Trend I've noticed with players (of any instrument)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I've noticed that a lot of musicians I've encountered think that "The gear makes the player". I've witnessed the guy with the expensive Les Paul get smoked right off the neck by the dude with the couple hundred dollar Fender Strat. It just seems that I've seen so many bad players with great equipment, and I can't help think that they think the higher end gear will some how make them better players. I'm in no way saying, that anyone with high end gear is a bad player (cause there are a lot of good players with better than average gear) and I'm not saying that about anyone here. (I'm mainly talking about people playing I've seen in person)

    For example, my father's band is trying out new lead guitar players. Just last week a guy auditions. Has an expensive guitar at practice (supposably has a Gibson in the shop being fixed) huge stack, and an expensive processor. Didn't have any sense of rythm, when he was told what key a song was, he would have to ask "What chords that was?" (This is mainly a country band, it's pretty obvious that when someone says the key of "G" the other two chords are going to be "C" and "D") and on top of that, when he would attempt to solo, it would be all out of key.

    Again, I'm not saying having great equipment means your a sucky player, I've just seen too many sucky players that spend more time worrying about their gear which they think will make them better, than actually trying to master their respective instruments.

    Sorry, If a lot of threads seem to be me complaining, but I'm having a lot of stress. :D ;)
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I think you are being presumptuous to assume that the bad player bought the gear with the idea that it would make him better. Maybe they just bought it because they had the money, and they wanted it.

    When I was in Highschool, all the children of wealthy parents had really nice gear. I can't recall any of them thinking it made them better. They had the means to get nice stuff so they did.

    We had an gentleman here at TB who wanted to learn bass. Never played before, but he went out and bought himself a 'Ray 5. I don't think he thought it would help him learn, he just had the money so he spent it.

    Sure, there are some dogs out there with nice stuff, as well as great players with junk. But I disagree with with your premise.

    Do you think all people that wear nice clothes do so in hopes of being viewed as more attactive? Maybe they just liked the $500 jacket and had the scratch to aquire it?

    Does every Porsche owner want to be seen as a professional driver? Nope.

    Just because the guy that tried out for your Dad's band was a bad guitar player, doesn't mean he's not a really good accountant or whatever he does to make his living.

    I have an uncle with a Martin D-28. He knows about five chords. He asked for a guitar and that was what his wife bought him. (I hope he leaves it to me)

  3. I've seen the same thing as a drummer. Some of the greatest drummers ever played on kits that aren't as good as the entry level stuff today. Gear is just the tool. It can't create groove or feel or interplay between musicians. Some younger/inexperienced players seem to think that top of the line gear will make up for lack of practice. Put a good player with "club-level" gear and they will still sound great. Put an untrained/undertrained player with top of the line pro gear and their inexperience will just be easier to hear. Nothing makes up for the woodshed. In my observation lead guitarist seem to be most affected by this malady
  4. :( Uhhhmmm, well im starting to think im no good now. Ah oh! :D Its like the saying if ya got um smoke um...... If you got money, BURN it up!

    Myself personally, i love playing poopy basses that i used to think would NEVER sound good 12 years ago when i played on them. Its quite fun!:D
  5. warwickbass


    Dec 8, 2001
    I agree, I see alot of that too. I had to stop and look at my reasons for buying nice gear when I started to notice this... I am by no means a good bassist IMO, some say im good considering how long ive been playing, which I agree with, but some think im just good, overall, compaired to anyone. I now own a Warwick four string Thumb Bolt-on, Warwick five string Thumb Bolt-on, within a month I should have a nice eden rig, after that I intend on picking up a G-Force (or something similar). I consider these things to be nice gear, but I know what I can do, I dont go out trying out for bands I know I cant play with, or anythig to that extent. My plan is to get nice gear, (nice enough that I wont need replacements or an upgrade anytime soon) and use that as a stepping stone to becomeing a better player. Now im not saying that this is going to help my skill, an Eden rig wont help my playing, but it will encourage it. I was using a very crappy Peavey combo, and I couldent play threw it because i couldent satnd the tone, I would get so discouraged that I would stop playing for a few hours and cool off. So Im hopeing this will encourage me to play and practice more and thus become a better bassist, and so far it ha been working.

    I think more people need to look at the reasons for buying nice gear, and know what there able to do. If you want a $5,000 Gibson great but if you cant play a $300 Gibson, and think the 5k will somehow let you know what key to play in.... theres somethin wrong with ya.
  6. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    I totally agree with Chasarms. Maybe you can't play as well as some people, but that does not mean you dont deserve a nice instrament. I'm not the best bass player in the world, but that doesnt mean I should'nt have a nice high end bass to play on. I absolutly can't stand playing on an instrament with fret buzz. It drives me crazy.
    So just because somone has a nice bass doesnt mean they are trying to look cool and show off. But its pretty safe to say JT has all those conklins just to show off.. just kidding :)
  7. The only gear that makes U play better is the one in your head that keeps the beat.
  8. Well the whole nicer gear to make you a better musican theory is true to some extent. If you have a really poor instrument that can hinder your progress severly. As far as amps go I started a thread in amps to find out if my theory held water. Its about a horn giving you a very upfront sound to bad technique involving fretting note to hard. This is creating unwanted hammer-ons in my technique that i was unaware of till I played through a cab with a horn. Furthermore nice equipment can inspire one to pick up thier instrument.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    ya got me :D
  10. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    hahaha I love your sig JT, it gave me quite a nice laugh. thank you :p
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for all the input, even if some of it's oppisite of what I believe.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Liquid: I think you are right that some players get obsessed with gear and don't pay enough attention to their technique/practice habits. However I don't think the percentage is any worse now than it's ever been. Perhaps it seems so: I believe there are more TB posts devoted to gear than to technique. But I'd argue that this is only because there is such a huge variety of gear out there nowadays, and the list keeps growing. Part of being a skilled professional is being aware of what tools are available to do the job, even if you'll probably only need a J-bass and a combo amp.

    As Chasarms said, it's unfair to make assumptions about a specific player because of his/her gear. I'm an average player with better than average gear. I'm not trying to put on airs. I know I don't need four fretted solidbody five-string basses... I could get by with just two (gotta have a backup). But I can afford 'em... and my wife let me buy 'em. :p
  13. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Funny, this doesn't seem to apply to DB'ers.....
  14. How many DBs can u own though?
    I mean if JT were a DB player he would have to have a whole seperate house for his collection.:D

    By the way do you play gigs at Sambras ever?
  15. Although I agree its the player that has the skill, and although the instrument can only go so far, it still plays a role.

    For Example. I had my Fender MIM Jazz for 2 years. I was happy w/ it. Tone was decent, could have been better, but no complaints on my part. When I got my Cirrus 5, other than the B string, it knocked down barriors for me. Due to it being easier to play, I could do things on it that i'd never been able to acomplish on the Fender. The bass actually limited my playing ability.

    The instrument goes only so far, but does play a role. Its always the player that makes the tone, and has the ability to play. Look at it like a track star. You're naturally good at it, you cannot buy speed. But w/ nice shoes, it'll take a few hundreths of a second off, and make you that much faster. Doesnt make a huge difference, but it still makes a difference.
  16. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Haha..... yeah, the upright acquisition bug has bitten me lately.... I want another one to keep my current one company. <lol>

    I have yet to play at Zambra's. One of the other groups in town whom I'm good friends with had pretty much a house gig for a while there, but then they lost it because the place didn't feel like they were making enough money to justify keeping them there every week. :-/ That's been the story for a while around here, but it's picking up again. My group is in the works for a few gigs at the Grove Park Inn, and my solo and duo projects are getting more offers lately as well, so it's picking up. Zambra's isn't out of the question, we just have to push a demo farily firmly there to get anywhere I think.
  17. Just wondering if You were they guy i saw play there. Hector is a good friend of mine from way back, and one of my best friends who lives there now is his homeboy from wayback in NY.
    If it is that friend your talking about that I saw, Gil told me he got a good deal on that DB he plays. If I remember right it was a Jazz trio Sax, DB and drum I think.
  18. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I think that a person is more likely to find a sound that he likes with good gear.

    I also think it's easier to play a good bass.

    These two items make me agree that good gear makes you better.

    I don't mean that you know your material better. I just mean that's it's easier to present what's in your head when you don't have to fight through a bass that has strings 4 inches off the neck, bent like a banana, with the sparking electronics sending jolts through your body as you try to press down on the razor frets.

    Don't make me start on the amp. ;)
  19. I'm going right out and buy me a Memphis Jazz copy and a 25 watt Gorilla amp so no one gets the wrong idea about me. ~lmao~

    I've seen it both ways. Great players with crappy gear, or even borrowed gear, because that's the best they could do (very humble too). Played with gear-heads who kept better time scratching their butts then picking but <i>damn</i> they thought they were good with all their nice gear.

    Guess there are all kinds of folks out there, eh?
  20. Hit that nail right on the head!