Yngwie Malmsteem & Nigel Tufnel
Gibson Dark Fire Software Glitch?

Why You Shouldn't Buy A New Guitar in 2009


If you're like me, every few weeks or months you start thinking about a new guitar.  You research the announcements about Gibson's latest Darkfire or Fender's 50th anniversary Jazzmaster guitar and you think "I gotta have that."  Hours are spent trolling the guitar shops, reading magazine reviews, looking for good deals online.  If you've got more guitars than decent pairs of shoes, you've got what Walter Becker calls Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.  It's all good, except for one thing: it takes time away from playing.

So my firm recommendation is: assuming you've already got one decent guitar, don't buy a new guitar in 2009.  Don't think about it.  Don't read about it.  Don't research it.  Nothing.  Nada.  Instead, put your time, money and effort into things that will truly improve your playing: like learning new songs, styles, techniques or scales. 

Last year, I managed to play guitar 360 days of the year.  Between family, work, exercise and travel, that didn't leave a whole lot of spare time.  Admittedly, I had a bit of a binge buying several cheap guitars in the last year to stow at my relatives houses to get more practice time. (And I'll be updating some of these reviews with videos in the coming months.)  Nonetheless, my advice is focus your time on where you're going to get the most benefit: practicing.

(Unless that Nigel Tufnel Ernie Ball "Mr Horsepower" guitar goes on sale.  Then all bets are off...)



With a baby due any day now the chances of me buying another guitar in 2009 are already slim!! Hopefully I will still get to practice though!

Great posting about GAS. I have it bad and have decided to only look when I am at work. HOME time is for playing time...

Congrats Jon...

I do like buying guitars, but is it just me? They just don't sound as good as the older versions. I'd much rather have a Les Paul circa '68 than a brand new one. Or a '63 Strat.

Maybe the older guitars were better, or maybe it's a question of "the older you get, the better they were." ;-)

For folks who cannot afford some of the old classics, at least there are affordable "reissues" on occasion. And I think the workmanship in Korea, Mexico and elsewhere is pretty outstanding.


I found out about GAS after I already had it, too late for me. Be careful, you'll get it too!

A good idea, I suppose. Then again, if you have a really lousy guitar...might be good to pick up a better one, assuming you could afford it.

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