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I feel like I'm going through a total mid-life crisis in terms of my gear. I'm questioning what I have, why I have it, and whether I should have something else. I don't know if it's because I've taken some steps as a player and that's made me realize that maybe some of my gear isn't all that well suited to me or what. I'm not normally one to sell off gear but I've been on something of a purge lately.

Anyone else been through something like this?
 

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Yes. I think whether it's good a good thing or not depends on the thought process. If it's "I've come to realize that this width of neck doesn't suit me, and that holds me back" I think it's helpful. I'm learning more, so I understand more. If it's just that I want more shiny things, it's probably putting me off doing any actual practice. I've done both, but it sounds like you're doing the first one.
 

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Interesting thread.

Personally, I think ongoing reevaluation of this nature might be somewhat typical for many of us.

I don't know if it's because I've taken some steps as a player and that's made me realize that maybe some of my gear isn't all that well suited to me or what.
Did you decide to focus on a different genre/sound/style/etc?
 

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I change it up completely every 7-10 years except a couple staple pedals and guitar. Usually they'll be some overlap into the new gear to make sure its an improvement, and it usually is. The gear budget almost balances itself in the long run.
 

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Coming across good gear and acquiring it is the easy part. Does it really work for you, and do you really use it?

Good, and do I really use it are slowly becoming a reality. I don’t necessarily need it because it’s good, I need it if it really makes me play, and play my best.
 

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Totally did a “covid house clean” and not just with music gear.i was able to unload some unwanted stuff and in turn pick up a few new things.Seems like a lot of people are doing it judging by how fast and easily I was selling things.
 

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Yep. Not going to rush into selling things though, gonna see how the winter goes. I dont want to sell stuff just to buy it back later for the same and maybe more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did you decide to focus on a different genre/sound/style/etc?
Kind of yeah. I'm involved with a new band. Learning songs I've never played before. Not a total genre change, but it's definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone and forced me to learn some things I'd been lazy enough to avoid for a long time.

Yes. I think whether it's good a good thing or not depends on the thought process. If it's "I've come to realize that this width of neck doesn't suit me, and that holds me back" I think it's helpful. I'm learning more, so I understand more. If it's just that I want more shiny things, it's probably putting me off doing any actual practice. I've done both, but it sounds like you're doing the first one.
Mostly the former and a little of the latter. I've come to realize that the super skinny modern "C" necks aren't actually that well suited to my playing style. Not that I've got giant hands, but I've discovered that I actually like a bit chunkier neck (not the baseball bat thick necks, but a bit more mass to fill out the palm). So I've been looking at my guitars and while I've got some pretty nice guitars, some of them aren't really that comfortable when I compare them to one new one I recently got. And while I love to tinker and change pickups and parts, if you're looking to change a neck then you might as well just get a different guitar. So it's a bit of letting go of some good, just not good for me pieces.

PLUS back in the spring I watched a video from 5 Watt World on Youtube about "How many guitars do you need?" and it really made me start thinking about what I have and why I have it.
 
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with distancing and the new era of super small live shows do you find that your playing opportunities have changed or you're home more a practicing a lot more so maybe got to be a better player?

over time i had switched over pretty much completely to Godin 5th Ave and Telecaster because they play nice with amplifiers but since the covid era i've gotten back to playing mostly acoustic guitars because I rarely play in front of a group now and when i do it's a much smaller group and the less schlepping gear in and out the better

my work schedule hasn't really changed but my kids and wife are home a lot more so i play differently at home too - we sing together and play acoustic instruments after we finish eating in the evening 'cuz nobody's going out. It used to be I'd be woodshedding by myself in the shop late at night getting ready for a performance coming up but that kind of intense solo practicing hardly ever happens any more.

j
 

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It might have something to do with age, maybe?
I spent my younger years trying to acquire as much variety in gear as I could comfortably afford.
With time you learn what works for you, what you like, what you don't like, what you can justify keeping.
 

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I think about this exact thing daily. I'm 55 years old, I don't make a living playing music, I don't even play music with other people; so why do I have all this stuff and why do I keep pursuing more of it?

I had a real "awakening" just a couple of weeks ago when another GC member was over at my house for a quick visit and I started looking for a particular and "prized" Firebird down here in my basement. I checked everywhere. Under the stairs, in the furnace room, my office, the guest room--and then I checked again and then again. It was nowhere. It had vanished. I was a mess. After my friend left I went upstairs and told my wife that I was missing a guitar. She said, "An expensive one?" I said, "Define expensive." That's all I said to her about it. I then spent the rest of that beautiful Saturday looking at my security cam footage so I could point my finger at a guilty party but there was nothing.

Defeated, I finally admitted that maybe it was me, maybe I did something with it. Maybe I had loaned it to someone or it was in the shop for a repair or...? I pulled my phone out and searched "FIREBIRD" in my text messages and sure enough, there was the conversation. I had sold that Firebird 3 months ago. It had completely slipped my mind that a guitar I thought I loved didn't even belong to me anymore and I hadn't thought about it once.

I now lie to myself everyday that I'm going to whittle this collection down to 1 acoustic, 1 hollow, 1 solid body and 1 amp; but we all know how that goes. Thanks for this. Great topic @Powdered Toast Man.
 

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Totally know what you mean man. I think it’s a good thing, in terms of you growing as a player and realizing what feels good and sounds good to you and what doesn’t. I’m at that point right now actually. Starting to realize that a british style amp (Marshall style) isn’t the sound I’ve been trying to develop for myself. Realizing now that I like a smoother, more american style overdriven amp tone (Soldano/Fender).

I bought myself an amazing plexi/800 style amp called the Victory Sheriff 44 that sounds incredible, but doesn’t suit my playing, so I’m looking to have Glen Morris build me one of his more american style amps called the Grinder.

If you’re in a similar boat in terms of realization, I say go for it man! It’s all about growth and figuring out your voice.
 

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Eleven years ago I sold off a ton of gear and started rebuilding my gear collection. I was going in a different direction and it felt good to cast off what was no longer needed or wanted. I actually went several months without having an electric guitar, and I only had two acoustics. Moving forward through the year, I bought far more than I expected to.

I still have everything I bought that year.
 

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My motivation for playing is that I enjoy playing live, song writing and jamming with people. I've played in a band playing my own music for over 20 years. While we don't play a ton these days, the half dozen shows we play each summer really motivated me and I looked forward to them. Covid scrapped the shows obviously. And I've had a resurgence of some bad depression issues that started during the initial quarantine. I haven't picked up a guitar in months and find it really hard to.

I kept a lot of gear around for the shows, jamming, for the fun feeling of owning stuff. Right now I am in a place where I have been thinking about just selling everything and keeping one guitar and amp amp. It's not just music gear, I guess spending a lot of time in my place alone made me feel like I have too much stuff around in general.

so ya, definitely some reassessing going on.
 

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The first step is to admit that we are powerless over gear, and that our collections have become unmanageable..............oops wrong meeting.

@JethroTech sounds like me in many ways. To be honest, I buy a lot of gear because I'm not a great player, and don't really feel comfortable demoing a lot of stuff at a music store. Fortunately I'm not dropping 4K on a guitar every week. I have come to admit a few things as I've been thinking about this subject. First, my #1 guitar is not the one I paid the most money for. The one that I always grab is an oddball that somehow just feels right. Second, too many choices is bad. I can fiddle with knobs or play with software all day at work. That time could be better spent having fun. Finally, when I think about buying a new guitar or amp, I'm convincing myself to learn a new song or develop some skill. It's a better use of my energy.

I do plan to get down to 4 guitars and 2 amps. I'm currently ignoring my pedal problem.
 

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Nothing wrong with changing things up for what you need or what you want to try. I’ve done it countless times through many years. Now that I am older, I really have found that there are a bunch of things that I really like as far as guitars and I have what I need in those areas. I find I change up the amps a bit more part because I have wanted to try some other things and part because I was looking for something that does more without being too complex. Even though there has been no gigs since March, prior to that we were gigging as a band every week. The stuff I get has to be reliable and work for me in a live situation first. The good thing is that we have all kept rehearsing through this and that has kept the spark going for everyone.

The one thing I always am looking to do is carry less to the gig.
 
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