Guitar Acquisition Syndrome – Struggling During the Pandemic

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been struggling with GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) during the COVID-19 pandemic for two years already. It’s really hard not to go out and buy new gear or barter a gear trade. But I have to be strong! I can’t let myself succumb to the temptation of new gear. I have to remember that this is a time for family and friends, not for buying new gear. So if you’re like me and you’re struggling with GAS, just remember that we’re all in this together. Let’s stay strong and fight the good fight against GAS! Thanks for reading! 🙂

What is GAS, or Guitar Acquisition Syndrome?

GAS, or Guitar Acquisition Syndrome is a seemingly not-so-serious condition that afflicts guitar players, but those in their circle will vehemently disagree that it is a not-so-serious condition.  GAS describes the state in which a guitar player’s dopamine levels rise exceedingly fast and trigger states of consciousness that usually results in permanent cognitive dissonance disassociation, or the inability to control one’s own impulsiveness with acquiring guitars.  This occurs almost always at the sight of another guitar or even a photo of a guitar.

GAS Psychology

When a guitar player gets GAS, or Guitar Acquisition Syndrome it’s like their brain becomes addicted to the feel of an instrument in their hands. They will do anything and everything possible just so they can acquire another one without thinking about what may happen when this cycle continues forever with no end date set on future transactions – usually resulting into cognitive dissonance disassociation where there is absolutely no control over oneself anymore due too being triggered ever since sight(or photos)of guitars sends dopamine levels through roof while also making us more susceptible towards advertising ads targeted at inducing purchases within seconds after seeing them which has been proven as effective marketing strategy because at-risk guitarists are compelled to follow-through with these urges to acquire more guitars.

The medical community cannot determine why this condition is only prevalent amongst guitar players. Drummers, Pianists, and Saxophonists don’t develop the need to acquire additional instruments. Nor is yet agreed upon whether gas is a syndrome, condition, or disorder as no mention of this form of GAS appears in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

But Seriously? Is this Serious?

When a guitar player becomes obsessed with the instrument, they’re more susceptible to GAS. This condition arises when dopamine levels increase and trigger states of consciousness that usually results in permanent cognitive dissonance disassociation – or inability control own impulsiveness about acquiring guitars for themselves.

Those afflicted by GAS actually benefit from this and appear to be more aloof when they are around their guitars or even the guitars of others.  In order to resolve any tension (pun intended), guitar players place their guitars around the house so they maintain feelings of bliss and solace. My doctor said, “GAS is incurable. Learn to live with it.”

Following are photos I took this morning before tidying up.  You’ll notice no guitar appears twice.

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome – Early On-Set Symptoms

The first antagonist is the mere acquisition of a new guitar.  GAS doesn’t affect single people.  At the start of a romantic relationship with, say, a new “girlfriend”, if the new “boyfriend” already owns more than one guitar, then this doesn’t mean he has gas.  GAS begins at the next purchase of an unneeded guitar since the start of a relationship.  I hope this makes sense because GAS is complex.

Early on-set can be noticed before the “second” guitar purchase if there are signs of guitar plectrums (picks) or other accessories sprawled randomly throughout the house in innocuous places such as the dining room table.

Full Flatulence Gas (stratocaster infinititis)

Though I’ve had gas since I was 12, I’m not ashamed to talk about it, nor to seek help.  Like everyone else, I have my good days and my bad days.  Following are photos I took this morning before tidying up.  You’ll notice no guitar appears twice.

guitar acquisition syndrome
Main setup where the guitars should be resting when not in use
guitar acquisition syndrome
Yes, that’s a Danelectro 12 String at the Top of the Stairs
guitar acquisition syndrome
Indeed, a red Squire in the Toilet
Guitar acquisition syndrome
Half a Guitar

GAS also exhibits additional symptoms such as parts and accessories, and countless plectrums.

Guitar acquisition syndrome
Where the Picks Are Supposed to Stored When Not in Use
Guitar acquisition syndrome
Plectrum Storage Appliance (inside view)
Guitar acquisition syndrome
Guitar Pick on the Dining Room Table
Guitar acquisition syndrome
Guitar Pick in the Washing Machine
Guitar acquisition syndrome
A Guitar Pick by the Bedside Table
Guitar acquisition syndrome
More Guitar Picks on the Living Room Coffee Table

Risks of Visiting Someone You Know Who Suffers from Gas

While it is estimated that approximately 50% of all guitar players may have gas and not know it, the exact number of people who have died or been injured is still not known but likely to be low or nil.

However, those with small children under the age of three should be aware of some of the risks of choking or strangulation.  Young boys are especially susceptible and likely to get injured by getting poked in the eye by an uncut string when running too quickly to a guitar and tripping over a patch cord and knocking it over

Poorly grounded, or floating ground amplifiers may also introduce the risk of electric shock, but this is unlikely as any guitarist who’s been zapped usually rectifies it damn quickly and Barres it from happening again.

Let’s Wrap This

So, hopefully you’re not struggling too much with GAS during the COVID-19 pandemic. I know it’s a difficult time for all of us and our guitar playing may take a bit of a backseat. If you’re still having trouble, though, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help out. In the meantime, keep practicing and stay safe! It turns out we’re not the only ones but our friends at Solo Guitars have also come out….

About Grasshopper James 35 Articles
Hi I'm Grasshopper James from Montreal. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I've been rocking it here since 2007 with my Fender Stratocaster American Standard, Fender Telecaster American Standard, Fender Blues Deluxe '57 Reissue, Ibanez TS9, Boss TU-3, Boss ME-25, Boss GT-3, Boss OD-1, Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46, Jim Dunlop Jazz III Pick, and a Parkwood PW-510.