“Gear Acquisition Syndrome“ (GAS): Influences of Instrument and Genre on Purchase Decisions and Collecting Behaviours Amongst Musicians of Popular Music

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Numerous anecdotes exist about musicians and their equipment. Musical instruments are more than just tools: They affect the sound of musical genres and times, are often mythologised and valued highly amongst collectors, can be a store of value, and commonly musicians are emotionally attached to their instruments.
This paper is based on an international quantitative survey of musicians (N = 668) on instrument collections. Instruments studied were guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, saxophone and trumpet. We analysed the motivations that influence the purchase of musical instruments and the role of other variables such as genre preferences, expertise and sociodemographic variables. On this ground we were able to empirically analyse the so called ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’. The results indicate a smaller influence of genre preferences than expected. Whilst the main instruments also differed less than assumed, musicians of electronic instruments were prone to possess larger collections than players of acoustic instruments do. The results support the stereotype of GAS being a male dominated behaviour.
Period17 Nov 2018
Event title(Dis-)Orientierungen Populärer Musik
Event typeConference
LocationOldenburg, Germany, Lower SaxonyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational