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Survey on musical gear


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Dear fellow musicians

 

In online boards, we musicians extensively discuss about instruments and gear, often with quite some passion. These discussions range from the suitability of certain instrument models for specific genres to the size of one’s instrument collection.

 

Research has not yet paid special attention to such discussions. This is quite surprising as there is a lot to be learned about musical and music-related practices, e.g. what motivates musicians to collect instruments, how do we use our gear to develop our musical identity and what criteria do we regard as important when acquiring a new instrument.

 

As musicians (guitarists, bassists and drummers) and musicologists, we aim to explore this interesting issue with an online survey. We need as many participants as possible. Being dependent on your assistance, we kindly ask you to fill in our survey. The instruments considered are guitars, bass guitars, drums, keyboards, saxophones and trumpets. The survey should take about 20 minutes and the responses are completely anonymous.

 

All data are used exclusively for academic (non-commercial) research in music. There is no funding involved. As musicians ourselves, we are interested to research this subject. By taking part in the study, you are supporting two academics in the early phases of their careers!

 

We have been given permission by the moderators to post our survey in this board. If you are interested in participating, please follow this link to visit the survey: https://www.soscisurvey.de/musicalgear/?r=13

 

Thank you very much for your support!

 

Best wishes from Germany,

Jan and Jonas

 

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I gave up with the survey after about 25%. I don't collect gear, I just have some instruments, some of which are very nice, some are pretty junky. I can only play one at a time. I don't go out of my way to add to my accumulation, but sometimes something interesting just falls into my hands.

 

And I don't play no rock and roll, so I'm embarassed to admit that I have three electric guitars, four if you count the pedal steel, and an Ampeg fretless bass guitar.

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Hi!

 

This is a very interesting perspective on musicians and our behaviour as human beings. I have done the survey and look forward to reading what finding you come up with.

 

As a staff writer for the Swedish guitar web site http://www.fuzz.se, I have asked the editor-in-chief to put your story and the link to the survey in the news flow.

 

Cheers,

 

Mats N

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I thought the survey, like the music industry itself was too focused on gear. But then, perhaps that is what they were predominantly interested it.

 

Of course, without constant gear lust, the manufacturers would not be as profitable.

 

I've never been a gear junkie. I think expression comes first and I work on the nuances of expression.

 

Next is technique, not for the sake of technique itself, but to serve the music and allow you to play what you feel trough your instrument. Thinking of sax players like Stan Getz and Stanley Turrentine. They had monster chops, but you didn't hear the chops but instead you hears music.

 

After that gear. I usually buy good gear, but at my point of diminishing returns, where X amount of money starts to return a less and less significant amount of improvement.

 

I have a good, solid, pro guitar (Parker USA DF model) which I had customized with my choice of pickups, and a good solid pro sax (MacSax Texas/Taiwan) which I had finished in nickel because it's durable and they don't relacquer brass anymore in Florida.

 

Like all the gear I've had in the past, I'll probably play them until either I wear them out or they become undependable or unsuitable for the music I'm playing.

 

Gear companies don't love me, they just like me. I spend most of my money on consumables (reeds, strings, music, etc.) and most of my non-gigging time learning how to be a better musician.

 

I'll never be a collector. I have the instruments I gig with, a back up for each, a couple 'at home' for practice and a couple of old instruments that are worn out, but have so many of my skin cells in them that I just havn't gotten around to parting with them. I gig one nighters, I play hard, and the combination of both is very hard on gear.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Hi!

 

This is a very interesting perspective on musicians and our behaviour as human beings. I have done the survey and look forward to reading what finding you come up with.

 

As a staff writer for the Swedish guitar web site http://www.fuzz.se, I have asked the editor-in-chief to put your story and the link to the survey in the news flow.

 

Cheers,

 

Mats N

 

Great! Thanks for your support, Mats! :)

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I'll never be a collector. I have the instruments I gig with, a back up for each, a couple 'at home' for practice and a couple of old instruments that are worn out, but have so many of my skin cells in them that I just havn't gotten around to parting with them. I gig one nighters, I play hard, and the combination of both is very hard on gear.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

That makes you a collector, Notes! :wave:

 

Interesting, but not what I consider totally comprehensive, survey. Completely overlooked all my PA gear...!! Mics, speakers, mixer boards, outboard fx...a whole related but overlooked aspect of G.A.S. for many of us...

 

 

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ok...interesting..but.. did you take the survey?

I hope so..because no one here asked you to speak to your personal preferences, etc. altough there are some people here that might find your narrative interesting...

 

'They' wanted to know...the Survey People.

 

but...all musicians have story to tell...I guess,..

 

this is a good enough place to tell it...

I guess. :-)

Edited by Luke17
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Took the survey. It was quick and painless.

me too...

peace, AJ..:-)

I love surveys...and Pie Charts

I hope those two German Boys post the results of their survey...and I hope they use at least one Pie Chart..

Dear God,

I so love Pie Charts

Edited by Luke17
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me too...

peace, AJ..:-)

I love surveys...and Pie Charts

I hope those two German Boys post the results of their survey...and I hope they use at least one Pie Chart..

Dear God,

I so love Pie Charts

 

 

Peace....of Pie Chart to you Luke :cool03:

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Completely overlooked all my PA gear...!! Mics, speakers, mixer boards, outboard fx...a whole related but overlooked aspect of G.A.S. for many of us...

 

 

Live sound / PA and recording studio equipment were categories that were totally overlooked. I can understand focusing on musical instruments, but OTOH, live sound and recording equipment are essential to what many musicians "do."

 

Then again, just as well that they left that out - it would have taken me much longer to fill out the survey had they left it in. ;)

 

 

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I'm not a gear collector. I have one of everything. 1 electric guitar, 1 acoustic guitar, 1 bass guitar, 1 electronic keyboard, 1 guitar amp, 1 bass amp, 1 keyboard amp, 1 drum kit, 1 acoustic piano (Kohler & Campbell baby grand), 1 electric organ (Hammond B-3 with Leslie 122).

The only thing I have more than 1 of is microphones. As I have a recording studio and I have also provided live sound, so I also have more than 1 PA speaker. 2 mains and 2 subs as well as a large number of microphones and mic stands. Oh yeah and a few hundred cables of varying types.

 

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Perhaps. But I had a good friend who died a couple of years ago and left his wife about 100 guitars, from the rare 1950s gems to parts-casters he built himself.

 

He had a couple of old Les Pauls and pre-CBS Fenders in the collection.

 

Now THAT'S a collector.

 

I miss him, he was a nice guy, a great guitarist, and the kind of teacher that pushed his students to their personal limits, instead of just milking them for lesson after lesson.

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  • 4 years later...
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Dear all,

More than 4 years ago, we received permission to advertise a survey for an academic study on ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ (GAS). We would like to give back for all your help by granting you access to the findings of this study, which are part of a book on GAS published this year. The entire book can be downloaded for free via this link: https://unipress.hud.ac.uk/plugins/books/27

We know that time is scarce, and we all should spend more time practising. That is why we have compiled a compact overview of our research findings, which you can access here: https://doi.org/10.34696/61g5-zd65 (using the Access Dataset download button)

As part of our endeavour to make our research available for free, we are asked to evaluate what use it has for musicians like us. If you wish to help us with this, this thread could be a platform for us to discuss:

-       Have we learned something new about GAS from our research?

-       Has it changed the way we think or feel about GAS?

-       Will we change your practice when it comes to dealing with gear?

Hopefully our findings will foster an interesting discussion about GAS and our use of musical equipment. We appreciate your interest in our research!

Best wishes,

Jan and Jonas

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