How Many Guitars Do You Need? Is It More Than 1?

Guitars are one of the most popular musical instruments in the world! This is because they offer a diverse range of sounds and playing styles. Owning one guitar may be sufficient for many players, others opt to have a collection of several! But how many guitars do you need?

A beginner should own one guitar. That’s it! This is because there is much to learn, and having too many guitars may impede your progress. Anyone who is more familiar with the instrument can own as many as they like. It can be either to meet demands for specific needs. Or just to collect them all.

This article will explore the reasons for owning multiple guitars. We’ll look at the phenomenon of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. Plus, the factors to consider when building your collection.

Why Own More Than One Guitar?

There are many guitars on the market. It can be overwhelming to settle for just one. Believe me, I know! But you have to ask yourself, why would a player need more than one guitar? This is different for everyone. You must decide based on your musical situation. Here are a few things to consider.

Versatility in Sound and Tuning 

Having multiple guitars provides versatility in terms of sound and tuning. Different guitars have unique tonal qualities. Owning several allows you to expand your options. Both in sound and in play style. Some music styles may require a specific tone. 

This could be a low-gain rock sound. But you may also play other kinds of music like metal. The electric guitar needs to have different characteristics to provide optimal performance.

Or, if you play live, you may have songs with different tunings. It doesn’t look good to tune your guitar in between songs. Especially if the tuning is radically different. So you may need another guitar to pull it off quickly.

Convenience and Backup 

Another advantage of having multiple guitars is convenience and backup. No one wants to be caught without a guitar in an emergency! Having a spare instrument can save the day in these situations.

Additionally, owning more than one allows you to switch between instruments quickly. This can be useful for live performances or recording sessions.

Two Electric Guitars.

New Experiences and Challenges 

Owning multiple guitars can provide new experiences and challenges. Trying out different guitars can help you expand your playing style. It can also broaden your musical horizons. Maybe you’re exploring musical genres and trying out new playing techniques.

Or even experimenting with different modifications. Owning multiple guitars can help you take your playing to new levels. There are many types, too, so maybe you need some electric as well as acoustic guitars.

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, or GAS, is a term used to describe the compulsive desire to acquire may of them. Often without practical consideration!

Owning multiple guitars can provide versatility, convenience, and new experiences. But it’s important to consider the potential pitfalls of having too many instruments.

Signs and Symptoms 

Symptoms of GAS may include constantly searching for and buying new guitars. Neglecting maintenance and upkeep of existing instruments. But also difficulty controlling spending on guitar-related purchases.

The Pitfalls of Having Too Many Guitars 

Having multiple guitars can offer many benefits! But it’s important to consider the pitfalls of having too many instruments. Over-acquisition can lead to financial strain, storage problems, and neglect of individual guitars.

All of which can detract from the overall enjoyment of playing. It’s important to strike a balance between having enough guitars to meet your musical needs. But also not having so many that they become a burden.

Many Acoustic Guitars.

Determining the Right Number of Guitars

The right number of guitars will vary depending on several factors. These include their level of experience, playing style, and some practical considerations. Things like storage space and budget. It’s different for everyone!


For the beginner, one or two guitars are typically sufficient. This is because there is a lot to learn. You also don’t know if you will stick with the instrument for a long time.

As you progress, you can add additional instruments to your collection. But it’s important to focus on developing your playing skills and musical knowledge. Well before expanding your gear collection.


For guitar collectors, the sky is the limit when it comes to the number of instruments they own. However, it’s important to keep in mind the practical considerations.

Do you have storage space? Pay close attention to your budget when acquiring new guitars. Don’t let GAS get out of control. The threat is real!


Professional guitarists typically have a larger collection of instruments. Often ranging from five to ten or more. This allows them to tailor their sound to specific genres. Plus, modify their setup for live performances. But also provide backup instruments in case of emergencies.

It’s important for professionals to strike a balance. This is between having enough guitars to meet their needs. But not acquiring so many that it becomes a burden. Traveling around the world with guitars costs money!

Further Reading: Why do players change guitars between songs?

The Importance of Purpose and Function

Considering adding a new guitar to your collection? Then it’s important to consider the purpose and function that they will serve. Will they be used for specific genres of music? Maybe live performances or simply for personal enjoyment?

Having a clear understanding of the purpose and function of each guitar can help you make better decisions. This will help decide which instruments to acquire. But also prevent over-acquisition or neglect of individual guitars.

Purpose-Specific Guitars

A guitar designed for a particular style of music can enhance your experience. It can also expand your musical expression. For example, owning a nylon-string guitar for classical music. Or a resonator guitar for blues! They provide a unique sound and playing experience for these kinds of music.

Modified Guitars 

Owning a guitar specifically for experimentation is a great way to explore new sounds! Modified guitars will also allow you to find new playing techniques.

Having a designated guitar for these purposes will avoid damaging your primary instruments. Most players eventually go down this road. This is because it provides a space for creativity and experimentation. 

Travel Guitars 

Are you a guitarist who travels frequently? Then having a compact and lightweight instrument can be a great convenience. A travel guitar can be a useful addition to your collection.

This provides a compact and portable instrument for jamming and practicing on the go. There are many guitars made for this. They are the perfect size to fly with and more!

Maintaining and Storing Your Guitars

So you have acquired many guitars for your need. Now, it’s important to consider the maintenance and storage of your instruments. Proper maintenance and storage can help prolong the life of your guitars. It will also ensure they are ready to play whenever you are. 


Perform regular maintenance! Tasks like changing strings, cleaning, and conditioning the wood. This will help keep your guitars in top playing condition. It’s also important to store your guitars in a safe and controlled environment. Free from extreme temperature and humidity changes. It will prevent damage and deterioration.


It’s important to consider the size and layout of your practice space. Guitars can take up a significant amount of room! So it’s important to be mindful of the amount of space you have available. In some cases, it may be necessary to invest in specialized storage solutions.

Guitar racks or wall-mounted hangers can help to maximize space. They can also protect your instruments. Again, be mindful of the environment and keep it controlled. You don’t want your guitars to dry out!

Play it or Leave it? 

Contrary to popular belief, guitars don’t go bad if they are not played regularly. You just need to be mindful of the environment. Keep the temperature and humidity in check.

Keep them stored in their case and out of direct sunlight. Occasionally take them out and inspect them for issues. But if the conditions are right, guitars can sit for long periods without ever being played.

Can You Be Happy With Only One Guitar?

Absolutely! Owning multiple guitars can provide versatility and convenience, it’s true. But it’s not a requirement for being a happy and fulfilled guitarist. The number of guitars a player needs is a highly individual decision. It depends on various factors such as playing style, genre, and budget.

For some, having a single guitar that meets all their playing needs and preferences is enough. Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, hobbyist, or professional! Having a guitar that you love and enjoy playing can bring immense satisfaction!

In fact, having fewer guitars can simplify your life as a musician. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, storage, and keeping track of many instruments. It can also force you to become a better player! This is because you have to rely on your skills and techniques to produce sounds and play styles.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find what works best for your interests. Whether it’s one guitar or ten! As long as you have an instrument that brings you joy and allows you to express yourself musically! Then you have all that you need.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!