Do You Have G.A.S. – Guitar Acquisition Syndrome?

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article titled “How Many Guitars Are Too Many?”

In that article I wrote about something called Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (better known as G.A.S.).  If you missed that post, CLICK HERE to read it.

I have since learned that there is an official web site dedicated to the (somewhat desirable) disease… called

Living With Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

There is even a book available that can be purchased on  Just click the image to the left if you need immediate help with your addiction.

From the review: This is a fun and unusual book. Your “normal” friends won’t understand it, you won’t really learn anything specific about guitars or collecting… What you will walk away with after reading this book is the comfort of knowing that you aren’t alone in your affliction for acquiring guitars (and that many people are worse than you).

G.A.S. is best described as the uncontrollable need to purchase “just one more” guitar.  Then, when the new guitar arrives, the G.A.S. symptoms return. It’s a never-ending cycle that can be… terminal.

G.A.S. is a growing epidemic among guitar players young and old, regardless of how long one has been playing.

G.A.S. is not rational and appears to be a sister disease to “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.

Since it is easily stimulated through the visual sense, it highly recommended that those suffering from G.A.S. avoid the local Guitar Center, Sam Ash and as very serious financial hardship and/or marital difficulties may occur.

Clearly, the key to curing G.A.S. is early detection.

Research has shown that those who suffer from G.A.S. today had symptoms for many years that were most likely ignored.

I invite you to participate in the official GuitarBuzz reader poll designed to expose early warning signs.  Please answer the following question:


  1. says

    I’ll have to check the book out for a laugh. Checking out the Joe Bonamassa photo in your original post made me laugh, I think that’s the point when you say to yourself ‘okay thats enough guitars for now’. I think it’s okay to build up a guitar collection as long as:
    1. you actually use the guitars (it may be nice to look at but if you don’t use it it’s a waste)
    2. you get some variety (just think of what Slash’s collection would be like – all I picture is a room filled with identical guitars).
    I’ve got 7 now and am at the point where it’s hard to justify another guitar. All seven guitars are very different (eg: 7 string electric, double neck, classical, strat, etc) so at least they all do a different job.
    I guess G.A.S is one of the unique things guitarists deal with. I’ve never seen a pianist own a room full of them…

  2. Andrew says

    I’ve had G.A.S.
    A.A.S (Amp acquisition syndrome)
    P.I.S.S (Pedal Instant satisfaction syndrome)
    F.A.R.T (Former Acquisition Regret Trade)

    Sorry…I must have too much time on my hands. :)

  3. says

    I have a P-bass, a classical guitar, a steel string acoustic, a 1990 USA Fender strat. plus, an es 335 style AS73 by Ibanez, a G and L thinline ASAT special with P 90’s, a martin backpacker and I have just bought a G and L classic ASAT which will have Gene parsons B bender installed into it by Gene parsons himself. I have 4 amp.s and so many effects pedals.

    This is the last guitar I buy for 10 years, honest Ma!

  4. Coopersonic says

    Folks, it is serious!

    I own the following ensemble of 6-stringed ladys:

    – VIG Dragster (LP copy) in primer grey
    – Yamaha AEX 500 flattop half-acoustic in black
    – Epi LP Ultra III in transparent black
    – Epi SG G-400 in cream
    – Voyage Guitars foldable(!) electric in TV Yellow
    – Höfner Shorty (travel guitar) in metallic red
    – a cheapo acoustic
    – a black Gherson SG copy from 1982 which is just an inch from falling apart completely (was my first guitar)

    plus Vox DA5 5Watt modelling amp, that little Pignose Amp and Zoom GFX-8 multi-effect. And a little Bugera tube amp is just “what the doctor ordered”… (or was it me?)

    AND I CAN’T EVEN PLAY properly!

    PS: I am currently looking for a Telecaster style axe under US$ 400. Any recommendations? Or offers? 😀

  5. Sickmusick says

    GAS prospect here… I have the following:

    – Fender Pawn Shop ’51
    – Fender Telecaster Thinline ’69 reissue
    – Gretsch Electromatic Doublejet
    – Epiphone Casino Goldtop
    – Yamaha Attitude Custom bass (autographed by Billy Sheehan!)

    and am currently droolin’ over a Fender Jim Adkins Tele… plus thinking on a Gibson Les Paul for Christmas, and now my wife is reminding me that is Christmas comes until December, not August… jeez…

    As you may see all my guitars are different between them… different shapes, bodys, woods, pups and even colors… and I made a rule of thumb so far not to buy anything beyond the $500 mark… but it’s getting tougher every time! Need to stay away from LOL

  6. Jordan says

    Hello my name is Jordan and I have GAS (hello, Jordan)

    As I’m reading this, I’m nodding away.

    I’m a bass addict, I have 4, I don’t really consider that over the top…. This is my story.. and justification…

    -Spector MM 4 string Rebop, (used as the drop D guitar for my shows)
    -Warwick Streamer LX Custom Shop 5 string (used as my E tuning bass and to swap with the above for different tuned songs)
    -Warwick Corvette 5 String (right place and the right time, guy down the street put it up on ebay for 1000$, offered him 500$ and he took it)! So bargain. Plus I drool at it when I wake up in the morning still.
    -Spector Euro LX 6 String (I just love 6 strings, and I wanted a good 4,5 and 6 string)

    Currently drooling over a White Spector euro LX 4 string, why do you need it because you already have enough? And a 4 string you ask? I don’t know… I just want it because it’s so sexy…….

    Also, a 6 string Warwick Thumb bass. I see them everywhere, they haunt me….

    I’m in a band and we regularly play so it makes me feel okay that they are all getting good use…. Common tell me it’s okay!

    Might I add something, I’ve noticed with a lot of us is that we have to justify it to our “wife”, “significant other” “the boss” as to why we love our guitars. She stomps off whenever I say, babe which one should I buy next? This? or this??

  7. says

    Great post.

    How many guitars are too many? It depends, if You have many Guitars and most of them You haven’t play’d over 6 Months, then maybe You have too many Guitars. :) My friend has 8 Guitars, but he uses regularly 6 of them, so maybe he has 2 Guitars too many :)

  8. ux4484 says

    Well… two belong to my wife… technically. 😉

    I have the additional sickness of modding said guitar, even worse… I’m good at it (electronics tech by trade). This combined with comic collecting take up a fair amount of space in my house.

    FOR YEARS I was fine… just my ’90’s Fender bass and the Mrs’s guitars… I started playing her acoustic a bit to much for her liking (a ’70’s Guild acoustic and is actually worth some change), so she got me my own acoustic/electric. Seven guitars later… I’m out of control.

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