The Acquisition Of Things
As a general rule, guitar players are obsessed with gear. The market is flooded with different (yet remarkably similar) guitars, amplifiers and effects pedals. Especially effects pedals.
The Internet has made it worse. There are whole forums dedicated to bitching and arguing over which pedal will give you the closest sound to a particular style of effect manufactured only in March of 1972, and even then the units made at the beginning of March were way better than the ones at the end. Stubbornly and aggressively defended, should someone dare to question or disagree. That is, until something new comes out (preferably in a handprinted box - they sound better), or one of their favorite players comes out in saying they like the ones made at the end of March better.
Is this a fun hobby for a lot of people? Yes, of course it is. Does it detract and distract from actually playing and making music? I think so. I've been guilty of this, but i'm making a conscious decision to change my ways.
I've sold off most of my pedals, keeping only the ones given to me by lovely companies (morally wrong to sell these, though some guitar players do), and the units I feel are, and may be, useful. I own 15 total now, down from a number considerably larger. My live pedalboard is now down to 4 and a tuner. The bare minimum I need to do my job.
I'm recording a new album at the moment. The whole things has been done on the same amplifier and the same guitar. A big dream for many players is the almighty endorsement deal. It was mine too. I've been lucky enough to work with PRS Guitars for many years now (and happily no contract, and aside from some royalties on a short-lived model I had a bit of input in, no money either - a good thing in my eyes. Money makes things more complicated), and I have yet to find a nicer bunch of folks. I'm very lucky, they have been a tremendous support. However, one can feel a little hemmed in, and perhaps like you're putting all your eggs in one sonic basket. I do not want to come across ungrateful, and perhaps I have been greedy in my excitement of being a young musician (although the young part of that may not apply any more!), but out of all the beautiful instruments they have provided me, perhaps only three of them actually see regular use. Is this fair, or right? No, and it makes me feel guilty when I look at them. I've toyed with the idea of sending the unused ones back, but have held off in fear of offending. Perhaps they would be better served given to someone who needs them more than I.
What i'm trying to say, in a very long-winded manner, is this year has taught me a lot.
I'd rather be swimming in the joy of the few, than the obsession of the material many.