How many guitars is too many?

too many guitars?

How many guitars is too many ??

This is an emotive subject and I’ve been debating it in my head for a couple of weeks now. To some people if you own 3 guitars it might be 2 too many, to someone else 15 isn’t quite enough. That’s how difficult a subject is is to talk about. Really it’s all down to the individual, their needs and their circumstances. You can also consider that some people are ‘collectors’ in the real sense and just buy for the fun of owning a certain brand or model..for them it’s all down to how much cash and physical space they have. Others might buy for future investment purposes (that’s a whole subject worthy of a future blog!) and others collect simply in their search for guitar tone nirvana. Professional guitarists will tend to collect for necessity to meet the needs of their work.

This is a subject though that very close to my heart. Over the years I must admit to at one point in time owning something like 42 guitars of various shapes and size !. For me back then and still today it is all about the variety of tone that different guitars can give you. But looking back at my height of collecting with that in mind even at 42 guitars I think I was only scratching the surface !

I must admit even today having had a massive clear out of guitars in recent years and still continuing to buy and sell guitars I currently own between 15-20 guitars !. These days though I have to justify each one though in my head as to why it should be in the collection but it’s still the variety that’s a deciding factor….and these days money and physical space. I still live in the same house as my time with 42 guitars. Looking back now I really don’t know where I put them all !

So…how many is too many ?....Well we’ve already established there isn’t a definitive answer to that…so let's think about it a different way…what’s the minimum you could have if you want to cover all the different types of guitars…Here’s my thoughts..

  1. An acoustic 6 string guitar - this is a must for any collection
  2. An acoustic 12 string guitar - not essential..but why not ?
  3. A nylon strung classical - just to be complete. I still find them a bit of a challenge to play with their wide and flat fretboards
  4. A dobro - must admit I’ve never had one…yet !
  5. A Stratocaster style guitar. It doesn’t have to be a Fender but a 3 pickup single coil guitar
  6. A Telecaster style guitar ditto
  7. A double Humbucker loaded guitar - This could be anything from an Epiphone Les Paul to a PRS Custom 24. There’s so much variation on this subject
  8. A P90 loaded guitar
  9. A hybrid…HSS or HSH or a Humbucker bridge and P90 neck (my favourite)
  10. A ‘full size’ semi-acoustic - Like a 335 style or a Gretsch etc
  11. A ‘semi hollow’ guitar - Like a PRS Semi-Hollow or a Thinline Telecaster
  12. A single pickup guitar - these are a great learning tool for your volume and tone control
  13. A Bass Guitar (to be complete)

And then there’s the question of Stop Tails and Tremelo systems…that could add another 6 guitar types and hey presto…we get to 20 guitars !. Any more than that (in my book) and you’ve got too many haha

If you’re on a guitar tone quest though, then there are options if you don’t have the space or money for a huge collection. For some years now Line6 have produced the Variax range of guitars . A Variax combines a staggering 22 different guitar models, electrics, acoustics and even a Dobro and a Banjo in just 1 guitar. What an amazing piece of technology coupled with a great playing guitar. If you’re into recording guitars these are a great option to consider. Similarly if you like your acoustic sounds Fender make the fantastic Acoustasonic range combining 8 acoustic and 2 Telecaster sounds into a very playable body and neck with acoustic strings.

But remember guys & girls in your hunt for guitar perfection you don’t always have to buy new. Used guitars are always a great way to increase your collection with a fantastic instrument but at a lower cost. At Musicstreet we always have a great selection of used electric and acoustic guitars & basses which changes on almost a daily basis. You can check them out here Happy collecting :-) !