1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Why do people not take each other seriously?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tplyons, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    So I'm taking music theory in school, six people in the class, one is a state-known floutist, another is a state known drummer, one amazing violin player, a guitarist, and myself and another bassist. For some reason, people's gear keeps coming up and everone's insulting each other's choices in basses, and my abundance of gear.

    Why do people think that a lot of gear means you suck? Just because this kid is good, has two basses, a small amp and one pedal and I have three basses in all varieties, an entire pedalboard, and a GK stack that weighs more than him, a drumset, two keyboards, a guitar, didgeridu, two saxes, harmonicas and a ukelele.

    Does lots of gear mean lack of talent?
  2. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    No, it just means you have a small penis.

    brad cook
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    If I didn't love Mitch Hedberg's humor, I might be a bit upset and curious to how you found out... :eyebrow:
  4. Ahah, now this is an interesting topic. I think having a lot of gear is no different than having little gear. Victor Wooten is a good example of a bassist with a lot of basses. It just means that you've been playing for a while and picked up a large plethora of gear. There is nothing wrong with that.

    There is a different side to having a lot of gear, though. If you show up for a audition with all your gear, people will look down at you as a beginner. At auditions always bring the minimum necessary equipment. I remember one of the drummers we auditioned for my band brought his entire kit to try to impress us. 5 toms, a couple snares, double-kick, cowbells, woodblocks, and a couple little shakers to boot. He wasn't very good, either.

    The drummer we have now is really good about always being conscious of how much gear he is taking. Most of the time he brings small kits. On gigs he brings bigger kits.

    Anyways, enough talking from me.

    Amount or quality of gear has nothing to do with talent. I mostly have medium-end equipment although I have been playing very seriously for 10 years. Whatever gear you have, be it inexpensive, must simply be reliable, sound decent, etc.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    In my experience it has always been the other way around.
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Not necessarily, but if I suck, it's not going to be on account of my equipment.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The thing is, a lot of gear makes it seem like you are compensating for your lack of skill. Some people apply this universally. I do think that some people try to do this, and it usually doesn't work.

    I myself have 3 working guitars, one guitar amp, 2 basses, one bass amp, a 210, a 410, and a medium array of mostly guitar pedals. I really want to get a 115 again, and a behringer 300 watter for backup, or a beater amp, or something along those lines. But am not gigging besides church, so I don't bother. I guess it's all in how you present it and use it.
  8. Jaco only used one main bass,and look at him.

    However,Jason Newstead uses like 30+ basses and look at him. It's all about the player.
  9. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    Great post!!! Very well put.
  10. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You think? It can easily be interpreted in more than one way. ;)
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The root of grousing about gear is envy. That it comes out so often as "great gear = suck player" is unfortunate.

    People will rag about how there's no way a 61 Jazz Bass is worth $15,000 but I'd bet if those same people found one in a pawn shop for $250 they wouldn't hesitate to buy it :D or better yet maybe they could get a dozen of them for free :cool:

    I actually know a guy who can't play his way out of a paper bag who lucked into a 57 P-bass for $250 at an estate auction then complained he didn't like it...you can bet he's going to get top dollar when he sells it, though :rollno:
  12. Sometimes too much gear is to make up for a lack of talent - ie. "if I keep buying basses I'll have to find one that I can play. Or else, a lack of gear can mean that the person is not as interested or dedicated and hence isn't as good.

    Here's my analogy; some people buy their one dream car and drive it everywhere. Others buy their dream car, never drive it, but have others that are fuel economic and stylish. Others can't afford one decent car, so they buy their best and instead of worrying about their instrument, make sure their driving is as safe as possible. Sometimes people have different needs - ie. fuel economic traffic car and van/SUV/4wd (whatever) to drive the family around. Hence they buy more than one car to suit their needs. Others are just car lovers and buy as many as they can, often doing them up as projects...

    Do I really need to continue the analogy? Who's to say which person is the best driver out of the above based upon their car? My point - different people have different needs/funding/desires and choose to go about things differently. At the end of the day, the only way of telling who is the better bassist is to give them an instrument to actually play instead of worrying about what kind and how many.

  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    If you're a professional musician then I'm going to expect you to own professional gear. A GK stack is something I would take to a gig. Of course, you'll always find "back porch" players that have more money than talent; they always own expensive Gibsons that will never see a stage or have anything more than a few open chords played on them.

    I find that I can usually tell a pro musician from an ameteur or wanna-ba just by having a conversation with them.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've certainly found that Jazz players who play acoustic instruments seem to "look down" on any electronic gear and they will generally stick with one very good quality instrument that they really get to know through all their career and it almost becomes an extension their body.

    So they would imagine that you can't possibly "know" several pieces of gear as well as one high-quality instrument.
    I also think that in these circles - proliferation of gear is definitely seen as a kind of excuse for not practicing enough and for hiding shortcomings in tone - that should be developed by technique, rather than another piece of gear.

    I can see this point of view and also when people say that a great acoustic instrument provides a richer sound, that comes from everywhere and projects a true 3-Dimensional sound image into the room - rather than being audibly, from a box over there in the corner. ;)
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I have a simple rig. With rock music, it's a relatively simple set-up anyway. If I really wanted to effectively run pedal effects, I would need another 2x10 cab at least. The more trips I have to make to the car for gear, the less fun it becomes to play.
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  17. It's what an individual does with the timber, strings, and amplifier at the end of the day, It shouldn't be a question of little gear, lotsa gear... not an issue. Can you play, thats the question, and if a snoozer wants to judge others about amount of gear:
    A) they are jealous
    B) you own a heap of gear, but you play like poo.
    The rest is illogical. why should someone be bagged about owning heaps of gear? See option a or b. Speaking for most people here, I think we wood ALL like more gear than less.
  18. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Why is anybody's gear even coming up in a theory class? You're supposed to be talking about notes. Perhaps you were bragging about your gear and they were offended by the braggart and chose to put him down. Also, Bruce is right in that Classical and Jazz players tend to devote themselves to bonding with one or two great instruments, so you shouldn't expect a flautist to be able to relate to any gear discussion dealing in multiples greater than two. They also tend to have a purist approach and will not understand that effects can be considered part of your instrument.
  19. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    As long as you have the talent/skill to justify having that much equipment. Nothing's more pathetic than a guy who owns 5 Gibsons/Marshall stack and can only play Nirvana riffs. I know that guy. :scowl:

    Myself, I would feel pretentious. I'm one of those people who feel like I have to earn the right to play that $2K bass. I just now am feeling that I'm good enough to upgrade from my MIM Pos. I'm not saying it's right, it's just how I operate. :ninja:
  20. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's not the floutist, it's the other bassist, and the drummer who can kind of play bass, and his fiddler friend who agrees with everything. This particular scenario doesn't bother me, I've just noticed over and over that this happens to many.

    As why the gear came up, we were told to bring in our favorite instrument for some jamming.