I really like gear…
I already have some piles of it, and if money were no object, I’d surely have an awful lot more.
Every cymbal has its own personality, every snare drum plays just a little bit different… The brands, the finishes, the hammer marks… There’s an infinite amount of beauty in these percussive instruments while they’re just sitting still – and at the hands of a player, they come to life!
It’s a universe of its own, with history and nuance and drama. There are loyalists and eccentrics, innovators and traditionalists and downright hoarders.
To be an instrumentalist of any kind is to have some kind of relationship with the instruments themselves. There’s no wonder we place such value on these devices, that the objects of our music making become (to us, at least) more than mere tools. They become extensions of who we are, and identifiers of our heroes.
There’s a reason we know what a “Bonham kit” is… That Jimi played Strats and Jimmy played Les Pauls…
We know the names of iconic instruments we don’t even know how to play, and underneath it all, is the desire to accumulate these things – to get to know as many of them as we can.
There are hobbyists and collectors and historians, and worse – those misguided folks who think great gear is a substitute for skill or ideas… And that, friends, is where we get to the topic at hand.
Gear is fantastic and fascinating. There IS something to be said for using the best available tools… But the moment you put the equipment above the player, you’ve gone right off the rails.