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The different phases of GAS.


ClarkW

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Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that there are several different cyclic phases of the dreaded GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Each phase has different symptoms. Feel free to add your own symptoms and phases to the list!

 

Phase Name: Incubatory.

Often experienced by the casual observer, non-musicians, and novice musicians. Many who suffer from the incubatory form will never progress to full-fledged GAS, and will be spared the more acute symptoms of the disease.

 

Symptoms

Minor symptoms. Subject may be heard making statements including but not limited to:

"Whoa, look at the size of those speakers!"

"How much does all that weigh?!"

"Geez, how much does a setup like that cost!"

"You spent HOW MUCH?"

"Damn, that's loud! You ever turned it all the way up, just to see?"

"Wow, that is one pretty instrument!"

 

Treatment

Most cases require no treatment, as they will not progress into full-fledged GAS. Subjects are counselled to avoid associating with other contagious GAS sufferers or becoming more proficient musicians.

 

Phase Name: Primary

The most commonly-diagnosed and recognizable phase of GAS. Symptoms range from minor to significant, and treatment is sometimes effective. Often, subjects spend their entire lives in this phase.

 

Symptoms

Frequent consulation of bank statements and revisitation of family or personal budgets, periodic visits to the local Guitar Center, www.bassnw.com, and eBay->All Categories->Musical Instruments->*.*. Subject often contracts bouts of Gear Envy (p.203 paragraphs 3-6) with the associated symptoms.

 

Treatment

Similar to archaic bloodletting techniques, periodic but small indulgent purchases have been known to prevent the subject from progressing to more acute forms of GAS. Many subjects find that they can live a happy and mostly normal lifestyle with Primary GAS, as long as they adhere to strict budgets and never decide to become (semi-)professional musicians.

 

Phase Name: Feverish

Usually induced by financial windfalls such as a quarterly or Christmas bonus, lotto winnings, inheritances, and tax refunds. In more desperate cases, can be triggered simply by exposure to Bass Player Magazine, jamming with or viewing a well-funded band, or an eBay Bargain (eBB).

 

Symptoms

Hearing loss (from 4-hour sessions testing out different head/cab combinations at Guitar Center), arthritis (from overpracticing Music Store Chops), difficulty concentrating (trying to calculate how much wattage per ohm would be required to drive a specific cabinet combination), incoherent rambling (babbling about subtle differences between roundwound and flatwound strings on ebony and rosewood laminated or unlaminated fretboards), emaciation of financial resources (including MyoCreditCardial Infarctions), and in extreme cases, debt.

 

Treatment

GAS can be suffocated back to a dormant state by surgical means such as cutting up the subject's credit cards and changing the password on any PayPal accounts. In some cases, forced fasting (due to having spent food money on another stomp box), or abstinence from sexual intercourse (due to sleeping on the couch) can abate the symptoms as well. Most often, unfortunately, this phase is untreatable, and must be allowed to run its course, hoping for a Recession.

 

Phase Name: Delirium

A short-lived but euphoric state of GAS, this phase can hit Primary GAS sufferers in minor bouts, but is most often observed during the transition from Feverish to Recession. It happens specifically after comparative shopping decisions have been finalized or purchase arrangements have been made, but before gear arrival or pickup.

 

Symptoms

Euphoria, sleeplessness, lack of desire to play on soon-to-be-replaced-and-therefore-inferior gear, obsessive compulsive cleaning and rearranging of practice rooms to make space, and cathartic purging of old gear via eBay Bargains (eBB).

 

Treatment

None, as the symptoms abate immediately upon UPS delivery and the subject reverts to Feverish, Primary, or Recession.

 

Phase Name: Recession

A phase often entered just after Feverish or Delirium. The subject is usually out of money, or surpresses the symptoms of GAS so significantly due to satisfaction with the current rig that, for all appearances, GAS is gone. However, it is important to remember that GAS is a permanent disease, and can only be treated or surpressed, never fully cured. Subject may relapse into any other non-Incubatory stage of GAS without warning.

 

Symptoms

Subject may often be seen grooving hardcore and contendedly with his/her current rig, providing proper and regular maintenance on instruments, and occasionally purchasing new strings or replacing damaged parts, and contracting cases of Buyer's Remorse (p.59 paragraphs 1-5).

 

Treatment

Avoid industry publications, newsgroups, and NAMM shows at all costs to avoid near-certain relapse. Spousal or familial intervention can be applied as a preventative measure to avoid relapse, especially in cases of day-job raises, promotions, bonuses, birthdays, and gift-giving holidays. Popular homeopathic remedies include affirmation exercises by both the subject and peers, saying things like "You could never rock harder than right now!" and "Your sound is perfect for what we need!"

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Dr. Clark:

 

First of all, let me state for the record that you obviously have too much time on your hands. Pick up your bass and practice, dammit!

 

Secondly, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. You seem to have an acute understanding of the scope of this very serious disease. I think you should consider a submission to JAMA (the Jounral of the American Medical Association).

 

Lastly, could you tell us more about the research behind this opus? Was this a self-study? Was it based on content analysis of various on-line musicians' forums (e.g., the "Dudetique" thread at the Dude Pit)? Perhaps you employed participant observation at local music shops? Please let us evaluate the applicability and quality of your research methodology.

 

Kindest regards,

Dr. Sweetness

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I think that your research warrants a new position on Oprah. Move over Dr. Phil we now have Dr. Clark. He has a PHD in GAS preventive medicine.

 

Dear Dr. Clarke,

My current rig is total crap. I'm jonesing for a new rig. So far I've visited Guitar center everyday this week. My ears are bleeding from having to bear the wankers all around the store but I can not get the salesman to come down to my price range and the GAS pains are killing me. I just have to have this rig!!! What should I do Dr. Clark!! Can you help me?

 

P.S. I am now craving that rather expensive 5 string in the window as well!!!

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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It's important that I let you know, my friends and associates, that I'm not just the president of the GAS Sufferer Treatment Liaison Internationale, or GASSTLI, but I'm also a member.

 

At this very moment, I have progressed from a brief Feverish phase to Delirium, and am hoping for an imminent recession. I have an Avatar B210 and B115H scheduled for shipment Monday morning, am preparing payment arrangements for a Mackie M1400i power amp, and will be play-testing preamps and DI boxes (SansAmp, RavenLabs) next week. I'll be selling my Alvarez Acoustic-Electric Bass and possibly my prized collector's item, a NeXT slab computer workstation, to open up necessary closet space and buffer the account depletion.

 

You see, while it is academically irresponsible to perform tests on oneself as a subject, for my purposes I couldn't ignore the vast amount of information I was gleaning as I progressed through the Incubatory and Primary phases, finally settling into a regular cycle of Feverish->Delirium->Recession->Feverish and so forth.

 

It is from my own suffering and struggles with this particular disease that was born my desire to help my fellow sufferers! We can overcome it together.

 

To encourage my fellow men, I am proud to say that I am placing a buying moratorium on myself (after the new rig is finished). I'm committing myself to a pay-for-practice schedule where every hour of practicing earns me $10 that I am allowed to spend toward my next purchase. That way, it's just a mere 4 months or so before I can get that NSDesigns CM5 Electric Upright Bass...

 

:)

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Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

...... Was it based on content analysis of various on-line musicians' forums (e.g., the "Dudetique" thread at the Dude Pit)? ......

 

Kindest regards,

Dr. Sweetness

Should I be resembling that remark ?????

 

:)

 

PJR

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Originally posted by Peter J Romano:

Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

...... Was it based on content analysis of various on-line musicians' forums (e.g., the "Dudetique" thread at the Dude Pit)? ......

 

Kindest regards,

Dr. Sweetness

Should I be resembling that remark ?????

 

:)

 

PJR

Yes, yes, you should! :D

 

BTW, PJR, did you see my "gear review" thread about my visit with Dan Lenard at the Luthiers Access Group? Some of your "dudetique" readers might be interested, n'est-ce pas?

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Dr. Clark,

 

While you've accurately discussed symptoms and treatment, you've omitted any information on how this disease is transmitted.

 

I abhor your "lab rat" approach to this board, where your imminent purchases have driven a number of us 2 stages up in our affliction. I'm certain that was your intention when you posted, and I will personally fight this off (as soon as I buy something).

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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The more I read the threads on this board, the worse my GAS pains become...

I was perfectly happy with my Fender Jazz, my Hartke head & cab, and some other various stuff...

Now, I MUST have a SansAmp DI box and a Line6 BassPOD and a Ken Smith fretless and a Rick and ANOTHER Avatar cab and and and...

Ooof...

"Tea & Cake, or Death!"
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I'm glad to see you bunch of "guys" (I know there's at least one gal over here) have a sense of humor too.

 

The GAS has been almost unbearable, BUurrrrp :D , for me over at the Guitar Forum.

 

I want, I need, I have to have; an Epi 335 clone, a Les Paul Double Cut, MY Highway One (STILL on layaway), a Rickenbaker 6, a Telecaster, a Line 6 FlexTone III amp, and OF COURSE a Bass (MUST be SIX string, I'll let you fill in the details, I don't know enough yet) and about a 1,000W Bass Amp with TWO 15" Speakers. AHhhhh ... That feels better :rolleyes: .

 

Dave

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

I'm glad to see you bunch of "guys" (I know there's at least one gal over here) have a sense of humor too.

 

The GAS has been almost unbearable, BUurrrrp :D , for me over at the Guitar Forum.

 

D th D:

 

You're fitting in well. Before you know it, you'll never be found at the G****r Forum anymore and will have become exclusively a LDL participant! ;)

 

1000W and a 2x15 is a noble dream to pursue!

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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