View Full Version : What did you learn to play guitar on? Your first one.

12-06-2012, 07:31 AM
I always watched Mom and Dad sing and play at campfires and whatnot. I hated camping as a kid, but always enjoyed that part. My father is actually a very good guitarist and as a kid I just thought it was so cool. Sadly my hands just weren't big enough yet so I tried Piano first. We could not afford lessons and I had a small Casio Keyboard and tried to self teach myself. I was young, maybe 8-9. But I was always learning stuff and very mature for my age. Heck I was using PC's (programming simple scripts) at the age of 6-7 (I'm 38 now) so was not afraid to teach myself anything. But I could not get into the piano at all.

Dad had a early eightiest if not late 70's Yamaha FG750. Anyways, neck was miserable, action was really bad, you needed Gorilla hands to make a bar chord. I used to steal it while they were out and he had a book on how to learn the basic chords. I literally learned the chords in one evening. I faught to learn anything on the Piano, but the guitar was just natural. I also play by ear so once I had the basics down, figuring out other music came pretty quick.

This is where it gets funny. Once Dad realized I was stealing his guitar he broke out an old piece of junk strat copy from Sears that had been lying around the house for years not used. My first guitar he said. I had no amp. It had no bridge saddles as they were long gone. I had taken an old Colgate tooth brush, positioned it sideways on the bridge for the strings to have something to sit on. I am not kidding you. The Colgate Strat Copy from Sears! It was the tri Burst Strat color with the over sized fender headstock. My least favorite color strat to this day. I played on this guitar for a year before getting a brand new Ibanez RG roadster ii which I still have to this day

Yeah, we were broke. Mom and Dad had me very young. Lots of love, but no money. Greatest Parents a kid could have though.

12-06-2012, 08:49 AM
A sunburst Squier Strat.

No amp, no way to tune, no idea what I was doing!

I think I just pretended to play guitar on it. One step up from air guitar! Sold it a few weeks later much to the chagrin of my father.

I think the next one was a Yamaha Pacifica. I got a cheap amp and learned a few chords then!

12-06-2012, 08:51 AM
A harmony Acoustic. My parents had bought it for my older sister. She took lessons for a few months and quit, so I started playing it...


12-06-2012, 08:59 AM
My first guitar was a Fender F55-12 - that's right, I tried to learn guitar on an acoustic 12 string. I was in college (1973). I would pick it up, play for maybe 1/2 hour until my fingers hurt and then put it away for a month or so. Not a recipe for getting very far.

I didn't have any friends that played and I never looked at lessons because I thought I'd just never have the finger strength or toughness. I didn't have anyone to tell me that electrics were so much easier to play...

Then, in 2002, I decided to visit a Guitar Center nearby. Somewhere along the way I had learned that electrics were easier. I told myself that if I could play an electric for more than 1/2 hour that I'd buy it. I sat in there for an hour and a half playing a Mexican Strat. I bought it and a little Crate amp.

I still have both guitars. I do a much better job on the 12 string now....

Bill SAS 513
12-06-2012, 09:08 AM
First Guitar...Red hagstrom, I think HII is the model...SG shape, with strat type input...It was that or an Electra black Les Paul style (spent hours staring at Kiss Alive Album cover!!) Loved it, but traded it for P bass couple years later...found same model Hagstrom couple years ago through GC and had to have it...300.00 for actual Swedish model...plays and sounds pretty damned good, too. My parents signed for me and I made payments through Signal Finance (maybe???) I remember counting down the coupons in the payment book...

12-06-2012, 10:31 AM
This. My dad bought it new for my brother in 1965; but art proved to be his passion instead of music, and around 1966-7, he let me "borrow" it. Still have it in the family; my son learned to play on it, too.

I had the tune-o-matic installed in 1971.


12-06-2012, 10:35 AM
Growing up I always wanted to learn the violin. Unfortunately we didn't have much money and even if we did, my parents wouldn't have had the time to bring me for lessons since they were always working. My brother was actually the supportive one for me when I was a kid and my first instrument ended up being drums when I was in middle school. I taught myself by way of a few videos and this Lars Ulrich book and CD package he got. Sadly, the neighborhood we lived in was FULL of retirees and, though I only played after school from 4-5:30 or so, they still called the cops on me constantly, so we had to get rid of the drums.
I got lucky, I learned on my grandfathers Gibson Les Paul. God bless that man, one of the greatest people I think I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The first song I ended up learning was by my all-time favorite band, Smashing Pumpkins called "Disarm." A good friend of mine who lived on the next street figured out the song and showed me how to play it one afternoon after school.

12-06-2012, 12:23 PM
A Silvertone Mosrite copy bought for me by my mother in 1984, looked something like this:

All I knew was I needed to have a "Whammy Bar" as I was (still am) obsessed with Ray Parker Jr.
Thanks Mom!

12-06-2012, 12:28 PM
A Hondo strat copy, 3-tone burst w/ white pickguard. I walked into my first lesson, and my teacher had a legit '57 strat reissue, same color. I said "look, we have the same guitar!"

He said "No. No we don't"

12-06-2012, 02:13 PM
A Hondo strat copy, 3-tone burst w/ white pickguard. I walked into my first lesson, and my teacher had a legit '57 strat reissue, same color. I said "look, we have the same guitar!"

He said "No. No we don't"

lol, cute

12-06-2012, 02:16 PM
Still own it--LP DC bought in 79/80:


12-06-2012, 02:33 PM
This was my first guitar, an Ibanez bought used in 1985 for $100. Well, not this exact one, but same model, color, etc. Not even sure what year it was or anything. It was ugly as sin, but all I wanted to do was play!

EDIT: After a bit of searching, I've discovered this was the Ibanez Blazer model. A lot of folks seem to like it. I hated it because it wasn't flashy and didn't have a whammy bar. I was a 16 year old kid wanting to play VH and glam metal, LOL! I had not a clue of what quality was about.


12-06-2012, 02:37 PM
A cheap Fender acoustic. Graduated up to a Squire after 6-8 months............

12-06-2012, 02:46 PM
a classic 3/4 nylon acoustic my grandparents brought back from cyprus for me and gave it to me on christmas, best present I ever got and I still have it!

12-06-2012, 03:04 PM
A 68 or so Teisco electric, and a very small amp that only had a volume control.
Christmas present from the parents when I was around 13 or 14.
Kind of looked like this, but I cannot remember if it had a tremolo bar on it or not.

After that I got a 71 or so Univox Les Paul copy, then a real '73 Les Paul Deluxe in '73 for my 16th birthday.
Sold that in '86 when the second son was born, and did not pick up a guitar again until this past May when I got my 2012 '61 SG Reissue.
Since I bought the SG, I have had a severe case of gas buying more guitars, amps, and pedals.

]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T !
12-06-2012, 03:06 PM
I'm still learning to play guitar.

I can't remember what my 1st guitar was. I was 6. It was an acoustic. We got it from Goodwill.

My 1st "real" electric was a Ventura LP Black Beauty copy.

12-06-2012, 03:51 PM
And nameless piece of junk, but I didn't know or care.

12-06-2012, 05:22 PM
A red & black crackle Aria Pro II

12-06-2012, 05:45 PM
My mom's 58 Martin parlor guitar. Much like the OP I grew up listening to Mom and Dad play guitar for family and friends when they came over for special occasions. I just naturally picked it up and learned the 3 chords needed to play the folk songs they played. Never got much deeper better than that until in my 20's. Didn't get an electric until my 30's. Maybe that is why it is still hard for me to improve.

Still have the Martin. :)

12-06-2012, 10:10 PM
A Stella acoustic.

12-07-2012, 02:10 AM
Gibson SG Special Faded Cherry.

12-07-2012, 02:34 AM
Hagstrom HIIN-OT. I won it in a raffle my high school band had to raise money. I never really learned to play it (mainly because I didn't know how to tune it) but I learned a few chords. I ended up selling it to a friend several years later. The first guitar I really learned to play on was my daughter's short-scale Yellow Daisy model Daisy Rock.

12-07-2012, 09:48 AM
a National Les Paul copy, black w/white binding & gold hardware.... former guitar of an inmate somewhere. :D
I sat & watched the Star Licks video of Mike Wolf showing GnR riffs & licks for forever.

Albrecht Smuten
12-07-2012, 10:02 AM
I had no amp.

No amp, no way to tune, no idea what I was doing!

My experience exactly! I ran my guitar through hi-fi :) (years later, the 20W BC Rich amp didn't make a significant difference, but it had overdrive at least)