Miscellaneous Rumbles

Your Gear is Better Than You Are …

1

... can sometimes be an awkward truth. It's that moment when we non-professional, guitar enthusiast, who have invested a fair amount of time and money, realize the plateau of mediocrity may be the limit of our perceived or envisioned musical genius.

At that point, you begin to wonder if a cheap Squire and a 25 watt solid state Fender Frontman would have sounded just as good as a Gretsch costing more than $2K and a high end tube amp ... particularly if all you do is play in the basement to a looping pedal or jam tracks.

2

The art you buy from Target to hang on your wall will accomplish the task, but if you can afford a Picasso why not?

4

My gear is way better than my skill level, but I can afford it and it makes me sound good on what I do play!

5

Well, duh . . . but it hasn't stopped me before, so why should it now?

True, I can pretty much dial "me" in on any guitar/amp combo, but there is something inspiring about playing nice gear, and it does make a difference in feel and sound . . . if only to me.

6

I am a firm believer in expensive props to predispose the audience that I have the slightest clue about what I 'm doing.

7

I think it would take a higher level of skill to make a cheap squire and ss amp sound good as a high end Gretsch and tube amp.

But the desire to own beautiful and quality gear is its own thing. When i started cycling i saved up for a beautiful vintage bike with a Columbus frame and campagnolo running gear - but I’m hardly at a competitive level

8

The audience doesn't pay any attention to your gear, except fot the other players in the crowd. Modern guitars are better than the vintage ones were...even the cheaper ones. On the other hand, good amps and speakers are tough to come by in the modern world.

9

Been there. I see many guitarists playing way better and faster and whatever but they can't play one single note that has got tone. But know what? I might be a lousy player but the stuff I can do sounds quite good. It might be a matter of feeling and ears but my quite fine gear definitely helps. As sound has always been important to me this is very satisfying.

Btw, I've seen people with big mouths and I've never heard a wise word out them. Most of those guys do not care either. So why should we.

10

Or conversely when I was young I outplayed my equipment. A Squier strat would have been a luxury for me as a teenage guitar player. I cut my teeth on guitars with no name or things like a Kingston Telecaster and a "Les Paul" with a bolt-on neck and no name.

My public performances aren't that frequent these days and I don't own any super fancy guitars, but all of them are nice and I have sunk quite a bit into a few making them even nicer.

I have been poor (Kingston Teles) and I have been rich (Gretsch 6119, etc), regardless of how often you perform or who else might notice, rich is better.

11

To put it bluntly I like guitars, I like playing guitars, I like tinkering with guitars and I like yapping about them too. It's my main hobby and as far as I'm concerned it's a positive use of my time. Is my gear better than me? I don't know, but what I do know is how tone and feel can inspire creativity.

My sons best friend is learning to play guitar, he's 9 and you all would have enjoyed how he lit up when I passed him my Setzer 6120 to play, the guitar almost drowned him but his grin was a wonderful sight. If the guitar was better than him then you've missed the point. Passion, inspiration and creativity, that's all.

12

My car is also capable of far higher performance than my butt can keep up with. Don't care. I just feel lucky. Someday I'll be dead, and they can fall into the hands of someone who can play them then.

13

My car is also capable of far higher performance than my butt can keep up with. Don't care. I just feel lucky. Someday I'll be dead, and they can fall into the hands of someone who can play them then.

– Baxter

Not sure that I would be able to play them any better, but please spell my name in your will correctly nonetheless.

14

My car is also capable of far higher performance than my butt can keep up with. Don't care. I just feel lucky. Someday I'll be dead, and they can fall into the hands of someone who can play them then.

– Baxter

I can only imagine the phone call a guy who goes to my estate sale has with his wife:

"honey, before you get mad, I spent a TON of money at an estate sale, but holy crap you have no idea how cool this guitar collection was. I couldn't buy just one"

15

To put it bluntly I like guitars, I like playing guitars, I like tinkering with guitars and I like yapping about them too. It's my main hobby and as far as I'm concerned it's a positive use of my time. Is my gear better than me? I don't know, but what I do know is how tone and feel can inspire creativity.

My sons best friend is learning to play guitar, he's 9 and you all would have enjoyed how he lit up when I passed him my Setzer 6120 to play, the guitar almost drowned him but his grin was a wonderful sight. If the guitar was better than him then you've missed the point. Passion, inspiration and creativity, that's all.

– Mr Tubs

I hear ya. Like the day after I got my Hot Rod - my 6 y.o. son had so much fun plunking away on it singing a song about how the AFG colour looks like spew (Aussie for puke).

He picked it up lefty, by the way, which incidentally got me worried that all my guitars will be upside down for him...

But as for young players appreciating it, same thing at our place the other night.

My mate's daughter has just started playing and had a huge grin playing something fancy... So cool to see.

16

All gear is better than I am.

The only thing I have that's beneath me is this lousy punchline.

17

I play some expensive guitars and some cheap ones. Don't keep 'em if I can't make players out of them.My '68 Tele gets no more play than my squier strat with killer pickups and set up. Same with my Country Club and Epi Joe Pass. Modern guitars can sound really good with the proper set up.

18

I am a firm believer in expensive props to predispose the audience that I have the slightest clue about what I 'm doing.

– spike

I like to show up to the gig with middle of the road, or high end student model gear and wow 'em with my musical brilliance.

..........yeah......right.........

19

Never considered it, I have what I have and I play the way I do, zero guilt!

20

I hear you but after my younger years of playing whatever I could get a hold of I started consciously buying instruments that I like the sound of. Some are expensive and some are not. If I'm satisfied by the sound coming out of either a guitar, bass or drums I'll be inspired to be more creative and will want to play more often.

21

All possessions are leased. I'm just thinking about my wife getting a decent return when my stuff gets sold. Usually, higher end stuff holds its value better. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

22

Never considered it, I have what I have and I play the way I do, zero guilt!

– Curt Wilson

I'm right there with you, Curt.

I approach this from a different angle than it appears most others do. I work hard in my job, assume a lot of risk in it, and I view a nice guitar as a form of reward for my hard efforts.

23

Sure, I have some decent kit. But its paid for and makes me happy.

And what the hell, I'll be 69 (!!) years old at midnight tonight and am going to need all the help I can get just to keep stuck in my 50 year rut without backsliding.

If my hearing (and playing) goes the way of my teeth, eventually everything I play will just sound like "Louie, Louie" anyways!

24

Shhhhhhh, lets keep it quiet guys, my wife thinks I paid about a couple a hundred bucks for all my guitars and amps.

25

Way I see it for myself:

1.) I like guitars. So many different ways and combinations of...stuff...that can create such differences from one guy’s chunk of wood with wires to somebody else’s.

2.) I appreciate the art and ability of humans’ hands and thought that can make them a reality. Not something that just anybody can do. I mean, look at our own Curt Wilson. Pure functional absolute artistry.

3.) I love that different guitars sound different from others. I usually think in terms of recording and textures in mixes. What an available palette to fine-tune the listening experience and it’s emotional result!

4.) I love the visual plethora that exists, as well.

I could go on and on but I just ain’t gonna. Did I mention I like guitars?

Now to the OP: If one’s playing ability was directly parallel to the quality of instrument that they were allowed to own, I’d have a Teisco Kay copy with one string on it and an action that you could camp under. And no amp. I’m so grateful that it doesn’t actually work that way.


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