Ya know ... In retrospect could have played my whole career with just one or two guitars.

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Lucidology, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Supporting Member

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    I guess I differ in approach from a lot of other guitarists. I'm not so much interested in "nailing" this tone or that tone. I'm interested in a guitar>pedals>amp rig that will function the way I need it to in various situations. I don't really care how close it sounds to someone else playing in similar situations, I want it to feel musical for me. By "musical" I mean it should cooperate with me and not fight me. If my mind says "do this," I want to hear that through my rig.

    One problem I've experienced owning disparate electric guitars is that pickup character and gain structure is way different. If I optimize my rig to sound good with a strat, it's probably going to sound like shiite with a bucker equipped guitar. For me, that's why standardizing on Strats has been a godsend. I own two. They're enough alike that I can use them interchangeably, but also different enough that if I need to get really specialized, I can grab one or the other. I find that liberating.

    Generally, I'm happiest in life with just enough. Not enough and I obsess over acquiring stuff. Too much and I experience paralysis and confusion over choice. Minimalism also allows me to put a fine point on things.

    I should also mention that, reflecting back on 53 years of playing, I've wasted a ton of money chasing the "ultimate" such and such. Ultimate bucker guitar, ultimate acoustic, ultimate amp. I seem to be much happier with really nice utilitarian things. Partscasters, middle of the road acoustic, dead stock but very nice production bass. I like that sweet spot. I think overall satisfaction (for me at least) might be tied to value. When I spend a lot, I expect the heavens to open up and to receive a divine revelation. With utilitarian instruments, I just want them to play decently well and sound great plugged in. I want them to not embarrass me, especially at an audition. That's why I play a Stingray bass. It works in any context. It's also why I ditched a couple of amps. One in particular that I built myself. It face planted during a couple of auditions and that was it for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  2. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Sure, I coulda done it with an acoustic and tele.
     
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  3. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Three guitars is all I need. One acoustic, for playing at home. One electric, as my main guitar. And one more, as a backup so I don't have to stop the show to restring a guitar (or if something else goes wrong).

    I prefer to have my own tone, and not try to copy someone else's. All of the greats have a unique tone. And they all carry over that tone, no matter which gear they use. Tone is in the fingers, as they say, which is kind of true, but in reality, it's in the mind's ear. It's the way you pluck the strings and the way you dial in the amp. It's in the way the rest of the band works around each other (or fights over each other if your tone isn't very good). Tone can also be in the gear itself, but that's pretty miniscule in the grand scheme. Worrying about gear is what amateurs and bedroom players do. Worrying about performances and song craft is what the greats concern themselves with, and that's what makes them great.
     
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  4. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    BUT, it took your whole career of trying different things to determine that :cool:


    Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  5. Travst

    Travst Supporting Member

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    I'd be very happy with the '64 Strat that I started out with.
     
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  6. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    If we had to boil it down to two guitars.....

    Tele, to handles all the single coil/longer scale stuff, but still be sturdier then a strat, and string breaks are less of a show stopper.
    ES-335, handles all the humbucker stuff, from blues rock to the heavier stuff, with jazzier tones then a solid body with the shorter 24.75" scale.

    I think this would be a fair set up.

    Add in a Plexi type amp with volume scaling....I think that would be the most versatile complete rig for jazz/blues/country/rock/pop. Throw in pedals to get you whatever else is not in a stone's throw of that set up.
     
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  7. Carltone

    Carltone Gold Supporting Member

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    say that don’t happen to be, derekd!:D
     
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  8. ucnick

    ucnick Supporting Member

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    LP and a Tele could do it for me

    An acoustic and a semihollow would also be useful.
     
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  9. m@2

    m@2 Member

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    I'll just add that in 30+ years of playing guitar, the MORE I was playing live shows and being an "active" musician, the LESS guitars I had/used.
     
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  10. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Oh yeah I agree with you OP. A step further, I could probably play every gig with a great Tele (like my Koll T!).

    But what fun would that be? :cool:
     
  11. slayerbear17

    slayerbear17 Member

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    Maybe if I didn't gig so much. If a string breakage occurs or you wanna do a mod, your not racing and can take your time. 8 guitars in total, 5 are for gigging including a bass.
     
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  12. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    I wish I had discovered the Telecaster much earlier than I did. I was seduced by the Stratocaster when it became obvious I couldn't afford a Les Paul. Back then the Gibson cost twice the Fender.

    If I had to have just two, it would be a Tele and a Les Paul.
     
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  13. VintagePlayerStrat

    VintagePlayerStrat Supporting Member

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    You are correct, OP. I don't have a career, per se, but if I had to pick two dream fiddles they would be a '59 Strat and a banner era J-45.

    I could live and prosper off that. : )
     
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  14. Airoz

    Airoz Member

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    And a SSH strat for live, and a semi hollow.... maybe something with p90’s
     
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  15. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    Sonny Boy Williamson II has a song called "In My Younger Days", with the next line being "I wished I knowed then like I know now... "

    At what point do you get to decide which two? Retrospect doesn't come into it when we're just starting.

    The thread idea suggests you could have played your whole career with the first two good enough quality guitars you owned. And if you had to, you could have, we all could have really, barring some specialization that required something really specific. But would you want to? Or would you take what you know now and go back and apply it when you were starting out?
     
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  16. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I've been gigging for about 19 years.

    First 5-6 years main guitar was LP Studio
    Moved around a lot and took 2-3 years off
    Next 2 years the same LP Studio
    Next 2-3 years Telecaster
    Next 3-4 years primarily a PRS CE 22 with the Telecaster from time to time. However, also during this time recorded one album with a Strat and a 4 song EP with the CE 22.
    Last 3-4 years LP Goldtop and occasionally the CE 22

    I guess I could have... I tend to make the guitar fit the band versus getting a guitar for a particular band or style of music.
     
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  17. HesNot

    HesNot Supporting Member

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    I was going to say for the bulk of my 35+ years playing (albeit with some irregular playing when the kids were little...) I used my old 82 Epiphone Sheraton and a Tele of some flavor. And never really felt outgunned...

    And I could do so again - although I'd probably opt for my PRS along with my tele (I'll never sell the Epi however as it was my first electric,,,).

    As it is I only have 5 electrics now so it isn't too big a stretch to cut that down to two. I would miss the Rickenbacker however ...
     
  18. melondaoust

    melondaoust Member

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    I usually bring a Tele to a gig and I'm fine for the evening (I bring a Jr as backup should a string break...)
     
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  19. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    We agree. I think....a Tele can get you in the ballpark of the Rick... same goes for a Filtertron type guitar...

    I mean, I love my P90 guitars...I have one in 24.75" and 25.5" scale...but....a Tele and Gibson scale humbucker guitar are a fine way to cover a vast majority of recorded guitar tones.

    But...there is always room for some gluttony!!!
     
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  20. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    The sad thing is, I have used only a few guitars playing live my entire ‘career’.
    I tend to always use the same workhorse that does it all consistently best.

    That doesn’t stop me from liking and wanting others, though.
    Which is why I own too many ...
     
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