I have been a guitar player/collector for as long as I can recall, and it wasn’t always as strong as it is now, but my passion for it certainly ebbs and flows. One thing is for sure, I must always at least be semi-ready for when a particular collectible guitar opportunity “knocks”, because you just never know when these gems may present themselves.
In my earliest years as a guitar player, collecting was the last thing on my mind. And if you are just starting out, it should also be on the back burner, because the foremost thing you should be conscious of is your playing, and getting as good at it as possible. Once you’ve established that you are really going to stick with this thing, and that you want to have many sounds as a guitarist, then is the best time for a “collecting bug” to take hold of you! For me, it was always “get a guitar, then trade up o a better guitar” for a while, but then it really dawned on me that there was an entire world of various instruments out there that could fill many bills for me. Of course, I became attracted to what I thought were the most beautiful ones, but also, they had to really play nice for me to even consider them at all!
There’s nothing worse than having a collection of guitars that just sit in their cases, that don’t make music any more. The instruments that I never really touched over the years always turned out to be the ones I ended up getting rid of, usually for something I would play much more, or that had a particular sound or tone I needed and was missing. It’s not unusual for me to show up at some recording sessions (especially my own!) with 7 or 8 guitars, just in case I may be inspired to need any one of those at any given moment! A guitar is much more attractive and beautiful when it is played, and as you develop your own collection, make sure they are pieces you really want to play, and that bring enjoyment to you.
I know I am often tempted to want to purchase guitars that though attractive and rare, will most likely just gather dust and take up space in the long run for me, without any really redeeming qualities other than being cool to occasionally look at. Unfortunately, there are a lot of collectors who thrive on this, and who only like the guitars even as “investments” while they can barely actually play these things with any of the heart and soul they deserve to be played with!
So, if you do get bit by that “collecting bug”, try to always be on the lookout for the best finds, try to stay within a sensible budget, but most of all, “collect” what you really need to play! Therein lies the true beauty of the instrument for you anyway!