noteAlmost all of us are passionate about something, and virtually all of us want to share our passion. Whether it’s music, cooking or our favorite football team, few of us pursue these passions privately. We thrive when we interact with kindred spirits, and we get excited when we introduce our consuming interest to someone new.

We need to look up from the spreadsheet, get our heads out of our…cases and welcome people to this wonderful activity we all love.

Some of us are passionate to the point of being geeked out completely (think “Star Trek” uniforms or basement shrines to the Yankees). There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it can get a little one-dimensional. The majority of us have a spectrum of interests, and each thing about which we’re passionate rises to prominence in the right season (be it football or gardening) or in the right company (other car enthusiasts, snowboarders or “Downton Abbey” fans). We blossom in the presence of like minds, and we’re invigorated when it’s time to indulge in our passions.

In this industry, passions abound, and gear passion is one you will encounter wherever you turn. It can be new technology, high-end instruments or boutique items like tube amps and vintage guitars; whatever the case, though, it’s not hard to start a gear conversation around here.

It would seem that gear passion is a core value of our industry…and, perhaps, it is. But although there is value and enjoyment in wallowing in the myriad details of spec sheets and exotic woods, I worry that some industry members have also become too one-dimensional, focusing more on products than anything else. I like to think that most of us are passionate about making music, too. But although it may be so, too few of us try hard enough to spread the passion for making music. Theoretically, we should be excited about bringing others into the fold. But that often takes a back seat to gearfatuation.

I communicate with scores of people in our industry, on both the retail and the supply side. Despite the usual litany of cares and woes we all have and hear, many are upbeat. I’m always impressed when someone talks about student retention, products for young or new players, or promotions that put music making in the spotlight. I believe these are the people moving our… (continue reading.)

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