The Importance of Having Good Workable Gear


One of the things I can’t stress enough is the value of good and workable gear. Does it have to be top notch, pro grade? Well, if you can afford it…. why not!?! LOL!! I know some people who can hardly play, that have some premium gear around. The gear at least becomes a good conversation piece and something for their friend’s who actually can play to gloat over. Without shame, I find no harm in that. There are plenty of other people with cars they can’t drive and people with awesome stereo sound systems and huge 40” plasma TV’s to justify a music lovers fantasies! 🙂

I’ve been asked from a teaching/clinician standpoint and from the salesman side of the fence. Questions like; “How much should an instrument cost and what would you suggest”? Inexpensive instruments don’t have to be hard to play. No matter the age, equipment that can be played with ease, gives the instrument a much better chance at being played. An unwanted instrument with playability also has a much better chance of being sold if the owner/player decides they no longer want it or want to play.
Once the instrument is obtained, it needs to be taken care of. Fender makes a lot of money selling “Relic” models. However, a 2005 Fender with a chip of paint missing, warped neck and shorted out control knob would actually have less value. I am a long time subscriber at Church Bass Digest. Someone started a thread in April 2010 titled: “If Your Bass Could Talk, What Would It Say”? Hopefully what I replied can be of help to those of you adventurous enough to read here:

“What would my bass(es) say? They would all say, “Thank you Mr. Ace for taking care of us and keeping us cleaned, polished and humidified”. My basses stay locked in my closet with in hard cases. Each case has it’s own Planet Waves, Small or Medium instrument humidifier (Kyser sound hole version for my Acoustic Electric Bass). My Devon’s with wax finishes go in wood cases that have more air space, so there is more humidity travel. When they leave the house, they are in my super padded, UnderCover double gig bag or an SKB Deluxe bass case.  At the gig, they don’t come out until all of the cables are laid and the amp is set up. During the gig, they live on Ultimate Support Genesis stands. Immediately after the gig – Before anything else is done, they get wiped down and placed back in the case or gig bag. After that, I begin any tearing down of gear, mic stands etc..

Polish for those with Laq or poly finish: Gibson Guitar Polish (White pump bottle with orange wrapping). The Devon’s get a treatment of Dr. Ducks Axe Wax. Electronics periodically get sprayed with Lube Job, electronics cleaner and lubricant.

If something goes wrong – They get trotted down to my buddy Matt Baker @ Action Music Ltd in Falls Church Virginia. See 703-534-4802

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