Less Guitars is More Guitar Playing !

There is a close relationship between gear acquisition and the urge to play music. But is is strange and blurry. To say the least, this is not the most logic relationship as I always thought.

The urge to play music causes gear acquisition. Then gear acquisition causes more urge to play music. WRONG !!

Actually, the urge to play music causes a first gear acquisition burst… That’s if you want to be something else than an Air Guitar monkey ! The following gear acquisition bursts though don’t always cause an urge to play music ! Nope ! Sometimes, it’s even the opposite effect. You can lose that desire… You step aside…

I had this experience. I often wanted to get my hand on guitars, effect pedals or amps. Strangely enough, the periods when I owned the most gear were the periods when I had the less urge to grab a guitar, and play ! Au contraire, when I have less gear available, I feel the strongest need to play guitar.

I’m at this place right now… The crisis is firmly established, business is a little slow and I had to sell most of my gear !! Not enough advertisers for the ecosystem of websites that I’m editing (here as well as  Muzicosphere French version, GAS a GoGo & Guitar Fail). I proposed several awesome projects (and believe me I am modest when I say awesome) to several actors of the guitar industry but none of these projects were turned into reality (Yeah, I know… We’re in the middle of a crisis, blah blah!). Anyway that’s the downside of being a freelance worker or an entrepreneur… Call it as you will !!

But let’s go back to the guitar talk… So, I was saying that I had to sell most of my gear. Guitar wise, I have only one guitar left… Well, actually I still have my lapsteel and my bass but I’m talking about guitar, right? That last guitar is my cheap, and fairly old Ibanez AX-125 that is showing signs of weakness. Yet, I play guitar more often than just a few months ago when I had a few more instruments available for me to play.

Even better, I decided that I need to have guitar lessons with an awesome guitar player, Brice Delage. It’s a bit of a challenge I guess… It sounds like I was thinking : “This miserable axe will take me further up on the guitar path than all my cool former guitars”.

One guitar to use for everything I want to play. Tell me about about a constraint ! But there is something virtuous in constraints. When you don’t have a choice, you play the cards you have !  And it sort of works a little. A few weeks back, a friend lend me his Boss RC-20 looper. The purpose was to use the looper for the guitar reviews I make for guitariste.com. Right now, I still didn’t have the opportunity to use it for reviews… But the looper itself had an impact on my creative side ! One single looper had actually more impact on my creativity than all my former guitars together.

I can see you laughing, and teasing : “Hahaaaa… you needed one more piece of gear !!! Your demonstration/digression has failed !”

Nay, not even close. That’s where I was heading from the beginning !! Now that I only have one guitar left… Well, I feel like I have an itch for more gear !! Crap!!

This is a fucking vicious circle ! Are we condemned to this endless quest ? Why do we always need that famous “just one more” guitar ? 

Well, that being said… I know that I’m not set to acquire a new guitar any time soon ! This is annoying but this is cool in a way.

I’m set to have the urge to play music with no extra guitar to distract me from that goal… I can’t think of a best medicine than (the urge to) play music in tricky times !

As I am in a creative mood based on the loops exploration and the guitar lessons with Brice… Let’s keep it that way. Who knows, I have plenty of ideas turning in my head… I even might start music project instead of “waiting” for a band ??

Anyway… What are your thoughts about this ? Am I the only one who has this weird relationship to gear acquisition ? Tell me that less guitars has to mean more guitar playing ? Or maybe am I just wrong ??

About Sem

I am the founder of Muzicosphere (that also exists in a French version). In 2011, I also created Guitar Fail, the Guitar LOL place to be. And before that I created GAS a GoGo, a gear giveaways blog in French.

3 comments

  1. I’m reaching the same conclusion. I have wonderful guitars, but by limiting myself to just a few I’ve been playing a lot more. It makes me wonder if I really need the group of guitars siting in their cases in my closet.
    Of course I’ve also been switching them out every few weeks and enjoying the “newness” of whatever guitar has come out for me to enjoy. They really are all different, but I find if I get too caught up in the gear, I lose track of the music.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. As long as you play ’em all, I guess that’s cool. 🙂

  3. If I get into a rut and stop playing, I either buy or build a new guitar or an amp. In 39 years, there have been about three dozen ruts. I’m not complaining at all.

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