In recent years with the rise of social media, the rise of groups on Facebook talking about gear have also begun to rise. You can’t shake a stick without poking the proverbial gear talking bear. Yes Ivan has bear now. Including my little gear corner of the internet. I’m nothing special.
In one group in particular, there are people who have obviously rose to popularity/have become respected members of the community who you just don’t question and you respect their opinions usually without question. I’m not sure how that happened and neither are they. In fact sometimes they dislike all the attention. But regardless, it’s obvious they know their stuff. I’ve personally met a couple of these people or even had some very brief one on one conversations with them and yes, I do respect them and I like to think that the respect is mutual after these conversations. There was no questioning each others use of capos, past use of music stands, or choice of pedal companies. Well that last one yes because lets face it, we all get opinions from each other. Too many times I see people look down on others for these and other things. You almost can’t go a day without seeing a post or comment on one of those subjects. This might be a bit of an over exaggeration but that doesn’t justify the times it happens.
Ryan and Steve of the 60 Cycle Hum Podcast made a good point on their most recent episode that a lot of people are scared to share their board on social media because they don’t have Strymon pedals or what many would consider “good” pedals in general. Which I get. I started out with a $100 multi effects. Most of the time I feel like it’s more based on the brand than the actual pedal itself. Like for me, I personally own and use one of the more expensive delay pedals and one of the cheapest. If I had written the cheap one off because of the brand, I would have missed out on a cool little pedal. Then there’s brands like Boss. Or maybe it’s just Boss… But it feels like if you own a vintage DM-2, you’re one of the cool kids. But own a DS-1 or Metal Zone? You might as well go hide in the corner… I know that’s a bit extreme but you get my point. It sometimes seems people get judged on their gear or musical knowledge by the gear they play when in all reality, that’s an unfair way to judge. Gear doesn’t equal talent. Gear does not define you. I know some very talented musicians and they’ve openly admitted to me they don’t know much about gear. And that’s totally fine. I personally feel I’m the opposite of that though. I know gear but I’m totally not on par with where I should be musically for the amount of time I’ve been playing.
So why do musicians sometimes feel the need to question other peoples knowledge and/or musician? Do we really need to measure scale length that much? We’ve all already gained the talent to play an instrument and invested countless hours into perfecting our tools to the best we can at the moment. Just because someone can’t play a F diminished minor second suspended and uses a capo doesn’t mean they cant tell you the difference between the TS9 and 808 or say that they’re not a real musician . I respect people that play pawn shop manager specials and $30 pedals having to use music stands for gigs as much as I do people with $5000 custom made guitars and every Strymon pedal and a Klon on their board that has every song ever memorized. We all have the same end goal and that’s creating music.
Now this isn’t a call to arms to make a difference at all. And Im not butt hurt from times it may have happened to me. Im just saying this to the kid (or adult) out there that’s just starting out. Or the guy or gal out there that’s having to be the budget musician. Keep it up. Be proud of what you have if it works for you. Be proud of your investments.