A Gear Geek’s Guide to Self-Quarantine during COVID-19

Some Thoughts on Keeping Yourself Safe While Indulging Your Passion


It’s a weird, somewhat scary time in the world today. Across the globe individuals, communities, and governments are all working together to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, a virus that has infected just over 300,000 and taken the lives of just over 18,000 as of this writing (source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/).


At times like this, our community’s passion for gear can seem like an incredibly trivial thing with so many more pressing issues at stake. That said, our hobbies, interest, and passions play an important part in maintaining our overall well-being, especially when we’re withdrawing from the usual rhythm of life like going to the mall, restaurants, music stores, concerts, and even work.


So, we here at TheToneKing.com cracked open our big Book of Rules, flipped to the chapter on worldwide pandemics, and extracted a couple of ideas that may help you, dear reader, maintain some sense of normalcy in these truly difficult times.


Rule #1: Make sure you and your family are healthy, happy, and safe.


This is a no-nonsense, no-compromise rule. It applies to every situation, every moment, everything. Music and gear plays an important role in our lives, but it is a far fall down the pecking order from the welfare of our families, our communities, and ourselves. Take care of this stuff first. We figure our readers already understand this completely, but it’s worth repeating.


  1. Support music retailers as much as you are able to.


OK, you’re self-distancing. You’re stocked up on the essentials. You’re washing your hands like you’re about to perform surgery. You’ve got the ol’ Netflix/Disney +/Prime Video machine all warmed up and set to “binge.” Turns out you still have some time and energy, and even a little bit of spending money left to devote to gear.


As of this writing, mail and commercial delivery services in the U.S. are still running mostly regular schedules. That means you still have access to the massive inventory of our friends at Sweetwater.com, as well as great used gear over at Reverb.


You should also take them time to think of your local music merchants, however. Like many smaller businesses throughout the country, our favorite “mom and pops” are having to make major adjustments to their routines, including closing showrooms completely off to the public.


The good news is that many shops are still open for business via curbside delivery.


“Yeah hi, you’re open…great!…ok, I’ll have a Big Muff, a set of .010 to .046s and, oh, do you have one of those new Marshall 20-watt heads? The Studio Classic? Yeah? OK, throw one of those in. Oh, and an order of fajitas, please……………..oh, right, this isn’t Chili’s. The curbside thing threw me off, yeah. Sorry about that.”


So, give your local shop a call and see what they’re up to. Our buddies over at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music in Wheaton, Md. have adopted this practice, so if you’re in the D.C. area and need some stuff, swing on by!


  1. Get the funk out.


Not a bad time to do some deep-cleaning on the gear horde, right? Think about how much gear you come into contact with after just an hour or two of jamming. Strings, knobs, buttons, cables, picks, tuning keys, necks, bridges, frets, plugs, capos, slides, handles, headphones, microphones, keyboards, whammy bars, tools….the list goes on. So, once you’ve got Rule #1 covered, take some time to tackle some intensive maintenance. Your stuff will look better, play better, and you’ll be doing your part to help “flatten the curve.”


TTK gave a nice primer on how to clean and maintain instruments a few years back to help get you started:


  1. Don’t forget live music venues.


In my neck of the woods, there are lots of smaller bars and restaurants that play a huge role in supporting local bands and music events. Much like the smaller music shops, these folks are hurting right now. My band would have very few options to play live if it wasn’t for these folks, so if there is a local music venue close to your hurt, see what you can do to help them if you have the means to do so. Some communities are providing Venmo information for donations, and many places are adopting the curbside pick-up model.


It probably doesn’t seem like there’s a strong gear-geek connection here at first, but weekend warriors play a huge role in building up the gear knowledge base, and many of those in the YouTube guitar community are gigging musicians.


  1. Get better.


If you’re here at TheToneKing.com, you’re very likely in-the-know when it comes to the larger internet-based guitar community. There is a ton of great information out there to discover and lots of great people to interact with online. So, dig into some of your favorite channels. Watch some older videos you hadn’t seen before or in a while. Take advantage of the massive collection of lessons in pretty much every style imaginable. Make your gear sound good!


  1. Remember Rule #1




We here at TheTone King.com hope everyone is safe, healthy, and comfortable. Please let us know how you’re doing and feel free to add any ideas to the list…we’d love to hear them!



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About the Author: Hello. Welcome to TheToneKing.com! My name is Louis, but in name of good fun & entertainment - I call myself The Tone King. This website was born back in 2008, to compliment the videos I started uploading to YouTube on guitar & related gear (guitar, amps, pedals, etc.). It has since grown, thanks to the thousands that tune in, making it what it is. If you subscribe to TheToneKing.com, you can expect lots of Guitar, Amp, Pedal Reviews & Shoot-Out videos. I also have monthly Live Webcasts, perform Artist Interviews, and try to get all the juicy coverage Backstage and at trade-shows like NAMM. The cherry on top is that there are no shortage of How-To Videos & TTK Killer Deal Alerts getting you the most knowledge & gear into your hands & mind! Thanks for stopping by to check out my website! Rock ON!

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