Miscellaneous Rumbles

Your Gear is Better Than You Are …


"Regerts, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention."

I used to get that way after seeing Richard Thompson play.

But remember that this is a lifelong pursuit, and you'll improve at your own rate.

Thompson told me that after I said I'm going home to set my guitars on fire.


Well my equipment is now totally better than my playing ability. With advancing arthritis in my left hand my guitar playing ability has diminished and days are limited. The fingers have stiffened to the point lots of chords are impossible to play so I have to improvise and pick 2 or 3 notes to play out of the chord, the fingers don't move as fast and they ache after 30 minutes of playing. Luckily for now at least I can afford to experience playing these instruments. I am starting to play some slide for when the pain gets intolerable. I love every one of my guitars and get enjoyment from just looking at them. None get ignored and come out of their cases to be played at least weekly.


I like having good gear. Some are expensive, some are not.

All are good, because they let me be the best that I CAN be...so far.


There are so many advantages to having gear you think you don't deserve.

When people tell me they're going to start to learn guitar and ask me about what guitar to buy, I tell them to get the best one they can, because the good ones are easier to play... and that's why the pros use them. It only makes sense, when starting out, to not use a guitar that will itself be a barrier to learning how to play it.

I get many more compliments on my tone than my playing. I am OK with that; once again, I don't want my instrument to present a barrier to my (admittedly wan) music-making. Music is sound. They like my sound. That's a win.

And fortheloveofgod yes, a having a guitar that's better than you will (or should) inspire (or push) you to improve your play and make yourself nearly worthy of it. And it will allow you to improve.

Good gear always sets you up to succeed. Why would you not want that?

No Regerts and No Apolojeez.



My first guitar was the Harmony H-76 in my avatar. A decent guitar, it was Harmony's top of the line. A few months later, I traded it in on a Fender Stratocaster. (This was 1965). The guy that I was playing with immediately commented how much better I sounded with the Strat. Good gear definitely makes a difference.


That I can understand, Brian. I watched a video of a performance we did as a band and thought, "Man, I was off by that much? Wow!"

These are just the kinds of things that make us better for the next time.

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