Your 'baby', your first guitar

nathan a

Hero Member
So let's hear it-- What was your first 'real' guitar, the one that hooked you, the one that you really learned on. I bet there are a lot of guys on here with cool "first axe" stories.

Mine was an alvarez acoustic that's been through it all with me. By now the neck is warping, and a reset would cost more than the whole thing was worth when new. My first electric was a fender strat. (This post was inspired by that 'What is it about strats' post). I've played it forever, but really don't like how it feels or sounds; I hate to replace it though because it's getting all beat up; it looks damn cool.

PS Let's get some pics up here of these first battle-hardened warriors.
Cherry sunburst classical guitar with plastic strings, no name. I learnt A, D, C chords on it as a youngster. Haven't improved much in the following 20 years... :doh:

First electric was a Yamaha Pacifica, really nice axe for a beginner.
My first guitar was a three quid skiffle group reject closely related to a third world packing case. My "first real six string" was a left handed Watkins Rapier. God bless Mum and Dad :guitaristgif:
Teisco guitar and amp from Western Auto, and a fuzzbox from Radio Shack. I thought I was the emperor of the universe.
First guitarr was a Hohner Professional strat type electric guitar.  HSS with a coil tap switch no less.   I learned a dozen chords on it, but sold it two years later for my...

My first REAL guitar.

Gibson Les Paul Jr/MelodyMaker -   Up to this point I could play G - C -D and maybe an E minor, once I got this guitar I started learning full Guns n' Roses and Metalica tunes. Soloing, bar chords, the works.  God I loved that guitar.  It was a 1988 sort of hybrid guitar.  Black, Les Paul Jr Body, with Kahler trem, pearl pickguard, with an explorer style/hockey stick head stock.  Very unique.  I've only seen one other like it ever in a pawn shop 10 years later selling for double what I bought it for originally.

And of course, I sold it in 1994, along with an American made BC Rich Assasin and Ovation Acoustic for my Ibanez Jem.


I regret selling the Gibson and BC Rich, but still, love the Jem even more....... It's tough. 

Oh well... we'll see how I feel when my Warmoth arrives in a couple months. :)

1st acoustic - Yamaha FG-75 I got from a pawn shop for around $25 in 1970

1st electric - '59 Fender MusicMaster with '59 Tweed Champ I traded about $80 worth of weed for later in 1970
My first guitar, 1981: Epiphone Genesis. A nice LP-ish MIJ thing with a fast neck. Heavy! Head snapped off when I let someone else play it and they dropped it. My innocence died that day, and I realized my friends couldn't be trusted. Bridge, tailpiece, pickups, tuners, and knobs were traded for pot, which further fueled my paranoia.

First amp: Valco-manufactured tweed thing with badges removed. My father and I found it on Maxwell Street without a speaker. Found another guy selling car speakers and bought a 10" that fit. Dad dug up his electronics text from Coyne Institute (ca. 1947) and set about to get it working. I still have it, and I found a Gretsch almost exactly like it. The Maxwell St. amp with my dad's handiwork sounds better, though.
If you ignore the cheesecutters and packing cases, I think my first decent guitar was a Westbury Standard with a couple of DMs on it. A nice guitar as I remember that used to get played through an Intermusic Imp - eventually sold it to feed my film habit. Didn't pick up a guitar again for about 5 years when I got a Yamaha 312 RGX around 1988 - not so far removed from the packing case as I remember which eventually got traded for the Yamaha MSG Standard which I still have.
I mark the day I got my Cort Stratocaster copy (two-color sunburst) as the day I started playing guitar.  That was April 10, 1984.  My Dad bought it for me for like $250 at Chuck Daily Guitar Shop in Columbus, OH.  The store, my Dad, and that guitar are all gone.  After having that guitar a couple years I bought a beat up CBS-style headstock Stratocaster neck that I think came from a '73 Strat and put it on that body.  I sprayed the fretboard with clear polyurethane since whoever owned it before me had filed the finish off the maple fretboard.  Naturally, the neck screw holes didn't match up with the Cort body, so it was a hack job.  I also didn't know the first thing about finishing so it was not pretty.  But, it played nice!  That guitar was stolen from the back seat of my 1986 Mercury Lynx.

I can't remember if the Black Gibson Flying V '83 or the Sunburst 1973 Telecaster Custom came next...
My first guitar was a Japanese SG copy.. My first real guitar was my real baby though..
a '85 Japanese Fender contemporary '22 strat. I had never held a guitar that played so well, and stayed in tune so well. I played almost nothing else for about 16 years, and played a lot of gigs with it! I did change it a lot over the years, black pg, installed a dimarzio paf pro 2 in the neck, etc..
Until I had it shipped by a moving company from Ireland to Texas.. very sad day. there was a big chunk out of the lower horn, very painful, but it was still in tune ;)
after I got my replacement body from Warmoth, and added a BBQ bucker, new trem and it is still my favorite!

Before: (this may not be suitable for our younger board members)


I actually couldn't throw away the old body:

First electric: a pawnshop, no name es335 copy bought around 1985 for probably less than $100. I was going for that Jesus and Mary Chain thing. Only one pickup worked, and the knobs did nothing but produce crackling noises, but somehow it played really really nice - I remember the neck was severely angled but someone had set it up just right. I stupidly sold it off and bought a squire strat which I promptly learned was a terrible guitar. The new squires are way better than the old ones, don't let any ebay dude tell you different.
My first electric guitar was a Mako strat style guitar. It was red with white stripes(wanabe EVH paint job) and was heavy as hell from what I can remember....I think it's in pieces now somewhere in my parents house.

I graduated to a Kramer Focus 3000 after that. It was my main guitar for about 5's now my fretless electric experimental guitar....I took the pickguard off so I can move the pickups around OVER the strings, it's quite fun....

In 1991 I purchased 'my baby'....a Fender Strat Deluxe Plus. It's been my main guitar ever since.....I love how it plays, I love how it feels, I love how it looks.

I've purchased a few other guitars in recent years, including a 93 Les Paul Standard...but, my Strat is still my baby!!!
My first "real" guitar was an Epiphone SG copy I bought myself, after finally getting fed up with the pawn-shop Ibanez I bought (twisted neck, seized trem, shoddy electronics...)  It wasn't long before my SG got phased out for my first real Gibson - the Xplorer Voodoo...
First guitar was a Yamaha Pacifica 112. Sold it to a friend's sister 9 years ago. She played it for six months and put it in a cupboard. It was then sold a year and a half ago to a friend who was starting out, and it's still with him, going strong. I liked the Pacifica so much, my second guitar was the 812W model with the Duncans and a Wilkinson.
cheap japanese sg ripoff that i was given four years ago ("you wanna learn guitar? here, you can have this piece of sh*t"). has "vintage" mini-hbs of unknown brand, the bridge was a bent piece of aluminium(seriously), the pickguard almost covered the whole guitar. had acoustic style side-mounted machine heads, the inlays were falling out of the fretboard, the truss rod doesn't adjust, and the tailpiece has some kind of archaic trem system for the 1800s that if you leant your hand on, would twist the whole guitar out of tune. pretty sure it's made of plywood.

has since been the focus of many art/painting projects (went to the 7th coloured rattle can spray before i sanded it back, leaving a piece of every colour coming through). its now a "custom" multicoloured slide guitar with a single spare EMG pickup (first wiring job), new TOM bridge(drill bit went all the way through the back when drilling studs, i just rolled with it), gotoh machine heads. has a "custom-snapped" pickguard, genuine EVH "straplocks" (eyebolts  :laughing7:, strap is made from an old spikey belt and some old rock climbing carabiners), and custom body inlay (hand painted 3d eyeball with engraved lightning, burnt out my dads engraver in the process). the action is so high, and the frets are so worn, it can only really be used for slide (tuned to open a). purists beware  :evil4:. actually sounds pretty good funnily enough. i will post pictures after work. i still have it. :guitarplayer2:

graduated to a ESP/LTD explorer (EX260) in 2006, replaced the emgs with duncans. still my main axe (don;t worry voodoo, your not the only one with an affinity for the radical shapes  :headbang:), stays in tune better than anything i've ever played. sanded the glossy neck back, as with my epi G-400. smooth. :cool01:

crestwood acoustic bass,
ampeg amp
first electric bass: Washburn t25

first guitar: FREE! peavey predator strat copy. i hate it so, but it was free.  when i get cash for a new pickguard and 3 way switch i will replace the pups with some random humbuckers i got out of an old (destroyed) samick
Mine was that Squier Strat pack...Red body and white pick guard.

It was right before I left for college and I wanted to start learning to play in my free time. Here I am 3 years and 4 guitars later  :hello2:
rightintheface said:
(don;t worry voodoo, your not the only one with an affinity for the radical shapes  :headbang:)

Ha ha!  Right on brother!  I was thinkin of an ESP F-series for a while, but then I saw a pretty blue warlock acoustic  :laughing7:  :rock-on: