Gear red flag - Update!

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Our current bassist is leaving our band this year to concentrate on a big theatre project. All amicable - he'll play out the season (what's left of it) if needed.

I'm the main contact person for bassists wanting to audition. The usual wide variety of applicants to date, but I was struck by an emerging theme. At least 3 applicants stated they'd send me a list of their gear, almost as an opener, or at least one of their main points in the first minute of an introductory conversation. In two cases, gear was promoted before any statement of experience.

They seemed surprised when I remarked we had very little interest in the gear they use, sighting that we'd expect a player to use equipment that delivers a sound they're happy represents what they're trying to achieve.

All instrument musos like to discuss gear amongst their peers, I get that, but to push your gear quality as a primary pitch to other musicians seems odd, or am I wrong? To me. it's a bit like the rep applying for a sales job & wanting to know what car is provided ahead of much more relevant information. If I was introducing myself to a prospective new band, I certainly wouldn't mention my gear unless I was specifically asked.

Anyhow, when I received video / audio submissions from the gear focussed applicants, they were all far below what we're looking for.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
That equipment is being emphasized over acumen is discouraging but not surprising. The Internet has elevated gear obsession to heights of almost fictitious absurdity. By my estimation, any musician with a gear-first outlook needs a significant priority adjustment. What you play is trivial; how you play is pivotal. That's an uncomfortable reality to some, but dodging the truth doesn't alter the laws of the universe.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Ha! It's what they do with the equipment that counts. Good luck auditioning
Indeed!
By my estimation, any musician with a gear-first outlook needs a significant priority adjustment.
Agreed.
I'd screen everyone first by having them send you videos of them playing in bands.

I don't think you're wrong. Looking through possible bullshit...how could that be wrong...right?
We do ask for video / audio. You'd be surprised how many have little or non available.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Out of curiosity, how would you deal with someone who sends you videos and they are ACTUALLY AWESOME, but no gear?
I am sure that is a possibility as well.
 

Thin Shell

Well-known member
That equipment is being emphasized over acumen is discouraging but not surprising. The Internet has elevated gear obsession to heights of almost fictitious absurdity. By my estimation, any musician with a gear-first outlook needs a significant priority adjustment. What you play is trivial; how you play is pivotal. That's an uncomfortable reality to some, but dodging the truth doesn't alter the laws of the universe.
Exactly. I have been a member of another drum forum where gear is the overriding focus. Gear acquisition, flipping and outright hoarding is the norm. Some guys have five, ten, even thirty kits. Some have more than fifty snare drums. The thing is, if you do actually every get to see a video or sound file, their playing is usually average or below.

I don't think I have ever been asked what kind of drums I have. If I were asked during an interview with a prospective band, I would probably just say that it is pro level and it good, reliable condition.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Well?..ok. I remember looking for guitar players back in the day..one of the guys I talked to had a Marshall 100 watt stack..a gibson flying v as well as white strat..hmm?..kinda Hendrix'y..he was a flake on the phone..like he was stoned and spacey. I was impressed by his equiptment and shouldn't have been but when he showed up and set up he was beyond impressive. Now..he didn't really push his equiptment choices initially and maybe it was naive of me to be so impressed by it. This is weird now.....alot of players who had crap for equiptment sounded...kind of like their gear. I'm in agreement with everyone on this thread but sometimes guys that care have gear that alot of times corresponds with their ability.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
It could be a bit more dimensional, as in "this is how I shape my tone and these are the choices" to fit a band sound....or could be "these are my toys, aren't they great?", IDK. I've played with talented players with bad gear and had a significant recording impact...contrary, other musical situations there was alot more talk about gear than actual music. But if you are giving gear specifics to show your tone, might have to be bassist to understand it. Otherwise, it's like telling a non-drummer you own a Slingerland Black Beauty and expecting their awe.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
just a reflection of the times we live in...image is more important than substance every where

any bass audition i have ever had was done on provided amps, so equipment was never a discussion point until later in the process...

i have lost gigs b/c my gear "looked too beat up", even though it sounds great...usually, it was a good filter anyways
 

TK-421

Senior Member
The gear someone uses can say quite a lot about their playing, without you even having to hear a note.

Case in point:

1619570893940.png VS. 1619570859883.png

Which do you think belongs to a classic rocker vs. a metalhead?

Or this:

1619571458881.png VS. 1619571500940.png

If you're in a band that plays weddings and corporate gigs, which drummer would you hire?
 

roncadillac

Member
I've played with many bass players in my time and I've found this to be a universal truth: the one's who use the $1,000 pro level bass usually try to mask lack of ability with quality gear while the one's who play the same beat up Mexican made p bass for twenty years seem to be the most tasteful and skilled.

That's been my experience at least.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I thought the post would lead to that they had no gear and that’s the red flag.

Gear quality over talent? Hey that’s me! 😂

But I wouldn’t pose behind my gear.
I would just show up like everyone else.


The gear someone uses can say quite a lot about their playing, without you even having to hear a note.

Case in point:

View attachment 103828 VS. View attachment 103827

Which do you think belongs to a classic rocker vs. a metalhead?

Or this:

View attachment 103829 VS. View attachment 103830

If you're in a band that plays weddings and corporate gigs, which drummer would you hire?
That’s true TK.
Damn with my kit selection, I’d hate to see what genre pool I’m in!
I guess it comes down to how I look. 🤪
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
The gear someone uses can say quite a lot about their playing, without you even having to hear a note.

Case in point:

View attachment 103828 VS. View attachment 103827

Which do you think belongs to a classic rocker vs. a metalhead?

Or this:

View attachment 103829 VS. View attachment 103830

If you're in a band that plays weddings and corporate gigs, which drummer would you hire?

honestly, the guit player in my thrash metal band plays mostly a Les Paul that looks like that one, and she owns no pointy guitars..., but I definitely get what you are saying
 
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