What was your first guitar?

My first guitar was my Dad’s Epiphone Texan which was nothing special. Now, to me it was special, of course, but it had some real weird features.

The ULTIMATE Guitar Practice Routine

Just show up every day, and I'll tell you what to play!

When I go back to Chicago and visit my folks I always play it. It’s not comfortable to play, but it’s comforting. It brings back memories but also reminds me of everything I’ve gone through to get to where I’m at today with guitar playing.

What was your first guitar? Do any memories or stories stand out when you think back to that first guitar?


  1. John Clyne

    i bought my first guitar when I was in the navy stationed near San Diego in 1973. it was a Ventura by Bruno , a Japanese Martin clone. Though I’ve aquired a few others over the years , I still play it, and it still sounds great, along with carrying many happy memories.

  2. John Otis

    My first guitar was a new 1959 Gibson ES 140 3/4T. My father bought it for me at Grinnell Brothers Music House in Bay City, MI when I was 10. I was so small then that I needed a 3/4 size guitar in order to be able to play. I took lessons at Grinnell’s before moving to Midland,MI. As I remember, I believe my father paid $110. for the little electric guitar back in 1959. My father always played his guitar and sang to us kids when we went to bed at night, great memories! I play for our grandkids now before their bedtime.

  3. John Borak

    Hi Tony!
    I am a little older than you. I don’t have my first guitar but I sure wish I did! It was a Silvertone acoustic! I think my Mom and Dad bought it a Sears and Roebuck (that is what is was called then) for about $15 maybe $20. It had really bad action (high set strings), but I would sure like to find it again!
    Love ya!

  4. Geoff T

    If you were a kid learning to play in the 90s, there was a good chance you had a Squier Strat Pack. Guitar, practice amp, strap, picks…all in one box. I think mine went to a local pawn shop eventually for some other fascination. Good times.

  5. Scott Hunter

    My story is typical as far as my very first guitar goes — I whined until my father bought me an absolutely unplayable painted brown box that did resemble a guitar, without actually being one. But my first “guitar”, as opposed to that G.L.O., was a little $12 Mexican classical that I bought in Saltillo, Mexico in 1964, while I was on a month-long summer field trip with my seventh grade science teacher. I played it happily, playing Joan Baez, Dylan, Phil Ochs, etc., for several more years, until I graduated to a somewhat better, made-in-Spain, Garcia classical. Now 50 years later, I am a dedicated steel-string fingerpicker, playing three different Martin guitars (a 2004 SWOMGT, a 2012 OOO18 Golden Era 1937, and a 1941 O-17), and soon, a guitar that I am just finishing building for myself, a deep body, parlor-sized mini-jumbo.

  6. Suzanne Geraci

    Oh, boy…. my first guitar was a Stella! I bought it from a band mate for $5.00 back in 1965. It had such high action, and it took all the strength I had to hold down the strings, but I loved that guitar and played until I couldn’t play any longer (for that day)… There was always the next day! I learned some basic chords and taught myself to play my favorite songs with my guitar backing up my vocals…. I wish I had been able to record it to hear how it sounded…. Anyway, thanks for the great idea of encouraging us to remember those wonderful experiences with our first guitars!

  7. Profile photo of Harley J
    Harley J

    My first guitar was a Harmony all-mahogany guitar and very, very plain. This was about 1965 or so. Don’t remember what it cost. For the money to buy it, I broke horses and ponies. A couple years later, when Dad told me I should sell it if I wasn’t going to keep up with it, I did. When you’re 16-17 yrs. old a lot of things seem more interesting. I decided after retirement to try to learn how to play some stringed instruments and about 3 yrs. ago I bought a Martin 000-15 M. I bought it for basically two reasons: I liked it’s tone a lot, and except for the name, it looks exactly like my first, no frills, Harmony. So I kinda went full circle, only better. Maybe older does equate with wiser.

  8. Profile photo of Richard S
    Richard S

    My first guitar was an epiphone folk guitar that my mother rented for me from a local music store in the Washington, D.C. area where I grew up. I played that guitar morning, day and night. I have had the guitar addiction ever since. How wonderful is that? I begged and begged for anything that sounded like the music I could hear on my new transistor radio. This was in 1964. From the time I first heard the Beatles a little later on, I just had to have an electric guitar. It was a cherry red singe pickup Kent guitar. The guitar and amplifier together was about $60.

  9. Red Morris

    1964 Harmony Soveriegn. My mom was great and gave in to my begging,she spent
    $99.00 on it w/case. In 1964 this was over a weeks pay,a fact I did not realize until years later. Fast forward 51 years ….. I still have the beauty and she is a cannon…I wish I could have matured as well. Tony had so much fun reviewing the Taylor G S Mini thats what I travel with(truck driver)and the beauty stays safe at home. Thanks Tony,
    Your( lazy, undiciplined) friend,

  10. Profile photo of David W
    David W

    My first guitar was BM Clasico that my older brother bought for me as a birthday present in ’76 (about £5 back then). He said it was to stop me trying to learn to play on his pride and joy – an Eko Ranger – but it was a real kindness. I worked my way through the Beatles complete song book (borrowed from my brother!) on that nylon strung plywood box – I used to call it the Matchbox. I still have the guitar and would not part with it but I have lent it to several people over the years who expressed an interest in learning to play. I have other better guitars now but I still occasionally play the Matchbox – it’s not much of a guitar in itself but it holds a lot of memories for me and reminds me how we can help each other to get along.

  11. Profile photo of Mackeye

    My first guitar?????? I guess that would be the one I bought for my son who wanted to learn to play. It was and is a Fender Concord. His desire to learn lead to my sitting through his guitar lessons. I found myself also quite intrigued with the acoustic guitar. This lead to my also wanting to learn to play as well and a fight between father and son. Who would get to use the guitar first. I eventually ended up buying my own guitar, a Martin D-17M. What a sound this beauty puts out.
    My son eventually gave up on playing and I gained the Fender into my collection, that is until he finally reclaims the love on the guitar. Since then I have added a Zager ZAD-50CE/VS to my collection. They all call for me to play them and I feel guilty when I choose one over the other. However, my first love will always be my that Martin that spoke to me in the music store. Its deep and haunting sound will stay within me forever.

  12. Bill

    Well, Uncle Jim gave me his 00-21 Martin that at the time was easily 25 years old. I took it away to college in’66 and at a cafe, was played by Jerry Jeff Walker. Was also the cause of my first failed marriage… thanks “guitar”. Was rare and a classic with a couple of cracks and some repairs done around the sound hole (from when I decided to play golf in my apartment). Matt Umanov in the village only offered me a couple hundred on a trade in, sold it for 5 x that on Ebay to a collector and bought my 000-28c. Thanks for letting me think about the history.

  13. wally parks

    Yamaha FG 160 paid $110 back in 1972. Still have the guitar but it does not look anything the same. As I went through High School the guitar ended up with some art work on it, some of it mine, some of it by others. When I was 24 y/o and into a christian music thing, I tried to refinish the guitar and lose the art work. That was a big fail, I knew nothing about what I was doing. The headstock cracked and while replacing tuning gears the split broke off. I got a piece of oak and shaped and glue and dowel’ed that back together and continued using and playing the guitar for several years. about 3 years ago I was a t a chalk art festival and saw this artist from San Francisco who created the space scenes on cardboard with spray paint. We discussed it and the next day I brought it to him prepped to turn the guitar into a new work of art. I have ahd signatures applied to this item from Joe Bonamassa and Tommy Emmanuel. When Joe saw it he joked and asked me if I had this done during my Carl Sagan phase. It is a unique looking guitar now. Still playable but also looks good just hanging on the wall.

  14. Dogfeathers

    My first guitar was a “lawsuit” Takamine F360, a copy of a Martin D28. I bought it from a young Frank Ford at Gryphon Stringed Instruments when they were in a tiny shop about twice the size of a phone booth in 1974. Pretty nice guitar too, but I later discovered OM’s and 000’s and have pretty much stayed with smaller bodied Martins since then. I miss the “boom”, but don’t miss the size.

  15. Greg

    My brother and I got a guitar back the earlier 60’s probably from Sears, being the younger brother I basically got to look at it and told not to mess with it…40 years later my son started playing… hey I should try again, my brother found an old FG-150 at a garage sale, for 10 bucks! he sold it to me, started looking around for lessons and videos on line, I was hooked, hooked bad, picked up lessons locally, found a couple of Epi’s, a T-310 and a S-310, an amp, than Washburn, than Sigma 1st, than a Vantage 12 string, and most recently a D-28, why did I wait, making up for 40 years, this is great…

  16. Siegfred John Sevilla

    My very first guitar was an RJ Guitalele which I only bought it this year even though it was a relatively cheap guitar. These guitars are only made here in Philippines

  17. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P

    I gotta say this continues to be just plain cool to read!!! Thank you everyone for continuing to share your stories!!! Keep it up and make sure to share it with your fellow guitar players if they would be interested.


  18. Profile photo of Lee L
    Lee L

    i got a Harmony Archtone for Christmas 1967 (i think it was ’67?)… i think it cost about $45 .

  19. Roman

    The first one was Epiphone Dot Studio. It was advised to me by a person who taught me first cords. I played it for a year and then put aside for another 5.
    Past spring I decided to start learning to play again and traded the Epiphone for Taylor 110. And even though I don’t have my first guitar anymore, I use the song I learned on it to warm up my fingers before every practice.

  20. Tony

    My first guitar was an EROS, which were Italian who also made Echo. It was the mid 70’s and I was in school. I always remember how heavy it was, and it had a built in pick-up. I sounded beautiful compared to what I played previous to getting it.
    Over time the neck began to resemble the shape of a banana and it was donated to a parish fundraising event.
    These days I play a Takamine EAN10C

  21. drew

    i have to say this is really cool reading about how so many of us got such different starts and how many of us got a start due to the either generosity or benevolence of others! i guess that mean s i should go buy some knock around guitars in case any local kids seem to be in need of a loaner or a gift. what a powerful legacy that could be. got Mississippi John Hurt playing a hundred some years ago.

  22. Fabio

    My first guitar was my brother’s whom I sneaked out of his room every chance I got. It was a god knows what kind of a creation electric and even had a fret instead of a nut at the headstock. The nut was just behind it. Does anyone know why this was done? Anyway, it played well, nice low action. My brother never had an amp so I discovered that if I sat on the toilet and pressed the headstock into the lavatory cabinet and the body into the plaster wall, it would reverberate and I was an instant rock star! Smoke on the Water! You could hear it through the whole house….and besides, it probably eased my dad’s mind a bit of how much time I spent in the bathroom anyway. I was thirteen…

  23. Chris

    Yamaha Pacifica 112 in Natural Satin. Best Christmas gift ever.

  24. Aljoy

    ere the only string brand I can find where we lived. I had to change the strings like every month as they wear and break that easy. One stormy night after a jam session, I left it at the venue for safekeeping with my other jam mates’ more expensive American, Japanese and Spanish made guitars. The venue was broken in by thieves and took the cheapest guitar in the room. I was grieving for many months.

  25. Aljoy

    My first guitar was a no-brand look-alike Gibson Hummingbird made in the Philippines. It was shiny black solid Mahogany body and neck with rosewood fingerboard. I bought it for about 600 Philippine hard-earned Pesos (about US$30 at that time). It had Mariposa strings which were the only string brand I can find where we lived. I had to change the strings like every month as they wear and break that easy. One stormy night after a jam session, I left it at the venue for safekeeping with my other jam mates’ more expensive American, Japanese and Spanish made guitars. The venue was broken in by thieves and took the cheapest guitar in the room. I was grieving for many months.

  26. Mike Ward

    My first guitar was an Applaus by Ovation one of the full bowlback ones that I spotted on a Gypsys’ scrap cart. It only had three rusty strings. I paid £ 20 (about$35) for it. No pick up and very dirty. I raced home to get the money, and spent ages making a new Nut and went to my local Guitar shop for Strings and Bridge Pins.

  27. Mike Clark

    My first guitar was a Japanese Aria LH (a copy in looks of a Martin D45). Many nice guitars have come and gone over the years, but I would never part with the Aria. It cost me 350 pounds and sounds great. It plays as good as my Martin D28, although the Martin has more bass.

    1. Mike Clark

      I should add the Aria was purchased from my local guitar shop in the NE of England in 1990.

  28. Lawrence

    My first guitar was a Kent Electric and it came with a Sears Silvertone 2 x 12″ amp.
    I got it from my deaf grandparents and I loved it!!!!
    I didn’t know how a guitar was supposed to feel until I played my next guitar a Les Paul Std. I that was one my friend had.
    Still that Kent got me seriously loving playing guitar. That was in 1960!!

  29. Profile photo of Marco Jimenez
    Marco Jimenez

    My first guitar was an Epiphone EJ200, it has a very special place in my heart because it was also the first thing that I bought with my very own money!! I have always been a Beatles fan and I love Harrisons J200 and 9 years ago a Gibson was absolutely out of the question so that epi was just perfect!!! The first son I learned on it was here comes the sun 🙂

  30. Jim B

    My first guitar was sent to me by Lillos music sight unseen , I was working in the arctic and had time to kill so I figured I would try to learn how to play, I phoned them and they sent it to the camp. It is a 1980 Yamaha FG335L(Lefty). Still have it , still play it , still travel with it , but must admit at home for my 55th B-Day I bought a Martin 00028.and it gets most of my attention. But the ole girl is a part of my family!

  31. Tim

    Hi My 1st guitar was a Fender acoustic dont remember the exact model though I paid $300 Cdn at the time was a good guitar & actually a good tone until top came apart from the bracing Fender did rtn my money though for another which was cool have purchased a few guitars since just enjoy playing Have couple of Amer Strats & Tele & Martin acoustic now Rock on everyone

  32. garlicfarmer45

    My first guitar was a Yamaha FG 200 bought in 1972. Played it until 5 years ago when I bought myself a Martin D 16 for my 60th birthday. Now, unfortunately, I almost never touch the Yamaha. The sound just cannot compare to the Martin.

  33. Doug Whitehead

    My first guitar was not an acoustic. It is a Fender Music master with a Champ Amp. It has a 22.5 scale. Both were bought for me by my dad in Tucson Arizona in 1961. I do still play them however the Fender needs new tuning machines. I did not start playing an acoustic until after I retired. Therefore my first acoustic is a Gibson Traveling Songwriter EC made in 2005 this is the one with the sound hole in the back of the guitar.

  34. Abel

    My first guitar was a Furch d-62 which was made in 1998 i know that it’s not a very old guitar but since I am 19 years old it is old enough for me. It’s a cannon but the playability isn’t the best anymore. I inherited the guitar from my grandfather and i will cherish it for the rest of my life.


  35. drew

    the first guitar i played was my dad’s martin d-18 late 60’s early 70’s model. when he sold the guitar to buy a motorcycle, he bought me a martin sigma dm-1stce. that guitar went everywhere with me, college, multiple states, church, coffee shops and bar gigs. afterwards, i inherited my mom’s takamine and even saved up enough to buy a used taylor k-14c, but my go to guitar was always that goofy sigma. it disappeared one day, with most of my music gear, to help finance art school, but i still feel a ton of affection for the poor old thing. but, i have to admit, after hearing old recording of the beast, i think i miss my dad’s d-18 more.

  36. Bill manderfield

    First guitar was a sixties fender jazzmaster that was a junker. bought a 72 tele early 70 les paul custom. It was 1979when i started. Alvarez acoustics, 68 humingbird, 57 es175, some old bighead strats. Now i have a corban cutom acoustit that is a cannon and drowns out two or three other guitars im playing with, also sounds great not just loud. 68 orlando classical, wonderfull. Squire strat and a 94 parker fly. Nice.!
    Still love the sounds they make.

  37. Greg

    I purchased my first guitar 3 years ago on Amazon.com. I had never before played an instrument and no idea if I really wanted to invest in a guitar. But a small interest and the right price point led me to buy a, new, Rogue RA 090 dreadnought guitar. This $40 purchase has been a life changing investment. Despite the high action, dull laminate sound, cheap tuners, and cheesy lookin sunburst, this guitar is priceless in my book! I couldn’t be more satisfied with my purchase. I have since upgraded to a Breedlove (discovery series) but I will occasionally revisit my old Rogue dreadnought and reminisce on the beginnings of my acoustic adventures.

  38. Larry Carr

    Epiphone ft-145sb 1978 vintage!

    Bolt on neck. I have repaired collapsed top, numerous dings, and gotten rid of adjustable Bridge. It is awesome now!

  39. Tim

    My first guitar was given to me by my uncle and grandfather. It was purchased with s&h greenstamps and would huet your fingers to try and fret anything but was way better than nothing. After a year or so of practice and lessons my grandfather bought me a harmony all mahogany guitar for $ 60.00 including the case from the local music store we only had one. It played so well compared to the other one i thought i died and went to heaven.

  40. Carl Curtis

    My first guitar was a Stella “Harmony” 12-string sunburst. The thing must have been plywood, but it had a good, very loud sound. The main thing I remember about it now is that, to my shame, I didn’t know to tune it a step down. Eventually the heel began to separate from he body, and I got rid of it. If I could do two “guitar” things over, they would be (a) to tune it correctly and (b) to still have it. In its own modest way, it was a classic. Think of Leadbelly.

  41. Geof

    lots of great stories……
    My first guitar my mum got for $15 in 1968. nylon strings and a big crack in the front. No brand and today it hangs over my bar – completely unplayable now, after a short stint with steel strings…..bad idea.
    The first guitar I paid for in 1973 (when I was 16) was a 1968 Les Paul black custom that I still have. I saved for two years to buy it and my parents matched my savings for Christmas and Birthday that year to get enough money to buy it for $420 – today it’s worth a bit more than that!!
    The first acoustic guitar I paid for was an SJ Deluxe Gibson sunburst from the late 70’s that I still have.

  42. Ron Rosenbaum

    Around 1962 or so, a Kay hollow body with f holes, terrible action (I didn’t understand that at the time). They destroyed my bloody fingers, but built strength and amazing calluses. When it became apparent to my dad that I was able to play fairly well, he took me to the original Sam Ash, where the salesperson convinced us to buy a brand I hadn’t yet heard of –
    Martin! It was a 1963 Martin 016NY, not the flashy off brand dreadnaught I was looking at. My dad had $116 in his pocket, and that’s what we paid for it. 53 years later, it’s still a beautiful, well used instrument…seen me through recording, live performances, and lots of playing just for myself . Though I love my new HD-35, the New Yorker is still my dream machine.

    1. Brent

      Being a Martin D18 owner, I appreciate your story very much. It’s just great… Someday in my searches and when I can afford it, I’ll find an old Martin to add my collection. A famous friend of mine once said “One can never have too many guitars!” I wish my wife shared those feelings.

  43. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P

    This is by far the most active comment thread in TAC history!!! After revisiting this I was so happy to see another treasure trove of stories about first guitars here. I have found myself reading all of these, some multiple times… I mean the amount of cool stories here really is incredible. I again want to just drop a note of thanks at the top because this has been so cool to read and have others read as well, thank you all so much!!! And by all means keep the stories flowing 🙂


  44. Joshua

    My dad’s yamaha fg340. Its special considering I’m from south africa and it’s an early 70’s model. Love it.

  45. Eddie Reed

    My first guitar was a stella my mother got for me when I was 13 years old. My uncle taught me my first three chords C,F&G. and I was off and running. I spent the summers with grandmother in the country and she loved the country song “Frankie and Johnny” so that was the first song I learned. I played that song to death on her front porch every evening and she never got tired of hearing me singing and playing it. Like everyone else says, the action was high, but that was all I knew. I thought all guitars were like that. Over the years the guitar disappeared and I so wished I had it today, to recapture that comforting feeling that Tony talks about. I had a slew of cheap guitars after that until I was grown and later discovered a Martin in a music store. I remember thinking wow, this thing plays itself and years later being able to purchase one.

  46. David

    The first guitar I started learning on was my college roommate’s Martin D-35 (yeah, good roommate choice). Then life happened. My first guitar did not come along until my 35th birthday, a used Taylor 310. I still have it 20 years later, cannot seem to part with it. In fact, it was the first guitar my son learned to play on.

    1. Tim

      Good story. I’m curious how that Taylor sounds today and if you know what wood the back and sides are?

  47. John Perdue

    1965, my first guitar was a Silvertone semi hollow body cut away electric guitar with a Silvertone amp. The neck was not true and tuning was tough so, I learned to finger pick from the 1st 5 frets. Probably bought from Sears by my father. I played trumpet in the high school marching band, concert band, and full orchestra band. Then came the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and I pleaded for a guitar. I got it and started a band in the 9th grade trotting out Walk Don’t Run, Gloria, I’m a Man, etc (Forgive me). My parents were grateful to put us in the garage and spared the trumpet scales. After graduation, college, and an Army stint as a drafted medic I got an Ibanez acoustic with a true neck. I now have an Epihone dot, a Epiphone Dove, an Alverez 12 string, and a Resonator. They are all mid to low end but have true necks and great sound and I am now playing with two other old hippy retirees and coveting a Martin or D’Angelico EX-SS. What once was is now again.

    1. Hunziker Scott

      My first guitar wasn’t a guitar, but a baritone uke. I was too small to play a guitar,so I had the uke. That was in 1956, when I was 12 years old. I played my first gig on WNLK radio (AM) on the Tex O’Keefe country music hour in Norwalk Connecticut. When I was 16, I got my first real guitar, a Fender Strat. Best electric I ever played. I now have a LoPrinzi acoustic, and a Guild D-50 that I got in 1965. It still sounds better every day despite many years of use 🙂 Scott Hunziker

  48. Profile photo of Duane W
    Duane W

    My first guitar was a mid 50’s Silvertone jumbo achtop. Bought it use in ’63 for $5, no case. It sonded like damp cardboard, was really hard to tune, the neck felt as big as a telephone pole, the action was high enough you could drive a truck under the strings…. but it had a beautiful sunburst color that has influenced my finish preference ever since. I sold that guitar within 6 months for $15 to buy a used electric (didn’t own another acoustic for almost 10 years). For decades I thought maybe my impressions of that first guitar might have been colored by my young age and physical size. In the mid 90’s I saw an identical model for sale and checked it out. I realized as an adult, it really was a huge funky dead sounding guitar with a massive non-adjustable neck, horrible action and stiff cheap tuners, but the sunburst finish still looked good.

  49. Taylor Gibson

    My first guitar was an Eko Ranger vi (6 string) which i bought in Sussex N.B. canada in 1974. Paid $50 fir it new. It was a huge tank of a dreadnaught which i was drawn to after a summer of listening to all things Neil Young, especially a concert at the end of summer in Toronto featuring Crosby Stills Nash and Young and The Band. ( first concert i went to with my now husband). Guitar had a bolt on neck and an adjustable bridge which helped alot to lower the action.

    I was thinking i should get rid of it and was going to donate it to Bob Egan of Blue Rodeo who has a guitar repair shop in Ontario Canada, and who fixes old guitars to sell for charitable causes. He told me his first guitar was an Eko also. So that was pretty cool. I ended up keeping it because i realized it meant too much to me . In fact, after reading all these posts i’m going to haul it out of the basement and play it. Thanks Tony for a great read.

    1. Taylor Gibson

      I forgot to mention – this guitar was used by jimmy page in recording studio and is quite collectible because of this. Wish i could post a picture, but can’t. Just google jimmy page eko ranger vi and his picture will pop up.

      1. Brent

        With a name like “Taylor Gibson”, you really should have at least one of each!

  50. Mark Drobnick

    An Eko model P8 (acoustic) with zero fret & floating bridge, made in Italy, was my first guitar. I still have it.
    You could use it for bluegrass chord strumming, but that’s about it, without a neck reset. Has high action; no truss rod.
    It’s a more compact guitar (for a jr. high kid like I was, for example). Looks like natural spruce top, with mahogany laminate sound box, gloss finish. Trapeze insert for strings base, & slotted headstock, are part of its description.
    An Italian music store owner—Chicago area— sold it to my dad (for me), back in the day, reduced to $35 new. That’s when I went there for piano lessons, John Schaum series, etc.
    That’s a start on lessons, but, does not teach you how to be working musician.
    Is very common approach, universally, in teaching instrument to anyone. As for guitar, I took a summer of Mel Bay, note reading instruction, then set guitar aside until years later, when I hit it full-force with tab literature.
    Four years ago, I visited an upscale guitar shop in downtown Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The most beautiful instrument in the store turned out to be an Eko. Of course I tried it. Gorgeous piece of furniture, is how it ultimately impressed me.
    As for tone, these days, I’d have to say one of the best I play is an Epiphone Casino, although there are others. Martin acoustics impress me as well, even entry level that sell for half a “K”. Again, great tone.
    Also worth checking out: Esteve (Valencia, Spain), Yamaha, Peavey, & Seagull.
    Off-beats I like: Traveler & Ministar.
    Unusual & excellent: Puerto Rican cuatro of indigenous woods (guaraguao, yagrumo, maho, laurel, etc.), including “enterizo” (made from one solid piece, headstock to base of lower bout, entire instrument-luthier {artisan} made). Is kind of like a bigger mandolin, tuned BEADG, double strings 5 to 1.

  51. Mark Drobnick

    An Eko model P8 (acoustic) with zero fret & floating bridge, made in Italy, was my first guitar. I still have it.
    You could use it for bluegrass chord strumming, but that’s about it, without a neck reset. Has high action; no truss rod.
    It’s a more compact guitar (for a jr. high kid like I was, for example). Looks like natural spruce top, with mahogany laminate sound box, gloss finish. Trapeze insert for strings base, & slotted headstock, are part of its description.
    An Italian music store owner—Chicago area— sold it to my dad (for me), back in the day, reduced to $35 new. That’s when I went there for piano lessons, John Schaum series, etc.
    That’s a start on lessons, but, does not teach you how to be working musician.
    Is very common approach, universally, in teaching instrument to anyone. As for guitar, I took a summer of Mel Bay, note reading instruction, then set guitar aside until years later, when I hit it full-force with tab literature.
    Four years ago, I visited an upscale guitar shop in downtown Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The most beautiful instrument in the store turned out to be an Eko. Of course I tried it. Gorgeous piece of furniture, is how it ultimately impressed me.
    As for tone, these days, I’d have to say one of the best I play is an Epiphone Casino, although there are others. Martin acoustics impress me as well, even entry level that sell for half a “K”. Again, great tone.
    Also worth checking out: Esteve (Valencia, Spain), Yamaha, Peavey, & Seagull.
    Off-beats I like: Traveler & Ministar.
    Unusual & excellent: Puerto Rican cuatro of indigenous woods (guaraguao, yagrumo, maho, laurel, etc.), including “enterizo” (made from one solid piece, headstock to base of lower bout, entire instrument-luthier {artisan} made). Is kind of like a bigger mandolin, tuned BEADG, double strings 5 to 1.

  52. Lonnie Davis

    My first guitar was a Yamaha FG160 I bought for myself in the mid to late seventies. Some of my friends were playing and I wanted to be in on the fun. I had that guitar for maybe a year and it was stolen. I tried hard to find it, but never did. I replaced it with a Suzuki acoustic that was ok, but I always missed that Yamaha. Still jam when I can with friends on my Taylor 314 CE or my new Martin d18 amberburst!

  53. Joe Merkler (aka - Nor White)

    I had two first guitars. In Oct. 1993 I had My mothers late 50’s Classical style guitar by the Harmony co. In Chicago, IL. ser.# 173 . It was so hard to play with the wide neck. I still have it, but by that Christmas I was able to find a nice dreadnought for my own 1st. guitar. It is a used Fender with a Strat style headstock, a “Capistrano” model. I love it. I named it “Christmas”. It has a very low action almost like an electric guitar, thanks to J. Gravity Music in St . Louis, Mo. Its the guitar I like to play late at night in my apt., my friendly guitar.

  54. Donald Reed

    Well, my first guitar was an Epiphone auditorium size purchased by my Mom, for me, back in 1974. I wish that I could tell you what happened to it…but, it was the 70’s, and I simply don’t remember that part of it. However, I remember the tone. It was Rosewood back and sides with a solid Spruce top, and the sound was amazing!

  55. Sam

    My first guitar would have been a Mexican Fender Telecaster. However, the store I bought it from had put the wrong tag on one of their American Tele’s. When I got home, I realized that they had sold me a barely used American Telecaster for the price of a used Mexican.

  56. Will C.

    My first was an archtop tenor my mom found at a junk shop back in the mid 1950’s when I was about 15 years old. When she passed away in 1959, my dad bought me a new Martin O 18. I think I’ve owned about 25 guitars since then…

  57. Timmy Spillane

    My first guitar? Well, there were several “firsts”…my VERY first guitar that I owned was a Sears 1/2 scale acoustic, I bought it using paper route money…a whole $12, in 1973! The first guitar that I actually played was my dad’s Kay jumbo western acoustic, early 70s I believe, it played and sounded great, but for a 9 year old kid, it was HUGE!!! My first electric was a Marlboro Strat copy that Mom and Dad got me for Christmas in 1975, it was actually pretty good although I didn’t see it for what it was back then. My first REAL guitar was my 1979 Epiphone Genesis, my brother Sean (RIP brother) helped me pick it out and pay for it in early 1980…this is my longest lasting axe, it’s been with me ever since (through my metal days, breaking the headstock clean off at a New Years Eve show in 1986, and toasting the bridge pickup with no known reason…I think it was caused by massive amounts of sweat) and was my muse for most of my musical life. I still have it to this day, and it still plays and sounds great!

  58. Steve

    My first guitar was a Silvertone that my mom bought for me after a lot of listening to the Beatles and a lot of begging. I think it cost about $35 at Sears in 1964. I had no idea that other guitars might be easier to play, and thought that what I came to learn was “action” was the same for every guitar. I had a buddy who had a Fender Strat. He also had money for lessons, so he’d teach me what his teacher taught him just about every week. I learned “House of the Rising Sun,” first, which was the best damn blues song a newby could learn. It moves from major to minor chords. It has open chords, semi-quick changes, a barred chord (that damned “F” that I now play like it was never a problem), and with the action on the Silvertone as high as it was, the callouses developed quickly. We put together a band and for an hour at every practice, we’d play our set acoustically. That Silvertone -much to the chagrin of our keyboard guy — sounded great. Especially when I put it down and picked up the Les Paul that I bought with lawn mowing money. Good times.

  59. Michael Giltzow

    My first was a plastic Roy Rogers guitar I received for Christmas in the mid 50’s. It had a chord maker plastic button device that strapped over the strings so you could play a chord by pushing one button. Don’t know what happened to it and have had several guitars since then. Have been making custom acoustic guitars for the last 13 years (guitarsbygiltzow.con) – Mike

  60. Alan Simpson

    My first guitar was a $5 Mexican guitar that I bought in one of the border towns between Mexico and the US back in 1960. It was a classical guitar but had steel strings that I kept using for the first few months not knowing that I could buy new strings. I had many nights with bloody fingers until someone told me about nylon strings. Even with the nylon strings the action was horrible but it was a start and 55 years later I still enjoy playing even though that first guitar is long gone.

  61. Rick Swift

    As a lefty in the early 60’s, there were no left handed guitars available…… at least not in my Dad’s price range. So, we went downtown to Beale Street to Nathan’s Pawn shop. Nathan was a legend in Memphis and he was so much fun to deal with. Anyway, my dad paid an extra $5 to get me the white, no-name, fender knock-off electric with a small Ampeg amp. I could not wait to get home and change the strings. I didn’t care that it was upside down and looked backwards to the world… I was learning to make music. I have’nt thought about Nathan or that guitar in years. I can’t help but remember in the 5th grade our band, The Dukes, won the talent content singing the Beatles tune “She Loves You”. Thanks for the memories and thanks Dad for investing your hard earned money in my music.

  62. Kathy Deutsch

    December 27, 2014. My husband got his first guitar (a Yamaha) for Christmas a couple days earlier. He needed some stuff for it so we went into a Guitar Center. I wandered into the acoustic room and there it was, a Taylor GS mini in mahogany.

    Mind you, I did not know anything about that at the time. I mean, I knew NOTHING. Why? I grew up with a mom who had a guitar she did not want me to touch. She told me all guitars were one size-too big for me. And when ever I did go into a music store, the only acoustics were dreadnoughts-too big for me.

    I picked up that guitar and sat down, strummed it. A couple days later, I spent a whole day in Fazio’s Music, playing guitars. Learning the sound I wanted, what the sizes meant. I walked out with a Taylor GS mini, but the LTD edition in koa. It has not been much out of my hands since then.

  63. John Collyer

    My first guitar was an Egmond Western Jumbo with a sunburst finish, an action so high you could bunji jump off it, and if you put your fingers inside there was a very likely chance you’d get splinters. That was 1964, it cost £14 and my mum had to put up the £1 deposit so I could buy it on hire purchase (credit) as I was only 14. Perhaps it is as a reaction to the post war austerity in the UK at that time and the fact that we were poor that now I cannot control my impulses and am now the proud owner a veritable fleet of top end acoustics, all a lot more playable than that old crock of shit that was the Egmond! Still at least I stuck with it.

  64. Timo M

    My first guitar was Walden G630CE. I still own the guitar and I absolutely love it. But it wasn’t the first guitar I played. My dad have Landola classical guitar from 60s and it is still hanging on the wall in my childhood house in Tampere. I still want to fix that Landola (change strings, check the neck, tuners etc.) and have the same fun with it when I was 6-7 years old.

  65. paul canham

    My first guitar was a Folk Lore nylon string that I got for Christmas when i was in 6th grade. i never played guitar before 6th grade but when i went to music class that year the teacher said she wanted every one to learn an instrument. she said we got a deal on 2 nice nylon string guitars – held one up an asked who wants to learn guitar? being shy I didnt say any thing right away but no one else spoke up so I said I WILL! then some how my father found the same guitar as a gift.

  66. Carl MacQueen

    My first was an acoustic my mom bought for my dad when they were just going out in 1976. It’s a 1974 Ibanez Artist dreadnaught. I used that for the first year or more of my learning. Moved on to electric but always kept the guitar because it’s beautiful. The action was ridiculously high up until recently. My dad passes away suddenly in 2010 and I never really played it after that. Then recently I picked it up and lowered the action and now it’s the only acoustic I play. He never learned how to play it.

    1. Jeffrey

      Stella, Stella and Stella! Was my first guitar! Red and black acoustic purchased at the local music store at the time in Gloversville NY! Had to be 1973 when I was 13 and Dad bought my first guitar when I was going to have lessons!It was a thing of beauty for me and I hacked away at it mercessly! First song I learned? “All Right Now” by Free! My gramps had an electric guitar that first exposed me to music, long long ago- and he played it on his porch like a mandolin to his kids which were 7 sons and daughters (my mom one of them)….

  67. Paul

    My very first guitar was a rental that probably should have been sold as a peddle steel. I stuck to it and the pain was overwhelmed by the joy it brought me.
    After my interest level was confirmed by my father he bought me a Gibson hummingbird in 1965.
    Afterwards I became interested in finger style playing and bought a 68 Martin D28 S .
    Playing in the bar scene I added a Martin D28, D35and a D 35 12 string. These were my main guitars for most of my public playing career.
    Over the past several years I have added a Martin 0000 42, 0042 JM and a Maple Guild F50.
    In the past 3 years I have been studying classical(Spanish) guitar and have acquired a number of fine hand made instruments from around the world.
    I speak of my guitar collection NOT from a standpoint of “my collection is better than your’s” but rather think of it as a reflection of my interest in all types of guitar music and I encourage all of you to enjoy and appreciate everything the guitar has to offer . Each of these instruments have their own personality and sound and I love all of them.
    I find it interesting I forgot to mention custom les paul and custom fender strat. Sometimes you just have to ROCK!!!
    Sonatina andante by torroba.. Listen to it with your heart…

  68. Greg

    In 1979, after playing a borrowed Alverez, I bought an early 70’s Gibson Heritage Custom, for $300. Loved that guitar. In the mid-90’s my best friend moved away, and I gave it to him. He still plays it. From time to time, I have him send me a picture of it. I gave it away, because I bought an HD-28 (and because I wanted him to have it). That is also when I was first diagnosed with G.A.S. and have bought and sold probably 20 guitars since then. I still think about that Gibson.

  69. Barry Espeseth

    I received my first guitar when I was 10 in 1961. A Guild A-50 Sunburst that I still play today at most annually. This is the guitar I was taught on by Mr Bellabono with very traditional classic approach for 4 years. This is the guitar I played throughout the 60’s folk music years to PP&M, Simon & Garfunkel and Dylan. I have thought of trading it in periodically towards a high quality Martin or Taylor acoustic but have not had the heart to part with it yet.

  70. John Estep

    I’m one of the old guys, go way back. My first guitar was a $10.00 Stella, which is gone to guitar heaven now. I kept it long enough to qualify for a better one promised by my Dad, if I learned to play the Stella. This was in either 1950 or 1951. My first “real” guitar, I thought, was a 1952 Dixon Auditorium, which I still have. We put in a lot of miles together riding around our little town in KY, pickin’ and grinnin’, with friends learning a couple of the new tunes, emerging from Rhythm & Blues, called “Rock & Roll”, like “Rock Around the Clock”, and “Johnny Be Good”. I have long since been 100% Bluegrass, especially when Rock & Roll started transitioning into “Noise”…….sorry…….

  71. Kelly

    I got my first guitar in 2011 at age 50.
    It’s a 1969 Ventura OM. Very, very sweet sounding guitar! I got serious about learning and now also have an Epiphone EJ-200SCE, RK rp-06, and a Martin D-18 Ambertone on the way!

  72. Michael

    I only started to play 1.5 years ago at age 50. I went into a local guitar shop and they sold me a classical guitar, a Camps ST-1 C.
    I only used it for about 3 months. I then upgraded to a Martin D-28. 3 months ago I added a Martin CEO-7 to the collection, which is more comfy for noodling on the couch 🙂

    Learning to play an instrument has changed my life and I practice every day after coming back from work. The stress of the day is gone after 15 minutest. Just love it.

  73. Alan M

    I played around a bit with my Dad’s Harmony Montery, but my first was a Stella that I bought from a high school buddy for $15. Not much of a guitar, but it got me started. When I got a new Guild D25 a couple of years after college, the Stella was turned into a slide guitar (Dobro style) for a friend to learn on.

    It went into the trash when he got a real Dobro. Recently, I got another Stella off Craigslist. The top buckled when I strung it up, but it makes a nice wall hanger in my shop.

  74. Craig Ward

    Great idea Tony – thanks. My first guitar was a Yamaha FG110 which my parents got me for Christmas in 1970 or so when I was 12. I still have it but unfortunately it is not playable due to a badly bellied bridge. Maybe I should bury it in the back yard. I loved that guitar and it started a lifelong love of 000 bodied acoustics. I got way bigger though and my current acoustic is a J-40 – 0000 body Martin which I also love. Man is that thing loud. By the way I also have a 1990 Beard squareneck dobro and your fan coverplate tats are way cool.

  75. Doug

    I took piano lessons for 2 years as a kid, and kind of lost interest in it, but not my interest in music. My dad had an old guitar he had as a kid, and I bought a cheap pair of strings to go on it. We got the strings on, but he couldn’t remember how to tune it. I saw how he made a D chord though, so I made this shape on the fret board, and started twisting tuning knobs until it sounded “right”. I took it back to him, he strummed a G or something, and it was fairly in tune. He looked at me kind of weird and asked me how I did that, so I told him. Turns out he was trying to tune everything at the fifth fret, forgetting the B string should be tuned at the fourth fret of the G string. Later on that day, he and my Mom went shopping, and he came home with a “real” guitar from Wal-Mart he paid $39.99 for. The action was awful, but it didn’t sound bad, and would stay in tune. Played that for about a year, then got a Fender acoustic for Christmas, and upgraded to a nice Ovation a couple of years later. My parents really supported me. Now I have 3 Taylors and a Gibson, in addition to that 30-yr old Ovation… have my eye on another one too…

  76. Jerry L

    I decided late in life to learn to play the guitar. Some of my fondest childhood memories were of my extended family getting together on the weekends and jamming. My father always played guitar during the jams and when I informed him that I wanted to learn to play guitar roughly 7 years ago, my father said “take my guitar, it’s in the closet and I haven’t touched in years”. At the time that I took the guitar and amp home with me I had no idea of what I had in my possession. I took it to a music store to get new strings because I had no idea how to change strings or tune a guitar. After the clerk at the store tried to buy it or trade me any guitar in the shop, I decided I needed to do some research. My first guitar was my fathers 1959 Fender Stratocaster, nearly perfect condition with all the original hang tags,. I believe my father paid $359.00 for it new in 1959. I also took his 1959 Princton Tweed amp everything is all original and in pristine condition. My father has since passed but his has left me with many beautiful memories and a beautiful guitar to make many more.

    1. Taylor Gibson

      I hope you never went back to that music store.

  77. Pete Dickinsonq

    My first guitar I got when I was 10 and it was my sister old Acoustic which said Falcon on the headstock. I brought it of my sister for 45 British Pounds many years down the line I put a pick up on it and total guitar stickers, sadly I don’t have that no more as I swapped it for a Epiphone EJ-200 but I had that Falcon for 8 years.

  78. Ryan-O'Neil

    I bought my 1st guitar in the fall of 2003. A Johnson dreadnaught acoustic. It was $100 with the case. I was a sophomore in college studying voice and I’d always wanted to learn the guitar. I saw all these guys getting girls on campus and I decided it was time to learn.

    I bought it at Area Records in Geneva, NY. I learned my first chords and scales on it. The action was/is too high and it’s a pain to play. I’ve bought a few guitars acoustic and electric since then, but it’s still with me, covered in stickers.

  79. Wanderley

    Hi, Tony

    Mine was a Di Giorgio student 28 classical guitar, Brazilian made, with a laminated back and sides (I doubt it was BRW – more likely Indian Rosewood – , because it was made in 1975). It as a decent guitar. Unfortunately a friend sat on it – yes, that’s right! – and it broke at the peghead. I sent it to someone who supposedly knew how to fix but it didn’t work. So, my parents gave me a replacement (same specs, buy made in the early 90’s) and I threw it away. The replacement was definitely not a good guitar. I wish I knew better then and took my ’75 guitar to a good luthier to fix it… I miss it.

  80. John

    My parents bought me a very cheap department store guitar for Christmas 1957. I believe it bwas a 3/4 size Stewart. Horrible action. I darn near killed my fingers and gave up, but I continued on. I think the distance beteween the frets and strings was about one incl. LOL. I had the opportunity to purcase a “real” guitar from a family friend. It was a Harmony archtop. Wish I had it today. I learned how to play on that guitar. I then saved my paper route money and bought a jumbo Kay which I had for many years. Many years and many guitars later I own currently own 5 guitars. My main ax is my Martin that I play daily. I am so glad that my parents started me off at 8 years old.

    Thanks for your support Tony. You continue to encourage me even though I have been playing for over 50 years.


  81. Jim Martz

    My first guitar was a 1949 Martin 00-17 that I bought from Arthur’s Music in Indianapolis for $70 in 1966. Loved the guitar, and when I went to college, one of my roommates had one exactly like it!!! But I was taking it out of my car my Sophomore year, and the cook at my dorm ran over it…..I tried to get it repaired, but it never sounded the same. The good news is – I used the insurance money to buy a new 1968 Martin D-12-35 (Brazilian) and I still play that daily!!!!! Also still have the second one – a 1968 D-28 which i bought a month later…..

  82. Jonathan

    The first guitar that I remember having hands on was my dad’s arch-top, not a very good guitar. Literally painful to play. I never really learned anything on it. When I was 16, my sister’s boyfriend taught me a few chords on his Gibson electric hollow body. Then I wanted to learn more. So my mother used her hard-saved Green Stamps to get me a nylon-stringed classical that would have cost about $30 (60’s dollars). The neck join was terrible and soon bowed the top. My dad actually repaired it putting in a homemade truss rod. My mother got me a second one just like the first. I played them until I got a used Gibson SG in the early 70’s and retired them when I bought a Guild D-35 soon after that.

  83. doug

    Wow, great tale Tony.. You are right, the car is a great place to have a conversation like that.
    So my first guitar: It was an electric Eldegas les paul Jr. copy. I played it at a party one night about 23 years ago, and at the end of the night my friend who owned the guitar, just said, “take it home with you.” I was like” REALLY, wow I ave a guitar!” I was beside myself. It is dark brown, adjustable saddle as on your Texan. And thats about it. Electronics in it were shot, barely stays in tune, but i learned alot on it. I still have it. Although I retired it about 15 years ago. Youve inspired me to pull it out and give it a twang.

    My first acoustic I bought myself, probably around the same time as I got the Eldegas.
    A SAMICK LW-017A. $180 brand new, in about 1992. Its worth about 50$ today.
    I still have it, and until January of this year, was my only acoustic guitar. I upgraded to a Martin D-15m. Thanks in part to watching Tony’s review on the youtube, and falling in love when i had it in my hand 3 years ago in the music store.

    thanks for everything Tony, keep it up!
    (Montreal, Canada)

  84. Tim .T

    My first guitar was a late 60,s model Harmony Sovereign. To be honest it still had a pretty decent sound but I don’t own it anymore,that was back in 94 and my Brother in law owns it now.

    I had traded it to him for a generic cheap Goya G3 with fake painted binding,decal dot inlays,and a non reinforced 2×4 of a neck with no way of adjusting.
    But I kept that guitar and learned on that guitar and have done countless repairs to keep it playable.
    Still pick it up and kill my fingers for a few minutes now and then.
    So even though the Sovereign was my first I would consider the Goya my first love.

  85. Roger

    My first guitar was an acoustic Harmony that was hell to play. A couple of years later I was given my uncles solid body Airline electric and Ampeg Reverb Rocket amp. In my 20’s I bought a Diastone copy of a D-28 which I used to lead worship in churches for 20 years and later gave to my son. My favorite now is a mid 1970s Stratacastor with Lindsey Fralin pickups.

  86. Barry

    First guitar was in high school, a Favilla Japanese copy of a martin D28. I kept it for 35 years until I traded it last year towards a Martin DPAC4R. I played the hell out of that for the better part of 20 years. Fortunately it had an adjustable bridge that I was able to keep screwing down lower of the years.

  87. Profile photo of Charles B
    Charles B

    When I was young my mom had a guitar, I learned little black egg and most of woolly bully, that was it I liked being out doors more. 40+ years later my wife bought me a Keith Urban acoustic guitar it will be 2years ago this coming Christmas, I played it for about 1 month one day I was hearing some buzzing noise noticed the bridge was detached from the top. Returned it to HSN went to Sam ash and picked out Takamine g20 that is what I play now and it’s my only guitar…. So far.

  88. Scott

    My first guitar was special to me at the time, but was just an old Yamaha classical guitar. I keep trying to give it away, but no one wants it. Well, among this crowd there may be some interest, but my children do not want it. It traveled from California to Chicago to Montana to Alaska then back to California and finally made its way to Idaho. It is now a four string guitar, it can’t seem to manage keeping all 6 strings on it. Interesting story by one of my predecessors about the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Yes, I too took lessons there for several months. Great place.

  89. Profile photo of Robert Button
    Robert Button

    A used Tak G series. Got it from a local guitar shop. I had to pay it off over a few months… My parents were not convinced I was serious I guess.

  90. Profile photo of Bill C
    Bill C

    A $100 Oscar Schmidt from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. I scratched it up to hell banging away on it with my pick. A few years later I bought a used Ovation Balladeer from the 70s in California….and I was on my way. Kinda. Still trying to be on my way.

  91. Profile photo of Josh R
    Josh R

    My first guitar was an electric I convince my dad to by me when I was in middle school. Never learned to play it but it hung onto it. Then my senior year of college I took that guitar and amp to guitar center near my house and traded them in for a $100 acoustic, think it was a Mitchell. Played that thing pretty much everyday for a year. Learned open chords on it, started learning songs. I thought it was great. After 1 year of playing I traded that in for a $350 guitar. And I’ve slowly traded them in and built up to my current collection. Love getting new guitars to play with. Don’t miss that Mitchell though.

  92. Profile photo of Dennis B
    Dennis B

    I broke my leg in 1972 . With my first disability check I bought a Harmony guitar and started teaching myself how to play . I had the guitar until one of my son’s friends showed an interest in it . I sold it to him for what I paid for it and told him if he wanted to sell it I’d buy it back . He sold it .. but not to me . I guess it’s ok .I now have 7 including a D35 and a HD28 . But I would have liked to given the Harmony to one of my grand daughters ..

  93. Profile photo of Marty

    My first guitar was a nylon stringed instrument with a huge neck that my little fingers (I was 11) had a really difficult time with. I struggled to learn to play it, anyway. Then, in the summer of 1969 I went to my first rock concert and saw Blind Faith with Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech.
    The songs they played included:
    Well All Right (Buddy Holly cover)
    Sea of Joy
    Sleeping in the Ground
    Under My Thumb (The Rolling Stones cover)
    Can’t Find My Way Home
    Do What You Like
    Presence of the Lord
    Means to an End (Traffic cover)
    This concert (and Eric Clapton’s playing) renewed my resolve to learn to play and I continued using that guitar throughout the rest of high school and then college. I wonder where it is, now? I sold it back then and haven’t looked back. I love my current guitars!

  94. Profile photo of Gary T
    Gary T

    My first guitar was (is) a Carlos remake of a D15 style that I bought for $150 in the summer of 1982. I was never a real player, though, and I set it aside when my daughter became a serious musician on the violin. I saw what a musician really had to do to be good, and knew that I didn’t have the time or energy to do that. She now has a Masters in Violin Performance.
    A couple of years ago I decided I would pick up the guitar again just for the fun of it. My wife encouraged me to buy an instrument that is good enough that I wouldn’t want to put it down. The first was a Martin Custom D (Rosewood). However, a bum shoulder makes the Dreadnaught uncomfortable. Thus began my love of the small bodied guitars. I now have my original Carlos, but have added a Martin 000-17sm to the mix. And my loving and generous wife encouraged me to “invest” in the most beautiful guitar I’ve ever heard– my Martin 0-28VS.

  95. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P

    Excellent stories everyone!!! Keep them coming!!! We have a Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan encounter, a smashed guitar, an old harmony, a guitar that caused rusty fingers, and countless other stories… I mean I find myself coming back to this thread time and time again with more surprises. This is really cool, thank you all for sharing!!!


  96. Profile photo of Carol M
    Carol M

    My first guitar was a second hand Harmony acoustic 6 string. I took a music exploration course in 6th grade, where there was a different musical instrument at each station, and you were supposed to rotate thru them all… My first station was the guitar, and I never visited the other stations. By 7th grade, I begged my parents for a guitar for my birthday. Back then, a fine birthday present was around 20-25$, so I had to agree to pay for half. (We got $1.00/week allowance, so that was 6 months worth!) So there I went with my hard earned second hand Harmony with no case, took lessons for a year or so and learned EADGBE, and some open chords, and MEL BAY method book level 1 and 2, yeeeeaacchhh! It was pretty dry, wasn’t having fun, so I tried to teach myself Scarborough Fair by ear from a casette tape, wore the thing out rewinding it 100 times… And real life happened and college, and working, so the guitar lived in the closet for 30 years. I rescued it 3 years ago, dusted it off and put new strings on it- that’s when the neck cracked. It’s useless to play now, but I can’t get rid of it! Now it’s a decoration. I keep it on the wall in my living room, every time I see it, It takes me back in time to the 70’s and the blue and green Mel Bay lesson books, and Scarborough Fair. Time it was, and what a time it was…

  97. Profile photo of Jose

    My first guitar was a Nylon String Spanish Guitar. In those days, the brand of the guitar was not as important as having a guitar, so I was happy to have something to learn and play with.

    My first songs were traditional songs from Puerto Rican composers folk music, ballads, etc. Then started playing a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Mamas and the Papas, and others. Then I discovered RUSH! Learned to play Baroon’s Bane, The Trees, Spirit of the Radio and others.

    I had this guitar until I went to College. I left it home at that time. I think my brother took it from there.

    Lots of great memories with this instrument.

  98. Profile photo of Dennis J M
    Dennis J M

    My first guitar and one that I still play today was a 1973 Yamaha FG300 acoustic, a Japanese version of the Gibson Hummingbird. My wife bought it new for me just before I enrolled at the OTSFM in Chicago for lessons. I recently installed a set of Power Pins on it and to my ear it sounds and plays as well as my Martin HD-35.

  99. Profile photo of Glenn A
    Glenn A

    My first acoustic was a used arch top silvertone back in the early 60’s. I was throwing a paper route back then and save up the $30 bucks I needed for it.

    About 6 months later my grandmother picked out a new guild starfire III for me and convinced my dad to get it for my birthday from my uncles music store, McCord Music in Dallas. I still have it but don’t play it much anymore but lots of memories. Its been stolen twice and recovered both times, once by a band manager and once by a so called friend. I grew up in Oak Cliff a suburb of Dallas and was playing in a band with a guy that was pretty good and both he and his older brother have had there hands on my Guild. The two brothers were Steve Vaughn ( it was just Steve back then) and his older brother was Jimmy Vaughn.

  100. Profile photo of Jeff M
    Jeff M

    I saved up to buy a Kay 6-string from a catalog when I was 16. Went to my grandparents in Washington state for the summer. I worked with a guy who had a guitar he wasn’t really fond of, but he liked the Kay, and liked his guitar, so we traded straight across. It was an early 70’s Lyle W-455. Still hangs on the wall and I play it now and then. Will never part with it…too many memories.

  101. Thaddeus

    My first guitar was a Gibson ES125T. My parents bought it for me at the old Wulitzer Music Store on Main St. in Buffalo NY, in 1961. I still have it, play it every day, and it is in excellent condition. I think of it as a best friend , sharing 54 years of memories with me.

    1. Taylor Gibson

      That was my husband’s first guitar (and my second haha). His was around 1962 gibson es125 ts (thinline single pickup). His uncle who worked in a music store in Toronto found it for him when it was traded in by the original owner. It is sitting right here beside me today and is a beautiful hollow body acoustic electric of George Thorogood fame ( for anyone who doesn’t know). My husband is playing it again after a very long pause.

  102. Jim

    My Dad had a 1963 Gibson LG 0. What a sweet, sweet guitar. He gave it to me when I was eleven to learn how to play. Without a doubt this little guitar has the nicest neck I’ve ever played, and it sounds amazing. It is still an amazing guitar.

  103. Profile photo of 1973.

    I have no idea the brand of guitar but it was big, had rusty strings, and I definitely used a quarter to play it. Haha. Ya. It hurt but I dug it… I remember the rusty red color on my fingers. Now, if I had only kept playing from that point I my life…

  104. Profile photo of John White - Canada
    John White - Canada

    My first Acoustic guitar was a Gibson Harley-Davidson model, it was a Black & Chrome Everly Brothers style with twin pick guards and Bar & Shields emblazoned on the fret board. I worked at a Harley-Davidson Dealer at the time and payed for it through weekly deductions on my pay. It was a nice guitar but I lost interest at the time and sold it to another motorcyclist/guitarist who worked at another Dealer.

  105. Alan Moore

    My first guitar was an arch top with F sound holes and steel strings. It did not have a name on the headstock, but was very similar to guitars made by Hofner in the 1950s. I bought it from a guy in my older brother’s band for NZ15 Shillings in 1965. I learned C F and G with a school friend, but decided I should take some lessons. I signed up for 10 lessons and used to ride my bicycle to the lessons with the guitar under my arm. Unfortunately I fell off the bike and landed on the guitar which split both the top and the back of the guitar. Naturally it was not economical to repair it and so I moved on to my second guitar, now in the possession of my eldest brother.

  106. Profile photo of Michael D
    Michael D

    I still have my first guitar. I bought a Fender F-210 from a little shop in my neighborhood. I think it was called the string shoppe. I took a few lessons, and sadly, it sat alone in it’s chip board case for a few years. I sold it for 150.00 bucks, and twenty two years later, I saw they guy I sold it to was selling it. I bought it back. I have played it on one solo. She is all bass and little top or mids, but she is an old friend, and I shall keep her. (At least until I have the money saved up for a Martin D-35, which I have played and love, or a Taylor 618 which I have also played and love.) Hmm. Perhaps eventually both? Que gas attack and maniacal laughter:)

  107. Profile photo of Vic G
    Vic G

    My first guitar is a 1979 Cortez Strat which is a Stratocaster clone that was made in Japan. It’s natural colored with white pickguard and dials and has a maple neck. My parents ordered it from a catalog in 1979 and it was combo-ed with a noname amp for about $140. The amp has since died, but I still have the Strat today. I had it rewired a couple of years ago, and it sounds great. Since I can’t get rid of it for sentimental reasons, I may just upgrade the pickups to get it sounding as close to an actual American Standard Strat as possible.

    1. Matthew

      My first was an ugly colored Cort that I purchased from a high school buddy’s older brother for $50 in 1987. Have no idea what happened to it. It never made it to college with me and I did not really start playing again until after I graduated college.

      I do remember spending hours in my room trying to learn Wish You Were Here on it though

  108. Tim

    My first guitar in the early 60’s was a Stella. Not sure where I got it or where it ended up. My dad was a piano player and had a band that played on weekends. Guess that’s what go me interested in music.

  109. Pat H

    At a Nancy Griffith concert in the mid 80’s, a string broke on her guitar and Pete Kennedy gave her his guitar to play “Daddy Said” which sparked something in me. During that song I thought, I’d like to learn how to play. I thought of a luthier friend I had met in Mendocino earlier that year who made Kate Wolf’s guitar. He invited me to his shop to see the guitar but then he put it in my arms and I plucked the strings and the sound coming out of it was magical. So Kate’s was the first guitar I ever held. After the Nanci concert I called David for advice.
    When you are 30 something and know a luthier and ask him to help you purchase your first guitar (this was pre-internet) and he says, “come visit, I have a guitar you can try but it’s a Martin…”, I didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing knowing zero about guitars! The neck was too slim for his big hands but it fit me perfectly. I never needed another guitar, I just want to play this M38 for the love of it and it’s beautiful balanced tone.

    I tried to look up David this past July thinking it may be time for a neck reset, check the frets etc., but discovered he passed away a month earlier. During that internet search I found a posting in which I mentioned David on an old Nanci Griffith listserve! Someone had copied and re-posted my story since it explained the the song “Kate’s Guitar” (written by Greg Brown at a Kate Wolf Music festival when Greg’s string broke and Nina gave him Kate’s guitar to play while she restrung his guitar!) Now I’m noticing something special in the universe happens when a string breaks! After that internet search and learning about David I was inspired again but now wanting to learn fingerstyle, which led me to Tony’s Acoustic Challenge and decided to sign up!

    If anyone remembers Kate Wolf here is a link to that post. I remember the original re-post was to someone who was going through a slump. That post returned to me when I was in a slump this July before joining TAC so it’s a nice circle:

    Here is a link to the Acoustic Guitar 2013 article on Kate’s Guitar the one that drew me into the guitar as an incredible instrument.

    And if you never heard of Kate and have read this far here she is with the Matlin Guitar before she became ill.

  110. Profile photo of James H
    James H

    After a year or so of piano lessons around ’65 that nauseated me,I got through a recital and a merciful end to those lessons.I always wanted to learn to play guitar!!
    My Dad caved in to my craving and really stepped up and bought me a Gretsch acoustic.It was really nice to have a good quality guitar to start on.
    It is long gone,but I have not been able to identify which model it was.It was more of a traditional Dreadnaught style,not a Rancher,in a Tobacco Sunburst type of finish.It was a bit over $100.00 if I recall correctly,which was quite a bit of money in the mid 60’s.I am sure it was a student model of some sort,but if anybody has a clue as to which model it was,let me know.I have batted zero on my searches for information about it.
    Had lots of fun with that guitar.Had a burned out beatnik type of first teacher.He would come to the house in a old VW Beetle and teach me out of the Mel Bay book,which I still have.
    Those lessons after school were a hoot.The guy would show up after being out gigging until 4 A.M. or so he said.Always looked really burned out sitting on the couch playing me Peter Paul and Mary songs.My Mom said that she thought he was drunk,but who knows with what went on in those days.
    He did teach me the basic fundamentals,and I still love the guitar.And it all started with that Gretsch.

  111. Denis

    My first guitar in 1970 was a $32 Mendez nylon string,Japanese built but it had a Brazilian rosewood bridge.Still got it.I bought a Maton Coolibah in 1974 for $230.Parted with it recently for a 2008 Martin ooo18.

  112. Andy Daley

    I’ve had 4 first guitars, sorry, but really stretched out in time between them.

    First one was when I was 11. I convinced my mother to buy me a Seville bright red Z guitar. I was so excited to get this thing because I was used to the drums (started when I was 9). It was great, my mom got me a few lessons and I was off and running. Then I flew back home to WI (mom lives in CA), and forgot everything I learned, as I was playing drums for school and other lessons. Sold it.

    At 14 I convinced my mom again that I needed a guitar. I was still playing the drums, so it was only natural that I play the guitar too. So really worked at it and she bought me a real Gibson Explorer. I was a big metal head at the time, so this was perfect. Again, started strong, and even played 2 little shows with it, when I had this brilliant idea to spin it around by my guitar strap, ( you know like the videos), well she came off slamming the head stock into the floor and that was that.

    1993 A little whole in the wall called Dave’s Guitar shop opened in La Crosse, WI and bought an Ibanez as I was having my first child and my wife didn’t want drums in the house. That one lasted about 4 months before I sold it.

    Now 2 years ago, my step mother let me barrow her 90’s Epiphone PR-200 Acoustic. I’d just gotten back into the music industry and was having problems with my left had due to arthritis. One of my counterparts suggested to take up the guitar and piano again to help loosen it up. I have since given my step mom a Fender 00 which fits her much better and still have the Epiphone as well as an extensive collection now. Love and hate that guitar as, it has a high action, terrible frets and I fight with it all the time when I play it, but for some odd reason, she is still here with me.

  113. Profile photo of James Smith@kwic.com
  114. Profile photo of Doug M
    Doug M

    My first guitar was bought by my wife on my 40th birthday – a Guild DCE-1. I was a trumpet player by background, but always talked about learning the guitar. She figured I needed to walk the talk. Knowing absolutely nothing about guitars, she did a pretty respectable job. Not the greatest Guild out there, but it continues to get better with time, just like her. Monogamy is great, both with her and Guild (I own a bunch of fine Guilds now)…

  115. David

    A Sears SG Copy. I wanted to be Richey Blackmore. I know he played a Strat but Sears didn’t have those. Where I came from we relied on the Sears Catalog.

  116. Profile photo of Michael S in Illinois
    Michael S in Illinois

    my first guitar was a 6 string Epiphone back mid 60’s which soon shifted to a ’68 Yamaha FG230 which still hangs on my wall. I sorely remember taking the bus in the Winter to guitar lessons well before I was driving age. Now, a handful of 12 strings later, the FG230 still sounds good for the 1st 3 frets!!!

  117. Profile photo of Tony P
    Tony P

    To everyone that has commented and will comment in the future, THANK YOU!!! This has been the most entertaining morning of reading. To see all of the stories shared here is really inspiring, and just plain awesome. I mean not to be all sensitive, but I found myself many a time reading some of these stories fighting off a tear or two. The involvement of family and music is very apparent here. There are stories of smashed guitars, inherited guitars, guitars purchased after mowing lawns, but the same thread seems to be apparent with all of these “first guitar stories”… We all remember them and they are incredibly significant to us, regardless of the overall quality of the guitar or how it sounded, these guitars impacted our lives and I am super glad to start amassing these stories here, thank you again everyone, and I look forward to even more stories. This is just so cool, I am humbled by all of you so willing to share!!! Thank you again!!!


  118. Profile photo of Francis E
    Francis E

    My first guitar is a Yamaha FG150 and is still my primary acoustic guitar for 43 years. It was a gift from my dad. He was overseas serving in the Vietnam war, but he ordered it through the Navy Exchange and it was delivered in the spring of 1972. Its a beginner model, a 000-ish body style, laminated spruce top and mahogany back/sides, soft-V neck profile, 25 inch scale, and tight 2 inch string spacing at the bridge. It probably cost about $100 back then. I remember lugging that guitar case up and down the hill from our home to the YWCA where I took lessons . Athough its probably time to get a new guitar, I’ll be keeping this one or hand it down to my granddaughter if she develops an interest in learning.

  119. Profile photo of Ray W
    Ray W

    My first was a Harmony H570A. I expressed an interest in learning to play to my dad, a lifelong and sometimes professional player, and he hit a pawn shop to pick up something for me to get started with. I think he paid somewhere around $25 or $30 for it. It’s a Frankenstein type thing where a previous owner cut out a chunk of the top, apparently with a dull steak knife, and installed an electric style humbucker pickup with Strat knobs about where they would be on a Stratocaster. I will never willingly part with it and I still pick it up and play it now and then. It sounds better than it has any right to, which I assume is why he picked it.

  120. Profile photo of Ellen W
    Ellen W

    My first guitar was stolen back in the 70s–I believe it was a Yamaha. That was replaced with an Epiphone that a guitar-playing friend picked out for me. I’m betting it was pretty decent. That one was probably left in a former boyfriend’s parents’ basement–lots of my stuff was. I’m betting his mom passed it on to a good home. Alas, I never played either of those much. So my real “first” guitar was acquired at 50 when I started taking lessons with Tony at the LCAC. That was an ancient Seagull S-6 that had plenty of battle scars. I told myself I’d play it for a year but only made it 9 months before I sold a bunch of stuff–including that guitar–on craigslist and bought myself a used Larrivee OOO that I probably didn’t deserve. I’m still playing that one. Ironically, I recently bought another Seagull S-6 for one of my sons.

  121. Profile photo of Mel G
    Mel G

    The first guitar I played was a no-name f-hole steel string…
    the first Guitar I actually owned back in ’64 was/is a little Hofner nylon string
    on which I taught myself chords and rudimentary fingerpicking and strumming.
    It sits in a corner of my office, battered dinged and with a very high action,
    but I keep it to remind me of those early days.

  122. Mark

    My first guitar was a high-action monstrosity that my parents picked up somewhere like Sears. I later tuned the G up to G# to make and E chord and used it to play slide.
    BTW – Paul McCartney played an Epiphone Texan on “Yesterday” — so you’re in good company, Tony!

  123. mike

    First guitar was a Sekova 12 string that my Dad bought me for $50 when I was 18. 42 years ago. It was just by chance that I had asked and he said ‘sure’. I still have it today. I have it set-up with a Nashville tuning.

  124. Profile photo of pog s
    pog s

    my first guitar was a nylon string Harmony—I wanted one just like a good friend had- a Harmony with wood all the same color. I couldn’t find one; mine was a bit bigger and harder to play, but i grew to love it. One weekend when i was away from college, a friend borrowed it,took it to a coffee house in town and it was stolen. I was stunned, even more so because she never said she was sorry and didn’t offer to replace it.

    My next was a Martin D18 which i got at Terminal music store in New York. It replaced a Gretsch electric guitar that my parents found under my bed and thought i had stolen. I had put $1 down on it and the guy in the music store let me take it home, saying i could pay the rest whenever I could. My parents made me take it back. It appeared at Christmas, but i no longer wanted and electric, so turned it in for the Martin.

  125. Stephen Smith

    My Dad was a country and western musician and played the fiddle and guitar. The guitar was a Martin D28 and being 12 years old I was not allowed to touch it. So, I mowed lawns, pulled weeds, washed cars and anything else I could do to make money and saved my pennies, nickels, and dimes so I could by my own. One day when I was 14, a new mom and pop music store opened up in Bloomington, CA. called The Harmony House and they had a beautiful no name red electric guitar with a white pearl pick guard. I experienced my first emotions of inanimate love. I spent every last penny I had saved to buy the guitar and a couple of picks even though I did not have enough money to buy an amplifier. I took it home and played with it non-amplified every moment I could. The first few licks I picked out (since I lived in southern CA. and it was the early sixties) was called “Pipeline”, and “Wipe Out.” Eventually, with my Dad’s help, I learned chords and keys. I did finally save enough money to buy a cheap amplifier and I was in heaven and went on to form a garage band. Oh, and I didn’t let my dad touch my guitar until he let me play his Martin, which he eventually gave to me. Although, at age 64, I don’t have my first guitar anymore or my Dad, I do still have the Martin and it is my most cherished guitar.

  126. Profile photo of Dom T
    Dom T

    Wow, that was cool Tony.
    My first guitar was in high school, but I don’t remember the name, or the price. It was dirt cheap, black with Nylon strings. I didn’t know much, but one day I lent it to someone, and when I got it back it was basically destroyed, as was the person I got it back from.
    Later, in the early 70s, I bought a Yamaha. Couldn’t have cost more than $100, but by today’s Yamaha prices, I guess it was a pretty good one for the price. I eventually sold it to a coworker. He still has it. I am going to try to get it back from him, for sentimental reasons. I have a feeling he won’t want to part with it, but I have to try.

  127. Profile photo of Jeff J
    Jeff J

    My first guitar was a Fender Jaguar from the 70’s. I played that guitar and other electrics through High School, for college I bought a Hofner acoustic that I really liked and played for years. I ended up giving it to a friend who recorded an album on it and mentioned me in the credits. Currently I play acoustic almost exclusively with my latest guitar being a Martin OM-28.

  128. Pecos Bill Jarocki

    My first guitar was a Kay Vanguard electric guitar. It had horrible action, but it looked cool. My dad was working for Seeburg in Chicago and somehow they purchased the Gulbransen Piano and Kay Guitar companies. He brought it home one day and said, “here you go!”
    After that he would always ask if we could play “Far, Far, Away”. I think that was his favorite.

  129. Profile photo of Janet H
    Janet H

    My first guitar was an Alvarez nylon string classical that my grandmother bought for me when I was 11. Such a thick neck for small 11 year old hands! But I muddled with it for a number of years before buying a Takamine Dread – one of the famed “lawsuit” guitars that got them in trouble with Martin.

  130. Profile photo of Michael S
    Michael S

    I waited until I was 59 years old to buy my first guitar, having been a keyboardist all my life. I checked some on-line recommendations for a reasonably priced, quality beginner guitar for the money and the Seagull S6 got a lot of good press; so I spent about $390 for the guitar and gig bag. It is a dreadnought size with a booming voice – cedar top. The neck is a little chunky, but I had the action lowered, put on Elixir Nanoweb lights, and it has served me well. I recommend it to anyone for a good beginner and practice guitar. In the 6 years since, I have bought 3 other guitars, my last being a Martin Custom 000-15M, which is a joy to play, of course. But I still have the S6!

  131. Profile photo of Walt S
    Walt S

    My father purchased a 12 string Yamaha in the mid 70’s. He quickly set it aside (it was his first guitar) so i removed 6 of the strings and began to struggle through, blood and all! Have always had one since that time and only wish you were around then to keep me motivated.

  132. Profile photo of David C
    David C

    My first guitar was an Silverburst Epiphone Les Paul Custom. It was and still is a special guitar.

  133. Profile photo of jumpin' jeff s
    jumpin' jeff s

    My First guitar was a Kay late 60s archtop. I got it for Christmas when I was 7. It sat in the corner of my room for years. I didn’t even know how to tune it. I was feeling nostalgic and bought back an Identical model a few years ago from GC in Joliet Illinois. I realized why my initial progress as a kid was so slow, It is a beast to play. It sure looks cool though, like a Gibson L7.

  134. Profile photo of Nick A
    Nick A

    A mashed up 12 string EKO dreadnought bought for £20 in the mid 1980s from the Music & Video Exchange in Notting Hill Gate. A heavy brute of a guitar.
    The headstock was wrecked. My father filled and shaped it with Araldite and then re-varnished it.
    With this guitar I discovered I was left handed and proceeded to learn chords etc with the heavier strings on the bottom. I learnt from a book I borrowed from the library with Paul Kossoff on the front – I wish I could remember what is what called. Amazing book – took you from the real basics through to the pentatonic blues scale with a smattering of other styles thrown it, I haven’t forgotten any of it.
    The EKO couldn’t retain pitch in standard tuning – it always settled down a semitone overnight. I decided I couldn’t continue learning upside down so I took it to be converted for left handed use at Fiddles & Sticks by this legend called Archie! (The shop is now in different hands and called Portobello Music.)
    He told me he would have to take the top of the guitar off to sort out the tuning issue and it would wreck the finish. I agreed – poor thing looked ugly but it was now playable and I started from scratch learning the chords the right way round for a lefty.
    12 strings does wonders for the finger callouses and hand/finger strength – this guitar is the reason I never had issue with bar chords!
    I eventually took half the strings off and used it as a 6 stringer partly because tuning it was such a mission: I didn’t have a tuner so I had to get an ‘A’ from the start of Lay Down Sally on Eric Clapton’s Just One Night album.
    Got rid of it earlier this year by leaving it outside the front door for someone to take. Took a couple of weeks before someone adopted it.

  135. Profile photo of X

    I didn’t get my first guitar until I had graduated college and had a job, so I bought something expensive I thought I’d love. A black Gibson Les Paul with gold pickups, that I called “Black Beauty.” It was beautiful… and a real pain to play for a beginner. I eventually sold it. My first acoustic was/is a Guild D-15 bought new in the 80’s, which is a Mahogany dread, some of the Mahogany being veneer over layered-whatever. It is a heavy beast with a thick top, that does not put out much sound, but I have a soft spot in my heart for it, and I still feel love for it. So I’ll call that my first guitar – love.

  136. Bill von Zangenberg

    My first guitar was a 3/4 size Gretsch solid body copper colored one, I don’t remember the model but it was very thin but great to play on. I wound up selling that for a black Danelectro that I had for a few years then bought a Stratocaster at the music center I was teaching at. From there it was buy and sell frenzy which I sill have to this day but now I keep them all. I’m at 43 and climbing. LOL

  137. Profile photo of Keith V
    Keith V

    My first guitar was a Sears catalog model my parents bought for me in the mid-70s when I was homebound after a bout of mononucleosis. I also received a learn to play guitar record advertised on TV (I think Roy Clark was the celebrity endorser). The record came with a song book and stickers to identify the fingering for chords on the guitar neck.

    I never really learned to play at that time. The action was a mile high, the guitar was very hard to play and I got frustrated that nothing sounded like the record and my fingers were so sore from fretting the notes. I recall we gave the guitar to an international student who was a missionary who came to our church and mentioned they enjoyed playing but didn’t own a guitar.

    About 15 years ago I bought a Dean acoustic and played that infrequently until I finally made the commitment about two years ago to buy a quality guitar to keep forever and really learn to play. I started taking lessons about 18 months ago and I’m beginning to make my Taylor 714 sound like a musical instrument, rather than an instrument of torture!

  138. Profile photo of Jeff K
    Jeff K

    Mine was a nylon-string freebie that my parents got from an ad in our local Pennysaver—I was probably seven years old at the time. I took a few lessons and learned “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and didn’t really enjoy it at all. Learning to read sheet music was no fun, and I eventually stopped going. (Now, of course, I sure wish I’d learned to sight-read.)

    A little later on I got a Kingston electric and found a local guy who taught me how to play “Iron Man” and “Crazy Train” and all that stuff I loved when I was eleven or twelve. (He also showed me the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” which was the only fingerpicking I would do for the next thirty years, until I found TAC!)

  139. Profile photo of Mark Complete
    Mark Complete

    A Fender 150(?) purchased at Music Villa in 1978. Upgraded to a Martin in 1982 and a Collings in the ’90s, then a new Collings recently. All Purchased at Music Villa.

  140. Profile photo of Fred G
    Fred G

    First guitar was a Silverstone electric. My Dad had a friend that was a guitar teacher that encouraged a Gibson Hummingbird that could be had at the time for about $150.00. Nope, I wanted that electric to sound like the Stones, etc. Too young to listen to good advice…. Since then have gone full acoustic with Martins. HD28 old is my favorite. I guess as the saying goes, with age comes wisdom ( a little ).

  141. Rex W.

    My first guitar was a short-scale acoustic, red with black overspray border, from Western Auto (those of you who know what Western Auto was will know you could buy ANYTHING from that place). I was 10 years old and my folks asked what I wanted for Christmas. I said a drum set, but I guess Santa doesn’t always bring you everything you ask for. That was 1979. The guitar was then passed along through the family to 3 different cousins and somehow made it back to my parents house. A few years ago, my folks handed it back over to me. Last week, I put some new strings on that old boy, then taught my 9 year old daughter G, C, and D. The legacy continues.

  142. Profile photo of Poppa Smoke
    Poppa Smoke

    My older sister bought my first guitar for me when I was 18. A 1957 Gibson J45. Cost $125.00 dollars. I sold it to a college room mate of mine for $125.00. I let him pay me in installments and he said whenever he upgraded to a new guitar he would sell it back to me for the same amount. About 20 years later he did that very thing. He is an accomplished musician and still a very close friend.

    1. Bill von Zangenberg

      Now that is a true friend! Congrats on finding him!

  143. Myke

    I bugged my mom to buy me a guitar. I was 12 and no one in my family played so it taught myself chords on a Japanese made black Conrad dread watching chords Lennon and Harrison used. I eventually replaced the cheap tuners with gold Grover Rototuners. I lost it one day when my friend backed over the case not knowing I’d say it there to put into his truck. I was forced to buy a new one, this time a Guild. But the C-rad was my learner.

  144. Ave Topel

    My first guitar was a 1963 Stella, blue sunburst. Elmers Glue had just come out and I drew swirls and notes on it and covered it with glitter just like Ricky Nelson. I was cool before it was cool to be cool

  145. Profile photo of Stephen P
    Stephen P

    – First guitar played: my sister’s inexpensive nylon string, gotten with “King Korn” savings stamps.
    – First good guitar played: my sister’s 1967(?) Gibson J-50
    – My first guitar, 1971 Martin D35, purchased new February 1972. Still have it, just returned back from Nazareth in June, and love more than ever!

  146. Profile photo of Marcus Nye
    Marcus Nye

    My first guitar was an electric. Cant remember the model number but it was a cheap (sub 200 pound) Ibanez Electric. It wasn’t great. My first acoustic was one of those cheap entry level Yamahas (FG100 I think) which was about £100 that I gave to my Dad. Haven’t really got many fond things to say about them, in my opinion there just about ok to start on but not great instruments at all. Ive since then on acoustic had a mid price point Yamaha CPX700 which again was OK, had some great points and many weak spots. Electric I jumped straight to high end and got myself a lovely Les Paul Standard (which I hardly use now due to acoustic preferences currenlt), but would struggle to part with as its served me so many good memories.

    My current main acoustic is a Taylor 814CE, which pleases more and more every day.

    Not everyone will agree with me but definately in my experience you get what you pay for and I definately don’t miss either of my first instruments. Sadly the only thing playing my old acoustic serves to remind me is how rubbish it was, how terrible it sounds and how fantastic my current gear is.

  147. Tad

    My grandmother gave me an S & H greenstamp nylon string classical guitar in 5th grade (?1964) and took classical lessons for 2 years before selling out to electric and rock!!!

  148. Evan

    My first guitar was a Framus Texan 12 string that had been strung as a 6… The neck was so bowed that it was unplayable above the 4th fret! After several weeks, my mother let me borrow her 1963 Guild F30nt (which was a pleasure to play). I finally bought my first guitar after a year, a 1999 Taylor 414, a guitar I still play 16 years later.

  149. Mattias Wendel

    My first guitar was actually a pretty good Guild D25 (from early 196o) and still is despite a cat I had made fall to the floor with a broken neck as an result…

    I still play it but when but have I improved that much?… I have to start really practicing when I get some pieces in my life back together…



  150. Profile photo of Sean F
    Sean F

    My first guitar was a no name acoustic that I played to death…which my father eventually smashed because I had forsaken my school work to do nothing but play guitar. My first guitar of name was an Ibanez Iceman. My favorite all time acoustic guitar was a short scale, no name student model that someone had drawn Stratocaster controls on with a Sharpie. It had a nail for a bridge. Eventually the guitar collapsed. It was a blues machine. I am from the Chicago area.

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