Spending money on a lifestyle or hobby is an easy purchase because it makes you feel good. However, the amount you spend is up to you, and expensive gear is not necessary at first for two reasons:
- Cheap gear can get you pretty far
- You may not know yourself as an artist yet.
Musicians go through life cycles when it comes to their art. Any interest typically starts out as a simple goal or desire to emulate something you have always wanted to do or become. For me it was Nirvana in the late 90’s. Being from Seattle, I found their story to be elusive, and the music was dirty, rebellious and iconic. My interest in Nirvana made me want to play guitar and start a band.
Now that I have been playing for over 10 years, things have changed dramatically in terms of the gear I use and love. For most of my initial years I used cheap amps, cheap guitars and cheap pedals. Which at the time was all I needed in order to make noise and tell people I was in a band… Now, my needs are much different. I play music because of the way it makes me feel and the outlet it gives me to express myself. This is when it makes sense to spend money on better gear, because it comes naturally. You are in search of products that enhance your experience.
When your perspective as an artist changes from aesthetic to passion the world of gear becomes addictive. A multi effects pedal or cheap amplifier simply does not cut it anymore. This is also when you truly understand who you are as an artist. You have now surpassed the time of learning songs you like into the realm of creating songs you love. Now when I make a purchase it is for a very specific reason and usually entails hours of research before making a decision. This is one main reason we created the ESO Strap. We were looking for a strap that was comfortable and didn’t have the inflated look of most of the others did.
Final thought: both cheap, and expensive gear have their place, but when the decision is being driven by self-fulfillment as an artist spend the extra money to enhance your experience. It’s worth it.