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Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Robbie, Apr 12, 2019.
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Now thats what I'm talkin' about
A large part of what is driving this for me is to become a better guitar player than I am. I want to concentrate more on acquiring skill rather than acquiring gear. I do all the main vocals in my Band but, I don’t consider myself a Singer...I’m a guitar player, always will be.
And to be clear, if you own 50 or 100 guitars, you are my hero and I have sincere admiration for you.
It's really no coincidence once I started amassing huge amounts of gear I also started playing less and less.
When I started gigging, one guitar, a cord, and an amp were all you needed.
Merseyside 1963-65 -- I had an ES330 and an AC30 with a spare lead and spare strings in the back of the amp. Didn't need anything else -- all the venues had their own PA. Happy days.
Ah, keyboard buttons. There's a clip on YouTube of the Buddy Miller playing the BeeGees' song To Love Somebody. He asks the band "Can we play it in E this time?". To the keyboard player he says: "Do you have a button for E on there?!"
I started out as a bass player. I didn't know you couldn't play jazz, disco, country and such on a Rickenbacker so I used my Rickenbacker for everything.
Kind of like today - there aren't a lot of guitars that couldn't cover almost everything adequately.
This sounds a lot like where I was at a long time ago. Gigging for a living. A 335 was my number one (and still is).
Always had a Strat as a backup. Main amp was a Fender Deluxe Reverb (still in service). My pedalboard had a Dearmond volume pedal, Boss CS-2, CE-2, DM-2 and an ‘81 Big Box Rat forever. I never made any changes until many years later. The music was the priority. I bought gear that sounded good and was reliable. There was no need or time for changing things out.
This is what it SHOULD be all about. I’mright There with you on this, brother! Best of luck to you and may your goals be met with excellence!
At least for me, Reverb took the pain of selling gear away. Try it if you haven’t. You’ll likely feel better moving unused gear and wish you did it long ago. It was great getting rid of a mandolin that sat unloved for 10 years in a closet after switching to guitar exclusively. Plus the numerous pedals since.
I definetly don't like to own many guitars or many amps, or pedals. I really love to find a right feeling with my guitar and just play it. Same situation with my amp. I have several pedals but I'm really happy when I don't use them, because what I really love is my Gretsch plugged directly through my Blues Junior.
I’m quite happy with what I have right now.
Some guitars just sits on their cases but hey, that’s life. I basically have a guitar and a spare for each band I play with (which has some difference in styles). Some times I could rotate them (after all, it’s always be me doing the play so any change of gear wouldn’t matter that much. Fingers are the sound, not geetars) but I know what axe will do the job better. I don’t own many amps and I usually use always the same, so that part is covered. About pedals, I quit using more that one other than the tuner years ago. I prefere the tone to come from the amp so for me it’s always a matter of what boost to use for soloing. Some times is a clean one, others may be a fuzzy thing. Everything else, I sold it a while ago to fund some music-related needs (promotion, tour support). It has to be said that’s not much ground to cover in what I play, but I always preferred to go as simple as I could. The bigger the pedalboard the higher the chance I’ll end up using the wrong one when I need it.
Also, it has to be said that my playing hasn’t benefited any better from owning less gear: practice (or tour a lot) it’s always the key.
And there it is, and well said. I spent years finding my own sound and what spoke to me, and made me smile. My sound is quite simple, like our friend Tony says “I like my cleans to be dirty”. It’s basically Fender amps, 12” speaker(s) and humbuckers or P90’s. Any gear I buy I judge on if it sounds like “me”. So I asked myself “why keep buying more to sound the same?”
The real head scratcher came when we played a 2018/19 New Year’s Eve gig at a Brewery. Our Sound Tech, who I consider an integral part of my Band, said to me “Robb, this room is going to be tough, big and high, lots of metal, how about we leave your amps and you just go through the Radial Direct Drive we’ve been going to try”.
To cut to the chase there were a dozen working guitar players in the audience that came to see our show and all commented about how much they like my guitar sound. I asked if they noticed any big difference and the main responses were “no why?”.......well, no amplifier. I think to date 5 or 6 of them have bought that Radial Direct Drive.
I’m NEVER going to give up on my amps but it does make a guy think.
With the usual meaning of "gear" . . . my peak was a decade ago, with a Made in USA Strat and two P-basses, and as an afterthought - I was getting into music "software" then btw.
Now I'll add on wish list will be a Gretsch Duo Jet(?)LH - originally made as a lefty
and an amp upgrade - oh and maybe an effects pedal or two, and a better strap with locking strap posts/buttons added for perfect balance, cables
so the current minimal includes . . .
1. my ex-righty Gretsch experimental mod Streamliner Jr. (under construction)
2. Vox practice amp
3-100 (?) is an accumulation of equipment needed as mod "gear" . . .
3. Ryobi drill driver (new - will touch nothing else for now)
Dremel (and bits and collets and mandrel and cutting wheels)
4. Oxwall drill press stand (used, new "gear" day is Tuesday - can't wait lol)
Fender capo (mostly used for re-stringing at my newbie stage)
String spacing gauge
Fingerboard action gauge - coming from U.K. some future day/week/month
Other assorted tools (wire cutters, hammer, hole cutter bits,
wood plug cutter, nut cutting file set)
Strings, oh I guess some assorted needles and pins . . .
Being a newbie of sorts I do a lot of research before I buy anything. Sometimes it takes me weeks or even months before I finally decide but I try to weigh out all of the options both pro and con. I'm only a play at home guy/learner but would like to at least play onstage with a few friends and their local bands at some point.
I go back and forth with guitars as I've learned or am learning certain instruments deliver certain sounds. It's not snobbery either, to me it really makes a difference.
Currently I'm up to 8 guitars in my collection but I buy because I want a sound not simply because of looks. Although that argument could have been made with my first Gretsch (5420) but playing it in the store for a few minutes, I knew it had to come home with me that night! That for me was a real eye opener about sound quality and has continued to grow.
I too always check out new gear but I don't always buy it. I like to try it out and then go back to see what other's opinions are and see what their thoughts on it consist of, tips, ideas, sound range, etc. Just like here on Gretsch-Talk, I see and learn through others and try to avoid any mistakes or pitfalls. Through that I choose whether I actually need it or simply want it.
Do I have more than I "need"? Quite possible in regards to guitars and amps and pedals combined but music is something I have always truly loved and enjoyed and get tremendous satisfaction and challenge from. So far I've been able to manage and balance it out pretty well financially with time being my only inescapably lacking luxury but nothing good comes without perserverence and persistence aka stubborness.
George Carlin said it best "your house is a pile of stuff with a cover on it", or in my case apartment.
For all of the bad habits we could have I would say having too much gear is the least of our worries, just so long as we have room for our stuff !
I forgot---you also needed three chords and the truth as well.
I agree with you and am in the process of downsizing now
It's all about sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.