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Does more gear equal more talent?

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  • Does more gear equal more talent?

    A friend and I believe that it can, but for different reasons. I'll quickly outline the story to better understand where we're both coming from. He considers himself a "long time player", because we both got lessons at the age of eleven. He forgets that I started learning six years before that. And since I have no real social obligations anymore, I tend to hang out on my computer all day generally studying techniques and styles, along with about three to four hours practice a day. He believes that he only needs to see the technique once or see the tab once before he's ready to practice it for about fifteen minutes, then he's "mastered it". I wish I had comparison clips for you, but he keeps forgetting to record them for me.

    So then, my reasoning:
    I tend to buy guitars now based on the genres I associate them with. If they meet with the genre I want to learn, I buy it. For example, a HSH Ibanez is for metal, a SSS Strat is for blues and cleans, a LP type is for rockin' and buttery lead work. I take a very basic view on guitars-for-genres because it simplifies things for me. I can easily translate these skills onto other guitars, but generally I get the sounds I want from my basic views. When I have the sound, I get to practising. Then, obviously, I improve.

    His reasoning:
    He believes that the more gear he has and the better the quality of it (i.e. how much it's worth or how much it cost), the better his sound will be. The better the sound, the more he can get away with. For example, speedy, accurate lead work can be sloppy so long as there's enough distortion to hide it. Chord work can be sloppy so long as there's a good amount of reverb (which I don't quite understand), and cleans can be sloppy so long as there's a large use of effects like chorus, flange, delay etc etc.

    So to me, having more gear made me a better player, even if it was an unnecessary expense. I suppose if I didn't have such particular standards about tone in different genres, I could learn them all on one guitar. To me, it's about being inspired to learn the different styles by the instrument used. So I suppose it's equal parts image and tonal ability of the instrument. A flawed perception, but ultimately effective.

    What are your thoughts and opinions?
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    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Fork Man</strong>

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    <div class="message">The answer is, of course, onions.</div>

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    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>MyNameIsMok...</strong>

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    <div class="message">Blasphemer! I'll bite your nipples off.<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>nicholai</strong>

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    <div class="message">All guitars suck. Except for mine. They rock.</div>

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  • #2
    he's doing it wrong.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://commonsensemets.tumblr.com" target="_blank">The Common Sense Mets Fan</a><br />
    <br />
    <i>There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that &quot;my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.&quot; - Isaac Asimov, Newsweek (21 January 1980)</i></div>

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    • #3
      To be fair to him, having more guitars did make him practice a little more
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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Fork Man</strong>

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      <div class="message">The answer is, of course, onions.</div>

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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>MyNameIsMok...</strong>

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      <div class="message">Blasphemer! I'll bite your nipples off.<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>nicholai</strong>

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      <div class="message">All guitars suck. Except for mine. They rock.</div>

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      • #4
        I could buy an Indy car, but I won't win the race.
        Sure, you want gear that inspires, but like the old saw says: "A poor workman blames his tools."

        EG
        We're not in Kansas anymore.

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        • #5
          I could buy an Indy car, but I won't win the race.
          Sure, you want gear that inspires, but like the old saw says: "A poor workman blames his tools."

          EG


          You could buy an Indy car and practice, and you'll do better in the race than if you were to use a tractor

          I get what you mean, though. Taking the "one right tool" approach isn't exactly cost effective, nor is it totally necessary. But the results are what I wanted.

          Also, I probably should've used better wording. I'm interested to hear other people's stories
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          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Fork Man</strong>

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          <div class="message">The answer is, of course, onions.</div>

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          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>MyNameIsMok...</strong>

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          <div class="message">Blasphemer! I'll bite your nipples off.<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>nicholai</strong>

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          <div class="message">All guitars suck. Except for mine. They rock.</div>

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          • #6
            I learned 85% of what I know on one acoustic and one electric guitar, and was pretty good before I had the luxury of matching guitars to genres or tones. I have pretty well every tone under the sun covered now, at least for my purposes. Certain types of guitars will definitely make it easier to cop a particular vibe, as a Strat will for playing Hendrix-y blues licks. It took me a long time to understand why my HH Ibanez wouldn't sound like a Strat when I started into Little Wing.


            I don't agree with your friend. Having more and better gear will more than likely show up one's weaknesses, than mask them. The only benefit I can see is superficial; people will assume one knows what one's doing based upon the quality and quantity of his gear, but I've known people with lots more than I have, who can barely string together a 30 second pentatonic solo.
            When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.

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            • #7
              Sloppy playing can be heard through distortion and chorus.

              I don't believe tone is totally "in the fingers".....The Joe Satriani clip of him playing in the fan's basement with a ****************ty guitar and even ****************tier amp are easily enough to prove that to me.....A great guitar with a nice warm round tone through a nice amp with balanced frequencies will sound great with anyone who can properly fret a note and pluck a string.

              But having said that......all the great gear in the world isn't going to make your friend sound any better if he can't play well.

              And yeah.....different guitars can inspire different creative things....I do agree totally with that.

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              • #8
                Either you have the talent, the drive, ambition, motivation and opportunity to practice and play or you don't.

                I believe gear hording to be a dissorder/sickness which hinders us from bettering our guitar playing abilities.

                I am very sickly.
                Geezer Brigade Trooper #30
                1st generation Irish

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                • #9
                  I don't agree with your friend. Having more and better gear will more than likely show up one's weaknesses, than mask them. The only benefit I can see is superficial; people will assume one knows what one's doing based upon the quality and quantity of his gear, but I've known people with lots more than I have, who can barely string together a 30 second pentatonic solo.


                  This is quite accurate.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><font size="3">Got Funk?</font></b><br />
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                  <font color="deepskyblue">Good deals with: wilsoneffectsll, mr cheef, the.nameless, kpd78, Seano_Porno, jonPhillips, gjhardwick, Korgi</font><br />
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                  • #10
                    Having more gear never equals more talent.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color="DarkGreen">“One who loves &amp; understands nature will never be alone &amp; will never be afraid.”</font></font></font><br />
                    <font size="1"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><font color="DarkGreen">-Rachel Carson-</font></font></font></div>

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                    • #11


                      I don't agree with your friend. Having more and better gear will more than likely show up one's weaknesses, than mask them. The only benefit I can see is superficial; people will assume one knows what one's doing based upon the quality and quantity of his gear, but I've known people with lots more than I have, who can barely string together a 30 second pentatonic solo.


                      This thought had occurred to myself and other musical friends. But we kept it to ourselves in case we were just being dicks. But... The more gear he gets, the more it looks that way. The last time we "jammed" together (read: I played, he watched), I was using four guitars (Ibanez RG, Washburn KC, oddball with Les Paul tones and a CV sounding Squier Strat), with a 4040 multi-effects and a Kustom 2x12" amp. Naturally, I changed guitars and effects depending on what I was jamming. When he eventually did play, he used one guitar (his most expensive: Ibanez RGA32, HH active pickups) and a Laney 4x12" cab with Laney head. No effects, just huge amounts of distortion and reverb, no matter what the vibe. Needless to say, regardless of the vibe it sounded awful.

                      With regard to our amps... Sure, his is most certainly better than mine. But we're bedroom rockers for the most part. And when I play gigs, I use an even smaller amp.
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                      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Fork Man</strong>

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                      <div class="message">The answer is, of course, onions.</div>

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                      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>MyNameIsMok...</strong>

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                      <div class="message">Blasphemer! I'll bite your nipples off.<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>nicholai</strong>

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                      <div class="message">All guitars suck. Except for mine. They rock.</div>

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                      • #12
                        Eh, no reason to put that much thought into it. Some people are really inspired by having or acquiring more and better gear - nicer guitars, big amps, a huge effects board - and likely play better as a result. Others, myself included, are just fine practicing 'naked'. How somebody else chooses to play is no skin off my nose - I just do what inspires me.
                        I'm in a band called Little Sluggers. Signature.

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                        • #13
                          Eh, no reason to put that much thought into it. Some people are really inspired by having or acquiring more and better gear - nicer guitars, big amps, a huge effects board - and likely play better as a result. Others, myself included, are just fine practicing 'naked'. How somebody else chooses to play is no skin off my nose - I just do what inspires me.


                          Good post, bro. Very understanding
                          I suppose to anyone that's familiar with my posts, it's fairly obvious that I over-think everything... It's a combination of nothing better to do and that reality at face value makes no sense to me
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                          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Fork Man</strong>

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                          <div class="message">The answer is, of course, onions.</div>

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                          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>MyNameIsMok...</strong>

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                          <div class="message">Blasphemer! I'll bite your nipples off.<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/mad.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Mad" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>nicholai</strong>

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                          <div class="message">All guitars suck. Except for mine. They rock.</div>

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                          • #14
                            I agree with Poolshark. There is certainly an adult diaper in this..that is it Depends. Getting an expensive piece of gear just to show how much money you have probably won't. But getting something that inspires you clearly will.
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                            Originally Posted by Frets99 <br />
                            I held one note through the whole thing and grimaced like I was being taken from behind by a camel.....

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                            </div> Member MAZI BEE KICK ASS MILITIA<br />
                            HCGB #251<br />
                            <font size="1">Guitars: F15 Fender Acoustic, F385 Takamine 12 String Acoustic, MIM Fender Strat with BG V60's, MIK Fender Blackout Tele with BG Pure90s, Reverend Manta Ray<br />
                            Amps: Mesa TA-15, White Box 1x12 cab, Crate V18 1-12<br />
                            Some Pedals<br />
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                            • #15
                              Seems like both of you are overly concerned with gear.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><b><div align="center"><font size="4">This space intentionally left blank</font></div></b></div>

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