Glenn Fricker took some time out from yelling about bass players and all the other members of the band to explore a pretty important concept – is it important for players, especially beginners, to have nice or expensive gear?
The answer is of course, no, you don’t need anything “nice” or expensive – you need something that gets the job done, and you need to practice your ass off. The only people who care how much your guitar cost or what kind of tubes are in your amp are the other bands and nerds in the audience (like me). Those people are not your audience, and not the people you need to impress.
The main thing you need to consider is whether or not the gear you have meets the needs of your band and music. For the band on a budget, I suggest the following – don’t buy anything new. A used 5150 combo can be had on Craigslist for around $400 and has pretty much everything you’ll need to play a gig as a guitar player in a metal band. Cymbals are stupid expensive – buying lower end, cheap or even broken ones for practice and then some nicer used ones for shows and recording is always a good idea. For playing shows, you don’t need the top of the line DW kit – you need to know how to tune your drums and play them. A cheap kit set up right and played with panache will always sound infinitely better than one you spent a lot of money on but don’t know how to use. Same goes for guitars and bass. You can outfit your whole band on the used market and wind up with much better gear than if you made a trip to Guitar Center and spent the same amount, and you’ll learn a lot more than if you just listen to a salesperson at a music store.
For more on this idea, check out my Does Gear Matter? post.