Keeping it Simple

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,255
England
I love GAS.. I love that feeling of wanting a new guitar, for no good reason whatsoever. I have guitar dollars burning a hole in my pocket right now.

But then you see and read things and think damn... Theirs probably a whole lot more joy and validation in keeping it simple. Stop buying, just play.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-rutherford-squier-strat

Mike Rutherford playing this Genesis world tour with just Bullet Strats.

Then this guy just plays his one stock signature model (albeit it's a custom shop) on tour.

I'm wondering if maybe being a pro is more about the music than the guitars ;)

 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,464
Commack, NY
I hear ya Mr Swisher but I've been at the crossroads of "just playing" actually hurt my playing because I was too stubborn to realize that diversity in feel and tone that multiple guitars bring can enhance the playing. Heck, I didn't actually start buying tone shaping pedals until last year after 30 years of playing......I thought I was above "such nonsense" and I'm soooo good that technology just can't possibly make me better. Well, I was horribly wrong. Kind of on the thought that if I was that good at golf, I would really only need 1 or 2 clubs.

Look at The Edge from U2.....pretty much a different guitar for each song all starting with that Gibson Explorer. I recently saw a rig rundown-type video of him on youtube where he gives the nod that each guitar brings its own value to the song.

For me, different guitars, and now pedals, bring different tones and bring differing perspectives. My playing now is growing in different ways, the tones are making it fun to figure chord possibilities around new melodies I create and the different tones allow the personality of the tune to really be a great exploration/journey.
 

gtttrrr

Country Gent
Dec 7, 2011
2,178
United States
I hear ya Mr Swisher but I've been at the crossroads of "just playing" actually hurt my playing because I was too stubborn to realize that diversity in feel and tone that multiple guitars bring can enhance the playing. Heck, I didn't actually start buying tone shaping pedals until last year after 30 years of playing......I thought I was above "such nonsense" and I'm soooo good that technology just can't possibly make me better. Well, I was horribly wrong. Kind of on the thought that if I was that good at golf, I would really only need 1 or 2 clubs.

Look at The Edge from U2.....pretty much a different guitar for each song all starting with that Gibson Explorer. I recently saw a rig rundown-type video of him on youtube where he gives the nod that each guitar brings its own value to the song.

For me, different guitars, and now pedals, bring different tones and bring differing perspectives. My playing now is growing in different ways, the tones are making it fun to figure chord possibilities around new melodies I create and the different tones allow the personality of the tune to really be a great exploration/journey.
Not many painters paint with one color, I say lets have a go at em’ all. Pedals, guitars, amps, always switching to different setups and always play differently at each change up. 2 “upstairs rigs” in two different rooms, and a few diff amps/ lotsa pedals in the basement “studio”. “I use “straight into the amp” as one of those options as well :cool:.
 

LivingMyDream

Friend of Fred
May 4, 2016
6,709
Peculiar, Missouri
@Mr Swisher, I am ok with anyone who feels like a single guitar will do it for them, because there are times that I wonder if going back and forth between necks of differing shapes and widths, make it harder for the kind of muscle memory to develop that begins to take you down the path of "effortlessness."

On the other hand, I do agree with @NJDevil that variety can open up creativity. As he noted, I too am inspired in different ways by each of the guitars that I have chosen to be a part of my musical journey, as well as the pedals that I use to take me to places my amp alone can't go (although I have narrowed down the number amps that I had, to using just a few be be the base of my sound.

Having said all that, retirement and plenty of trying things out over the years has lead me to a place where I am generally content with the gear that I have. Some of it was used, and couple of things are more high end, and a couple of things are more economical (I recently bought a Donner Dumble pedal to try out and I found that I like it for certain things). At this point, it's mostly about playing/practicing to see how far I can go before my time on the planet is over. I started playing guitar much too late in life to ever worry about gigging (unless anyone calls playing in church a gig), so it more about growth for me.

When I have it all figured out, maybe I'll buy a Squier Strat, and cheap amp, and a few cheap pedals and have a blast . . . awwww, who am I kiddin'? ;):D
 

pmac11

Country Gent
Mar 4, 2018
3,652
Toronto, Ontario
I love GAS.. I love that feeling of wanting a new guitar, for no good reason whatsoever. I have guitar dollars burning a hole in my pocket right now.

But then you see and read things and think damn... Theirs probably a whole lot more joy and validation in keeping it simple. Stop buying, just play.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-rutherford-squier-strat

Mike Rutherford playing this Genesis world tour with just Bullet Strats.

Then this guy just plays his one stock signature model (albeit it's a custom shop) on tour.

I'm wondering if maybe being a pro is more about the music than the guitars ;)


It's about being such a good player that you can make a cheap guitar sound amazing. So I agree... the lesson is more about the music. Focus on being a good player.

Because when has an expensive guitar ever made a difference to a bad player?
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,255
England
Look at The Edge from U2.....pretty much a different guitar for each song all starting with that Gibson Explorer. I recently saw a rig rundown-type video of him on youtube where he gives the nod that each guitar brings its own value to the song.

This is true. I currently have six electrics and each does something different. I have quite a repertoire of songs in my Canon but it's extremely rare that I'll pick up the "wrong" guitar for the song. If it's pink Floyd I'm on my Strat.. etc etc.. I am a big fan of the Edge and the way he uses guitars.

I'm really just kind of wishing I could stick to simple, born out of a desire to have one guitar that feels part of me. A true bond where playing other guitars feels like cheating on it. But I haven't got that.. I've got 2 guitars I love and 4 I really like. And I suppose they all inspire me differently.

And I still love the chase.. I've had money from my 335 sale for 3months now.. when I didn't have the money I saw so much I was GASsing for. Now I have some considerable guitar money I can't seem to make a decision on anything :D;)
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,255
England
It's about being such a good player that you can make a cheap guitar sound amazing. So I agree... the lesson is more about the music. Focus on being a good player.

Because when has an expensive guitar ever made a difference to a bad player?

Very true. I do think an average player will sound better on an expensive guitar, and probably be inspired to improve.

To be able to pick up a junk guitar and sound great on it... that's the dream, right there.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,708
Petaluma
I'm actually really a one guitar guy. Maybe it's because I started in piano. I totally get that new gear can be inspiring. It happens to me as well.

But I also believe that a musician doesn't really need new or different gear to be creative or inspired - after all, it's in your brain, not your hands or instrument.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,859
Tucson
I'm actually really a one guitar guy. Maybe it's because I started in piano. I totally get that new gear can be inspiring. It happens to me as well.

But I also believe that a musician doesn't really need new or different gear to be creative or inspired - after all, it's in your brain, not your hands or instrument.
I’m with you, on this Henry. Most gigs, I grab one of my Tennesseans and use it for the entire night. If it’s an indoor gig, I might use the Gent or the 6120 DC.

The last gig I played, I used reverb and a bit of delay for at least 90% of the songs and overdrive for just a couple of tunes. That’s it. Other than switching pickups, I did very little and I can’t imagine what a second guitar would have had to offer.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
17,601
lafayette in
Just saw an article on yootoob with Cousin Kenny Vaughn about when Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives were on David Letterman's show. After performing, Sid McGinnis and the rest of the band gushed over how good Marty and Kenny sounded.
Sid asked, "Where's your guys' pedals?"
"Don't need any," replied Marty.

Simplicity.
 

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
I love GAS.. I love that feeling of wanting a new guitar, for no good reason whatsoever. I have guitar dollars burning a hole in my pocket right now.

But then you see and read things and think damn... Theirs probably a whole lot more joy and validation in keeping it simple. Stop buying, just play.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-rutherford-squier-strat

Mike Rutherford playing this Genesis world tour with just Bullet Strats.

Then this guy just plays his one stock signature model (albeit it's a custom shop) on tour.

I'm wondering if maybe being a pro is more about the music than the guitars ;)



Everyone's different - simple works for some and complex for others.
Just do what makes you happy I say.

My preference is a pretty simple rig - a few very different guitars, analog tube amps, simple pedal board, real cabs. High quality everything.

When I gigged I only ever brought 2 guitars with me.
2nd was a backup and also gave a different tonal flavour.

I always played very different music genres from clean clean to high gain tones. My humbucker guitar would come out for the mid to high gain work and single coils often for clean/low gain songs.

1 reason I ditched modelers 15 years ago was they were far too complex for me.
Found I was doing more tweaking of them than playing.
Don't suit me so I reverted back to relative simplicity :)

I already have all the simplicity I want and no longer suffer from Gas....

Mr Clapton is obviously a no frills kinda guy and has preferred Strats for many years now. But I preferred his tone when using Humbucker guitars myself :)
 
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Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,859
Tucson
Just saw an article on yootoob with Cousin Kenny Vaughn about when Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives were on David Letterman's show. After performing, Sid McGinnis and the rest of the band gushed over how good Marty and Kenny sounded.
Sid asked, "Where's your guys' pedals?"
"Don't need any," replied Marty.

Simplicity.
Perfect.

I love my different amps, but a good clean amp is all I need. If it has reverb onboard, I’ll use that. If not, there are reverb pedals.

Not speaking about anyone in specific, I have seen forum posts where people will ask what pedal to use to play [fill in the blank] band’s songs. This makes little sense to me. Master the song and you’ll sound fine. A pedal can be a useful tool, but there’s no pedal that will make you sound just like a certain band.

Everyone's different - simple works for some and complex for others.
Just do what makes you happy I say.

My preference is a pretty simple rig - a few very different guitars, analog tube amps, simple pedal board, real cabs. High quality everything.

When I gigged I only ever brought 2 guitars with me.
2nd was a backup and also gave a different tonal flavour.

I always played very different music genres from clean clean to high gain tones. My humbucker guitar would come out for the mid to high gain work and single coils often for clean/low gain songs.

1 reason I ditched modelers 15 years ago was they were far too complex for me.
Found I was doing more tweaking of them than playing.
Don't suit me so I reverted back to relative simplicity :)

I already have all the simplicity I want and no longer suffer from Gas....

Mr Clapton is obviously a no frills kinda guy and has preferred Strats for many years now. But I preferred his tone when using Humbucker guitars myself :)
That was my experience with modeling amps. More tweaking than it was worth.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,859
Tucson
I'm happy if I've got reverb. Trem's nice, but I've gotsta have the verb. That's all that Cousin Kenny and Marty use---small Fender amps with reverb and trem.
Some years ago, I was late to band practice and wanted to get right to it, so I didn’t take the extra time to plug in a pedalboard. At the time, I was using a DRRI, so I had a nice amp with great onboard reverb. I remember thinking that it would be hard to improve on what I was hearing. Actually, for quite a while, I played with just that amp, for several years.

These days, I use three different families of amps, the AB 763 family, which is the same basic circuit as the DRRI; the Vox family and the Fender 6G2 family, which is basically a ‘62 Princeton (this is functionally very similar to the 5F11 Tweed Vibrolux Circuit). The latter two lack built-in reverb, so that got me back to using pedals, but even with that, I played a lot of gigs with a Catalinbread Topanga as a spring reverb emulator, and not other effects.
 

NowEarThis

Gretschie
Same, I’ve been a one guitar, one amp and pedal man most of my life. I never appreciated the need for more than one guitar until I picked up that damn Gretsch! :mad:
Having said that, I now have 10 guitars, 3 amps and 8 or so pedals. I only play 3 of them on a daily basis, namely the 6120, 6121 and Strat. The rest lay dormant. Thought about selling them….still thinking.
 

Archtops

Country Gent
Mar 4, 2021
1,337
SoCal
Same, I’ve been a one guitar, one amp and pedal man most of my life. I never appreciated the need for more than one guitar until I picked up that damn Gretsch! :mad:
Having said that, I now have 10 guitars, 3 amps and 8 or so pedals. I only play 3 of them on a daily basis, namely the 6120, 6121 and Strat. The rest lay dormant. Thought about selling them….still thinking.
Been there.. Still doing that! Best of luck.
 
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Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
Same, I’ve been a one guitar, one amp and pedal man most of my life. I never appreciated the need for more than one guitar until I picked up that damn Gretsch! :mad:
Having said that, I now have 10 guitars, 3 amps and 8 or so pedals. I only play 3 of them on a daily basis, namely the 6120, 6121 and Strat. The rest lay dormant. Thought about selling them….still thinking.

Yes and there's only so many guitars n amps anyone can play on a regular basis. I've found 5 guitars and 2 amps is my practical limit playing 1-2 hrs per day.

More guitars than that and it's 2-3 months in between plays and by then the strings are dud and need replacing. I'm too lazy to be replacing strings that often and the cost adds up too.
 


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