How to divest beloved instruments?

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,758
I’m in a place where my collection far exceeds not only my skill set but my available time. I would love to devote several hours a day to playing but it’s not in the cards. I’m growing old and have no future as a gigging musician or studio sharpshooter.

Yes, it’s time to thin the herd. What troubles me is that I’ve been able to be very selective over the years and curate a modest collection representing the best of each flavor. I eschewed flash and focused on substance. Tone and playability ruled the day, and made all the difference.

Every time I pick up one of my guitars, I’m amazed at the good fortune I had in getting “a good one”. The thought of parting with any is like giving up kids.

To those that have traveled this road, what say you? Sell to flippers? Keep things private? Seek out gifted kids with minimal resources and gift them (thinking about this)? This collection isn’t my retirement, it’s a beloved part of my life. If they were a beloved part of someone else’s I’d be good with that.

TGP Illuminati, speak to me.
 

Phil S Dross

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
36
Just brainstorming here, but what if you put the guitars up for sale here with the proviso that any TGP buyer has a moral commitment to donate within 30 days cash equal to the purchase price they paid to a charitable organization of their or your choosing? Maybe I am too optimistic to think that a buyer would follow through with this commitment, but I choose to be optimistic and I think most TGPers would follow through if that were a condition of buying. It would allow you to downsize, know you have done good by getting cash to a charitable orgnanization and, maybe, find a new owner who would appreciate the guitar and use it.
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
7,870
What drives you to thin the heard now?
You seem to enjoy them….why not keep them till you are running “forever fields”?

I could imagine not wanting to burden the ones you leave behind with stuff you they got no clue what to do with.
Is there somebody in your network that has expertise and could follow up on what you want to happen with the instruments?

If your loved ones are in a good place financially…personally…I’d go for “offer them to talents”….which is easier said then done #someonewithexpertiseyoutrust.

If you are looking for nomanies…I got one…not me (and nothing in it for me either)…super nice guy, young father, pro musician, very good one….my gigbag is more expensive then his most expensive guitar, the amp he plays is on loan by the artist who hires him for theatre shows….and his playing deserves a good instrument imo.
 
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Gclef

Member
Messages
5,105
I’m in a place where my collection far exceeds not only my skill set but my available time. I would love to devote several hours a day to playing but it’s not in the cards. I’m growing old and have no future as a gigging musician or studio sharpshooter.

Yes, it’s time to thin the herd. What troubles me is that I’ve been able to be very selective over the years and curate a modest collection representing the best of each flavor. I eschewed flash and focused on substance. Tone and playability ruled the day, and made all the difference.

Every time I pick up one of my guitars, I’m amazed at the good fortune I had in getting “a good one”. The thought of parting with any is like giving up kids.

To those that have traveled this road, what say you? Sell to flippers? Keep things private? Seek out gifted kids with minimal resources and gift them (thinking about this)? This collection isn’t my retirement, it’s a beloved part of my life. If they were a beloved part of someone else’s I’d be good with that.

TGP Illuminati, speak to me.
I am in the same boat.

I am finally building the guitar that encompasses all the features I like in all my guitars.

I could honestly sell, or guve away, 2 or 3. But I dont need the money, nor the space, nor do I have to worry about my family knowing what to do with them, so I am in no hurry to do so.
 

wox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,048
OP, I'm sure you have very nice stuff, and I'm sure you've put a great deal of care into the selection of each instrument, similar to many of us.

With all that work, you can become emotionally invested in the gear, but at the end of the day, it's still just stuff with a fair market value.

You can't recoup that emotional investment in dollars, and requiring the buyers to jump through some other hoop (donating money or something) seems like another way to try to make this happen. It's not realistic.

imo the biggest and best impact you can have is selling the gear for fair market price, and then donating money an org of your choosing. You could also donate the gear to an org that will sell it and use the money for charitable purposes.

Donating an expensive guitar to a gifted student sounds nice, but a school could take that money and put 20 guitars in kids hands. Far bigger impact, and the advantages of a pro-grade instrument will not be realized by a student.

Selling on TGP can help ensure it's going to a "good home", if you're really concerned about that, but again - it's just stuff, don't let it stress you out.
 

Otter351

Member
Messages
916
I've done the donation thing on occasion, if I have something that isn't selling or I just don't feel like dealing with buyers, I'll give them to a music teacher friend to hold until he finds (or already has) a deserving student. However, none of them were vintage or high-dollar. If your intent is to do good in the world, consign them and donate the proceeds to a musical charity or scholarship. Trust me, the want money more than items. And, giving a handful of kids top tier instruments isn't cost effective, so to speak. If one of your guitar could buy 20 Squiers, the Squiers will give more kids the opportunity to learn the instrument.
 

Albion9

Member
Messages
1,050
I'm with Riffi on this one. There are impoverished kids/young people out there without the means to afford decent instruments. A gift like you mentioned would be a most magnanimous and altruistic gesture. Just need to figure out how to find the truly worthy ones. I can only imagine the look on some kids face as you gifted them a really fine guitar.
 

huskerjohn

Member
Messages
1,801
Following this thread as I am in a similar situation, but I am not ready to give up some of my best. Not yet, but I am thinking about it and I really do need to then the heard.

There is a place in Alaska that serves run away and abused youth. I’ve donated several guitars and amps that my two boys used to play to them to have available for kids that they house to play. I hear they get a lot of use.
 

Capstan Philips

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,820
OP, I'm sure you have very nice stuff, and I'm sure you've put a great deal of care into the selection of each instrument, similar to many of us.

With all that work, you can become emotionally invested in the gear, but at the end of the day, it's still just stuff with a fair market value.

You can't recoup that emotional investment in dollars, and requiring the buyers to jump through some other hoop (donating money or something) seems like another way to try to make this happen. It's not realistic.

imo the biggest and best impact you can have is selling the gear for fair market price, and then donating money an org of your choosing. You could also donate the gear to an org that will sell it and use the money for charitable purposes.

Donating an expensive guitar to a gifted student sounds nice, but a school could take that money and put 20 guitars in kids hands. Far bigger impact, and the advantages of a pro-grade instrument will not be realized by a student.

Selling on TGP can help ensure it's going to a "good home", if you're really concerned about that, but again - it's just stuff, don't let it stress you out.

Couldn't agree more with this post (especially the part in bold!).

Sell at market value and do something charitable/worthwhile with the proceeds.
 

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,758
What drives you to thin the heard now? You seem to enjoy them….why not keep them till you are running “forever fields”?

I could imagine not wanting to burden the ones you leave behind with stuff you they got no clue what to do with.
This. When my parents died my sibs and I had to deal with 50 years of accumulated stuff, much of which had emotional attachments. I have only one child and she lives a somewhat minimalist lifestyle unencumbered by "stuff". I don't want her to have to sort out all my possessions.

How many guitars are we talking about here?
Seven or eight, and three amps. I'll likely hang on to one or two guitars and one amp until the bitter end.
 
Messages
5,822
If it was me I would keep them all. Though I might possibly trade a guitar or two that I don't play or like quite as much as the others for something I like a lot.
 

Matttt

Member
Messages
195
I thinned the herd a few years ago. For much the same reason as you... I don't play as much anymore and am never likely to have the time to, either.

The first challenge is deciding what to keep. We tell ourselves throughout our life that we need a new guitar to get a specific tone or vibe... but when we first started playing we just made what we had work. So it was a return to that for me; accepting that my tele could probably handle any single-coil type tones and probably a bunch of other tones too. I paired down the collection to just one single coil tele type guitar, and one humbucker equipped 'metal' guitar.

Then I donated the rest of my guitars to friends and family. They won't flip them. I'll probably get them back if they die before me!

I had a couple of cheaper not so good guitars; I donated these to a local school.
 

Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,190
I have a new rule that when I make a cash sale, I donate some of the profit to charity. Move some of the good stuff on at market price, put some money together to send on to your favorite charity, it does not have to be music related. That way you feel good about moving on something you aren't using, a good guitar is sent off into the marketplace, and a good deed is done.
 

agquake

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,354
Seven or eight, and three amps. I'll likely hang on to one or two guitars and one amp until the bitter end.
In my opinion, that’s a fairly light load. If they bring you as much joy as you’ve conveyed, just keep them and enjoy having them and playing them whenever you can. Your situation may change in the near future where you do have more time for them. You’re not going anywhere any time soon.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,689
I was lucky in that I was working with a young drummer who was married with young children but wanted to broaden his range into guitars. Knowing how hard it is nowadays to have extra money to buy gear when you're starting out with a young family, I ended up giving him several of my older guitars I just wasn't using anymore and he's expanded his skills quite nicely into becoming a decent guitar player. It's more rewarding if it's someone you know and can get updates on how the guitar is getting used and making a difference for someone.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
15,422
I’m in a place where my collection far exceeds not only my skill set but my available time. I would love to devote several hours a day to playing but it’s not in the cards. I’m growing old and have no future as a gigging musician or studio sharpshooter.

Yes, it’s time to thin the herd. What troubles me is that I’ve been able to be very selective over the years and curate a modest collection representing the best of each flavor. I eschewed flash and focused on substance. Tone and playability ruled the day, and made all the difference.

Every time I pick up one of my guitars, I’m amazed at the good fortune I had in getting “a good one”. The thought of parting with any is like giving up kids.

To those that have traveled this road, what say you? Sell to flippers? Keep things private? Seek out gifted kids with minimal resources and gift them (thinking about this)? This collection isn’t my retirement, it’s a beloved part of my life. If they were a beloved part of someone else’s I’d be good with that.

TGP Illuminati, speak to me.
My answer would depend on whether you are of substantial substance, money-wise.

Also, it is sometimes hard to know if you would be correctly giving a guitar to the right person, unless you know them well enough.

While a person might look to be a deserving guitarist, unless you know their mental outlook and disposition, you could be making a mistake in giving them one of your guitars.

I have amassed over my 64+ years of playing, many high-end custom guitars which were superb examples.
Once my job changed from a more lucrative one to a more humble one, I used my guitars to trade for other instruments or gear, I would use while playing live ongoing.

I'm not saying, OP, that your motives are not well-intentioned. In my case, I have not met the person yet to whom I would offer up one of my guitars a a gift.

Maybe, trading in one of your guitars for few lesser guitars which might also serve as gifts would be another way to consider spreading the wealth, so to speak.

ymmv
 

clint

Member
Messages
1,853
That's a manageable number. Really nothing to stress over.
It certainly sounds like you can shed a few when the time is right and not really miss them. Donate the proceeds to a good cause. Quick story: played a gig over the weekend. Pay was pretty skimpy but hey, it's a gig. At the end of a set, an older guy walked up with a $100 bill and said "thanks for the memories" and handed it to our singer. It obviously made our day. I'd like to be that guy some day.
 




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