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Guitar buyer's remorse

Every guitar player at some point experiences guitar buyer's remorse. It's when you put a bunch of money into a specific guitar only to discover it's not the magical axe you thought it was going to be, and then the sinking feeling sets in of, "Oh, crap.. I spent way too much money on that guitar."

Have I ever experienced guitar buyer's remorse? Yes. But I learned from the experience and know not to do it again.

Guys suffering from guitar buyer's remorse get really, really ticked off at anyone who states the truth about their "prized possession" guitars on the internet and will openly attack anyone in a pathetic attempt to justify their overpriced purchase.

Here's a few things remorse sufferers do.

"You're just a kid"

The sufferer is admitting here he's a clueless old fart that literally bought into the idea that expensive guitars are actually worth it just for a logo on the headstock.

I have some fans that are well over 55 years old. Many listened to what I had to say. Many realized that their expensive guitars are in fact nothing but collectors pieces. So what did they do? They cleaned up their ritzy expensive guitars as best they could, put them away in a case, and then bought a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster.

Eventually one day they'll sell off the ritzy guitars for a nice retirement fund of sorts, and that's fine. In the meantime, they're happily playing their Squiers (or Epiphones or other brand of "low-end" guitar which really isn't "low" at all) and actually enjoying playing guitar for a change.

Quoting the résumé

One thing remorse sufferers love to do is what I "quoting the résumé". This is when some idiot starts blabbing about how long he's been playing and/or how long he's been building and/or how long he's been buying guitars.

I've been playing for over 20 years. Impressed? Don't be, because it doesn't mean anything. I've known guys that have been playing for 30 years and still suck at the guitar, so any time someone blabs about their "experience", I seriously don't care, and neither should you.

Summed up: Just because you've been doing something a long time doesn't mean you're any good at it or know anything about anything. You can quote me on that.


Yes, just the one word, quality.

Remorse sufferers spew this word out a lot, and I sincerely believe they don't even know what it means.

Let's say Guitar A is an Asian-made Epiphone G-400, and Guitar B is a USA-made Gibson SG '61 Reissue.

Now let's say both guitars have bodies that were well cut, finishes that are proper with no obvious mistakes, necks that were properly set, frets that were finished properly, all electronics work like they should, tuners that tune like they're supposed to and everything checks out 100% A-OK on both guitars.

Which guitar has better quality at that point?

The answer is neither. If both guitars were constructed properly and everything checks out, the quality is the same.

And no, "tone" (mentioned next) has absolutely nothing to do with the build quality of a guitar. Zero. Zilch. Nada.


You'll notice I don't use the word tone too often. There's a reason for that. When it comes to guitars, tone, much like quality, can't be measured.

I'll put it another way that's really easy to understand: Nobody can define in words what a guitar tone sounds like.

Example: Define a Stratocaster's tone. You can't, other than saying "sounds like a Strat". You can throw whatever other words you want in there, but it won't matter because the only way to define a Strat's tone is to say it is Strat tone.

In addition, using temperature words like "cool" or "warm" doesn't define a sound either. Remorse sufferers do a lot of that "warm sound" nonsense.

If I said, "Yeah, this Strat has a warm tone on the neck position of about 22 degrees C", does that make any sense? Of course not.

I recognize most guitar players have to suffer from guitar buyer's remorse before they wise up

Unfortunately for most players, they have to take the plunge and spend too much money at least once before they realize they made a mistake. That is just the way of things.

There are plenty of idiots out there spending thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars on guitars, and that they'll go on the internet and spew garbage left and right about their toys that they do everything BUT make music with. Fine, whatever. Let 'em talk. Let 'em spew their garbage.

I'll be busy making music instead.

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