Why do guitarists buy so many guitars? Here are 5 main Reasons.

It’s not an uncommon complaint of parents, girlfriends, room-mates and so forth, that guitarists tend not settle for one or two guitars, but 4, 5 or more. To an outsider and even a beginner, it seems barmy, after all, how many guitars can you play at once? How many do you actually need? Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend the money on one, really, really good guitar? As you can probably tell by the title of this article it’s often not as simple as that. There are many reasons why multiple guitars are desirable and even necessary.

Guitar Selection

By Elderly Instruments (Courtesy of Elderly Instruments) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1. There is so much variety
This is the most obvious answer, there is a huge variety of sounds and shapes of guitars. You could not possibly own every style of guitar, but many session musicians need to play almost every style of music. Owning and using only one style of guitar would be a massive compromise for this, at least for recording. A versatile guitar can play a variety of styles very well, but oftentimes a song will need a strat sound, or a tele sound, or a Les Paul sound. Trying to mask the natural characteristics of your guitar to achieve the tonal characteristics of a different guitar is not always good enough in every situation.

7-string guitar

By Picture released to the public domain. (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 2.Restringing my Floyd Rose guitar to a heavier gauge for “drop B”
tuning is a ballache, now I have much more time for activities.

Nuff said, a spare guitar for drop-tuning is a valid excuse, let’s move on….

3. They’re not all guitars!
Basses, ukes, acoustics and electrics shouldn’t all be tallied up in the overall number of guitars. They are DIFFERENT instruments. They are closely related when considering the great diversity of musical instruments, but they all have major differences in sound. I own a uke, a bass, and an acoustic, and ⅔ of them see no use 99% of the time. But yeah. They’re there if I need to record a bassline or a soundtrack to an advert for a sunny holiday resort, so SHH.

4. “I’m a gigging musician, and I broke a string / strap fell off / dropped my guitar on a crowd surfer’s face, I need back-ups!”

We gigging musicians have all had a string breakage on stage or will do at some point in time. It is inevitable. Re-stringing mid-song is far from ideal, and probably unacceptable in a professional situation (unless you’re Edward scissor-hands). Having a backup guitar, that’s there, ready and waiting onstage is a life-saver.

5. Cos it looks damn cool, ok?!
The more guitars you own, the more your inner “mojo”. Anyone who claims this is compensating for lack of girth in the man-area can be dismissed as jealous.

Guitar collection

By Roadside Guitars (Compound Collection Uploaded by clusternote) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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