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Anyone Else Use Gear to Incentivize Improvement?

Messages
833
For a long time in my guitar playing life, (after teenage years, before mid 30's) I would basically noodle with things I learned as a kid. I've been happily divorced, from a marriage with no kids for a few years, and moved up substantially in my company. As a result, I've been lucky enough to afford upgrades, and new toys fairly regularly. After a while, I began to feel bad playing so poorly with such nice stuff, so I started using new toys to reward improvement, versus just buying them. For instance, before getting an envelope filter, I worked for months to get good at following chord tones in the major scale, while mixing in chromatics. Before getting the Archtop, I got good at comping. Before getting the Jeff Beck Strat, I got good at vibrato tricks. The list goes on. I've improved heavily, in the past few years just by taking this approach.

Does anyone else do anything similar?
 

NewLeaf09

Member
Messages
2,581
I'm going to keep buying guitars until I find one I can play.

A change is as good as a rest? A new broom sweeps clean?

Oh, reason not the need! I think anything that lets us enjoy playing a little bit more is a good thing.
 

Phletch

Senior Member
Messages
9,896
I'm probably a contender for the least gear-motivated/GAS-afflicted player at TGP. Since I have a semi-hollow, I spend the majority of my time unplugged when practicing lines, learning songs, etc. and break out the gear for recording and gigs. Occasionally I like to break out the gear and play around with it, just for the hell of it, but I'm already really pleased with my toanz so I don't need tone incentives.

My motivation comes from the feeling I get when I tackle and subsequently conquer whatever challenge is set before me. My reward is a beer and a bong-hit.
 
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Babaroo

Member
Messages
135
After I get new gear, I try to improve in order to play in a manner worthy of the gear. Also, better sounding gear rewards me and inspires me to play more . If you practice a lot , you don't want to have to listen to crappy gear.
 

jomac

Member
Messages
203
The one piece of "gear" that has really give me a kick up the backside is the Boss BR800. I just make up my own backing tracks of songs I'm
learning and then play my "solo" over that and then listen back to the carnage. Improved me no end both rhythmically and my soloing skills and taught me how to listen more. I don't use it as an incentive to buy more gear but as a practice tool it's been invaluable.
 

JohnnyBGoode

Member
Messages
832
Interesting. After getting gear that should be great for my favorite Blues tones - I found out that the secret ingredient actually comes from finding a sweet spot on your guitar's volume and tone knobs and by attacking the strings more aggressively. Did wonders to my tone. Still trying to figure out if gear shopping helped me figure this out or just distracted me...
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,916
I'm moving into guitar synths right now. And yes, even after 45 years I'm moving forward.

I've been learning more piano, organ, synth, sax, trumpet, harmonica, etc...parts on the guitar for last 10 years or so more than guitar stuff...at least in my free time that is. I've been pretty open about the directions I've been moving in the past year or two...but as of this week I'm moving to the next level.

I have a roland synth pickup mounted on my Strat. I purchased a gr-20 and I'm picking up a gr-55 tomorrow if things pan out time wise.

It all started, as usual, due to a gig. I'm playing a Bowie tribute show in Chicago next month and asking the leader/rhythm guitarist, "other than the interludes in Young Americans, what do you want me to do?" He said, "play the sax parts"...so I learned them. But still I want to get the sax sound...but still need to kick in the phaser'ed guitar during the interlude. So I'll be bringing the synth guitar/module and separate amp just for the one tune to cover the sax and phase'ed guitar with the flip of a switch.

Don't get me going on how much I'm using the Ebow for this gig either! I actually wrote an Ebow chart on iReal for the Space Oddity chart in the program.
 
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833






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