Why so many guitars?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by larryb, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Tonecatpicks

    Tonecatpicks Newbie

    Apr 9, 2019
    Riverside, Illinois
    I have a lot of guitars, way more than I should given my skill as a player.

    However, I've found that they all bring something different out of my playing.

    It's funny how the tone of an instrument, the type of strings, how comfortable, or not, it might be to play, all add up to guide me in completely different musical directions.

    A lot of times, I'll really start having fun on an instrument and come up with a decent lick or chord progression on one guitar, and when I try to play the same thing on a different guitar, it totally does not work. So sometimes, it really is about that specific guitar, guiding me and my skills onto a path that may not have happened as successfully on a different instrument.

    That's why so many guitars... for inspiration, and decoration.
  2. Danelectro

    Danelectro Newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    Huntington beach, CA
    Usually a gig is for some purpose or with a certain group so yes, I'll use one all night long as long as its versatile - like my Beck Strats or a Les Paul, but I've also used a 6120 when it fits the set. The why so many = the change it makes in my playing/writing ... a different guitar plays differently, and will sound/feel different - gets the creativity flowing. and lastly I'm pretty sure i have one of almost each Gretsch model and those are more like the collecting aspect - White Falcon, Silver Jet, Anni, 6122, Duo Jet, 6120 DSV ... they are so fun to play, but I don't carry the collection for a gig - its the falcon or 6120, Strat and/or Paul, Duesenberg Starplayer or for acoustic its a 000-28 or a Gibson J45 and just maybe an L-1 or thin twin for blues - PS the Offsets (Jazzmaster, CooderCaster Offset), Tele/Esquire/etc are also mostly collecting though I'll occasionally use one of those to gig.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    LivingMyDream and larryb like this.
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I bought two paintings from one of my old buddies in (f-)art school. I’m not art-on-the-wall rich, but I think he’s a cool artist and deserves support. Could have bought a nice Proline with the money though.

    The reason I bring it up is because guitars are sorta like art. Sometimes it’s ok if you just want to look at it.
    Henry, LivingMyDream, new6659 and 2 others like this.
  4. Danelectro

    Danelectro Newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    Huntington beach, CA
    Try a Jeff Beck Custom Shop - plays bigger than a regular strat, trems all day and is noiseless
    blueruins likes this.
  5. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Indeed... while I do play the guitars I have on my walls (I also rotate them around with those not on the walls), those that are on the walls are there purely because they are so wonderful to look at, when they're not being played. They are definitely art forms.

    I only keep 2 guitars (of 30) in their cases - both of them are solid-wood acoustic guitars that are sensitive to very low levels of humidity. The rest I can see on the walls and on guitar stands.
    LivingMyDream and Ricochet like this.
  6. benderb9

    benderb9 Newbie

    Dec 10, 2019
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    I have too many guitars...LOL!!!:p:eek::oops::cool: But I really like my two new Gretsch Electromatic Double Cut FSR's Gold and Surf Green:):)
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  7. Thass

    Thass Electromatic

    Dec 29, 2019
    Palm Desert
    Guitar count is 15. My problems started when I began to fix shorts with wiring issues. I quickly learned that the guts of a guitar is not rocket science. I built my first kit, then did mods to it, built my second kit...rinse lather repeat... I had to stop. I still have parts to 2 unfinished projects. I bought my Ric 360 with gig money. Kind of my dream guitar. That was my primary everything guitar until my wife bought me a white 5420t for a milestone anniversary. I plugged it in and loved it. I now use 3 guitars when I gig, Ric, Whitie and a L6 acoustic Variax for acoustic songs and the 12 string voicing for Wanted Dead or Alive. I have over 50 pedals, 3 complete boards, 7 amps and no kids.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  8. beep.click

    beep.click Country Gent

    Apr 30, 2009
    My band used to give me grief for days about changing guitars at a gig. "Too much time between songs!" So the first 20 or so guitars were a quest: o where o where is the ONE GUITAR that can do it all?

    During another era, we were training a replacement second guitarist. It became a joke that I would bring a different guitar every time he came over. That added a number of pretty inexpensive guitars to the herd (horde?).

    Ironically, I later did my first gig with a Gretsch 6120 -- same band. I bought 3 guitars that night, just in case. But after the first song, on the Gretsch, I thought, "This sounds REALLY good. I bet it would work good on the next one, too." And it went like that all night.

    I have also realized that some guitars sound great at home but like poo at rehearsal. The only one that can give the Gretsch a run for its money is a G&L Doheny. It JUST WORKS.
    LivingMyDream and larryb like this.
  9. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    This resonated for me. For me it's even more understandable w/ guitars since/when they are so fully interactive: you look at them, touch them, hear them, & to varying degrees you interact w/ them as tools of expression & eventually in some cases they almost become an extension of your body...

    I identify w/ this too. I've wound up in totally different territories of playstyles & subsequently developed a whole bunch of new skills on the guitar/bass as direct result of a new instrument I'd acquired many times in my ~25 years of playing so far.

    I've got several that don't wind up out of their cases more than a couple times a year as well, but aside from a bit of guilt around them not getting enough love, I'm pretty good w/ hanging onto them as long as they still provide a semi-unique & enjoyable experience when they do come out to play.

    The idea that you must be at least THIS good or make money playing to justify owning a particular guitar or a particular number of guitars kinda rubs me the wrong way. In my view if you can afford the guitar & it brings you joy on some level, there are much worse things you could blow your money on.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    dak55, Runamok, LivingMyDream and 3 others like this.
  10. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Love G&L's and the Doheny seems perfect, especially in red!:cool:
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  11. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    It’s a choice between me having many women, or many guitars.

    My wife prefers that I choose the latter over the former.
    Besides, between those choices, it's a much safer collection to maintain.:p:D

    LivingMyDream, dak55 and larryb like this.
  12. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates Electromatic

    Jun 15, 2011
    I have 5 for recording and 2 for live. If I have to get by on one then my custom White Chicken is my main guitar (Fralin P-90 neck and Filtertron bridge) tho I have a US Tele with a Fralin P90 in neck and Seymour Duncan in bridge to back it up. Then a hand-made Japanese White Falcon for rhythm, a off-white Les Paul custom for leads, an old Kay f-hole acoustic and a GV400 Jimmy Vaughn Synchro with P-90 at the neck for strumming. An electrified Epiphone banjo and a Hofner electric 12-string round out my recording palate. The Hofner was handmade and hand-numbered / signed by their head German luthier (one of only two ever made). It sounds sublime and the single cutaway is so well-balanced that I couldn't turn it down. That has me covered live and in studio so I just don't GAS any longer.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  13. Abeno Matto

    Abeno Matto Gretschie

    May 8, 2014
    I think I have 8 electric guitars. Most of which are signature models of guitars that my heroes played when I was a kid. The Gretsch was a gift from my dad's friend. So I got into playing Malcolm Young's parts on AC/DC songs.
    new6659 and LivingMyDream like this.
  14. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    What now seems a lifetime ago, I was once a full time pro for around 14 years touring as a solo vocalist-guitarist and I retired at the end of 1980 which was my last gig, due to being on the road too much and not being at home with my young family. I used to average around 250 or more shows per year which meant very often I was on the road several weeks at a time so with all the work I had, I certainly wasn't poor and could have afforded the gear of my choice but apart from a spare 6 string backup guitar kept at home and an old bass for a bit of recording, due to all the gear I had to hump around and into venues, I stuck with only travelling with one guitar which I admit I looked after like a baby.

    I didn't go the usual route of buying Fender, Gibson or Gretsch et al which was the norm and instead had a pair of specially wound pups made for me which was unusual back then, matched to my amps of choice which were 100 watt Selmer Zodiacs and the pups were transplanted into a carefully selected donor Japanese body which played like a dream after setting up and together with the matching amps and pups, I could emulate just about any guitar sound for my act. I was never a gear snob but the humble little Les Paul Junior lookalike guitar fitted with those pups which I used in my act for around 10 years seemed to be a magnet for other guitarists to come and have a look at as they loved the sound I got with the matched pups and amps. I was happy with the sounds I got and the way the guitar handled and never saw any reason to change.

    I never touched a guitar from the day I retired until the last two or three years and have slowly built up a collection of ten guitars which includes two legacy guitars I still owned from my pro days,. I have an Epiphone EJ 200 for acoustic, I also have a Gretsch 5120, a Telecaster, Strat copies for that Strat 'quack' sound and I even bought a Squier Strat for the princely sum of £10.00 off Gumtree for leaving at my caravan so I have something to play when I spend leisure time there. I did a full fret dress and set up of it and I could even use that on stage if I was still gigging as it now plays perfectly.

    I've also built up a decent home recording studio and I have all the guitar sounds I could ever want and have decided that I have all the guitars I'll ever need as I can cover just about any sound I would wish to emulate or record.
    If I'm honest, for many of the styles of music I play, my immediate goto guitar is actually a humble Squier Telecaster Custom fitted with a pair of P90s. I bought that guitar originally as a project but after dressing the frets, setting it up etc it's by far the best playing guitar I've ever owned and when I feed it through my Yamaha THR10 which is then fed into my Zoom R24 24 track and out into a pair of large active 75w rms studio monitors with 8 inch bass units, I can cover just about any sound I wish and the sounds I get makes my 3 other guitar amps virtually redundant as they've been almost unplayed since I purchased the little THR10 nearly a year ago.
    If I could only keep two guitars out of my collection, I would keep the Squier Tele Custom and my old stage guitar as it still plays very well. The others I could replace but my original and old stage guitar I can't and the Squier is set up so perfectly for me with regard to extremely low action that I'd find it very difficult to replace.

    I think that's the key to solving the almost compulsive guitar collecting that many guitarists go through...is to simply find a good guitar or two and concentrate on producing the sounds you want via your amp or through playing. This is what I did as a full time pro and by working with guitars and amps which compliment each other, I never felt that I was missing out on anything and since using the the little THR10 as part of my studio set up which is where I play my music these days, any thoughts of buying more guitars or amps has now left me for the moment and other than adding a compressor-limiter to my recording gear, I've just about got where I want to be.
  15. thunderbaas

    thunderbaas Electromatic

    Sep 22, 2019
    Different strokes for different folks. Personally I have about 11 guitars,and focussing on a 70ies Fender starcaster to add to the collection this year. I record a lot,and sure like all those different sounds & different ways they blend in the mix. I also get a lot of pleasure out of customizing a guitar completely to my specs. I replace everything from pots/pick ups to bridges/tuners if I think it's an improvement. And I don't forget the looks either (different pick guard/knobs/pick up covers ) The customising is a kind of making the guitar your own (though on my Electromatic I only took off the pick guard & this has been my main gigging guitar for quite a while,though lately I use a Jazzmaster as well) New Guitar.jpg . Still interesting to read all these comments. I get the impression that the majority here is a "more guitars" fan.Though I can totally relate to someone who would say "I have my Les Paul de luxe from 1960,so why do I need more ? " But myself I'd just like to add a "Chet Atkins" and a "Billy Bo" an a "Green Irish" (just for the colour) and...................
    Runamok and LivingMyDream like this.
  16. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    As with any non-essential item, the word "need" is not even a part of the equation to begin with.
    In short, you spend your money they way you like, and I'll do the same.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  17. shreddykrugar

    shreddykrugar Gretschie

    Apr 29, 2010
    So Cal
    It's the third option. They are functioning works of art
    new6659 likes this.
  18. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Its funny. A light thread & some apparently feel a serious need to justify how many guitars they own.
    Lighten up people.
    blueruins likes this.
  19. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    Deciding what guitars speak to you most isn’t easy.
    It also varies a little. So why not a harem? :cool:
    Flouswa likes this.
  20. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I'm not sure if that was directed at me? I was participating in the discussion about owning multiple guitars in a congenial manner w/ the central idea that people shouldn't be worried about it.
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