Gear snobs.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Indiana Mike, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    How do you deal with gear snobs.

    My daughter went to an orchestra camp this week. It’s at a large well known university. She has a student cello. A lot of people showed up with their Sadowsky cellos and the such. Being teenagers you can imagine the snobbery.

    I feel bad for her,but told her to show them how it’s done. Be humble ,but lay down the chops. She’s good enough to make every honors orchestra she tries out for and plays with the junior philharmonic ,which is part of the local professional philharmonic orchestra.

    Gear snobs man, my ten thousand dollar bass means I’m better than you.

    I’m working on getting her a good cello, but man if you think bass gear is expensive....

    Edit , may be implied that all the kids were like this , its one or two,not all. I have not modified this post in any other way,its original.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Sadowsky doesn't make a cello, but I get what you mean. My kids both play stringed instruments. "Student cello" is anything under $20000. ;) Yes, it's ridiculous. Chances are the other kids didn't know what they were talking about, and invidious posturing is something that all teenagers do under all circumstances.
  3. The single greatest importance is talent & ability, not a label. I go on a limb and imagine that your daughter executed a better pure audition than the others who were more focused on pointing their cello in the proper lights hoping the judge(s) can see what they're playing.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view, the main issue is not the gear but people. It's the same as "my parents make more money than your parents." There will always be kids with richer parents, more expensive shoes, etc.

    Accepting the challenge shows that you care, and invites escalation. And no contest is winnable if the other person is making the rules. For one thing...

    Chops? Some of these kids have unbelievable chops.

    Credentials? Many of these kids have been in prestigious ensembles and festivals, won competitions, and studied under multiple famous teachers.

    You get the picture. Unlike bass gear, nobody can tell what kind of cello you play, unless they look inside and see the label. They all look the same from 5 feet away. There are very few "brand" names that matter. Student instruments (under $20000) are imported from China and are given labels in the US by dealers and distributors. The judges are extremely good at ignoring the quality of your instrument.

    If asked, just say you don't know. Your teacher recommended it, and it's been a good work horse, but your parents will get you a new one if Julliard comes through with enough scholarship money (not strictly false). Turn it into a joke. Put some outrageously political stickers on your cello case, and the conversation will never get as far as your cello. ;)
  5. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
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  6. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    Just venting.
    I want her to learn from this and not be pounded with negativity. Although that comes with life so learning to handle it is equally important. She immediately texted me about it I could tell it was at the front of her mind. I told her to let it go and show what she could do.

    I know she made a chair position, two or three,not first,but not to shabby.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  7. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    And yes I may be bragging ,but as said she is doing well. She takes gold everywhere she goes.we upped the ante on this one and it’s tougher,and she has realized it. Go big or go home.
  8. RhinoBass


    Oct 21, 2009
    I was a trumpet player when I was a kid. I took private lessons from a great teacher. At one lesson, I was lamenting my old, used horn. He said "Let me see that." He put his mouthpiece in it and proceeding to play the crap out of it. Then he said "Here you go" and handed me his awesome Benge or whatever professional-level horn. I put my mouthpiece in it and sounded pretty much the same as I did on my old horn. I never complained about my horn again, nor was I ever impressed with guys who had high-dollar horns after that.
    Indiedog, design, tzohn and 41 others like this.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Yup, if you ask most musicians if they'd rather be the strongest player in the band, or the weakest player, they choose the latter. ;)
  10. I’d give up all my basses if it would make me a better player. But it wont.

    Same with golf clubs. It ain't the clubs. Its the golfer.

    Kids can be very cruel. They don't get that a master can make an average instrument sound sublime.
  11. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    The coolest dad-thing to say, ever: “be humble, but lay down the chops.”

    I don’t think it sounds like you’re bragging.
    I think this sounds like a good dad and a talented kid.

    My stepmom, now in her mid 60s, got into cello ten-fifteen years ago (lifelong multi-instrumentalist). She started out with a student model and after some time with that my dad bought her a nicer one. She takes the nicer ones to meetups and performances but puts more hours on the other one, which is now called the “camping cello.” It’s been on river trips, and the desert, and above timberline. She whipped it out for a campfire jam at Yellowstone...

    Tell your daughter to come up with a cool name for it and just play the crap out of it.

    Camping cello?

    Battle cello?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  12. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    Gear snobs are everywhere, it really doesn’t matter what the gear is.....they just happen in any moment. The snobs themselves usually have issues.

    Think about it, there are always going to be people with nicer crap than you. Even if you pull in 2.5 million a year, you’re still pulling in chump change compared to the guy down the street, and you’ll know it....if you’re a possession fueled individual.

    So, these people that judge you likely judge themselves as well, but you can never have better stuff than everyone, so their mentality eats at them.

    Or, they are just a-holes that put people down. But, I’ve found those people to generally have a deflated sense of worth. Makes them feel higher to make you feel lower.
    Groove Doctor, lat, Bflat and 4 others like this.
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    We have a "picnic violin." And then there's, "Dad's cello," which needs no further explanation. ;)
    mexicanyella likes this.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    About all you can do is play them into the ground, then walk away smiling.
  15. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    I show them this...
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Trying to one-up the snobs with equal or higher snobbery just doesn't work, IME.

    This happened to me with a stringed-instrument recently. It was so bad that I quit that instrument. I was moaning about how the pickups weren't so great & the local luthier picked it up & ripped through some amazing riffs on his Behringer shop-amp. I got home & thought about how silly it was for me to even continue & sold the thing the next day, LOL!

    I see gear-snobs on TB often & they're usually talking down a brand I use or bragging up their high-priced one.
    I'm the other way around, I want value for my money. If I can get a sub-$200 instrument that sounds like a $1k+ instrument then my life is complete.
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I think there are different types of gear snobs. There are some who will put other people down because of what they play and there are others who will not buy gear that they believe is inferior such as Squier or MIM. I am admitted gear snob. I have never found a Squier or MIM that I like. I also can't justify spending $700 on a new MIM Fender when I can get a used MIA for the same price. It's not about the money. I make a very good living and can afford to buy what I want. It's about the quality and the principle. I have owned some Korean and Indonesian made basses which sounded and played great and some Vietnamese Ampeg heads which I never had a problem with. Even though I will never buy a Squier or MIM, I do not criticize people who do. My philosophy has always been play what you like and can afford. You can't control what other people think, do or say so don't worry about it.
    DanGroove and viper4000 like this.
  18. QweziRider

    QweziRider Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Right there with you having a tuba playing daughter. Ouch!

    Unfortunately, mine learned my ways in dealing with snotty students. Two words, one starts with F, the other with an O, and employ the correct snarl to go with it. Works every time for her.
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  19. QweziRider

    QweziRider Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    You have every reason to be proud and let it be known.
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  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I was in Honor Orchestras, State Honor Bands and all kinds of competitions during my high school years playing clarinet. Never once did myself or anyone else that I ever witnessed gave 2 craps about the brand of instrument anyone else played.

    I never even knew of gear snobbery until I joined TB and it’s not even something I’ve even read. Though I’ve read it plenty going the other way.