Beyond The Price Tag

Quality is often judged by price tags. That’s just how it is. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be deceptive. In music, it can be easy to judge he quality of a musician by the price tag of his gear. Oh, he has that guitar, or that amp, or that badass pedal that does what mine can’t.

I have some nice gear. I’ve spent my hard earned cash on guitars and amps that came with a pretty significant price tag. I bought them because they are quality pieces of gear, they make the sounds that I want, and they are just cool.

But my favorite guitar is a $300 telecaster that I bought of Craigslist. It’s built from spare parts that some guy had lying around his garage. When I bought it it was in awful shape. The neck was bent, the tuning pegs were loose, and it wouldn’t stay in tune. But something about it spoke to me. It was completely different from any guitar I had ever played. It felt right. So I bought it and fixed it up.

It’s still a quirky guitar. I don’t know much anything about it that I know about my other guitars. I don’t know what pickups are in it or what the electronics are like. It still doesn’t stay in tune all that well (just ask my co-producer Dewey). But it’s still my favorite. It says what I want it to say. And that has nothing to do with the price tag.

Jameson Elder