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G.A.S. and its relationship to Unhappiness

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassballs27, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    I've had an experience recently that has led me to an "aha" moment about G.A.S. or "Gear Acquisition Syndrome". I've always been trying to figure out what drives people to acquire so many basses or gear and to be honest, I use to think it was innocent in some ways, but maybe it really isn't. I think the real driver behind it is based on a persons own happiness level. More gear, less happy. Just like mo' money, mo' problems! Greed is a very power thing.

    I always remember that phrase "the things you own, end up owning you".
    When, applying this to G.A.S., how many basses, amplifiers, etc does one really need? And what is the point of owning all them? The saying "less is more" really does apply here.

    Listening to the radio recently allowed me to catch some information from John Tesh's radio show, he was explaining decision making. He basically explained that happier people make decisions all the time and move on with life. Those that are unhappy always seem to have a problem making decisions and don't move on from them.
    So, if someone continues to acquire gear, maybe it's a result of them being unhappy with their own lives. And I'm not saying a small amount, we're talking large amounts of gear.

    I'll be the first to admit, I understand this problem, but thwart it by selling or trading off gear. To be honest, that's just a way of circumventing the situation. And having said this made me realize what the true power of owning things really has over people.

    Just for fun, I thought I'd post some links that are somewhat related to this kind of stuff, but more related to money. As they say, (edit:) the love of money is the root of all evil....and it's so funny how there are so many of us that think winning the lottery will solve all your problems. Well, maybe owning an entire house full of gear and basses really doesn't either! Especially when you don't even have time to use or play any of it, what's the point owning any of it?

    Intelligence For Your Life - Are Your Financial Decisions Making You Unhappy?
    Intelligence For Your Life - Can Having More Money Really Make You Happier?

    Also, I was searching around youtube recently and an ad came up where Carlos Santana is speaking about teaching.....but within the first minute or so of this clip, he explains the soul of music. Very inspiring stuff. And hoping his words will help thwart some people's G.A.S. and get away from acquiring stuff.....and get back to playing again! Because really.....how much STUFF do you really need?

    Thanks to everyone who have been contributing to this thread! Love the responses!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 12:56 PM
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    cool beans! glad you're dealing with your GAS. as far as other people's GAS: let's hope that they're dealing with their own issues in an appropriate way.

    what we see and read on TB isn't the 'real world' experience of most real musicians, i.e., real players don't need a roomful of axes (all basically the same) to make music. one competent instrument can make a living for a cat!

    the search for love and security takes many forms and distortions/substitutions should be expected... obsession/obsessiveness is but one 'lesser adjustment' to that quest. good luck with your GAS and your music! :thumbsup:
  3. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Fantastic post my friend!
    Very eloquent and precise!
    If there’s one thing I hope this post does for some is to empty out there closet filled with basses and or gear and move on with playing! I fully agree the average musician does way more with less and puts all of what they have to work every day!
    alaskaleftybass and JRA like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    bassballs27 likes this.
  5. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    It only takes a binge-watch of “Hoarders” to start to figure it out. As well in this country, one is bombarded with the subliminal message that possessions=happiness. You know, promotion of the ‘whoever dies with the most toys wins’ mentality. Wins what?
  6. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Yeah, that is a scary TV show!
    It seems that some take emotional attachment to things when in reality the ownership of those things isn’t what truly brings them satisfaction in life.

    We have the same problem in Canada, but it’s really a global problem.

    I mean it sounds cool to own a ton of gear for a little while, but think of how many people have literally nothing. We are so fortunate to be able to have this life experience, so why be greedy?
    GrooverMcTube and DirtDog like this.
  7. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Stare into the abyss long enough and it stares back at you...
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Now this is a subject worthy of discussion!
  9. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Friedrich Nietzsche!
    Love it!

    I believe the quote starts with “He who fights monsters should not look to it that he himself does not become a monster.”
    Huw Phillips, zon6c-f and Coolhandjjl like this.
  10. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    I whole heartedly agree.
    Not to make anyone angry...just aware.
  11. PockySteve

    PockySteve Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2018
    Pennsylvania USA
    Awesome post @bassballs27! So true. The older I get the more joy I have out of owning less but having richer relationships and experiences. I have gotten rid of a lot of material things over the past five years. Bass-wise, I currently have one electric, one acoustic, a small combo amp, and a large amp/cab. Is covering all my needs. I still love to look at and play with new and different gear though, but buying it really isn't going to add to the quality of my life. It just provides a short term 'rush' and then eventually becomes just another thing.
    There is a GREAT book on the science of happiness and what makes us happy: 'Stumbling on Happiness' by Daniel Gilbert. I highly recommend it.
  12. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Great post!
    I’ve got 4 basses currently but still have the itch to buy one or two more. Then I realize, do I need them! Probably not.
    I had 5 less than a week ago, and sold it to buy another but then the thought process of happiness appeared. I just can’t imagine what owning 40, 50, or more basses or amplifiers must be like.
    There’s less days in a month if you wanted to play one a day!
  13. It's root of all evil but your spelling works too!

    If you only have 4 basses you're doing fine. Right now I'm reading Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass. :eek::eek::eek:
    SactoBass likes this.
  14. I watch Hoarders too (I can't look away!). The problem with real hoarders is that they hold onto garbage and risk their physical and financial health. There's a hoarder's house in my neighbourhood. What an eyesore! I feel sorry for the neighbours. I can only imagine what it looks like inside. The house will probably be torn down once the owner leaves.
    PsyDocHill and Williethump like this.
  15. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Thanks man, grammar error fixed!

    Yeah, Geddy has 250! He’s in a totally different realm than us!
    MYLOWFREQ and Machiavelli like this.
  16. bassballs27

    bassballs27 Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ontario, CANADA
    Really sad when you see the interventions happening. If we relayed this to “bass or gear hoarders” could you imagine those interventions? Would they even happen?
  17. A bass intervention would probably turn into a swap meet. :D
  18. The Deep

    The Deep

    Jul 21, 2017
    A very happy and well adjusted bass hoarder here!

    Let the GAS rage on.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Plenty of other stuff out there to make me unhappy. A death of a family member or friend makes me unhappy. Bad family news makes me unhappy. GAS has never made me unhappy, though. Maybe a little when I only had one decent bass, but that was more being bummed about poverty in general. But now I don't care if I can't buy every bass or amp I ever wanted. I have a nice little fleet of good basses and amps, most that I got for good deals.
  20. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    You know what stopped mine buying my dream gear. Just buy 2 ric 4003s 2 ebmm stingrays an ampeg svt cl and 8x10 and no more g.a.s.
    Lardass5000, JimmyM and bassballs27 like this.

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