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Your first guitar, love it or hate it?


RABid
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Do you remember your first guitar? Did you love it or hate it?

 

In high school I was taking piano lessons, playing drums in high school band, and playing trumpet on some songs because we were short of horn players. I kept telling my parents that I wanted a guitar. One day my mom came home with a guitar and she was so happy about it. She was a social worker and on one of her home visits a man sold her his guitar for $5. Let me tell you, it was not worth $5. It had metal strings and the action was so high that I could not press them down and hold a chord. I kept telling my parents that it was junk. My mom kept insisting that I had to learn to play that one first, then they would consider getting a better one. A good friend who played guitar came to my house to try it. He had one word for it, impossible. We could find no way to adjust the neck and I was stuck. My mother dug in and would not budge. I had to learn to play that guitar before I could get another, and there was no way I could learn to play that guitar. It ended up hanging from a hook in the basement until someone broke into the house and stole it. When I want off to college I used some of my college money to buy a decent but cheap guitar. So, I hated my first guitar and can only hope that it made whomever stole it as miserable as it made me. :)

This post edited for speling.
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My first Guitar was a True Tone Acoustic from Lafayette Radio Electronics. (Remember them?) Nothing special, but not as horrible as one might think, definitely playable.

 

It held up for decades, and I finally passed it to one of my nieces, when she was first getting interested in Guitar, but that was just over 10 years ago. IDK if she still has it, but she's still playing Guitar, and has since moved on to a much better Guitar, so I guess it served its purpose.

 

I loved it enough that I wanted it to go to someone who would play it. I still think of it, now and then, but I've never asked after it . . .

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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1964 blue Fender Mustang, completely stock. I still have it but ... I could not leave things alone and now it has a swirly Candy Apple Red paint job, black pickguard, PAF in the Bridge, Strat pickup in the neck and a gold Kahler system. ð¢

 

I loved the guitar. I was in grade school. The short scale neck was great. The transition to a Strat was hard.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I had a bottom of the line Alvarez. After a year of playing it, I had warped the neck to unplayability. (I was doing neck bends while playing Heart"s 'Barracuda'. A lot.)

 

I took it to be repaired, and the tech told me to trash it and replace it.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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My brother's Stella. It was crap, made by Harmony & sold through Sears. I'm not even sure it was real wood, it felt like Masonite. But I learned a few chords & got started on my way. My own first was a Melody, made by Teisco. Cheap, 60's Japanese crap, but made me want to move up to a better guitar. So a few years later I had saved enough for a used guitar. I put down $130 in 1968 on a used Stratocaster. I still have that one. It's sitting here on my kitchen table while I'm restoring some of the chrome parts which are tarnished. I'm looking at the end of the neck where it is written, in pencil, "10 - 56" & thanking my lucky stars that I found this when it was just considered used, before the word vintage came into use with electric guitars.
Scott Fraser
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My first guitar was an acoustic Stella given to me by my uncle Buzzy. It was not easy to play above the 5th fret. Like most players we wore holes in the 1st 3 or 4 frets of the fretboard where the action was low enough to get a C F and G chord progression LoL! Good for country music and surf tunes using open chords. Had it for many decades till it just fell apart one day. I wish I had saved and framed the sound board and neck but it just wound up in the dump where it belonged. I always give thanks for have such a great uncle that got me started playing the old guit box... :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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My very first electric guitar was a horrible aberration of driftwood and pot-metal, crept out from the fog and smoke and dust of the '60s; no brand or model names whatsoever inside or out, possibly a very early and primitive, crude ancestor of what became Ibanez. It was impossible to play or stay in tune, sounded terrible, ate strings like an evil metal homunculus. When I finally got a halfway-decent guitar, I smashed it on a concrete floor, imitating Pete Townshend and then, with an actual axe, Paul Bunyan.

 

That technically second electric guitar- my first halfway-decent electric guitar- was a Peavey T-15. It owed a lot to Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters, and had a very short 23.5" scale-length. I really liked that guitar! The only thing really wrong with it was that either its neck-pocket routing or bridge-location had the strings misaligned, so that the 6th/Low-E string was too close to the edge of the fretboard further up the neck. Albeit, that meant a little more wiggle-room for the 1st/High-E string, and I didn't really need to be fretting the Low-E up too high all that often, anyway.

 

It had some cool "Super Ferrite" single-coil pickups, sort of like a cross between a P-90 "soap-bar" and a Tele pickup, with a blade pole-piece across for all six strings instead of individual poles for each string. It had very good sustain and pretty good tone all-around. It KILLED with fuzz, whether my V5 "IC"/"Op-Am" Big Muff Pi, or a rare germanium-transistored '60s JAX Fuzz Master Unit.

 

I sometimes toy with the idea of getting another one...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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My first guitar was purchased at Sears for about $15. It had a plastic body with a recess where the one-piece wood bridge went. It was made in Denmark and was probably a piece of crap but it was not a struggle to play on it and to my young ears it sounded wonderful. My sister's friend's younger brother used it to play El Kabong and broke it over his sister's head. Their family was poorer than mine and never offered to replace it.

 

I really missed it so yeah, I liked it.

 

I had to wait until I was 14 to get a Harmony Archtop for $40 downtown at a pawn shop. That had adjustable action so I got to play pretty well. I bought another one decades later out of nostalgia, it sounded pretty crappy, the original guitar did too probably but I also liked it.

 

Many guitars have come and gone since then, most of them pretty good or great.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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My first guitar was a Kay acoustic that mu uncle ( who was a keyboard player and piano repairman) "fixed up" for me. Super rough fret ends; it's a miracle I didn't sheer off a finger. The bridge had a few cracks in it near the string pegs, which after a year and a half got pretty treacherous ( my teacher had to tell my parents it was time for an upgrade). And yes, it had the standard high action.

 

My first electric was a Kramer Striker. Got it in white to be kind of like Richie Blackmoore, or so I thought. It was decent, but I sold it when I had a chance to get my Gibson ES-335.

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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[font:Verdana]I still have my 1st guitar, a Gianinni nylon-string that my parents got me for Xmas 1979. Needs a new saddle badly, but once that's taken care of, I have no doubt it'll be as good as ever. Came out of the case in tune on day 1, holds tune very well, and I'm hoping to have it up and running again by summer's end.[/font]
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I mentioned my first guitar, an acoustic, in the first thread. Might as well mention my first electric. It was an Ibanez Les Paul look alike in white that I bought new sometime around 1980. Beautiful looking guitar, would not stay in tune for 5 minutes. Total crap. I struggled with it for a couple of months and got rid of it. Oh how things have changed. Now I have 2 nice Ibanez guitars and 3 basses, 4, 5 and 6 string versions of the SR1400. How times have changed.
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  • 1 month later...
I stood staring at a Sears guitar many times. My parents planned to buy it for me but my father"s bonus was smaller than anticipated and went towards a new bedroom set for their bedroom. 3 years later I got my first guitar. It was a Univox Les Paul copy with really good action. So easy to play. I got a real Gibson Les Paul Custom later that wasn"t as nice to play. Much later I got a Tokai Les Paul direct from Japan that played like the Univox, to its credit. The Tokai was premium in every aspect. Still have it. Only played it maybe less than 10 times for a total 1 hour in all. Been in the case for years. Lots of distractions.
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My first was a Stella that cost about $25 new. Hard to play but I didn't know any better at the time. First electric was a Kawai single pickup solid body that cost about $40 new in 1966. Had a thick neck but wasn't too bad for a beginner guitar. The tube amp I got with it had no brand name and was only $19.50.
C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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I too found a 3 pick up Kawai solid body in a pawn shop for $25 bucks back in '69...and my 1st guitar was also a Stella my uncle gave me back around '63. It was easy to play open chords on but hard to play as you went up the fretboard as the strings just got higher and higher LoL! +1 we didn't care if it was hard to play and were just glad to have a guitar. It's amazing how many of our forumites started out on a Stella. Sears should get an award for getting us started! :thu:
Take care, Larryz
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It's amazing how many of our forumites started out on a Stella. Sears should get an award for getting us started! :thu:

 

Most horrible guitar I ever owned. I went from the Stella to a Guild dreadnought, set up by my luthier and what a difference that made, then I got my first electric a 1950's or 1960's white Telecaster that is when I found my guitar preference, an electric solid body. I have been through many a guitar ever since, Les Paul Customs (about 5 of them), several SG's, a Firebird, an ES 345, 3 or 4 Strats, an Ibanez Artist, an Ibanez RG321 (still have that one) and some other less memorable instruments, a Peavey solid body electric, an Epiphone solid body electric. I also built quite a few solid body electrics from parts and my own designs as well. Now I have 3 cheapo guitars, the aforementioned Ibanez RG321, and Agile Strat Clone with Fender Vintage Noiseless pups in it and my partscaster home-built I shaped the body myself and routed & wired the pups and put a telecaster style neck on it that I got from Stew Mac.

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Another Stella. Mine was a 3/4 sized acoustic, red/black sunburst sort of finish, and six on a side Fender style headstock. Got it for my 9th birthday in '69.

 

This is the model: https://reverb.com/item/4681769-stella-harmony-vintage-acoustic-6-to-a-side-headstock-nice-burst-finish-flamed-1960-s-redburst

 

I took some lessons with it, but although I was left handed the teacher told me and mom that I should play right handed since my "strong hand" (left) was on the fingerboard. Even 9 year old me knew that with that logic every right hander should play lefty. So it never felt right, and we moved that summer and it sat for awhile in my room for the next few years.

 

I picked up the guitar up again in my senior year of HS after starting to play keys in a band; this time with it strung left handed. I had played with guitar players of course by then and knew what to do. I kept that guitar through college and adulthood, and then each of my kids learned (older daughter lefty - now 24, younger daughter righty- now 20) on it. I just shipped it off to my nieces family for her middle son (age 9) to play, again back to righty. I let them know I will be taking it back when he outgrows it....:)

 

I have the receipt in my parents filing cabinet someplace, but I think they paid about $25 for it - about $180 in today's dollars. Money well spent! It has served three generations of my family. Before I sent it up I put a new set La Bella Folksinger nylon/steel strings, which I think has been the same brand of strings for it's entire life. With those it plays pretty well, and easily for beginners. Good to go....

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zxcvbnm098, that's one of the best Stella stories I have ever heard! :thu:

 

Thanks Larry! I've bought and sold many guitars in the interim (and have about 6 in the stable currently), but managed to hang on to the Stella for the obvious sentimental reasons. Heck, I just sold my Hot Wheels a couple of months ago from the same time period.

 

Not sure where you are in Nor Cal, but the ol' Stella was purchased in Sacramento, and now with my nieces family in Redding!..:)

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I've got quite the harem of guitars and need to size down one of these days LoL! I have one sentimental Fender acoustic wall hanger that I bought back around '71. It's been rode hard and hangs on the wall in my music room. I'm about 50 miles east of Sacramento in the highway 50 Placerville area. My dad had a Stella that I was learning on when I was 12 or 13 and then my uncle saw I was interested in learning guitar on one of our Arizona trips, and gave me one of his Stellas. They all had 3+3 tuners and I was surprised to see the in-line 6 tuners in your link picture. Glad to hear you still have your original in the family and 3 generations have learned how to play on it! :thu:
Take care, Larryz
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  • 2 weeks later...
My sister had a Global steel-string acoustic from her few months of taking guitar lessons from Nuns in elementary school (I had begged to play guitar but my dad was determined that I would play trumpet). When she stopped screaming whenever I would dig it out of her closet eventually I learned to play it, and hearing that I could play along with whatever came on the radio in first position chords one day my dad brought home an electric guitar and amp for me from the music store he was working at that summer... a Memphis Les Paul Custom copy and a Holmes Mini-Picker 12 15 watt solid-state amp. The Memphis was a dream come true... for a while. At some point it ended up in my mom's trunk for a few hours for some reason in the middle of summer... after that it smelled like burned plastic, the neck was warped and intonation shot and it sounded crummy (I guess the plywood body and glue didn't like the heat, either)... but about that time I was saving up to get a good guitar. I passed the Memphis down to my younger brother, who left it in a closet. A few years ago my stepdad found it... I guess he'd moved it around a few houses over the years, had it "fixed" by the guys at a music store where he was working and brought it to me... it was still a mess and I didn't have the nostalgic attachment to it he thought I did... I thanked him, but it ended up in the garage. An electrician here to do something made some comment about it, like "whoa... what's up with that sweet Memphis guitar!?!" and I handed it to him and told him Merry Christmas, but warned him the neck was warped and the intonation was shot... he said he'd fix them or put on another neck... and knocked $100 off my bill!
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