“Miss, your heart rate is fine. I’m afraid the problem is… you’ve got Gear Acquisition Syndrome, otherwise known as GAS. Miss, if you could please look at me while I’m talking… Miss, please try to ignore the photographer taking pictures for a stock photo library.”
Aww, sad model is sad. Would anyone like to guess what percentage of the Budget Guitarist reading audience is women? Let’s go ask Google Analytics. Be right back.
About 4.4% of the visitors of this website are female. The rest are male. Google doesn’t currently track transgender, but there’s still time for the government to come out with a policy that says they have to. Ahem. Regardless, this website welcomes all guitarists, straight, gay, bisexual, male, female, transgender, black, white, asian, latino, short, fat, tall, skinny, old, young, etc. I have many liberal attitudes. I’m a songwriter who plays guitar, after all.
This makes me wonder how sexist I’ve been in some of my writing, without realizing it. If you are a female site reader, and you see ways I can improve this site to make it less sexist, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be honest. I’m leaving this featured image up, but I won’t put up an image of an attractive women solely to try to get guys to click again. There aren’t any pics of women in bikinis holding guitars on this site. But I have no doubt I can do better. Please let me know how.
Onward. I have a cure for GAS. Or at least a good strategy. Make some projects with some deadlines, music-related, and finish them. And treat your projects like a business. I will use myself as an example. I recently traded in my Hot Rod Deluxe III amp to get a Fender Bassbreaker 007. This was not a fair trade, because the 007 sounds 10 times better than the HRD, but Guitar Center made money and I got a better amp. Anyway, my next thought was “I need to buy a reverb pedal.” So I looked around and researched and I really like the new MXR Reverb. Yes, Strymon invented the whole “let’s trick guitarists into putting a string synth pad behind their playing” thing, but I play keyboards and I kind of like the sound. This pedal looks and sounds great. I would really like to have it. No, I NEED to have it. I need it right now. I’m going to the store…
That’s how GAS works. But I’ve been working on writing two albums over the past 3 years, and neither are done. My new amp is going to be all over the two albums. I feel like the purchase is justified. But the reverbs in Logic Pro X are better than what’s in that pedal. And I can change my mind a million times about what to put on it. I don’t really need the reverb pedal, AND I would not use it on one of my projects. So I will not buy it.
If you record or perform music, you can justify spending money on gear. But if you keep everything in a sort of business perspective, you won’t feel as guilty about buying things, and you won’t buy things that you don’t really need.
But having a project is only half of the deal. You might decide to spend 2 hours watching various reverb pedal demos on YouTube instead of working on your new album. This is bad. This is how you work yourself up into thinking that yes, you really DO need that pedal, and you’ll put it on the album somewhere, somehow. Instead of YouTube, work on your album. Or practice that new song you want to perform until you can play it with your eyes closed.
What about finances? I could make a case to myself that my album would sound better if I were to spend 3 grand on a super great amp. But I’m treating my album project like a business, and finance is part of business. I have a budget. A new amp is not in the budget. I have all the gear I need. So that $200 reverb pedal I’m not buying? My money is better spend pressing up some CD’s. Yes, they still sell, especially if your audience is older.
So there you go. Make a business, at least in your mind, out of your writing, recording, and/or performing. Stop buying crap you don’t need. Spend more time doing your thing. Watch the budget. Spend money smartly. You’ll feel better about everything, and your GAS will be under control.