Millions of musicians every year suffer from this very common affliction.
Drummers are no different.
Symptoms include sweating, lack of sleep, and talking to yourself. Your search history is an endless stream of forums and reviews, and you’ve discovered that against all the odds you’re able to carry multiple, yet completely opposing opinions in your head at the same time. You’re pretty sure that you’re about to lose it completely, possibly in a public place. You’re scared.
What you’re suffering from is a standard case of GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome, and you are not alone. Every musician has suffered from this affliction at some point. It’s the all-consuming desire to expand your collection of gear, and it gets us all eventually. Bank accounts have been drained and marriages put to the test, but by god there’s been some lovely gear bought. It is typified by an uncontrollable urge to buy, beg, borrow or steal the latest piece of musical equipment seen in a store, in a magazine, on TV or on another musician.
Here is the Just Drums overview for the stages of GAS, and will help you understand the signs and treat the symptoms of the syndrome. Read on, and remember: it’s going to be OK…
There was a time when you loved everything about your drums: the perfect finish, the tone of the toms after new heads and tuning.
But of late, every time you see it you just… hate it. It makes you feel sick, like every other drummer playing something better and laughing at you behind your back. You feel cheated. Your kit simply isn’t as pretty as all those other kits, the ones online and in Modern Drummer have prettier finishes and fatter sounds. The grass is greener – and so is that high-gloss DW Collectors you’ve dreaming of.
You’ve seen the drums you want, and they’re now hard-wired into your brain. Only this kit can bring happiness. With it in your hands, your playing will improve and you’re drumming will skyrocket to the next level.
Without it, the future is bleak: your family will leave you, women will smirk behind your back and men will laugh in your face. You don’t just want it, you need it, to the point that you’re not entirely sure you’ll survive without it. It’s time to start edging towards making this new purchase a reality. To the Google machine!
If there’s one thing that defines the 21st century shopping experience, it’s the paralyzing indecision that comes after a couple of hours spent poring over reviews of a product that you thought you wanted.
For drummer, the problem is much, much worse. Everyone – everyone – will have an opinion on your potential purchase, regardless of whether they’ve played it or not. One minute you’ll be feeling positive having read a lengthy, seemingly well-informed review, the next you’ll see 200 comments below it that systematically destroy every positive point.
This is GAS crunch time. For those with a low-level infestation, the internet is usually enough to delay the idea of buying another set, snare, or cymbal, at least for a few weeks. But if the GAS is strong with you, no amount of online banter can alter the course you’re on.
You’re education on the gear is done and you’ve weighed all the options. Time to call up the boys at Just Drums to make this happen.
You finally stand before the piece of gear you’ve been lusting after, and it is glorious. Your hands are sweating and you’re starting to shake. The first hit is like a bolt of lightning: this is the one. This is the snare drum that will change your life and quite possibly the entire course of musical history. It is going to make everything alright for everybody.
Have you got GAS? (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)….I know have! The term “GAS” was coined by Walter Becker in 1996 in his article G.A.S. in Guitar Player Magazine as “Guitar Acquisition Syndrome”. The term started to be frequently used by guitarists and spread out to other people of creative professions who were familiar with similar tendencies. As it no longer concerned guitars only, GAS then became “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”.
GAS is NOT the same thing as collecting. In fact, many people find that the collecting of instruments is as much a joy as playing them (particularly if you have the financial means to collect).
GAS differs in that the compulsive need to “tweak your rig” supersedes the desire to improve as a player, compose music, record, (and if you want) seek gigs. Another common trait of a GAS-inflicted individual is the tendency to impulsively trade in a perfectly good piece of equipment for a seemingly more desirable piece of equipment (often at a loss of money) and later regret the transaction. Remember also GAS is highly contagious, and particularly so among drummers!
The goal here is to get stuff that you’re happy with and makes you sound good… not stuff you’ll want to sell in six months. So let us help you. We can help educate you through the murky world of reviews, videos, forums, and anything else the Internet throws at you. We’re confident to say we know our stuff, and that is because we are in the fortunate position to get to physically handle this gear day in and day out. We’ll help you stop the “trial and error” purchases, and restore some confidence in your gear selection!
Acquiring new gear is great, G.A.S is bad.
We’re here to assist however we can to keep you on the right path.