Steve lays down a challenge: tally up your purchases of the past year, see what you haven''t used in six months and clean house.
|Are You a Gear Addict?|
|Gear Addiction Recovery, Step 1: Your First Guitar|
|Gear Addiction Recovery, Step 2: Your First Amp|
|Gear Addiction Recovery, Step 3: What You Value|
Personally I acquired 7 more guitars with another one on order, 2 amps, about a half dozen pedals and more than a handful of pickups, boxes of strings, picks, cables and other items that seemed miniscule when purchased, but they add up. Oh yeah and a ton of software that some may not qualify as “gear” but it cost just as much. As an addict I pride myself in using all of the typical excuses for acquiring this cornucopia of gear. Here are a few:
- My occupation is that of a musician/composer. I make my living with this stuff so it makes sense that I buy it because they are my tools.
- I write for Premier Guitar and it’s my job to review this gear which makes it only natural to purchase items that inspire me…after all, I am a professional musician (see #1).
- As a professional musician (#1 again) all of this equipment is a tax write-off and everyone knows that with the economy in its current state we need all the help we can get (note politically correct and hot-button tone in excuse).
- Hey, at least I’m not wasting my money on junk that will just lose its value over time. Especially in this economy (see #3) there are bargains to be found everywhere and most of this will increase in value in the near future. And after all this is what I do for a living (see #1).
WAIT A MINUTE! That’s not the point of this article. Let me get back on topic.
We all love our gear and that’s a great thing. The point I’m trying to drive home is if you look back over the year and calculate how much time and money you spent on your addiction, did the end result pay off? I’m not talking about if the guitar, amp or pedal lived up to its hype, I’m asking if you ended up really sinking into and using it or if you simply made yet another conquest and put it on a shelf somewhere while considering your next purchase.
This is where we get into dangerous territory. These days it’s pretty hard to find sub-par gear, especially with the dedicated builders and companies out there making so many great products. The question comes back to are you making the most use of your purchases? Let me ask that again. Are you making the most of your purchases? If I’m totally honest I have not made the most of some of my purchases. There are pedals that got used for a project or two that are now sitting in a drawer. There are a couple of guitars that hang on the wall but haven’t been played in months. These are items I am going to give another shot at and see if they will get enough use to justify keeping them. My guess is they won’t and that means it’s time to enforce my New Year’s Resolution. They gotta go.
In the next few weeks I’ll be reconciling my business’ books for 2009 and the numbers will be right in front of me. It’s not going to be a small number and the tax write-off will not be enough to totally justify what I spent. Perhaps you can do the same and total up how much you spent last year. There’s nothing wrong with buying gear and buying helps keep our economy rolling, but make sure you give these purchases your attention. Somebody put a lot of time into creating them and a little respect will go a long way.
I’ll leave you with one final question to ponder until next month. Have you already planned out your tax return gear purchase?!