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What’s More Important: An Expensive Guitar or an Expensive Amp?

(Image credit: Damian Fanelli)

In a fantasy world where we can choose to have an expensive guitar and an inexpensive amp or an expensive amp and an inexpensive guitar, which would you choose?

I’ve often thought about what’s more important to me as a guitar player, and then the answer hit me: we’re guitar players. The way I see it, a room full of amazing guitars is more attractive than a room full of amazing amps.

While you might disagree, I think there’s something to be said for being able to simply pick up an electric guitar and strum it—unplugged—and still achieve “that feeling.”

An expensive amp is as good as the guitarist playing through it; an expensive guitar will not only speed up your progress as a guitar player, it will make that experience more enjoyable and cause you to have more pride in the instrument you play.

On the flip side, a gigging musician might argue an expensive amp is crucial to cutting through the mix and consistently delivering good performances night after night.

Whatever your thoughts are, I should mention that you don’t need expensive gear to be a great musician. But let’s face it: we all take pleasure in the constant improvement of our rigs, and cool gear is one of the unique perks of being a guitar player in the modern world.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win. His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.