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Frist talent does not exist. There is no such thing. There's certainly love of music or a specific instrument, which can translate to skill, but nobody is born with an innate ability to play great music. Let's just substitute "skill" for "talent."
Second, better gear might make you sound better if you're good enough to take advantage of it, or I'll even give you that maybe in some specific cases it could make you play better, but it's not related to talent (or skill, or whatever you want to call it).
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"
He is deluding himself.
For example, speedy, accurate lead work can be sloppy so long as there's enough distortion to hide it.
Um, no... it will sound sloppy with distortion. Maybe some folks' (i.e. his) ears can't hear it, but it's still sloppy.
I sound the same regardless of gear I just don't like having **************** gear.
I have lots of gear, and am probably far below the average of the range on HC, but, I can tell you that when I have neat stuff to play with, I DO play more. I also want to play more, and I have learned more in the last year ( since basically deciding to get off my ass and play or sell everything) because of it.
After playing for almost 20 years, I am probably three times the player I was a year ago, but still have a million miles to go. Good gear DOES improve you I think, though. Easier to fret, less fatigue, better tuning which helps your ear, etc. There are benefits, but generally not enough to make someone who is mediocre (me) into someone who is not. I'll keep working at it, and having the gear I want helps keep me motivated.
The other thing about good gear is, when you go to sell, if you buy right ( i.e. used or blowout) you don't lose your ass, and sometimes come out ahead. When you plateau, a good thing sometimes is to change stuff up. Switch guitars, add a guitar, get lessons, change tunings, etc. All of them are motivational tools
<div class="signaturecontainer">Good deals with - Yarbicus, CBH5150, BozzofAngels, Alvin Wilson, Harris Quinn<br />
Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.</div>
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.
I think he's totally mistaken in that, and he's ears just aren't good enough to hear it. If you're going for "accurate" lead work, no amount of gear or distortion is going to fix sloppy playing. It's just going to be sloppy playing with distortion. That said, some things are certainly easier to play on different types of guitars (or amps), but that doesn't mean you can't shred on an acoustic or play soul on an Ibby. When you get to a certain point, you can get tone you like out of almost any gear. May not always be right for the genre, but almost any guitar and amp can create something cool.
I do agree that nice gear can be inspirational and motivating, and in that roundabout way it can make you better, but it isn't really the gear. Talent is the wrong word here, imho, no amount of gear is going to add talent.
<div class="signaturecontainer">Multiple award winning blues/rock/country at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.zeyerband.com">http://www.zeyerband.com</a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.reverbnation.com/zeyer">http://www.reverbnation.com/zeyer</a>.<br>Check my solo (instrumental rock) projects at: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.reverbnation.com/vincedickinson">http://www.reverbnation.com/vincedickinson</a><br><br><br>"Music is like the English language - it's just full of rules that need to be broken or you aren't hip."</div><br>"It doesn't take talent to upgrade your playing. It takes patience" - Kenny Werner
Krash hit it on the head, and he is NOT a shabby player! Once you have some skills and play around a bit, you see so many great players that you always feel very humble. Hubris is for fools, and sometime we all are infected.
The equation does not compute. The only thing that makes you a better player is practice and striving to learn something you haven't mastered yet. Good gear will facilitate that but good gear can be purchased anywhere from $100 and up anymore. Great gear may inspire you to play more but not necessarily practice or learn new things. There is minimal correlation.
"If you play guitar, you are a friend."
"Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."
If asked point blank, I'd say owning a lot of gear does not equal talent. But... I'm guilty of having purchased a lot of gear chasing tone, style or inspiration to play. The bitter truth is talent simply isn't for sale anywhere and it doesn't come packaged with any gear. A good player will sound great regardless of the setup he plays.
I'm getting more playing time now that I only own an acoustic and don't have to plug anything in, just play the damn thing. If I want it to sound different, I just play it differently.
A lifelong friend of mine has over 50 guitars - all nice MIJ and MIA stuff. However, he's a mediocre player. He doesn't care though, and he's not trying to buy his way into a band. He's just obsessed with guitars.
On the other hand, most of the really good players I know keep it under 10 and really only play 2 or 3.
And of course there is the big exception: J. He an excellent jazz player, and doesn't even know how many guitars he has. I know it's well over 100.
<div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables</font></div>
The gear should inspire you to play, but there is no direct correlation between amount of gear and skill. I do agree that the better the gear the better you might sound, but at the end of the day it's your technique that will set you apart from being average.
The only way to become a better player is to put in the time and practice.
I know way too many people in a variety of hobbies and disciplines who collect gear, but don't really know how to use it. For some, collecting gear becomes the hobby instead of doing whatever the hobby is. That's fine, but it doesn't make them better at what they do.
New gear can inspire playing, but from experience, that type of inspiration to play fades over time and the increase of skill gained during that time is often minimal and can be lost before the next piece of inspirational gear arrives.
You do need a certain quality level of gear to play well. An entry level guitar is only going to get you so far. However, you can excel playing with good quality, mid-priced gear. A 300 or 400 dollar guitar may not sound as good as a more expensive guitar, but it should be just as playable as a more expensive guitar.