I’m a bit of a contrarian on this point.
As someone who has played and studied (off and on) a number of guitar styles, I have a natural interest in the gear. I love guitars, amps, effects, tuners, picks, straps. I’m also wise enough to know that a guitar, by itself, won’t make me a good guitarist.
But it is a common saw that intangibles like skill, feel, and heart are the most important elements in a guitarists sound. This may even be true. Those intangibles certainly account for the difference between me and say . . . Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Pass, or Eddie Van Halen.
That said, the tools do matter. A crappy guitar that won’t stay in tune, or which has impossible action, just causes unnecessary friction. It makes it harder to stay motivated through the monotony of practice.
The tools also provide inspiration in and of themselves. I just got a new guitar. I’ve played more hours in the past week than I have for the past six months. I’m having a blast.
As a writer, the tools also matter. I love and have used Scrivener for three novels. I just switched to something else. Why. Because it felt stale. I needed a change.
Will the new app (Ulysses, FTW) write the book for me? No. But it makes me want to write, just as the new guitar makes me want to play.