Thoughts on Gear and GAS

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#61
New thought. Is it possible to have a GAS burnout? Or a Gear burnout?

I've noticed that my free time has been focused mostly on other hobbies lately. I still play guitar with my band, and I really enjoy it, but I don't touch my music gear at home at all. When I come home from band practice I throw my stuff in a corner of the room. By the next band practice, it's still there, untouched. I've also noticed when browsing on my tablet, I open the Reverb app and within 5 seconds I think 'I don't care about this' and close it whereas I used to be able to browse for hours on end, even if I didn't need anything. Same goes for Guitar related YouTube channels, websites and magazines. I just don't care at the moment.

I still enjoy talking about gear with friends. I like hearing how people do things, but other than that, I don't actively do anything with gear at the moment. So I think I have kind of a gear burn out. I'm happy with what I have. I don't seem to care about upgrading anything. The only change is that I liked the sound of the strat single coils with the band, so I am installing a push pull in my purple single humbucker strat to still be able to play that guitar, but have the extra sound.

Does anybody relate to this?
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#62
New thought. Is it possible to have a GAS burnout? Or a Gear burnout?

I've noticed that my free time has been focused mostly on other hobbies lately. I still play guitar with my band, and I really enjoy it, but I don't touch my music gear at home at all. When I come home from band practice I throw my stuff in a corner of the room. By the next band practice, it's still there, untouched. I've also noticed when browsing on my tablet, I open the Reverb app and within 5 seconds I think 'I don't care about this' and close it whereas I used to be able to browse for hours on end, even if I didn't need anything. Same goes for Guitar related YouTube channels, websites and magazines. I just don't care at the moment.

I still enjoy talking about gear with friends. I like hearing how people do things, but other than that, I don't actively do anything with gear at the moment. So I think I have kind of a gear burn out. I'm happy with what I have. I don't seem to care about upgrading anything. The only change is that I liked the sound of the strat single coils with the band, so I am installing a push pull in my purple single humbucker strat to still be able to play that guitar, but have the extra sound.

Does anybody relate to this?
I relate entirely.

I think that without the focus of a band, the hobby becomes just as much about GAS, the drive to fault your current rig and to create solutions to your perceived weaknesses. But in a band, you learn that no one ever gives a shit about your amazing new analogue delay pedal but you, however they certainly notice if you haven't worked on the songs.

It's gotten to the point that looking at gear as a speculative purchase makes me feel rather annoyed. I love seeing other people's new stuff on here, but when I see reviews in magazines or online I'm a little repelled and think it's just a load of boring specs that have nothing to with me.

I think it's fair to say that in my position, gear is just a tool. It might be a brilliant, beautiful tool but the real passion is playing music. Chasing after bedroom tone nirvana just isn't relevant, I'll happily work on an acoustic or an unplugged electric when writing and practicing. I have forced myself to always set my gear up again at the earliest opportunity; buying a second of every cable and AC/DC adaptors needed for band practices helps so that they're sat in place at home speeds it up massively. But I'm not really that fussed about using it.

I think my mindset has driven me to conflict with others, when the ideals and theory become more important than actually playing. As much as i recognise everyone's right to do it their own way, just playing the damn thing should always be at the centre!
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#63
@Chu couldn't agree more! I'm trying to explain this to my bassplayer. He's changing basses and amps like underwear and is always complaining that it's missing some inaudible detail. I told him just write down everything you want, find the gear that matches, buy it, play it and be happy.

With me, on the guitar side, it might be a result of me having custom made my dream guitars. These are the benchmark, and nothing comes close with a result that everything else is not good enough for me, resulting in me not caring.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#64
@Tankman I don't mean to piss on anyone's chips with what I say, everyone's entitled to their own rules.

But I think we all lose the point at some stage. I like it to HiFi enthusiasts. They buy high end speakers, turntable, amp and speaker cables. Then they start stressing about whether they need a special shielded kettle lead power cable to reduce interference to the amp (that's a real thing). When they put on Dark Side of the Moon, they don't lose themselves for 20 minutes instead analysing the linearity of the bass extension....

I went to someone's house recently and saw three high end HiFis in the lounge and despite wanting to mock, i realised that that is us, with our multiple guitars and Marshalls, focussing more about the tech than the purpose of it.

So there's nothing wrong with collecting guitars, or obsessing about gear. I think it's easy to do as we can mull it over at work, look at stuff online whilst away from home and spend more time doing so than actually playing. But sometimes we need a slap to remind us that it's usually not as important as we've come to believe.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#65
I’m in this two ways. I realize gear isn’t going to make me play better. But it is part of the fun to experiment with sounds and see what twisting this or that knob does. Or that next amp or profile or whatever.

On the flip side, at some point good enough is good enough. I love my fender and I haven’t found any better guitar. That is the benchmark. I used to have an amp for years and years and never even considered replacing it. But now I’ve gone down the rabbit hole I want to find my new good enough.
In all honesty if I’d play a mex strat through a katana I’d be fine too. But it’s just more fun to see what’s out there. I’d like to try a les Paul and a tele. I’d like to try a Friedman.

For me guitars and amps are toys, not tools. I’m not a professional musician.

That hifi set you mention. (I have regular cables) but I got to a point where I said ok more expensive isn’t worth it to me. I let go and just enjoyed the music.

I used to get new computer parts every three months when that was my hobby. Now I just want the damn thing to work.

So I can see reaching a point where I just want to play guitar.

But I’ll find the next thing to spend money on ;)
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#66
For me guitars and amps are toys, not tools. I’m not a professional musician.
I use the word 'tools' loosely. I'm just trying to justify that GAS isn't really about playing guitar, it's also about the fun of buying a new toy, being a collector or whatever. I think it's healthier to accept that than to fall into the belief that you really need something for the benefit of your playing; same as that special power cable for your HiFi.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#67
I use the word 'tools' loosely. I'm just trying to justify that GAS isn't really about playing guitar, it's also about the fun of buying a new toy, being a collector or whatever. I think it's healthier to accept that than to fall into the belief that you really need something for the benefit of your playing; same as that special power cable for your HiFi.
GAS isn’t about playing guitar is right.
Neither is the search for tone. But it can be fun in itself.
The chase is better than the catch.
 

DrJazztap

Well-Known Member
#68
I've got to the point where I really don't care anymore tbh. I want to start practicing again, and chances are I'll be doing teaching informally shortly so that will inspire me. I genuinely miss the thrill of learning something new.
I think it's my 25th or 26th year of playing this year, I don't reallly hanker after anything new. I have some lovely guitars and a great amp, I've always been a pedal guy though.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#69
I played a strat with 3 single coils during the last band practice where I usually play a strat with one contemporary humbucker. Yes, the sound was slightly different, but it was nuances. I still sounded like me. This makes me care even less at the moment. I'm sticking to my rig and not changing a thing. Not that I was planning differently anyway.
 
#70
I think there's a big difference in intent between - say - getting 25 Strats in all different colours, and getting 25 different guitars that all do different jobs. Both are equally valid cases of advanced GAS, but the resulting collections have very divergent purposes.

I remember when I got about my 8th or 9th guitar my mother went "Why do you need so many guitars?" and in one of the few instances in my life where I've come out with a really good rejoinder on the spot (as opposed to my usual tactic of going "Ahh shit, I wish I'd said..." about 2 hours later) I said "If I was a painter, you wouldn't ask me 'why do you need so many different colours', would you?"

I'm up to about 25 now, but they're all different - 6-, 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-string guitars, 4- and 7-string basses; these made up of electrics, semi-acoustics, steel-string acoustics and a classical, different tunings, fretted & fretless...they all do different jobs and give very different sounds, and make me play and (crucially) think differently depending on what instrument I'm currently playing. There's a big difference in how I feel & think playing a big fat jazz guitar to a 7-string scalloped Floyd Rose speed machine, or a 10-string classical, or a 7-string fretless bass, or a Tele, or a...you get the idea.
 
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DrJazztap

Well-Known Member
#71
I understand the mentality of having different guitars for different purposes. I had a jap tokai 335 copy, an incredible guitar. I thought i needed it, to have it in my arsenal.
I was scared to gig it as was so delicate. And though i could only get certain sounds from that particular guitar, I did the sensible thing and moved it on.

We are very enabling bunch, and a lot can be said for concentrating on just one guitar. For some reason I have an affinity for Strats, I have two atm and could quite easily get another (looking at you custom shop heavy relic CAR strat). I never used to gig strats, they lacked the beef for me personally. But when I think of the electric guitar it's a strat (and a neck pickup on a strat is the sound!).

My head is telling me to shift the daphne blue strat with the solid rosewoood neck and keep the partsacaster.
 
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