Making Do - How have folks gotten by on a tight budget?

Chu

Well-Known Member
#21
This whole thread brings me back to the whole GAS conundrum. Many of us look to gear to be the inspiration, to provide us with the reason the play when I can't help but think it's wrong and often unhealthy. Whilst a funky delay pedal can inspire a new riff or three (not an exhaustive list, other items do the same!) gear should give us the means to play, not the reason to, else it becomes a constant chase for the next purchase and likely lack of satisfaction in the end. The grass always stays greener.....

In my times of guitar abstinence, I've usually had no reason to play. Should I be in a band, learning new covers or writing new material; or set on recording a new song by myself, that's the only reason I play for more than two minutes. Maybe it's easy to label the lack of interest on the amp you've grown out of, when really there's just no purpose to play.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#23
This whole thread brings me back to the whole GAS conundrum. Many of us look to gear to be the inspiration, to provide us with the reason the play when I can't help but think it's wrong and often unhealthy. Whilst a funky delay pedal can inspire a new riff or three (not an exhaustive list, other items do the same!) gear should give us the means to play, not the reason to, else it becomes a constant chase for the next purchase and likely lack of satisfaction in the end. The grass always stays greener.....

In my times of guitar abstinence, I've usually had no reason to play. Should I be in a band, learning new covers or writing new material; or set on recording a new song by myself, that's the only reason I play for more than two minutes. Maybe it's easy to label the lack of interest on the amp you've grown out of, when really there's just no purpose to play.
I don't completely agree. Sometimes a fresh sound does inspire new music, be it new pickups, new pedals, amps, guitars, whatever.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#25
I'm pretty sure I said just that! ;)

And added that's it might be short lived, if acquiring new gear is integral to being inspired to play then I foresee issues.
Then I must have interpreted it wrong. My bad.

I do agree that it's short lived. But that's the beauty of having different guitars. All of of my guitars are completely different and I tend to use just one at a time for months on end. When I do switch, it inspired, because it feels fresh again. I think guitars are the only thing I'm consistent on. I like what I have. I have more trouble with amps and effects.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#26
I completely understand, my guitars all make me play in different ways and that can bring out something different when I'm trying to be creative.

What I'm trying to say it's that it can be very healthy to be brutally honest with ourselves and really try to understand our gear habits. We frequently lie to ourselves as much as we do others in order to justify our the next purchase when the truth might be more simple. For example, maybe I just like new stuff and flipping gear is the best way to get to have something different for a bit, and maybe having something different is equally important to me as actually playing guitar.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#27
I completely understand, my guitars all make me play in different ways and that can bring out something different when I'm trying to be creative.

What I'm trying to say it's that it can be very healthy to be brutally honest with ourselves and really try to understand our gear habits. We frequently lie to ourselves as much as we do others in order to justify our the next purchase when the truth might be more simple. For example, maybe I just like new stuff and flipping gear is the best way to get to have something different for a bit, and maybe having something different is equally important to me as actually playing guitar.
Yup. I get where you're coming from. In my case I have spent X amount on gear in my life. I now have a family. If I want new gear, I will not spend more money, but I will sell gear to fund new gear. The problem is, this tends to happen often as what's practical and what's better in my opinion are two different things. Which is why I end up going back and forth between the two. I like tube amp gain. It's more practical to use a pedal and plug into any clean amp there is. My rig is currently practical, but I'm starting to miss better. As seen in other threads, perhaps a Kemper can be both.
 
#28
How do you do - I'm Pól and this is my first post...

Struggling for a while after redundancy, burnout and depression, I decided to try learning the guitar again as a 'cheap' pastime and as an aid to putting Humpty back together. Wondering if anyone else here is also getting by with practically zero budget?

Here's how I got started.

£0.00 - I picked up an old Stagg Strat for nothing on the UK's FreeCycle website - previous owner was off to Australia
£5.00 - YouTubed how to adjust the action, pups and intonation + a set of "No Bull" brand strings which transformed it into a new instrument! - very gratifying!
(£30.00) - Behringer GDI21 V-Tone amp modelling stompbox: A birthday present from my Dad so technically it cost nothing :) Even If I'd paid for it the pedal emulates a Sansamp 8x the price which in turn emulates amps 8x its price... kinda - good enough for my budget and expectations!
£5.00 - cable: I already had a cable and a couple of plugs as well as a little Pignose 7-100 which was my portable harmonica rig, However the cables and Behringer enabled me to emulate a bigger 'proper' amp through my home HiFi auxiliary channel.
£60.00 - The most expensive purchase by far has been getting Rocksmith 2014 + its 'special cable' but it motivated me to learn and practice while paying for lessons was not an option. I could've made do with YouTube and Yousician but the Rocksmith game has really kept me engaged - I had tried and failed to teach myself guitar once before in pre-internet days but without tuition I quickly got lost and frustrated; I discovered blues harmonica instead which took me in a different direction. - The game also provides plenty of practice exercises as well as tone design projects using virtual amps and pedals; lots of ways to keep engaged and interested.

So that's basically how I restarted my guitar journey and made it through the first year.
I've since found an acoustic guitar on Freecycle and found a few additions but I'll list those in a bit.

Has anyone else here been making do on a lean budget? - What finds or compromises have been particularly effective and satisfying?
Whatever it takes!

In Denmark we have some education support which is for basic living while study is happening.

Being + 18 I could put gear investments on monthly payments and that worked well.

Still a firm stable income is needed when you do no longer apply for education support.

So eventually I put the dream guitar on order $5000 and looked for a job. Once I said where I wanted to work things started to move and I got the job way ahead of my incoming order.
 
#29
Whatever it takes!

In Denmark we have some education support which is for basic living while study is happening.

Being + 18 I could put gear investments on monthly payments and that worked well.

Still a firm stable income is needed when you do no longer apply for education support.

So eventually I put the dream guitar on order $5000 and looked for a job. Once I said where I wanted to work things started to move and I got the job way ahead of my incoming order.
Ahh, the evils of democratic socialism - I feel for you miserably oppressed Danes!
:cool:
 
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#31
If you have a computer and can get some sort of cheap interface there is a TON of great free stuff out there. Look up the LePou and Mercurial plugins as well as the Reaper recording tool.

For a cheap interface, see if you can find someone clearing out an old Line6 UX1 or UX2. You don't have to use it with the Line6 software and can just make it an interface.

***EDIT***

The Behringer UM2 can also be found in the US for about $30 new. No idea how much it is in your neck of the woods.
 
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Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#34
Heh! sorry, my bad! It was my wry British humour; the joke's on me really! Love and respect to all my Nordic neighbours. I'm supremely jealous really!
I took it as a tongue-in-cheek remark. But hey - I'm Danish :D

But politics is the great divider - let's keep it out of here.

Here we discuss the more important stuff ... like tubes vs. digital - Gibson vs. ... the world ... and the like ... :p
 
#39
I've not tried recording direct to my Mac yet. What do these interfaces offer that my simple RockSmith guitar->USB cable doesn't?
Well, as someone who has both an interface (or two) and a Rocksmith cable, I can say that the interface has better overall sound quality for recording, and more things I can adjust, and it just has more options, overall.
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#40
I've not tried recording direct to my Mac yet. What do these interfaces offer that my simple RockSmith guitar->USB cable doesn't?
A good interface* is also a good driver. A good driver ensures stabel performance and low latency.

But - try out the cable first anyway - if it does the trick then it is all win.

* not saying those interfaces are good or bad ... just there is more to the equation than the hardware alone.
 
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