May 15, 2019 by Klaus Crow
photo by Karynsig
Isn’t it great when you can just focus on guitar playing without distractions.
Distractions are not only caused by Internet, TV and the people around you, but also from having too much stuff.
Too much gear (fx, pedals, etc.) or even thinking about gear will distract you from playing. Too much recording stuff, mixers and outboard effects will distract you from creating.
The last few weeks I got rid of a lot of stuff I haven’t used in over a year. I sold and gave away: Pickups, multi-effects, wires and pedals. I’m also busy scanning the tablature from my guitar magazines and books I will intend to use. The magazines and books will go away. It is great to know what you have and use what you need. I feel liberated.
I don’t say you need to lose every lovely piece of gear you have, but try keeping it to a minimum. Keep it simple. Get rid of what you don’t use. It makes life easier. It will give you piece of mind so there is only the music left to focus on whether you perform, compose, record or practice.
Wouldn’t it be great to simplify every aspect of guitar playing and feel free.
Having less gear also means you don’t have to worry about:
– maintaining your gear.
– carrying your gear.
– reading boring manuals.
– broken gear of parts.
– repairing your gear.
– wire problems or empty batteries.
– designing presets.
– losing presets.
– forgetting to bring certain gear with you to a gig.
– storage space (at home, on stage, in the studio).
Here are some useful steps to become a minimalist guitarist:
1 – Simplify gear. Get rid of gear you haven’t used for over a year (amps, cabinets, pedals, multi-effects, preamps, etc.), unless you are absolutely sure you are going to use it anytime soon.
2 – Less guitars. Get rid of guitars you never use. Sell them on E-bay or give it to someone who can really use it. Surprise a good friend or family member.
3 – Upload guitar magazines and tablature books. Scan all the good articles or tabs into your computer or laptop and give the magazines to someone else. Upload your tabs on Google Docs so you can reach them from anywhere you like.
4 – Minimal recording gear. Keep your recording gear as minimal as possible. Use a laptop, a sequencer and a small interface. Be effective and efficient. Be mobile.
5 – Keep recordings simple. Recording is about creating. Record a song in the least possible takes. Be the best you can be. Go for authenticity. Don’t lose yourself in editing. Keep your recordings as pure and live as possible.
6 – Get rid of rusty wires, worn picks & strings, anything useless and broken.
7 – Minimize your overall setup. Take the least possible guitars and equipment with you as possible wherever you are, wherever you go. Set yourself free at home and on stage.
8 – Essential guitar practice. Focus your guitar practice on what is necessary. Learn what you need to learn. Don’t goof around. When you practice you practice. Concentrate, play and breathe.
9 – Online music storage. For the advanced minimalist: Rip your CDs, save them on your laptop and Ipod. Give your CDs to music lovers. Save your music on an online storage www.Adrive.com so you can access your music from anywhere.
10 – Buy less. Love the minimal guitar lifestyle. Play and create.
When you buying something new, get rid of something else.
I appreciate your comments on this post. Thanx in advance.
Kevin Lucas says
Simplicity is a great thing when it comes to guitar playing and the lifestyle that comes with it.
Thanks for the inspiration! I will be back reading your posts.
Klaus Crow says
Thanx for your support.
Keeping things simple has given me more time to play, practice and compose.
It makes sure I don’t waste my time on things that don’t really matter.
Back to basics.
Nice article :) Less is still more!
I’m thinking you are right!
Klaus Crow says
Less stuff means more space and more time.
Thanks for reading the post.
Acoustic Guitar Life says
Less is definitely better when you’re trying to concentrate and practice. For me that meant leaving things unplugged and getting back to basics with an acoustic. Great article with loads of truth…keep it up!
Hey Klaus, thanks again for this fantastic blog, Im recommending it all over the place, Ive been doing a huge clear out and sold loads and feel like i have the things i need and use which has been great, just wondering if you could recommend what you would use as a laptop, sequencer and interface and which ones you use. Its my next thing Im sorting out having sold my old huge unnecessary recoder at last! Thanks again
Arleen Armantage says
Just happened upon your blogpost, Klaus. Interestingly, I’d just created some time and space in my own life by clearing out various “stuff” that had accumulated over the past year. With this increased clarity I can once again envision giving myself some time for learning to play the guitar! Will definitely keep your refreshing minimalist guitar lifestyle in mind!