Gear

Gear! For many years I would sell off my guitars and amps, etc… to finance the next thing that I just could not live without! Later, I'd discover that what I had before was equal to the new stuff, just different. And that maybe I should have just kept the old stuff, too. After all, think of all of those 2 or 3 channel amps out there that hover in the $1600.00 - $2700.00 range that essentially do the same thing. I submit that if I recorded an original tune and used an Orange Rockerverb for a distortion tone as opposed to a Bogner that the listener would be just as happy hearing either. And, ditto for the clean tones. It's honestly really about your playing.

You need a certain level of quality and should strive try to get the best that you can without going into crazy debt. You don't need $900.00 a foot speaker or instrument cable unless you plan on being buried with it, or are fortunately wealthy already. And perhaps an $850.00 dollar super duper boutique pedal isn't the wisest choice. I'm sure those high end pedals are fantastic, should you discover that it is in fact the fountain of youth. Well then, and only then, see your way to one.

When I was younger and more impressionable I'd hear a great guitarist and immediately want that sound. As if by purchasing a Gibson SG, an Ibanez Jem 777, a L5 hollow body, a Martin acoustic or vintage Fender Stratocaster or something, I'd somehow be able to play and sound exactly like that person. No matter what you own YOU have to play it. So what works for one person may not be the best choice for you. There are many examples, but for me a good one would be Allan Holdsworth. I'd love to sound as regal and elegant as he does but alas I don't share his physique, his touch, or his mind or his history. So really… just be yourself. Find your own voice. Sure, use a great player to inspire you, but try not to become a clone. Pick up what you can, but be true to yourself. Back to gear, I've had a ton of it over the years and little of it has really stuck around long. Even those huge, decadent rigs I put together in the 80's. Kind of laughable in retrospect, but honestly, those beasts were fun, too.

As attractive as all the gizmos and gadgets are, they're still just a means to an end. Whatever choices you make they should support your sound! Or that which you're striving towards. I'm still growing in this area too, but also like the idea of putting things to bed so to speak. So, say an OD pedal is of paramount importance, which for many guitarists it would be. There are plenty of good quality OD pedals out there that will do the job. Nice crunch to just breaking up for rhythm/chords and that bluesy solo voice. DONE! Make an informed choice and get going and have fun!!! I have a pedal board that I enjoy and have a picture of it below. For me it's useful and utilitarian. I am hoping to weigh in later with more info.

Here is a photo of my current pedalboard:

These folks make amazing gear that I use and love.

Suhr Guitars
Vertex Effects
Port City Amplification
StoneAge Custom Cabinets