Gear needs purpose

metrokosmiko

Member
Messages
1,360
I keep running into the same realization that gear needs purpose first in order to decide what is efficient or suitable. You have to think your gear around what you're gonna play with it. If there is no specific music or style of playing that is the endgame, then the gear is directionless and you will continue to iterate - buy, reorganize, sell, buy, reorganize, sell.

I've noticed the more gear is involved when I sit down to compose / work on my music (I mainly write, rarely practice) then the harder it is for me to focus and get stuff done, and I think it's because that gear is not even meant to be working at that given time.

It's terrifyingly easy to fall into gear rabbit holes (pickups, overdrive pedals, what amp) when you have no clear goal in mind, and I find that the goal can only be music.

In fact when I really try to focus on playing or writing, often I end up not caring what the gear sounds like as long as it works - as long as I can play comfortably and produce notes.

Plug straight into your amp or play unplugged to remind you of what sounds you actually want/need.
For best results play an acoustic guitar - there are only fingers and notes. It puts everything into perspective.

These are just observations I meant to post in a different thread but maybe it will spark some thoughts or discussion here.
 

tonedover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,248
i just find it fun to go down the rabbit holes.
most of the music i play regularly could be handled with a rat, a ts and a slapback delay.

however, its too much damn fun to mess with stuff!

example - in march i took my old mim telecaster with emg single coils out of the closet, shaved an arm contour into it, removed the body poly and color, and refinished it in tru oil. then i rewired it, got a SD pup in the bridge and made it into an Eldred wired esquire.
now its sept, i love playing that guitar so much now, that its my #1, but bc of this i need a neck pup for it again.... and rewire back to tele. and get a hotter bridge pup for fun.... etc etc

same with pedals. do i need a flanger? no. do i even play a song with flange effect in it? nope. but i sure like noodling with it :)

all that said, i get it - when we stray too far we can get away from the point. but “gear” is a separate hobby to me than “playing guitar”. i just happen to have both hobbies
 

fishleehooker

Supporting Member
Messages
6,976
I keep running into the same realization that gear needs purpose first in order to decide what is efficient or suitable. You have to think your gear around what you're gonna play with it. If there is no specific music or style of playing that is the endgame, then the gear is directionless and you will continue to iterate - buy, reorganize, sell, buy, reorganize, sell.

I've noticed the more gear is involved when I sit down to compose / work on my music (I mainly write, rarely practice) then the harder it is for me to focus and get stuff done, and I think it's because that gear is not even meant to be working at that given time.

It's terrifyingly easy to fall into gear rabbit holes (pickups, overdrive pedals, what amp) when you have no clear goal in mind, and I find that the goal can only be music.

In fact when I really try to focus on playing or writing, often I end up not caring what the gear sounds like as long as it works - as long as I can play comfortably and produce notes.

Plug straight into your amp or play unplugged to remind you of what sounds you actually want/need.
For best results play an acoustic guitar - there are only fingers and notes. It puts everything into perspective.

These are just observations I meant to post in a different thread but maybe it will spark some thoughts or discussion here.
I agree with this for the most part. Problem is currently its easy to be directionless. Soon musicians will have a direction and we can help steer society out of the bad times and back to the good times. Its coming..I hope!
 

longgonedaddy

Supporting Member
Messages
1,053
I see both sides of it. I’ve been steadily honing my core pedals, to the point that I’m feeling that if I suddenly find myself, in a position to no longer be able to get any new ones, I’m very good with what I I have. So given a scenario like in the OP, if I need to sit down and make music, I won’t be distracted by gear.

its the outliers that I’m having some fun with. Learning about univibe, it’s almost an instrument unto itself. And envelope filter,I have no conception how I would ever work this into ”my” music, but damn, it’s a lot of fun. Flanger, chorus.phaser, while a bit more pedestrian than univibe or filter, are still fun to noodle around with once in while. I dont believe I would ever get distracted by them, or try to shoehorn them into my music.

And in solidarity with the OP, I posted something similar in the guitar forum, in that I’m a confirmed tele player, but have several non-teles, mostly for the sake of having them. I’m seriously considering moving most, if not all of them.
 

Spider Mark

Member
Messages
1,810
Last weekend I picked up the guitar, clean signal and whether it was because I hadn't warmed up or played in a couple of weeks what came out was an odd rhythm on an Am chord. Nothing much at all, but something triggered in my teeny tiny little brain that thought "Phaser! Big echo!" might turn nothing into something.

After an hour I had the beginnings of something (simple Am to Gsus2 and beyond) that sounded epic with a Phaser in the FX Loop and my Spaceman Explorer Deluxe with the expression pedal cocked at a particular rate in time with the rhythm, with a Strymon Volante Drum setting and Meris M7 with full Cathedra harmonics after the EQD Grand Orbiter in the FX Loop.

Changed to a pitch-shifter (EQD Pitch Bay) and put some "Bass" in my looper, put the rhythm over it (many variations) then hit the Sputnik III for fuzz and drift lead fun I'll experiment with for days, weeks or however long.

Played clean it is nothing. Through pedals it became something, even if just for personal amusement.

I was not looking to use the Phasers, echo and reverb full-on, nor experimenting with them. What I came up with "demanded " it.

I like to have a full palette of colour available if I wish to paint, so to speak, even of i don't use them all all of the time.
 

hippieboy

Supporting Member
Messages
8,237
I like both sides, wandering and focusing on specific things, IMO there is a moment for both of those things, and sometimes they intertwined and you found amazing stuff. It's like everything in life, it's always good to have a bit of spontaneity and a bit of rules, just pick the right moment for each.
 

HomeInMyShoes

Member
Messages
1,189
Sometimes the purpose is to steer one in another direction. Obviously too many directions is not really conducive to being productive, but that depends on the end goal. I know my goals are to have fun and write some things that might be songs or at least sound explorations. I've never bought a lot of gear and don't spend crazy amounts of time searching for things. Although I am searching for an amp. I just need to better define what the use cases are and be HONEST about what those use cases really are and I will find the amp.
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,851
The Gear Page is entertainment as I procrastinate on a Friday morning at work. TGP has helped me key into all the gear I have right now... basically anyway. But I've never spent a ton of time searching for gear. For pedals I've had it nailed down basically for about 15 years. Every now and then I decide to add something else.

I thought I had my overdrive/distortion needs covered with my Barber Direct Drive, Dirty Bomb and Trombetta Fuzzes. But on a whim a couple years ago I got a Mythical OD to see what the klon fuss was about. Didn't expect it to be one of my favorite pedals. Then decided to try a Timmy... again to see what they hype was about. 100% these circuits live up to the hype. The first OD/Boost in the text book sense that did *exactly* what I wanted. Just more... but able to tweak that "more" a little bit.

NOW - lately I've been really enjoying my CMATMODS Black Plague - a dead clone of a great RAT. It mostly collected dust for a while. Now I use it all the time. That mix of "ratty" distortion and fuzz all at the same time is such a cool sound. I decided to search for a RAT with more bass available. Borrowed a friends Basic Audio Shore Bird... loved it. So I'm now waiting on a customized Shore Bird to dial in exactly what I want out of that RAT platform.

Distortion is like meth... you keep coming back.
 

hippieboy

Supporting Member
Messages
8,237
David Bowie Advice to musicians sums it up for me.

"If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you are capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. When you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
 

Riffa

Member
Messages
4,259
You've got a good point, but I enjoy getting a piece of gear so that I can explore it and then find out whether it works for me or not. I have "discovered" many sounds doing just that.
 

metrokosmiko

Member
Messages
1,360
You've got a good point, but I enjoy getting a piece of gear so that I can explore it and then find out whether it works for me or not. I have "discovered" many sounds doing just that.
I'm with you on this. I bought my first reverb/delay pedal (Dispatch Master) on a whim with my first paycheck then the reverb/delay combo became a part of my sound. My pedalboard consists of a dirt section and a Source Audio Collider.

I agree that hobby is a whole separate hobby from making music... but I guess the former can creep into the latter if one's not careful. I've spent tons of time and money tinkering with guitar electronics and flipping gear because I was after - after what? I still don't know. I still haven't been happier with my gear than 5 years ago when I had my first MIM Strat, a few pedals and no tube amp. I let it somehow eclipse my actual goal, which has always been to write, record and play live.
 

RwP42

Supporting Member
Messages
255
Gear, for me, needs to be inspiring. Inspiration could be tone, or something wacky in the moment that shakes me out of a rut, or something shiny to play with... depends on mood and situation. Regardless, it also needs to be accessible. If it isn't out, plugged in, and ready to go, I don't play with it. Goes for guitars, my amp, and my pedalboard.
 

3waytie4last

Unfluencer
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,366
I just step on it and see where it goes.

More often than not, I lean into the gear and find out what type of music it wants to make rather than having a goal and trying to find the right gear for it.

I find it takes me in lots of directions I would never have gone if I were just plugging straight into an amp (NTTAWWT). It also leads me to collecting lots of weirder gear that I listen to and know it will lead to some interesting places. :dunno
 




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