“Gear is like transportation. I don’t care what you drove to get here, I just care that you’re here”: Session guitarist Tim Pierce on how inexpensive gear still does the trick

Achieving great tone doesn’t need to cost you the earth…

Tim Pierce

Image: Tim Pierce Guitar via YouTube

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There are hundreds of guitarists in the music business with varying opinions on whether expensive gear really makes a difference in producing high quality sound and good tone. But if there’s one person we should be listening to, it’s probably Tim Pierce.

With decades of experience of working collaboratively in studios under his belt, playing guitar for the likes of Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Springsteen and The Goo Goo Dolls, he most definitely knows his stuff when it comes to achieving his desired sound.

With guitar credits on varying records across rock, pop and more, Pierce has more than likely tried out more gear than most. And it seems he believes a big price tag doesn’t always mean a better result. In fact, sometimes artists will say they prefer the tone achieved by something as budget-friendly as a Fender Squier.

In a new interview with Rhett Shull, Pierce explains why he this is the case (via Ultimate Guitar): “Gear that you get enamoured with, sometimes it doesn’t pan out in a situation. You can buy the sweetest, greatest coolest guitar, take it into the recording studio, and when you’re with a producer, an engineer, an artist, you put it up, and they go, ‘I think I like the Squier better.’

“I used to work with this guy, Trevor Horn, and he had access to the most sophisticated, expensive gear in the world. But he had no problem playing a part through a Line Six Pod. He had completely transcended the idea, the attachment to how you got the sound.”

He adds, “The way I’ve said it to people, gear is [like] transportation. I don’t care what you drove to get here, I just care that you’re here. Whatever that thing is out there that you drove here could be really impressive, or it could be an Uber. The gear is just transportation; the sound is the destination. The sound is all that really [matters to] people who know what they’re doing. They want a sound, and that sound could be a $5 thing or a $5,000 thing.”

Watch the full interview below:

Find out more about Tim Pierce via his website.

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