[DISCUSSION]Newer players, avoid ‘gear obsession’ and focus on music. Its way more rewarding.

Me: Been in the game since the 80s. Long enough to see people abandon Fender and Gibson for Superstrats, then abandon Superstrats for Fenders and Gibsons, and now those abandoned “Superstrats” are vintage and suddenly cool again (and outperforming my 401K)

For about 20 or so years, I was definitely a wheeler and dealer with gear. There’s pretty much no model of guitar I haven’t owned, a few times, most vintages.

You come to a lot of conclusions about this stuff after seeing it for yourself and handling so much gear. You realize a lot of the narratives in the guitar world are complete BS, really, the ‘difference’ between one and the other isn’t as much as we’d like to tell ourselves.

We’re planning for retirement and liquidating a large part of the collection. I had a lot of it out, today, and thinking many things over. Here are some ideas, take then or leave them.

  • Younger guys, please, focus on music and creativity and playing and not ‘gear’. While I’m very proud of all the gear I managed to acquire, I don’t bear to think how my music life may have been considerably different- and vastly better- if I had owned literally one guitar, one amp and focused on music instead. My best childhood friend took this path and now is an incredible creative musician with chops out the wazoo. I’m a typical middle-aged guy who can fly through the same few ‘May I Help You” riffs, but am not much of a ‘musician’. I beat him on gear, he beats me on music. Who wins? He does.

  • Guitars are not an ‘investment’, unless you have an insight into a trend of some kind and get ahead of it. In my case, it was buying 1980s Guitars in the 2000’s, when you could get a Ibanez 550 or Charvel 475 for $200 off Craigslist. Obviously, those have done VERY well… but the 69 Tele I impulse-bought with a 401K loan wouild’ve been much better off left as a 401K investment. Ignore literally everyone who rationalizes their guitars as an ‘investment’. They’re children. Buy guitars to play. Invest elsewhere.

  • If I posted a picture of my collection, I’m sure most would consider it impressive, yet my favorite playing/sounding guitar is a transitional US/Mexican strat from 89-90. Might be worth $500 or $600, if it was in better condition. Its pretty beat. If the house was burning, its the first one I’d grab, jumping over instruments worth thousands. Instruments are a personal thing. “What guitar should I buy for $(X)” isn’t a question anyone else can answer, since it depends on your personal tastes. There is no objectively correct answer, this question will leave you vulnerable to following trends. One year, Reddit loves Teles. The next year, Reddit loves something else. Others cannot choose your instrument for you and spending more does not get you more.

  • The sooner you start playing with a metronome, the better you’ll be. Glad to see this advice has gotten a lot of traction in recent years, allow me to cast my lot in with it. Music isn’t about wanking. Its about staying in the pocket. Too me WAY too long to realize this.

  • This one might be controversial, but “tone” is largely bullshit. So are people who claim they have golden ears and perceive incredible nuances (that usually correspond with some ludicrously overpriced piece of gear that they’ve already paid for. This isn’t to say all guitars are the same or equal, but as a guy whose day job is manufacturing things for a living and very deeply understanding the difference between specification, its a bit amusing to hear the arguments people make for ‘what they can hear’ in the signal chain, based on some irrelevant aspect of design, spec or material. Musicality is way more important than “tone”. Also, digital modelling is magical and no, you cannot tell the difference, regardless of what you say or believe. I say this as someone who probably owns the sort of analog stuff you’d hope to one day own and have NO problem accepting this.

  • Peavey gear from the 70s-90’s is absolutely fantastic and does not get its due. Its not as underappreciated as it once was, but its incredibly well made. Hartley Peavey has a lot to be proud of, for his ‘golden age’ of Peavey stuff.

  • I go through my living room, piled to the rafters with guitars and amps and pedals about to be sold, I smile a bit, but again- I wish I had spent more time playing, rather than ‘collecting’.

— Edit to correct Harlan to Hartley.

submitted by /u/Charts_Graphs
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