What Is Guitar Acquisition Syndrome? And How Do You Treat It?

guitar acquisition syndrome
Guitar Acquisition Syndrome
This customer has got a mean case of G.A.S!

The addiction known as G.A.S., a.k.a. Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, creeps up slowly on unsuspecting collectors by sending pleasure signals to the brain each time a new purchase is made. This sometimes expensive malady only leads to suffering when financial guilt causes serotonin levels to drop, and spouses to complain.

But in all seriousness (sort of), G.A.S. was a term coined in the 60s to describe a common obsession with the procurement of guitars and accessories regardless of how much they cost. It may be compared with O.C.D., or shopping addiction.

But how can you blame them? Is it really such a bad affliction? There are so many thousands of guitars out there that need loving homes and talented fingers to coax them to life. Not to mention that accessories don’t have to cost that much and when they do they’re worth it! Plus, they’re all (well some of them are) unique and it just isn’t right to have just one. Everyone needs a couple of vintage guitars, a few extra pedals, a steel guitar, maybe even a banjo (yes this disease can mutate), an electric, an acoustic, and so on.

Bottom line – if you have G.A.S., don’t add to the suffering by covering yourself in more guilt. Some of those purchases are justifiable!

G.A.S. may or may not be curable – the research is still out. However, there are ways to make it livable. Looking at your collection daily in good light and an attractive display, taking good care of them, and playing each one until you form an attachment to it just might build enough loyalty to your current guitar family that you’ll be more discerning when adding to it.