It seems that nobody owns a guitar long enough.....

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skaguitarskaguitar Frets: 381
for it to age...fade and get the dings and bumps from gigging that a lot of players covet.

After reading a thread about putting guitars out in the sun to fade them I got to thinking why would you do that...of course you are free to do what you want with your own guitars and I'm not bashing anyone for it.

It just got me thinking that I see people buying and selling guitars at a phenomenal rate and it seems that not many people have that one guitar that they gig and use almost all the time exclusively for years..in some cases their whole career...for it to end up aged...faded and reliced naturally. I have been as guilty of this myself and it's only since I got my 335 that I have only used that for practice ...rehearsal and gigging in the last 6 months. Every now and again during home practice I'll play one of my other guitars for a while but still end practice time on the 335.

Is this a new thing or have guitar player always chopped and changed guitars through their playing careers..?

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

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  • pmbombpmbomb Frets: 493
    It happens - I just bought a 20 year old LP Classic from its original owner, who had it since he was a teenager.

    I think for any individual there are keepers and flippers. The only way to find the keepers is to work through a few.

    Personally I'm hoping my GAS is over. I'm very happy with my Classic and I want to play not peruse.
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 979
    edited April 16
    I've had my les Paul for over 15 years now - It's a 1982. It's certainly showing some battle scars now which I love. It's got loads of memories played into it.  I've thought of selling in the past but every time I pick it up it just feels so right and an old friend. I won't sell it now but I'm looking at buying another guitar. I want another old friend
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9330
    edited April 16
    You don't have to own them that long in my experience, just gig them a lot. 

    My 2012 LP is showing a fair bit of wear, even though I never use this metal pick.


    http://i68.tinypic.com/1zoztdl.jpg
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 527
    I've got a couple of guitars I've had for over 10 years, one I've had for 35 years and the other for the past 15 years.
    However, I've had quite a few that I've moved on quickly, for me there are usually 2 reasons for this - 1: Upgrading to a better specced or model of guitar or and most importantly 2: Playability issues, ie big uncomfortable necks that seems alright when you bought them, but are an absolute pain after a while.
     A lot of players, me included, are searching for a certain of type guitar, ie a 62 tele with a bound edge, without a thought to how it will play more how it looks. So, you sell an ugly duckling Tele that is a breeze to play and end up with a good looking turkey.

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  • BigsbyBigsby Frets: 834
    I'm pretty sure people used to keep guitars longer because they just didn't buy so many - so you got more attached to the guitars you had. Someone getting a new guitar was really news years ago, these days it's expected that you'll meet up with someone and discuss the guitars you've both bought and sold since the last pint...

    I've only got one long-termer now, I sold off a Strat in 2014 that I'd owned since the 80s, leaving me with just my Guild. Bought it new in 1978, and it's my most gigged guitar, though somehow it's far less reliced than most new Fenders. :) It still has some marks where I attached a guitar synth to it in the late 80s. Hopefully this year it'll get a 40th birthday refret! 


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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 761
    I agree with @pmbomb the best way to find what you like to play is to try different guitars. 

    My experience sounds somewhat different from the OP. I started playing about 5 years ago in my early 40s and had both time and money to spend on a hobby, plus a monumental lack of ambition to ever play in front of anyone. 

    So buying and selling guitars has been fun and I've not had an audience to worry about. There is huge enjoyment in learning something new, I love the theory, technique and learning about how different guitars are made and how they sound and feel individual. Of course, I want to try them all. 

    However, I'd do agree that guitars can be dismissed too quickly. I've passed on a couple I now regret. 

    I've had a MiM Strat for about 4 years that - despite being a great guitar - I was luke warm on. However, just recently I've begun to get some very decent tones out of it. Funny how that has coincided with my improvement as a player!

    I guess if you're 15 and can only afford a Squier you make that work. If you're 45 and can buy what you want, it's tempting to keep buying until you sound like Clapton.
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2127
    skaguitar said:


    After reading a thread about putting guitars out in the sun to fade them I got to thinking why would you do that...
    Mate... That was me, and I was joking. I was in the garden and had taken them both out to clean, restring and - astonishingly - play, in a kinda compare and contrast style concept.

    the sun tanning thing was just a wind up: provoking an interesting series of observations :D
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 4155
    skaguitar said:
    for it to age...fade and get the dings and bumps from gigging that a lot of players covet.

    Isn't part of the problem that most guitars these days are poly rather than nitro finished? Rather than wearing/ageing nicely, poly either stays shiny and unmarked, or stays shiny with sizeable cracks and sharp-edged slabs of finish missing. A worn or dinged poly-finished instrument tends to look vandalised rather than used.
    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2140
    JerkMoans said:
    skaguitar said:


    After reading a thread about putting guitars out in the sun to fade them I got to thinking why would you do that...
    Mate... That was me, and I was joking. I was in the garden and had taken them both out to clean, restring and - astonishingly - play, in a kinda compare and contrast style concept.

    the sun tanning thing was just a wind up: provoking an interesting series of observations :D
    You so did it, people went "oh no the neck will warp" now it was all a wind up, nice work : )
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7528
    edited April 16
    I bought my SG at a year old - and for that 1st year of its life it sat on a a guitar stand in someone's front room who couldn't play... they just liked having an "Angus" guitar in their home.
    It was pristine, perfect and even still had those dreadful Gibson Britewire strings on it (removed the moment I got it home). Its now the veteran of *MANY* gigs, mainly hot sweaty and "lively" ones and so it has bloom on the front where my arm has rubbed it, there is some worming on the back where I've dared to play it wearing a belt and the white of the BWB plate is slowly going slightly yellow (even though I don't smoke).

    As for my Les Paul - bought new, has done probably about the same number of gigs as the SG... its got some worming on the back, a scratch on the front where I put it down at the end of a festival performance and didn't look carefully enough at what I was putting it down on. The slightly pink 'aged' plastics are dulling nicely and it's nicely worn in.

    And then there's my 1991 Squier Silver Series Strat... my mum asked me what I wanted for my 21st birthday and was persuaded to part with the £199 needed to buy it from the little music shop on Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. I played that guitar *SOLIDLY* for years as my only instrument, so much so that the wood of the back of the neck is worn down. Its battered, slightly yellowed, all the chrome is dulled, the knobs are ingrained with muck, there are dents in it, there's worming, the trem spring cover is missing, there are odd springs in the cavity (can't remember the story)... Its still my fave Strat.
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6041
    I've had my Start since 1996, my LP sine 2001. that seems quite a long time. Both in very good condition because I look after my stuff. not precious but treat them with the care expensive items should warrant.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1245
    I have two main guitars, the first i bought back in 2006ish and was my guitar for practice, gigs, recording - everything. I'd occasionally play something else but only for a gig or two. My arm has nicely buffed the top of it.
    My second guitar was only bought 18months ago ish, its an upgraded version of the first guitar, so has basically taken over. it's a shame, as i still love that first guitar and would never part with it, but would be nice to see how far the ageing would go..

    I've had other guitars come and go, but it's only these two that will probably stay. 
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2127
    impmann said:
    I bought my SG at a year old 
    Inspiring: by all accounts I was still in nappies.

    (in truth, great to read about your keepers ;) )
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • peteripeteri Frets: 928

    Having gone through a 'life event' a few years back, most of my guitars are new to me.

    For me working my way through a few has been very rewarding and I've ended up with a collection largely made up of keepers.

    I have two guitars from my past - an early 90s USA Standard Strat, never play it, and have tried to sell it a few times - one day I will, but in the meantime I do like seeing the wear on it any knowing it came from me.

    Also have a Yamaha Acoustic from the late 80s, quite scarred now - not from playing but from banging around in cupboards not being played. That just fills me with guilt because it's actually a really nice guitar!

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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    I've had my acoustic for 13 years now, bought 2nd hand and I'm the 2nd owner, don't intend for it to go anywhere unless I ever really need the money. it gets played every day. 
    Only had my mando 6 months, but again 2nd owner and likewise probably won't go anywhere, gets played every day and gets played out couple of times a week.
    Don't have an electric, never really gelled with them. I love listening to electric guitars, but playing them doesn't really do it for me.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2175
    skaguitar said:
    ... I see people buying and selling guitars at a phenomenal rate and it seems that not many people have that one guitar that they gig and use almost all the time exclusively for years..in some cases their whole career...for it to end up aged...faded and reliced naturally. 
    Those of us who do keep and use our guitars don’t post about it. It’s called the Goldilocks syndrome.
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5973
    edited April 16
    'In my time of dying  guitar playing" (43 years) I have only sold one guitar, no amps and no pedals....
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2360
    HAL9000 said:
    skaguitar said:
    for it to age...fade and get the dings and bumps from gigging that a lot of players covet.

    Isn't part of the problem that most guitars these days are poly rather than nitro finished? Rather than wearing/ageing nicely, poly either stays shiny and unmarked, or stays shiny with sizeable cracks and sharp-edged slabs of finish missing. A worn or dinged poly-finished instrument tends to look vandalised rather than used.


    Exactly this.  Some guitars will never age, so to speak.  I've stripped a poly finish from a strat, that finish would stay the same forever.   That's part of the issue, those guitars don't age naturally with the player.

    Should that be important, probably not, but it's a big part of the reason people move the guitars on for nitro versions.

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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    My poly coated ibby has changed colour over the 18 years I've had it. I've played through the finish on the neck down to the wood. It's chipped and dinged etc and you can see the wear all over. 
    I literally lived on it for 10 years, did a music degree with it and God knows how many gigs. 

    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • skaguitarskaguitar Frets: 381
    So it seems there are people who still keep their guitars for a long time and use and gig them extensively ....so to add fuel to the debate..does it tend to be that the people who keep guitars longer are the ones who gig a lot and have them as a tool to do a specific job and the ones who constantly change gear are bedroom players and hobbyists....not that there’s anything wrong with that by the way..but I can see a pattern..?

    “To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1245
    skaguitar said:
    So it seems there are people who still keep their guitars for a long time and use and gig them extensively ....so to add fuel to the debate..does it tend to be that the people who keep guitars longer are the ones who gig a lot and have them as a tool to do a specific job and the ones who constantly change gear are bedroom players and hobbyists....not that there’s anything wrong with that by the way..but I can see a pattern..?
    From my experience.. While i was gigging regularly, i had 1 guitar which i used, with  a line 6 POD HD500 which i used majority of the time. I had/have an amp that was occasionally used and that was it.

    Since I've stopped playing regularly i have gained additional guitars, two amps and a load of pedals. 
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2491
    57Deluxe said:
    'In my time of dying  guitar playing" (43 years) I have only sold one guitar, no amps and no pedals....
    I can relate to this too. I now have 5 electrics and one acoustic, I've not sold a guitar this millenium although I've been threatening to sell one for about 4 years. Previously I've sold my first woolworths electric and a washburn electric acoustic. I don't get all this GAS and flip lifestyle.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2140
    ESBlonde said:
    57Deluxe said:
    'In my time of dying  guitar playing" (43 years) I have only sold one guitar, no amps and no pedals....
    I can relate to this too. I now have 5 electrics and one acoustic, I've not sold a guitar this millenium although I've been threatening to sell one for about 4 years. Previously I've sold my first woolworths electric and a washburn electric acoustic. I don't get all this GAS and flip lifestyle.
    I have 3 electrics, 2 acoustics, 2 amps and various pedals and am a home only player.  I have reached the limit of storage space missus munckee is prepared to tolerate, and believe me she is not a lady to disagree with.  Hence if I want new stuff, which I do, I have to sell to buy.
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 648
    I tend to keep rather than flip, and have owned relatively few guitars since I started playing.  None of them look particularly aged, either, despite not getting huge amounts of TLC.

    So there's a Takamine EG332 bought new in the mid 90s; an LP Studio bought new in 1998; a Fenix Telecaster bought new in the early 00s and then relatively recently a Furch about two years ago and a Guild Starfire just over a year ago.

    The most aging is on the Studio, where the cat sat and chewed it (little bastard).
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  • adamm82adamm82 Frets: 371
    my problem is my tastes change. and I get these ideas and I buy something on a impulse.

    Or my budget isn't quite what I need so rather than wait. for example to buy a Les paul that I wanted for a long time. I end up buying 4 other gibson guitars and a strat that probably ended up costing more than the guitar I really wanted.  

    I think new guitars were a distraction from actually trying to push to learn something new. A new guitar is just gives me the illusion I am getting better as I play it a lot and naturally try new things.

    So I cut down the collection and bought 1 Les paul. So now I have 3 guitars, 1 Les paul junior, les paul traditional and a telecaster. I won't be selling 2 of those anytime soon. 

    I am sure I will add a few more later. but they will be thought about very carefully and saved for appropriately. 

    I'd rather have 3 or 4 I really want than 7 or 8 that are just ok. 

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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    Inactivity in a musical sense always makes me buy more crap I don't need
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19266
    I’ve owned a ‘91 D28 from new - all the wear on it is a result of me playing it - though I’m not sure I necessarily see ‘wear’ as a goal....
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7528
    skaguitar said:
    So it seems there are people who still keep their guitars for a long time and use and gig them extensively ....so to add fuel to the debate..does it tend to be that the people who keep guitars longer are the ones who gig a lot and have them as a tool to do a specific job and the ones who constantly change gear are bedroom players and hobbyists....not that there’s anything wrong with that by the way..but I can see a pattern..?
    Not really...

    I haven't gigged for about 18months due to daft work hours etc. I've got no plans to sell my main guitars.

    I impulse buy *a lot* and some stuff sticks around, some gets flipped on depending on whether I connect with it ot not.
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9146

    I have sold on some guitars I loved, just because I ddn;t really need them.



    I think the flipping is more a symptom of the average guitar player owning more guitars these days.   Most I know have a core of 2 or 3 guitars that don't change very often, and anything in excess of that is likely to be flipped

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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1036
    I tend to buy and keep. Usually I'll buy something to meet a sonic need (or wish). All my electrics are better players than I am so upgrading for playability reasons isn't worthwhile. For example, I've owned my 73 Strat since 1979 (I think). I've owned my 89 EBMM Silhouette since 1989. I like how they both sound so don't covet another Strat-style guitar. 

    Acoustics are slightly different, as my playing could still benefit from guitars that have better (to my ears) tone and better playability. I've played guitars I couldn't afford that I would have bought in a heartbeat if I could - including trading the instrument it would be replacing. So I'm not there yet, I guess. 

    Same for amps. Since 1980, I've owned the following amps as "main" amps. There's been a few others on the periphery, but these are the ones I kept and played for a long time before changing.

    Vox AC30 TB
    Acoustic 165
    Sessionette 75
    Cornford Hurricane
    Rivera Clubster 45

    That's not many in nearly 40 years.

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