What's with the correlation between expensive gear and sucking?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dancehallclasher, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. I've been to a lot of shows in my young life, and it's gotten to the point where I can predict that a band will suck before they play one note. Here are the telltale signs:

    -Guitars costing over $1500, especially if they have flame tops and/or Floyd Rose trems
    -Rack gear for guitarists (usually okay for bassists)
    -Wireless for any/every member of the band (this is the biggest one)
    -Two bass drums

    Now I know some of you are gearing up to say "HEY my band uses that and we kick ass!" Well, there are some exceptions. Namely, cover bands, older folks, and bands signed to majors that play in stadiums (sometimes). But as far as indie originals bands made up of 20-somethings, it NEVER FREAKING FAILS. The band may play all the right notes, might even be tight, but the tone is always grating and the songs are always awful. No sense of melody, inability to write a catchy hook, nothing exciting or innovative whatsoever.

    So what is the deal here? Are these people so overconfident in their fancy gear that they assume the music part will take care of itself? It seriously baffles me that these indicators can be so consistent.
  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think usually those who are really into musical realize they can do stuff on almost any kind of equipment, and after that tend to be very picky about what they buy, mostly buying stuff on it's practical value. They don't tend to spend much time talking and GASsing about gear on forums, but rather practicing and playing.

    Fortunately, at some point into playing this habit will be "cured".

    Obviously, I'm not talking about my self, but I know a couple of excellent musicians and have followed their gear aquisition habits.
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Hey, I'm a prime example of this! :rollno: :p

    I do like the tight and defined low b-string of one of your better basses and the there are certain quality issues related to having a better instrument, especially over time. That's not to say that there aren't less expensive things out there that don't have very similar if not equallly good attributes. There's not a heck of a lot of difference between a good Lakland Skyline 55-02 and your typical USA-made 55-94, IMO. The difference is you'll likely have to hand pick through several 55-02's before you find one that's just as tasty and lightweight as the 55-94.

    When it comes right down to it, James Jamerson still sounded like James Jamerson on a beat up P-bass that had major intonation issues. The car, the clothes, and the bass really don't make the man. At least not as much as the man himself does.
  4. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That might be true for indie, but playing metal, I often see all but the wireless in all types of bands, good and bad.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The "deal" is you are overgeneralizing :cool:

    The majority of young indie bands suck, even ones with lousy gear.

    A good number of bands touring arenas suck, too.

    What else is new? :rollno:
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Besides my Mesa head, all the gear I currently play out with is unrecognizable by most players, including bass players.

    In this area people see 'Schroeder' on my cab and think it's some kind of budget thing since they've never seen it. People love to stare at my bass, but when they check out the headstock they just shrug, since they've never heard of the maker.

    When I used to play my PRS mainly on stage, people would come out of the woodwork because of that signature on the headstock...and it's the least flashy of basses...plain black, no fancy wood or inlays.

    Either way, I couldn't care less. I play the way I play, and it seems to make the people in the crowd happy, and the rest of my band enjoys it.
  8. No, that's just the thing. In terms of my experience, I am absolutely not generalizing or exaggerating, which is why this phenomenon blows my mind a little.

    Sure, a lot of bands suck regardless, but why can't any of the good ones use a wireless?
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    DHC may also be surrounded by a higher than average percentage of rich idiots.
  10. The reason that people generalize is that they have noticed a pattern. The problem with most generalizations is that the pattern does not always hold. In emergency medical services we have a generalization that there is an inverse relationship between the number of Instructor patches below a Paramedic patch and the skill of the the person wearing the shirt. When the generalization is true, it is very, very true. However, when it does not hold, it is very, very wrong.
  11. Quite possible. Then again, I see the same thing wherever I go.

    I don't listen to metal so forgive me if my observations aren't accurate for that scene.
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Eh, don't worry. You're all tight shirt/girl pant wearing hipsters to me. I wouldn't know good indie from bad if either one slapped me. I imagine we're all knuckle dragging troglodytes or somesuch to most indie kids.

    However, the flame/quilt maple on a guitar is often an indicator something is hinkey. As is the full Marshall (Mesa, whatever) stack for a bar show or house party. If a band shows up with a full stack, I begin to worry before they play note one. Especially if they have two guitarists and both brought their full stacks. That usually prepares me for maximum suck.
  13. oh god, how could I forget, the full stack :scowl:
  14. Good old irony :)
  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    A lot of people wrap their identity around their gear's brand names and rely on the brands to say the things their musicality can't because they didn't put the time into it. This usually happens to musicians who are young, lazy, or a combination of the two.

    Also, some players think that the gear will bring out their voice when, in fact it's the other way round: The musician extracts their voice from the gear.
  16. Take that and -1 bass player. Worst band I've played with yet. Feedback the whole time, it got so bad even their friends had to go outside after a song for a couple of minutes just to rest their ears. And our last gig, this last band goes up, guitarist has a rack with 4 guitars, and bassist has 3 basses, both with full stacks. And theres a keyboard(which our friends were all in love with because "you don't see that in music much anymore"?! what?!). Most of their set was same tempo, same stuff without much variation. Keyboard was completely underused(yet the friends still loved it because it was...there). And it took them like 25 minutes to soundcheck after they had set everything up. Guitar tone sucked, you could barely hear the bass. And they played industrial, and seemed like they were stuck in their teen angst days. Why can't we play with normal bands :(
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    I find that it's RED guitars. If you have a red guitar or bass you must suck.


    If you're bass is made of something other than alder you're making up for poor playing...

    This whole thing is stupid and insulting to anyone who has a bass or rig that's not a bare bones off the production line instrument. It figures right up there with the "how good to you have to be to play a high end bass?" thread.
  18. The only real way to get street cred in this business is to get endorsed by Krappy Guitars and Rogue amplification. It's statistically proven.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, yeah, it does happen to be insulting to my rig, and possibly my basses. Doesn't mean you gotta get uptight about it.
  20. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I pretty much noticed the same phenomenon with bass players.

    If I see a guy with the thing around his knees, I pretty much assume he's gonna suck. If he's wearing it like a bow tie, I assume he's worth a listen.

    I'm rarely wrong. :bag:

    I'm an average player so I wear mine in the middle....