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Expensive Gear Guilt

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And value is relative.

If my expensive gear gets stolen or damaged I can easily replace now it with something cheap that will do the job.

If I'd had my first bass stolen or damaged back in the early 80s that would have been it. Despite the fact that it only cost £60, I would have taken me another 3 to 4 months of being careful with my food spending to afford a replacement, by which time the band would either have folded or replaced me.

Edited by BigRedX
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I never feel guilt about spending lots of money on something I thoroughly enjoy playing.  I don't have any other call on my finances - no kids, etc - so I'm not going to feel guilty for spending my own money on exactly what I want to.  I don't need to justify it to anybody, and i love the expensive instruments that I have, I'd say from a playing perspective (and I'll concede that deep down that may include some of an "owning nice stuff" perspective).

And much as we all like to point and laugh at the person who can barely play who has bought the top of the line bass, it's their money, and they're doing no harm.  That said, I do point and laugh at a mate who can barely play guitar who buys very cheap guitars

Of course i would say all this, given that I'm about to pay the last £5k on my new Wal...and having first picked up an instrument in the 1980's there really was a noticeable difference in quality between budget and expensive instruments, which may have stayed with me

I've had to sell instruments in the past when my finances were less stable, and I'm very pleased that I'm not in that position any more (fingers crossed).  I've played rough pubs and I've always taken the instrument most appropriate for the gig in question.  Never thought about cost, but also, these days I wouldn't play without instrument insurance...but back in the day when I only owned one bass, it never occurred to me, and like @BigRedX says, it would have been a major financial issue to get a replacement if that one was broken or stolen

Mind you, I have sometimes felt stupid after spending money on an instrument that I then didn't really get on with...stupid, not guilty

Edited by Monkey Steve
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on the topic of violent crowds, me and a drummer of my acquaintance were discussing an old band mate that played rhythm guitar with us, who despite being at the low end of very average on his best day, has had no problem in finding a succession of quite busy pub covers bands to play with.  Lovely bloke, sometimes absolutely awful guitarist, but he's never been sacked (sometimes bands have broken up around him...including ours, though he wasn't at fault)

The drummer's theory was that to the guitarist's advantage is the fact that he's built like a brick outhouse, which will make any trouble makers in the crowd think twice about starting anything, and he's more than capable of handling it if they do.

This may also explain why he's never been sacked...

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Just another addition to the observation that actual fights are very, very, very rare in the pubs I've played in. And yep, the pubs with the rep for rowdiness have the best, most active security. The pub trade is so close to extinction these days that any place with a rep for uncontrolled violence will be out of business very quickly...

We do know Eye Of The Tiger, just to take the rise when it gets a bit shovey...not had to use it for years, tho... 😕

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Oh, and I gig all my basses...it's what they're for...I've never (and I know I'm tempting fate here) had any problems that have made me wish I'd brought a cheaper one...it's not like some people don't pay extra for damaged (sorry, mojo'd) basses...

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10 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Oh, and I gig all my basses...it's what they're for

this, all day long

If I didn't want to play my bass in front of people, there's no point having it.  And if it picks up a dent or two over time, that's character.  I've bought and sold a few over the years, but I've never bought one as an investment

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My grandfather was playing an accordion in the 1920's in few bands. That Italian instrument cost yearly wages of a working man. He had to take a loan to acquire it. After he was partially burned in a fire, he had to sell his dear tool.

I love to play good instruments. If the price has been somewhat higher, I have saved money for some time. And it is nice that a good electric bass is still pretty cheap compared to our classical sisters' and brothers' tools (don't forget the bow...):

https://bishopstrings.com/

https://www.isbworldoffice.com/bass-sell.asp

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

Oh, and I gig all my basses...it's what they're for...

1 hour ago, Monkey Steve said:

this, all day long

If I didn't want to play my bass in front of people, there's no point having it.  And if it picks up a dent or two over time, that's character.  I've bought and sold a few over the years, but I've never bought one as an investment

So folk who are not in bands shouldn't own electric basses?

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1 hour ago, Monkey Steve said:

If I didn't want to play my bass in front of people, there's no point having it.  

 

18 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

So folk who are not in bands shouldn't own electric basses?

 

I read that as 'If *I* didn't want to play a bass.. I didn't read it as 'noone can have one if they aren't gigging', just that he wouldn't.

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6 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I read that as 'If *I* didn't want to play a bass.. I didn't read it as 'no one can have one if they aren't gigging', just that he wouldn't.

Fair enough (and the same for Muzz's comment also?)

I just think gigging bassists can easily fall into the trap of assuming that what we're doing with our basses has more worth than folk who don't gig. But with due respect, that's rubbish. How folk use and enjoy their gear is entirely up to them and if they get pleasure from playing at home or simply enjoying the aesthetic nature of their basses, well that's of no less value to them than to someone who's in a band.

Life ain't purely about utility.

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I wasn't gigging but simply playing music for my own amusement, I'd probably sell all my basses and just keep a guitar and a synth.

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5 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I just think gigging bassists can easily fall into the trap of assuming that what we're doing with our basses has more worth than folk who don't gig.

I'm not sure that many people view that, though obviously some do. I am sure most people understand that other peoples use of something can be different to their own. 

I think more so with the bass than the guitar or piano, a lot of people only view a bass as a means to an end in a band and don't view it as an instrument in its own right.

5 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

How folk use and enjoy their gear is entirely up to them and if they get pleasure from playing at home or simply enjoying the aesthetic nature of their basses, well that's of no less value to them than to someone who's in a band.

Life ain't purely about utility.

Obviously not. My most expensive instrument (admittedly only by a tiny bit) is my chapman stick. I haven't gigged that and I can't see I am going to any time soon!

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3 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I wasn't gigging but simply playing music for my own amusement, I'd probably sell all my basses and just keep a guitar and a synth.

If I wasn't gigging I would try and go down to one guitar, one bass, one stick, one keyboard, one synth module, one roli keyboard, one linstrument and an ewi. And maybe a flute. Oh who am I kidding :D

 

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

So folk who are not in bands shouldn't own electric basses?

I didn’t say that did I?

my earlier post specifically said that I’ll spend my money on what I want and it’s nobody else’s business - why do you then read my comment about why I want a bass as a criticism of anybody else?

however, the comment you’ve taken exception to was to do with the point in the OP about whether people take their expensive gear to gigs or take the cheaper stuff for fear of it getting damaged, and has nothing whatsoever to do with non-gigging bass players

Edited by Monkey Steve

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Just to reiterate: all my basses are for gigging.

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18 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Just to reiterate: all my basses are for gigging.

Mine too, any that don't get gigged get sold. I only play at home to learn material for gigs, it is a form of work, not really a pleasure. For me, all the pleasure is playing in front of an appreciative audience.

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For me it is definitely a pleasure. Yes, I like gigging too, but if I wasn't gigging I would be playing anyway.

i would move on basses that I don't play, and I do try to rotate the, so they all get bogged, but some have done a lot more than others 

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Rather bizarrely for me although I have no guilt in owning decent gear, I’m planning on keeping one cheaper bass for any possible gigs and only using my more expensive ones at home and for the rehearsing-but-not-gigging-band I’m currently working in. I may end up standing in for my old band again and if I do I’ll just take a Mex Precision along. I don’t see it as a step down as I gigged a Mex Precision with them a fair few times anyway.

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In about 1970 I used to play in a pub in Ladbroke Grove every Fri/Sat/Sun and they had at least one fight per week-end. These were real John Wayne style bar brawls. The one rule we had was no matter what happened, never stop playing!

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4 hours ago, chris_b said:

In about 1970 I used to play in a pub in Ladbroke Grove every Fri/Sat/Sun and they had at least one fight per week-end. These were real John Wayne style bar brawls. The one rule we had was no matter what happened, never stop playing!

Image result for rawhide blues brothers

Light 'em up, ride 'em out!

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I don’t feel remotely guilty about having nice gear. If my financial situation changed and I needed to sell it all to pay the rent I wouldn’t feel bad about that either. I could easily get away with an entry level Yamaha fiver or similar if needs be.

No need to justify it. You earned it, spend your money on whatever you like  :) 

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The most expensive instrument I've ever gigged with was a Fender Precision Hot-rod. It belonged to my elder brother who has a fine collection of 6 stringers + a couple of basses. Beautiful instrument as it was, (quite heavy), I was frightened to death of banging it. I feel more comfortable not having £1000 around my neck. I also feel more comfortable driving a 2nd hand Ford rather than a new Bentley. 

My six instruments cost me a total of around £900. Apart from moving to medium & SS I suppose I chose them for their looks. I love the aesthetics of musical instruments. I think it's the pleasure in something that is not only a functional item but also a work of art.

If I were to spend several hundred £s on a bass I think I'd feel a bit self indulgent. Having said that, having a 2 stack of BF One10s is just money well spent.

image.png

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21 minutes ago, grandad said:

I love the aesthetics of musical instruments. I think it's the pleasure in something that is not only a functional item but also a work of art.

^^ This. Nailed it (not literally thank goodness)! 

A bass doesn't have to be either purely functional e.g. only there to be gigged, or something that is "just" an object that you can love looking at and holding. 

Instruments can be both wonderful sounding and a delight to play and also stunning in design as a piece of workmanship. Gratuitous KS pic:

Ken Smith V.png

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Instruments can be both wonderful sounding and a delight to play and also stunning in design as a piece of workmanship. Gratuitous KS pic:

Ken Smith V.png

Goodness me look at that 😍 Always amazes me how thin KS basses are front to back.

That is as fine an example of Craftsmanship as you will ever see...

Edited by CamdenRob
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