New gear can be really exciting. New guitars, pedals, amps, picks, strings, anything. Getting new stuff has become a world culture. It fuels the economy and feels great at the same time. But most of the time most people buying new gear do not need it at all.
There Is Nothing Wrong With New Gear
First I want to say there is nothing wrong with getting new gear. I love custom guitars from an artistic standpoint. They can be beautiful to look at. It can even be an investment opportunity to some. There is something special about getting a guitar that no one else has.
New pedals and amps and processors can be fun too as they offer options never before available. I always love new strings as they do make things sound so much crisper and clear.
There are dangers in focusing on getting new gear.
There Is Probably Nothing Wrong With Your Old Gear
In some cases a guitar is in such poor condition that it should be replaced. Having an instrument that works well does make things easier. Most often guitars just need a slight adjustment, get set up correctly, new strings, and a little elbow grease and they will play great for years or decades.
If you get new gear I want to encourage you to ask yourself a few questions and be honest with yourself.
- Do you need it?
- Will it actually make your playing better?
- Is it just to impress someone?
- How much of a difference will it actually make?
- How long do you think the excitement of a new piece of gear will last?
- Will you just want something new next year?
- What could you do to make your current gear better?
I have no interest in stopping you from buying something. Go for it! But do not do it because you need to invest into your skills. For most people getting getting support from a guitar teacher to help guide them to play how they actually want to play would be a much better use of their money.
Gear comes and goes, but your knowledge and skills on your instrument are priceless. Making the music is what we all really want to do. So don’t let flashy ads for the next best thing distract you from what really matters. Get the help you need today and don’t worry about the tools. Focus on learning how to use the tools. You will save lots of time, money, and save yourself from regrets.
When To Get New Gear
Whenever you want is the short answer. But here is one question that might help if you’re thinking of investing into an instrument.
How much have you invested into your playing? It should be WAY more than you’ve invested into your gear. WAY WAY more time, energy, thought, and money. About The Author: Ryan Duke is a professional musician, guitar teacher, and owner of Seattle Guitar Mentor providing guitar lessons in Franklin, TN.