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Esoterica Electrica

Our columnist considers why we love to accumulate so much gear.

I’ve got stuff. Lots of stuff. It fills up my home and my shop. One of the many things that I’ve collected over the years are backstage passes. My occupation has taken me to a lot of shows—sometimes two or three a night. I’d come home and throw the evening’s pass into a box on a shelf in my coat closet. When the box got full, instead of tossing it, I’d put it away and start another one. This went on for decades. I probably just saved those passes for the same reason I’ve wound up with a lot of things—I like stuff. But not just any stuff. I like good stuff, quality stuff, interesting stuff. As a consequence, I have a lot of it. I’m betting a lot of you do too. Maybe you started young, by collecting trading cards. Maybe you came to it later in life. Maybe you’re thinking of tossing off the anchor and sailing away free.

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Calling all pedal lovers! You could win one of SIXTEEN pedals in this year's I Love Pedals giveaway. Come back daily for more entries, giving you dozens of chances to win! Giveaway ends March 1, 2024.

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When it comes to making high-quality guitar content, Snarky Puppy—whose latest album, Empire Central, was recorded live in the studio—are at the forefront.

Photo by Brian Friedman

In the face of current events, we’ve witnessed the steady and resilient progression of the guitar industry.

Despite the tough times we’ve been facing over the past few years, the guitar world has kept on ticking. By all visible measures, the industry has been doing well, both for sellers of musical gear and for content creators. There has also been a resurgence of live shows, and even with the ebb and flow of infectious disease, the marketplace for live concerts is gathering steam. So, what has changed in our journey to the “new” normal?

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Trying to figure out how to mix up your musical life this year? Here are some ideas.

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Here are the good and bad habits to look for when you’re watching a builder at work.

It’s fun to binge-watch YouTube videos, and for guitarists there are a plethora of them to behold. There are mashups of metal and funk, as well as never-before-seen footage of classic acts in every genre. Then, there are the how-to videos that have helped me and countless others learn new fretboard moves. My favorites are the ones that decode songs, unlocking finger positions and chord voicings that have eluded me for years. But next to that, I enjoy watching guitar-making videos. As a builder whose 50-year career has allowed me to tour and work in dozens of guitar factories and shops, you might wonder why on earth I would subject myself to this. The answer is that you can always learn something new if you know what to watch for. New and correct information is certainly what most of us are hoping for when we spool up a video.

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