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And then there were two (guitar minimalism)


Okay, technically three.

I just parted with 4 guitars and replaced them with a new Fender Stratocaster.

The details of the new guitar will be covered in my next article, but for now I'll just say in brief that the guitar is a new Fender Player Stratocaster in a color called Surf Pearl.

As of now I only have two working guitars. My first guitar, a 1989 Squier II Stratocaster, and the new 2021 Fender Player Stratocaster. I also have a non-working 1993 Fender Stratocaster that is in pieces at the moment (it needs a neck, among other things.)

The guitars that are gone are the SX Furrian Fat, SX Furrian, Glarry GJazz and Glarry GTL. Those were all traded out.

This also marks the end of my Telecaster phase.

The hoard is thinned yet again

Every few years it seems guitars find their way into my living space and I have to flush them out. Before getting the '21 Strat I had six guitars, and now it's three. At my worst, I had seven. I've never been in double-digit territory with my number of guitars.

The main benefit of owning a bunch of guitars is you get to try a bunch of body styles and pickup configurations. My three Tele-style guitars were all different. One had traditional S/S pickups, the other had S/H and the third an S/S but with semi-hollow body and "ashtray" bridge.

The main drawback of owning a bunch of guitars is you can only play one at at time. This means guitars purposely have to be rotated in regular play just to keep them working right.

In other words, I don't like owning a bunch of guitars because they all have to be played, and all have to be maintained. After a while, rotating the instruments feels like a job you don't even get paid for, and that's no fun.

The dumbest thing I bought...

...was the bass. True, what I had was dirt cheap (under $100 new,) but the exact same thing happened that always does.

I buy a bass thinking that yeah, I'll use this thing all the time for bass backing tracks. The bass is bought, I'm all sorts of happy at first, it gets played for a couple of weeks, and then gets put on a stand and goes unplayed. And sure enough, I look at that bass later and question why the hell I bought the thing in the first place. That's when it gets traded out.

A bass for me is always a "sounded like a good idea at the time" purchase. At least I was smart enough to purposely go super cheap with it this time around.

For now, I'm done with basses unless I go all stupid again and buy another one.

Bass will now be done either by detuning my guitar or just using my synth.

Why the Stratocaster again?

I could have traded out all those guitars for a Fender Telecaster in the same color I bought my Stratocaster in, and for literally hundreds less. But no, I went Strat.

The main reason was ergonomics. The Stratocaster body with its contours feels better playing sitting or standing. With standing play in particular, I can angle the Strat body so the neck stays up whereas I can't with a Tele body without putting the strap through a belt.

The second reason was the sound. I've come to appreciate Stratocaster tone again. However, this is largely due to how Fender is making the Player Stratocaster these days.

I'll cover this more in my next article, but I greatly appreciate the Player requires no mods. It has a nice set of alnico 5 pickups and comes factory installed with tone control wired in on the bridge-only pickup selector position. This breaks with tradition as Strats typically don't have tone control wired there, but I very much welcome it as it makes that pickup selection so much more useful. And oh yes, I do use that tone control there.

The third reason is that I've come around to appreciating the Stratocaster overall again. I was anti-Strat for a long time. Not anymore.

There is The Big Question, will I keep it? Well, I just got the thing, so I have time to return the guitar should it not work out. But to answer the question, I'm mostly certain I will keep it unless it develops some wacky problem.

Next article will detail the story of the guitar purchase and other things. I actually wanted the Buttercream finish version and had no intention of buying a Stratocaster in Surf Pearl, so it will be an interesting read on why I got the one I did.

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