great fun for a lot of people, and I could see myself learning some of those skills as a way to spend additional time in retirement. But right now, I like protecting my playing time (having spent too much time on the gear part already).
    Michael M. and pinchegil like this.
  8. Slap Axe

    Slap Axe Tele-Meister

    Sep 7, 2019
    Rocky Mountain Way
    I gotta play, first and foremost, even to the detriment of my own gear at times. It's definitely satisfying to fix or improve upon some piece of gear, but I'd much rather be playing than tinkering, or even changing strings for that matter!:D
    pinchegil likes this.
  9. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I think of it this way. When I am building, assembling, setting up, tinkering, etc. I am a mechanic. When I am playing I am a musician. The latter I have always wanted to be and am. The former helps me get there. If I am not playing because I am spending too much time being a mechanic then I know that I am not being true to myself. Luckily I am not there very often.
    Digital Larry and pinchegil like this.
  10. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Tinkering is its own hobby, and this board is a great site to support it. Nothing wrong with it as a hobby, side business, or a main business.
    Mostly it is a separate entity from guitar playing, but lots of great players have spent time with a soldering iron trying to get the guitar to do what they want. It's all good.
    Jay Jernigan and pinchegil like this.
  11. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    My playing has definitely plateaued. I don't spend a ton of time practicing or learning or pushing myself to improve. I perform some and so a lot of my 'practice' is freshening up on those set lists. I've come to a place of acceptance with this.

    Building amps is exciting to me. I'm still actively learning and exploring. I've probably spent more time researching tremolo oscillators in the last two weeks than I have playing guitar. I am completely fine with that. The learning piece of it is pretty critical for me. I always seem to have some topic fresh on the burning that I'm learning about. That bounces around from time to time, but it has definitely centered more on making than playing recently.

    In some ways they compete and in others they build one another up. From a time perspective I always gravitate towards what is exciting me. But man two days ago I really dialed in my Super Reverb clone just right and played A LOT for two days just enjoying the tones.
    KS6V, pinchegil and RollingBender like this.
  12. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 11, 2009
    I learned long ago that I could get sucked into any number of interests, and that time was the great equalizer. Therefore, I came up with an alliterative phrase to define my top interests that would occupy my time for all of eternity: Music, Motorcycles, and Margo. The later being Mrs. Fenderlover.

    If I can't find happiness in one of my choices, shoot me in the head for being an idiot.

    I enjoy the crap out of playing guitar. Over time, what were once limitations have past and new goals present themselves. I'll never be as good as I want to be, and don't really care because life is not long enough to learn everything I want to know.

    As I get older, designing and building music gear gives me more satisfaction. It's like the saying, "A writer writes."

    Most important is to learn and stay entertained. If I'm ever not happy, it's my fault. It's like I used to tell my wife's kids, "Boring people get bored. It's no one's job to entertain you."
    pinchegil and screefer like this.
  13. smoothrecluse

    smoothrecluse Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jan 2, 2020
    Panther City, TX
    I used to get down on myself for not being able to play much, much better than I do, considering how long I’ve been playing.

    Then I realized that I’d rather be Q than James Bond.

    I’m happy.
    KS6V, RobRiggs, pinchegil and 2 others like this.
  14. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jun 16, 2020
    Fort Worth, TX
    I regret to admit this, but yes, I now work on amps more than I play. I haven't been working on amps very long, maybe 2 years, but I always surprise myself with how much I've actually learned in that time as I now fix 3 or 4 amps a week for people. I tell myself that I would get better at the guitar at that same rate if only I played as much as I read this forum...
    pinchegil and Michael M. like this.
  15. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 8, 2009
    Horsham, UK
    Current open project list includes two guitar builds, two amps a motorcycle customisation and an MG midget clutch change...
    I work on those around real work, walking the dog, two teenage daughters and a wife.

    Playing is something I do in the gaps. I still manage to play the guitar most days even if it’s only 15 minutes.

    Thing is none of the projects are urgent or necessary so I can work on them as and when the fancy takes me. And while open projects the car, amps and bike are all on the back burner.

    Currently it’s the two guitars that are getting attention (I was only planning one but got sidetracked onto a pine tele body I made years ago which will become an esquire). Hopefully they’ll be finished in the next week or two, then I can get back to the bike, or the car if I’m allowed to get over my mothers house...
    pinchegil likes this.
  16. clusterplucker

    clusterplucker TDPRI Member

    May 30, 2013
    Yes, I realized long ago I’m more apt to be somebody else’s guitar tech than somebody who needs a tech of his own.
    pinchegil likes this.
  17. Mongo Park

    Mongo Park Tele-Holic

    Nov 28, 2010
    I was always amazed at the guy that plays and knows zippo about their gear, well I use to be. Until I noticed I was the guy who knew zippo about playing.
    I have a woodworking shop and built cigar box guitars for my kids. I was surprised how good they sounded. This morphed into building a actual electric guitar. I found some friends who could actually play guitar and we have been great buddies ever since. I love building guitars and this lead to building amps as well, how else do you get to here those famous rare amps. So I am a guy who couldn’t have picked something I would be worse at and that is playing guitar, so I suck at it. I came to it as a builder first not a player.
    This is spaced out with family, furniture making, knife making, and triathlon training. As well as some side interest All of these are separate social groups that keep me sane.
    Bottom line I will always suck at playing guitar.
    I am retired now and I can do all of this, a dream come true.
    For those with kids I remember coking meals and the kids banging on the cigar box. At that time my kids were my main hobby and it was the best DIY project of my life, but that is drifting off topic a bit.
    pinchegil likes this.
  18. Markest

    Markest NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 21, 2020
    Denver, CO
    I started with a kit in April with the lock down and recently retired. I find that my playing has suffered as a result of spending more time building, but I'm hoping to strike a better balance. If you play and build, how about posting a video of you actually playing your own creation?
    pinchegil likes this.
  19. chucker

    chucker TDPRI Member

    Jan 24, 2020
    New York
    i just started with teles and electric guitar and already have a warmoth build going. it's the nature of the marketplace. you can put together a more satisfying instrument than you can buy and do it for less money.
    pinchegil likes this.
  20. Michael M.

    Michael M. TDPRI Member

    Feb 13, 2015
    Boise ID
    I am obsessive compulsive. So researching whatever I am currently obsessed with brings me comfort. (Forum chats, youtube, articles) Currently I am back to guitar. Have been playing guitar since I was 14 but you wouldn’t know from my level of play.
    I am practicing quite a bit. But I tend to spend more time researching gear including pickups neck shapes electronics studying market prices etc.
    I think I obsess over gear because it’s a hell of a lot easier than practicing. I think it’s a means of procrastination.

    I have nice enough gear for just strumming with my son from time to time so I need to just stop and practice more. Thank you for this post to make me realize that.

    Regardless - I sure am enjoying my renewed interest in guitar a lot more than my past obsession: Golf. While it brought euphoria at times it brought incredible despair a majority of the time. Ha ha.
    pinchegil likes this.
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