Gear Friday: Why so much gear?

I get asked quite often, "Why do you need so much gear?"

Let me start with PA systems.

If I were to take 4 18's, my big mains, 6 monitors, and 15,000+ watts to a small bar, not only would half of the equipment not fit in the venue, the band would be so loud nobody would stay. Add to the fact that this stuff is heavy and it's extreme overkill. So, I have 3 setups. Small, medium and large if you will. This allows me to match the system to the venue, anything from small and intimate to outdoors and loud.

So some of you are saying "Sure, that makes sense, but why so many guitar amps?"

Well, again, I don't need a 4x12 for every venue. In fact, I don't ever use a 4x12 when out on stage any more. They're great for looks, but heavy and overly loud on stage. I usually opt for a 1x12. However, when recording, each cabinet has different speakers and has a different sound. So, I like to keep a few options around for that, as well as a few options on amps. I use my Blackstar most of the time, but my Orange, Line 6, Crate, Dean Markley or Fender have all been known to get some use when the right tone is needed. And yes, bass amps vary quite a bit too, so same thing goes there.

That brings us to guitars. Why do I need so many of those?

Let me count the reasons.

1) Variety of tones. Yes, I like to get that right at the source as well as the rest of the signal chain.

2) Variety of playing styles. Some are great for open chords, some better for bar chords, some for rock rhythm, and some are more comfortable for leads.

3) Variety of genres. Some lend themselves better to blues, some to classic rock, and some to metal. The right tool for the job is always a good thing.

4) Variety of looks. I'd never play my BC Rich at church, and wouldn't grab my Gretsch for a gig with a metal band. Some look great under black lights when you want to stand out, while others are better for blending into the background when the singer should be the focus. Right tool...

5) Creativity. Sometimes, grabbing a different guitar can break a creative slump, so I prefer to border on the "obscene number" instead of on the "just the essentials" end of the scale.

6) I love them all. Does it really matter if I have more instruments than what I really need? It's a collection... no different than people with 100's of stuffed animals, salt and pepper shakers, figurines, hats, or even multiple cars.

I'm interested in hearing what reasons you have for being questioned on the amount of gear you own. Obviously, some people have a lot more gear than I do, but I think we all have some of the same underlying reasons.


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