This was something I had heard not too long ago, except it was coming from the logic of a farm/ranching business, not so much music. However, the same applies. I realize that the Christian world is not lacking in penny-pinchers and bargain hounds (no offense intended, there are some in every crowd), but if you happen to land in one of those categories, read on anyways.

When it comes to your profession, or doing what you love, chances are that you know what you need to get the job done. If you are a keyboardist, you know that light, spring loaded plastic keys are generally not a good idea. If you are running a delivery service (like FedEx or UPS), you know that your vehicles NEED to be in good working order. Doing something to the contrary might save you pennies now, but I’ll tell you straight up…you are wasting your resources, and not just your cash.

I’ll pull from the automotive world for a minute and explain. I am using this example because I KNOW that there are some people reading this who have either had this happen or know somebody who has been there. An engine without oil will last less than 30 seconds at idle. And it won’t just quit, either. It will go out in an extraordinarily expensive way. The oil plays a large role in cooling your engine, and not having any will lead to catastrophic overheating. This means cooked exhaust valves, and they aren’t very cheap. At those temperatures, the coolant in your car can boil, which almost certainly means a blown hose or two. Because there was no agent to lubricate the motor and reduce friction, you’ll now have lots of metal shaved off of every moving part in there. The parts will have expanded so much due to heat and friction that many of them will seize. If that sounds violent, that’s because it is. If your engine dies because of this, it means more than a stop at the mechanic. It means buying a new engine. You can now kiss several thousand dollars goodbye. The alternative would be having regular oil changes and top ups. Over the course of 50,000 km, which is more that twice what the average driver does in a year, you would have only spent $800 on expensive oil, every 5,000 km. And that is being very cautious.

Now, for music. I realize that sometimes the bucks just are not there to get what you need. That happens to everyone. BUT, when the cash is there, you need to seriously consider your options. Going out and finding an amplifier that has the right price tag but not the right features won’t help you one bit. That is wasting money, because you bought something that you didn’t need. I have met a few musicians who do this/have done this, and they saved money. But you know what? They were never happy with their equipment. That is a problem, because it was affecting their ability to do their job. I am of the camp that says “If you have to spend a little over to get what you need, do it. Because as soon as you let loose on the gear that works for you, you won’t be looking at buying more gear for a while.” I prefer that to looking back at a poor purchase and having even less money to get what I needed than before.

Tomorrow, I’ll be breaking down the gear purchasing procedure that I use, and you’ll see that this is about more than just buying what you want.