Mind of the hobbyist

eltorrero

Member
Messages
256
I got rid almost all of my gear before 2 years. I feel free by getting a great amp (Victory V40) a great guitar (Fender strat 68 reverse neck) and 4 pedals (Trex Mudhoney Danish Collection, Trex Alberta Danish collection, Trex Replica, Dunlop Buddy Guy BG95). I can play the Blues at home and outside. Expensive?? Yes, but I keep the very basic elements and I had twice the gear above.
 

Goldie Glocks

Member
Messages
963
Here is where I stand on having a bunch of gear:

Are you making music? More specifically, are you making songs? Is there a purpose other than material? If so then that's cool, keep your stuff. However, if you just have a bunch of nice stuff that you barely touch and only noodle on and stuff when you do touch it, purge that sh*t.

On the other hand, it's a free country. If you just want to have a bunch of stuff for no reason, you can do that too. But it sounds like that is the root cause of your recent epiphany though.
 
Messages
12,342
FWIW I could have posted this in any of the forums.

Couple of weeks ago I was having my 4th guitar PLEK'd, and then back for another adjustment for some unexpected buzz. I was a bit obsessed about it, thinking about fall-away, darker vs brighter guitars, fret material, the "uniqueness" of some guitars...

Then I had a severe emotional reaction to something that happened in my life.

I'm looking at my guitars and pedals and other gear, thinking, WTF is all of this for? What's the point? This stuff doesn't really matter.

It was the juxtaposition of my obsession that was almost yesterday, and my feelings today, that shocked me. I have been obsessing for years, having pointless fun. I think I could ditch it all today.
Everything under the sun is arguably pointless. Literally. The point is arguably the story we all tell to ourselves that gives iit meaning. Music can do a lot of things for a lot of people, in thousands of ways, big and small.

What is pointless is probably all relative. I think with music you are safely in the "positive for humanity" zone, at least. I mean, being the billionaire CEO of a multinational corporation is pointless too, arguably. Sports are pointless. Living is pointless because "drop in the ocean", insignificant compare to the stars, etc...

Play a tune, cause a smile, melt some stress, add some good vibes to the ether that be there. People are meaning creators through the stories they weave with each other and with themselves.

Music is also a language, a wordless language in a sense. Tells kind of an emotional story like nothing else, and is utterly universal and nondependent on words. It is what it is, and that ain't bad. Be yourself.
 
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12,342
So you actually got to glimpse past the smokey veil of capitalism and it's hollow promises for a brief second.
Fascinating.
Keep going.
Then there's that. Sometimes there is meaning on the other side of meaninglessness. Life abhors a vacuum.
 
Messages
12,342
Fun isn't pointless. Without it, life becomes so.
Questions about the purpose of life arise as consciousness becomes self consciousness, and seem inherent to that process.

Biologically, life seems to be about maintaining itself.

So combining the two premises, life as we experience it seems to be about maintaining itself to make self consciousness worthwhile or sustainable; making a life on earth for all, that is worth sustaining; to make self consciousness not be a failed experiment of nature. To prove consciousness worth it or meaningful, by creating things to make it so. A Darwinian task of sorts. Make consciousness useful or adaptive.

This is where music fits in. Music helps create an environment that makes our multilayered consciousness worth having. So it helps sustain life on the planet, and gives us a reason to sustain life.

Thus it fulfills the ends of biology, which, if life had a purpose, it would almost certainly dovetail with biology, logically. You wouldn't have life having a purpose counter to biology/nature, as that would be self contradictory nonsense.

So you could argue that music (with the rest of culture) has as much purpose as anything in helping to make life sustainable, i.e., worth sustaining for maximally conscious creatures. Even birds and whales seem to believe as much.

Obviously, things like reducing massive suffering are also needed to make life worth sustaining, more fundamentally needed; and music has at least a peripheral role in that too.
 
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Hofnarr

Member
Messages
2,164
At the risk of trivializing the OP's concerns and the serious issues discussed herein, I have to say that every time I see this thread title pop up in the feed, I can't help reading it, just for a second, as "Mind of the hobbit".
 
Messages
1,092
From the peanut gallery:

Considering the weight of your affective response and for others who have been there as well, is the collection of gear and or purging of it related to other parallel events in your life? Not really knowing anyone who’s posting about amassing hoards of gear (other than myself) or purging/contemplating purging gear, those feelings and actions may be related to something deeper. I’m not saying this with authority for every case, but if you’re down for a while giving up on what makes you happy can happen. This is the same as buying stuff to try to be happy. If that’s the case, there’s no shame is talking to someone. Many workplaces have counselling services built in to your benefits. Similarly, there’s nothing against you for booking time with your family doctor to discuss things.

Be well all
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
Messages
1,712
To be fair, you could have said this really about any hobby or non-critical issue in life. Traumatic events are like that.

This too shall pass.

Coming from a guy who thinks that a DigiTech Carcosa might be too complicated a pedal to get started with fuzzes, that's... surprisingly insightful.

; )
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
Messages
1,712
You can't take it with you. You have 80yrs to live on this earth. Might as well have the gear that brings you happiness, insomuch as gear is capable.
Eventually one comes to the point where you start to wonder what's going to happen to the gear after you die and maybe it's time to start making arrangements about who's going to get it, or start selling stuff simply to make things easier for your heirs, who will not have any idea what's worth how much, and so risk the value of their inheritance by selling things for so cheap that they more or less make a gift of it to an estate buyer.

I'm just gonna leave this here, if anyone is interested, starting at verse 18: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ecclesiastes-Chapter-2/
 

Vhailor

Supporting Member
Messages
1,712
Difficult to form an opinion about the OP's situation without knowing the particulars. (And this is not to be interpreted as me wanting to know them.)

Of course I hope it all works out.
 

Drak

Member
Messages
5,061
Eventually one comes to the point where you start to wonder what's going to happen to the gear after you die
and maybe it's time to start making arrangements
Well, if you keep going down that path...
Eventually one comes to a Further point where you realize it doesn't matter and Life will sort itself out just fine without your help or assistance.
When your ego tries to extend itself beyond the veil of death...
You have to wonder who's really in charge of you...
 
Messages
3,295
In recent years, both my parents have died.

We had to purge a lifetime of possessions,
in a rediculously short amount if time.

Family home had to be cleared out in just days.

It was a gruelling, nearly impossible task.

We sold and gave away what we could.

But with the clock ticking, by the end
we were just tossing pefectly good things into dumpsters.

Things that my parents once collected / enjoyed / used.

I have never looked at "things" the same way since.

You can't take it with you.
That's for certain.
 

Drak

Member
Messages
5,061
You ever heard the saying:
"Drive by a Landfill sometime, everything you see in there was someone's brand new dream at some point."
 

Jack DeVille

Member
Messages
2,381
FWIW I could have posted this in any of the forums.

Couple of weeks ago I was having my 4th guitar PLEK'd, and then back for another adjustment for some unexpected buzz. I was a bit obsessed about it, thinking about fall-away, darker vs brighter guitars, fret material, the "uniqueness" of some guitars...

Then I had a severe emotional reaction to something that happened in my life.

I'm looking at my guitars and pedals and other gear, thinking, WTF is all of this for? What's the point? This stuff doesn't really matter.

It was the juxtaposition of my obsession that was almost yesterday, and my feelings today, that shocked me. I have been obsessing for years, having pointless fun. I think I could ditch it all today.
Death comes ripping and we all die alone.
 
Messages
9,012
This stuff doesn't really matter.
The stuff doesn't matter, you're right. But I find for myself that playing out my feelings on six strings is therapuetic. It's not the stuff, it's what i do with it, and get out of it.

It doesn't take a lot of stuff to make that happen.

Whatever it is that's giving you concern, I hope you can find the positive outcome of it.
 

zztomato

Supporting Member
Messages
11,410
FWIW I could have posted this in any of the forums.

Couple of weeks ago I was having my 4th guitar PLEK'd, and then back for another adjustment for some unexpected buzz. I was a bit obsessed about it, thinking about fall-away, darker vs brighter guitars, fret material, the "uniqueness" of some guitars...

Then I had a severe emotional reaction to something that happened in my life.

I'm looking at my guitars and pedals and other gear, thinking, WTF is all of this for? What's the point? This stuff doesn't really matter.

It was the juxtaposition of my obsession that was almost yesterday, and my feelings today, that shocked me. I have been obsessing for years, having pointless fun. I think I could ditch it all today.
I think I go through this at least once a week. There's a couple of things that keep me going;
1) I need the creative outlet.
2) I'm a pretty decent talent and do play in a band with some like-minded people.
3) I like to be able to play for people and make a good evening out for friends.
The level of gear obsession definitely outweighs what is needed to accomplish my music goals.

I find that the most important aspect to consider is the connection made between musicians and then the audience.
As an entirely selfish pursuit- only you in the basement making noise for only you to enjoy- what exactly is the point?
 

Kennyscrown

Member
Messages
2,465
I hate the word ‘hobbyist’ in reference to guitar playing. I am not a hobbyist - playing music and playing guitar is not a hobby, it’s part of who I am.

When I was 16 I picked up my Mum’s battered Spanish guitar (which had a hole in the side and could only be properly tuned using pliers) and decided I wanted to learn House of the Rising Sun.

35 years later I still play almost every day; make music that only 1 or 2 people ever hear; and I’m a better player than ever (though still not as good as most people I know who play guitar). My life would not be the same without it. It has influenced my life in every way, got me through so much, and made me feel so down.

I don’t earn money from playing - I did briefly when I was much younger - but I still don’t count music as a ‘hobby’. I could give it up as much as I could give up breathing. If you want a hobby, go collect stamps.

I have a modest amount of gear compared to some - one electric, one acoustic, one ukulele, one bass, 2 amps, 7 pedals - but a better rig than anything I’ve had in my life. I’ve had to sell gear from time to time just to get by.

But the point of my reply, and aimed at the OP, is that most of us have been there - I’ve had times when I’ve thought ‘what’s the point’. I’m not going to earn any money, I’m not a brilliant player; I’m mostly too embarrassed to play anyone my music; and we could do with a new fridge, or a holiday - this gear could fund those things.

But it will pass. Something will inspire you, and you’ll pick up the guitar. It will make you feel good, or make you forget about the pressure of days, or make you remember something good, or something bad, or make someone else happy to hear you play. Hang on in there. It’s more than a hobby or a way to pass time.

It’s part of who you are.
 




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