Why Don't People Learn How To Use Gear?

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CustomsLou
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Post by CustomsLou » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:27 am

I am continually amazed at how little some people know about the equipment that they buy and use.

I can't tell you how many times I've been in my friend's store and have seen people that have very little idea what their gear can do.

My friend sold this guy (that he's known for years) a nice G&L active bass last week.

He said that the G&L bass started "crackling" after a few minutes of playing at home.

He brings it back, my friend can't find anything wrong with it.

He gives the guy a nice ESP active bass, worth $350 more, for no additional money.

The next day he calls and says that this one is "crackling" too.

I was there when he brought back the ESP on Saturday.

He came in with the bass, an Ampeg amp head, cords, everything.

We told him to plug it into an Ampeg head in the store, not his head.

He plugs it in, turns the ESP boost all the way up, and everything all the way up on the head, including the gain.

Max boost, max gain, everything, and then starts hammering the strings so hard that they vibrate off the frets because the action on the ESP is so low.

Vibrating frets/strings, max gain and boost, how do you think that bass sounded?

No clue about what he was doing, and he said that he's been playing for years.

Another killer- amps with digital models, effects and programming built in like the Vox Valvetronix or the Marshall MG series.

I bet that maybe 10% of the people that buy them actually know how to utilize all of the features that they have.

Or those huge multi-effects units- how many of them are fully understood and utilized?

There's no point in buying gear and then not knowing how to use it properly.

Pacemaker
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Post by Pacemaker » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:38 am

I'd guess that for most people, just having gear to play music with is enough. Not everyone is as aware of their gear surroundings as we all might be.

MaxRossell
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Post by MaxRossell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:46 am

I never understood why the <i>first</i> thing kids usually get when they start buying amps and so on is all that fancy DSP-loaded, amp-simulation technology amplifiers with twelve channels and a billion presets. Surely it's better to start simple.

Taronja
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Post by Taronja » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:05 am

i guess some people play music for fun and learn what they want and need to. it all comes with experience and its those who love and have passion to play that actually learn how to use and buy good gear. some people just are not good with technology. im not really surprised at you in-store experience's, this is where most people go to just start to understand these things.

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RockerAIC
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Post by RockerAIC » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:09 am

Show him how to tweak it correctly. If he still puts everything on 10 after you show him, then he's just a moron.

Some people just don't know, but some people don't know and don't care. There's a big difference between the two.

MaxRossell
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Post by MaxRossell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:09 am

Everyone should read Robert Pirsig's <i>Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance</i>.

Joey22

Post by Joey22 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:03 am

I see your point...Although, if you can't drive like Dale Earnheart...Should you not buy a car?

Ohara
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Post by Ohara » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:22 am

What is that old saying? Ignorance is bliss. Sounds like the guy is heading for a blown speaker cab and amp head in the near future. I agree with the multi efx, in order for a person to fully understand the capabilities of those things you need to first read the manual, which in my case is not always gonna happen as in most cases I would assume, and secondly having the time and patience to actually learn how to use each function the way it is meant to be and thirdly actually being able to hear a good tone, which there are a lot of people in the world that can play but can't actually hear what they are playing. Sounds like the guy needs lessons on how to actually use an amp properly, but unfortunately most stores don't offer that kind of service, but they will spend five years to teach you how to play the notes just not how to make them sound good, that is an acquired art form. :)
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ilovepie
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Post by ilovepie » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:49 am

Sounds like he is so paranoid about having everything perfect that he is creating his own problems:o so sad...

MaxRossell
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Post by MaxRossell » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:58 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="2" face="Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Joey22</i>
<br />I see your point...Although, if you can't drive like Dale Earnheart...Should you not buy a car?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Not the same argument.

The argument here is that you shouldn't buy a car if you don't understand why the tank needs to have gas in it.

Stainboy
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Post by Stainboy » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:27 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="2" face="Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by MaxRossell</i>
The argument here is that you shouldn't buy a car if you don't understand why the tank needs to have gas in it.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

No, the argument here is that you shouldn't be blabbering on a cell phone while careening across six lanes of freeway at 40 mph.
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CustomsLou
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Post by CustomsLou » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:23 pm

We showed him how to use the amp properly, especially in conjunction with the active bass features.

While we were doing it he said that his friend told him what to do over the phone, but apparently it didn't sink into his thick skull.

This guy is no kid, he's playing for years and has a lot of gear, according to him.

No doubt none of it is used properly.

damienwatt_au
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Post by damienwatt_au » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:48 pm

when i was a bartender some i got talking with some guy who was a professional session player.
i asked what amp he had
he said ' o just some vox valvetronix... its realllllll nice, what amp do you have"?
i reply ' o i got a Orange AD140 its pretty decent!'
he looked at me strangly and sez' what the eff is an orange?'

sounds like a pro session player to me...
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nguideau
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Post by nguideau » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:19 pm

Definitely, this is why I just like to plug straight into the amp and play. Occasionally will use an OD or fuzz, but no massive pedal boards for me. Just a tuner.

Now I know a lot of guys on here use pedal boards... I'm not insulting pedal boards... if anything I'm saying that I'm just too simple and don't want to do all the work to figure out the best sequences/etc. to get things sounding right! :)
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Neiloler
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Post by Neiloler » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:59 pm

I am amazed at how much tone I can get when I concentrate on squeezing every last drop out of the gear I currently own. I rather have gear I can use than to drop more money on gear I can't.

Very funny story Lou, haha. While it doesn't prove that tone is all in the playing or all in the amp/gear, it does prove that tone has to be somewhere in the head, and most certainly tone isn't in the wallet. ;)

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