Sold: Half Of My Musical Instruments

I’m passionate about making music. I’m a singer-songwriter and I play a bunch of instruments. I love music. Still, I’ve sold nearly half my musical stuff this year. Today, I’ll explain why. 

Sold musical instruments: photo of a guitar headstock.

First, I’ve got to be honest. I didn’t really sell any of my musical instruments. I did some thoughtful trading. I did cut back on how many instruments I own overall. Let’s break it down:

At The Beginning Of 2016…

Here’s a list of the musical instruments I owned in January of this year:

  • Guild Acoustic Parlor-Sized Guitar
  • Recording King Acoustic Guitar
  • Breedlove Nylon String Guitar
  • Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar
  • Gretsch 3/4-Sized Bass Guitar
  • Mid-Missouri Mandolin
  • Flea Ukulele
  • Saga 1/2-Sized Banjo
  • Gold Tone Banjo Ukulele
  • Gretsch Guitar Ukulele
  • Fender Blues Junior Amplifier
  • Fishman LoudX Mini Acoustic Amplifier
  • Roland Guitar MicroCube Amp
  • Roland Bass MicroCube Amp
  • Roland e-Cajon
  • Meinl Acoustic Cajon
  • Yamaha 4-Piece Drum Kit
  • Bosphorus Custom Turkish Cymbals
  • Two Extra Snare Drums
  • Congas, Shakers, Tambourines
  • A Crapload Of Miscellaneous Musical Junk

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea. I had a lot of musical stuff.

Why I Sold Half My Collection

First, I claim to be a moderate minimalist. If I’m going to talk the talk, I need to walk the walk. I’ve narrowed down most of my belongings over the years. Music is my weakness.

Second, I can’t play all those instruments at the same time. Some of the instruments I rarely played at all, so what’s the point?

Third, I started rethinking how I approach music. I’m more of an acoustic songwriter than anything else. I want to focus on the skills that will help to make me a better performer in this area.

And finally, I considered quality. I’ve bought too many musical toys. You know, stuff that’s fun for a few weeks. I’ve decided to narrow my collection down to keepers.

It seemed silly to hang onto a bunch of instruments that I rarely played. So I sold those instruments. Most of the stuff I owned was made in China. I decided to trade, upgrade, and go American-made.

My Updated List

  • 1958 Gibson C-1 Nylon String Guitar
  • Cargo (by Peavey) Parlor-Sized Graphite Acoustic Guitar
  • Mid-Missouri Mandolin
  • Flea Ukulele
  • Deering Goodtime Banjo
  • Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar
  • Fender Blues Junior Amp
  • Fisherman LoudX Mini Acoustic Amp
  • Bosphorus Cymbals (looking for the right buyer)
  • Meinl Cajon
  • Less Miscellaneous Musical Junk

Most of the new instruments came from trades. I did buy the vintage Gibson guitar for $500. The first five instruments on the list are acoustic and made in the USA. I traded my drums and hardware, but kept the cymbals. I’m looking for the right buyer for the cymbals.

The point is that I downsized. In the future I may downsize more. I now have a handful of quality guitars that I use regularly and a few accompanying instruments. 

Do You Have A Collection That Needs Thinning?

Are you a musician or an artist? Do you have any kind of collection? If you have more stuff than you really need, I encourage you to rethink your hobby. Consider how much you really need and how much you actually use. Consider the quality of the products. Get rid of the crap that you don’t need.

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  1. This is inspiring. I’ve been on a downsizing/minimalist quest for the last 3 years (its a process!). Sadly, my husband owns most of our musical instruments/equipment and isn’t onboard with downsizing yet. We have sooo much musical stuff in our basement, it’s hard to move around or jam down there. Speakers/amps/turntables/recording equipment that need work or are beyond repair with more guitars stashed around than you can throw a stick at. Maybe 2017 will be my year for a basement downsize.

    1. Thanks, Astrid. I have a friend who never lets go of musical stuff. He’s got a roomful. It’s fairly common among musicians. I think back to my early music days. I was able to get along with one guitar for years. Why do I need so much more now?

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