Minimal Gear

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Robbie, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    A while back there was a thread about how many guitars you need and it stuck with me. I was looking at guitars the other day and my Wife pointed out that over the past couple of years she noticed I spend more time checking out new gear, buying and selling, than I do playing what I have. The comment was innocent enough, she does’t care what I buy.

    I started thinking and remembered my happiest musical days were playing throughout the Great Lakes area dragging around my 355 and a Version 1 HR Deluxe. Sometimes I would bring my Gibby 135 as a back up...sometimes, a worn out Tube Screamer that I would use about twice a year and 3 or 4 cables. There was never any question about what guitar I was playing that night.

    This is certainly a first world problem, but then again not any kind of problem at all.

    Think I’m going to play my LP Special exclusively for a while, love it’s P90’s, and when I feel like a change, grab another guitar and play it exclusively for a while.

    Anyone else feel the same way or do you like to constantly change what instrument you play?
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  2. Gretsch6120

    Gretsch6120 Gretschie

    Mar 7, 2010
    Kingston Ontario Canada
    I think I’m swaying to reduce the amount of gear I own. Some of it never sees the light of day, which is a shame. I’ve been using a set number of guitars and I’ve been happy with them. I just have the hardest time letting the gear go.
  3. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    " minimal gear " ..... nothing like the old days when I was a kid in my teens sitting on the front stoop where I grew up with just my acoustic . It's as minimal as it gets ........;)
    Jena, dak55, new6659 and 7 others like this.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Yep I remember those days too.
    drmilktruck and thunder58 like this.
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Yea I have actually started thinking about selling a couple of electrics and some amps. I really do not need them, I hate the thought of the resale value though and that holds me back and the knowledge that these are not always available used in as good of shape as mine. but stuff sits and I start wondering why do I keep it. I still much prefer acoustic.
    drmilktruck, Ricochet and Robbie like this.
  6. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    To be clear I’m not complaining or selling anything off and not suggesting minimalism. For me I need to get back to what I love and that’s PLAY.
  7. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Stuff just sitting drives me crazy. I hear ya
    Bertotti likes this.
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I wish I could go back to the time I played one guitar and one amp, but I feel it's too late now. It's like I've taken a path and I'm curious where it leads me, besides bankruptcy.
  9. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Funny you should mention this........I have been pondering the same thing. I played the same Telecaster and original ‘95 tweed Blues Deville 212 for about a dozen years. I was so connected with that rig........nowadays I’m switching stuff around constantly. I’ve been thinking about trying to stick to one guitar for awhile too like the old days..........but usually buying some more gear clears my head. ;)
    dilver, JParry335, wilblee and 7 others like this.
  10. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    I have a dozen guitars or so and the other day I opened a case expecting a Gretsch and it was an Alvarez. I literally said out loud "When the fark did I buy THIS?"

    I decided I have enough guitars.
    Dave-B, new6659, drmilktruck and 4 others like this.
  11. hogrider16

    hogrider16 Gretschie

    Oct 18, 2017
    charles town wv
    I've been reducing gear over the last two years. I realized I had over 35 instruments and I don't even know how many amps and cabinets and it was really just out of hand. I've sold over 20 instruments and a bunch of amps and cabinets and I have a new rule that at least one thing has to go for every one coming in.

    One thing I did that really stopped the impulse buys in their tracks was to ask a few questions before I bought anything - 1) what does this new gear do that none of my current gear does, 2) what will I stop using because I'm using this. Now everything I buy has a purpose and I identify the equipment I'm selling due to new purchases BEFORE I make the new purchase.

    I actually feel relived.
  12. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    It can be a great idea to strip back in my experience.
    The times when I've been focused on learning rather than acquisition have been my most satisfying years of playing. The satisfaction from a new guitar is fleeting unless it allows you to accomplish something you just couldn't do without it.
    Currently, I'm in an expansion mode after @ 5 years of working with a very small (in comparison) harem of 2 electric and 2 acoustics.
    A few decades with a Stratocaster as my #1 followed by 5 almost exclusively with a Pro Jet probably qualifies me as a serial monogamist and I do feel I know those guitars inside and out.
    Finally getting a Telecaster has been a bit of a revelation as to how much difference a new guitar can make as it responds in a much more dynamic way. I don't think we can write off the contribution a guitar or amp can make to your playing...if you take the time to explore.
    What is obvious is that it all comes down to how much you put into the instruments you have with your heart, mind and soul.
    If we're scanning Reverb all day instead of learning/writing new songs, memorizing our inversions, fretboard, intervals, etc. and expanding our limits by challenging ourselves in new situations then gear acquisition becomes a huge waste of lifeblood.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    new6659, drmilktruck and MotorCentaur like this.
  13. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I honestly don't know how some of you have so much gear. Then I read this thread and don't feel so bad about holding on to what I have a bit longer. But I would still like to thin things down a bit for some different purchases.
    drmilktruck and thunder58 like this.
  14. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    Oct 22, 2015
    I have plenty of guitars and only two hands, so I'll play just one for a while, and then put it away and just play another. They're all my favorites and I'm not getting rid of any of them. I am sensitive to the subject of too much stuff though. When my wife passed away and my childred left home about 5 years ago I felt oppressed by all the stuff that belonged to a past life so I got rid of about 90% of my belongings over about a three year period. I don't miss any of those thigs, and now the house has more room for guitars and amps! I'm not getting any more though....unless an affordable Country Club in CAdillac green comes my way...... or a pink 5190.....
    drmilktruck and blueruins like this.
  15. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I do agree with the thoughts on what a difference it makes to really get to know a guitar well. There is no way to coax out everything a guitar has to give unless you discover how to do it, and every guitar has subtle differences. After all, that's why I was drawn to each guitar that I have - especially the 4 Strats. It was all about the subtle differences.

    I have bought, and let go, plenty of guitars, amps, and pedals since I started playing in 1999. I was exploring the sounds I could find in the individual gear, as well as the combinations. It's been a lot of fun, but as I head to retirement, I am finding myself more content with letting the exploration end, and the settling down with what I have. I'm sure I will eventually downsize, but I am having trouble deciding on what stays and what goes. I'm sure it will come down to which gear makes me smile the most, and which helps me find the tone I want in the easiest way possible.
  16. 5120mantis

    5120mantis Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2011
    I'm ready to dump some guitars,
    The jet and casino through a pro reverb works.
    drmilktruck, blueruins and Robbie like this.
  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I'm more likely to pick up my beater acoustic than anything else. That's one reason why I leave it at hand. That, and the munchkins can't really damage it badly. The good guitars are kept in their cases, safe from kids and critters.
    Andrew Griffin, Robbie and thunder58 like this.
  18. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    Oh man, I love that about my acoustic. NO CABLES, NO NUT’N, just a guitar.

    I find myself often times playing my electric guitars unplugged at home just because I don’t want the hassle of plugging in.
  19. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Didn't you just get a Tele ? The Baja ?
    drmilktruck and TSims1 like this.
  20. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    I actually have downsized my gear and each piece performs a specific job. Every piece of gear I have is a working piece of gear with very few luxuries, a pedal or two and possibly my jet which gets the least use. My gigs are simple. For street performing I use my brown bear tele and my Rolland street cube with one cable. As simple as it gets.
    For gigs my moonshine amp, my simplified but total luxury pedal board and either my panther or my Tokai gold top. Pretty straightforward. Sometimes I’ll switch up and play my 6120 or jet but lately just the gold top
    Robbie, Merc, BorderRadio and 2 others like this.
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