Beware Of "Gear Overload"

by Jerry Mathis

Fifteen years ago or so I wanted a new amp. One that would be loud as all get-out. One that would melt your face!!

So...I went to the local music store and got just that. I regret that now.

Sure...I had a great amp that was versitile. It was big enough and loud enough to use for stage volume without monitors. It sounded GREAT.

Hauling it around, however, turned out to be another story.

For those of us that are unfortunate enough to not be able to afford roadies (and I'm quite sure most of us are not), I found that lugging this thing around from gig to gig was a royal pain in the rear.

Too heavy, too bulky, too loud for some clubs...

I got caught up in "gear overload".

Sure, having a full Marshall stack would be great. Visually impressive even. But would it REALLY be necessary?

If you are blessed to have access to a great PA, large amps onstage really are not necessary. I have seen many, many bands over the years where the guitarist has a small combo. And you know what? That was all that was needed. Had a great sound without all of the bulk.

The same can apply to effects as well. You may be a stomp-box junkie, but let's be real here for a minute. I have seen players with ten-plus effects layed out on a monster-sized pedalboard. Just the cords look like a wiring nightmare! With technology today being what it is, you could probably have the same results using one of the many multi-effects units available.

Interestingly enough, the same is now almost (I say ALMOST) holding true for your tried and true guitar-arsenal. Got a Fender...AND a Gibson...and who knows what else? The new modeling guitars can offer a great diversity of sounds from the same ax - without having to carry them all around.

Don't get me wrong here - having a multitude of necessary gear is great.

But is it really necessary?

Jerry Mathis has 25 years of guitar experience - playing, teaching, recording and performing live. Visit his website to get all of your guitar tablatures, articles, reviews, accessories and more all in one place!

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