What do you remember when you look back on your first guitar? For most of us, it’s probably how terrible it was. Even as recent as 10 years ago, you were usually lumped with an unplayable piece of timber. Nowadays it’s so easy to get your hands on a reliable, affordable guitar.
It’s a good thing your fascination with the instrument didn’t end with how bad your first guitar was to play. But maybe it did put you off, and now you’re looking for some expert advice to get back into playing.
Hohner St Professional
My first guitar was a Hohner St Professional. I was a lucky one – it was good for what it was at the time. I bought one off Ebay recently for £70 to have a mess around on and was pleasantly surprised. Back in the day, I had the option between that and a Van Halen looking guitar… I think I made the right choice! I don’t remember using anything else as it was a good few decades ago now.
Peter “Danish Pete” Honore, Youtube Manager
Fender Special Run Lite Ash Tele
My first proper guitar that wasn’t from a starter pack was a Fender Special Run Lite Ash Tele. Korean made but the same price as Mexican Tele at the time with slightly better specs. I saw it in Guitarist magazine and just thought: “That’s what a Tele should look like.”
Complete Rolling Stones vibes from the transparent finish and birdseye maple neck. I spent the whole of my first paycheck at a supermarket job on that guitar. It doesn’t play amazingly well, but it looks so cool I’m not sure how much I care. I still use it today.
Andrew Chart, E-Comm Manager
Ibanez 70’s Dreadnought Acoustic
My first guitar was an old 70’s Ibanez Acoustic that’s been owned by everyone in the family. This family heirloom would sit in the corner of the lounge and one day I decided to pick it up and start learning. Little did I know that I was learning on a beautiful all-solid dreadnought with a Spruce top and solid Mahogany back and sides.
The guitar was beaten up and felt clunky. The sheer size of it was cumbersome but I persevered and developed a close relationship with that guitar. I later had an LR Baggs pickup installed and gigged extensively with it.
Because it sounded so great and was so playable, it inspired me to continue learning. My advice for anyone buying their first guitar would be to spend a little bit more and go for an instrument that will give you the longevity and inspiration to keep playing.
Jed Van Wyngaardt, Digital Guitar Content Manager
Encore E6 Strat
After many years spent playing a 3/4 size nylon string guitar, my parents agreed that the time had come. I was ready for an electric guitar. The offending item was an Encore S-type looking thing. It was black with a white scratchplate, 3 single-coils and a tremolo arm. I didn’t care about how it looked. I was absolutely fascinated by the thing. It was cheap and not particularly pretty (in looks or sounds) but it was mine and I loved it!
I also had a small Stagg practice amp, and I distinctly remember playing Smells Like Teen Spirit with *that* distortion. Not long after, I went through a Green Day phase, and ended up covering by beloved axe in stickers – just like Billie Joe Armstrong’s infamous green Strat copy. It saw me through the bulk of secondary school, and it remains in a corner at home gathering dust. I still give it a twang every time I visit the family.
Sam Beattie, Writer
Stagg L320 LP
My first guitar was a Stagg Les Paul copy, finished in a bright cherryburst. I bought it with my dad at Andertons back in 2006, and instantly fell in love with the way it looked. However, the main reason for choosing it over a more typical Squier Strat was because my older brother owned one of those, and of course – I wanted something different.
As first guitars go, it really wasn’t that bad on reflection. I loved the thicker sound of the humbuckers and considering I was massively into Green Day at the time, recreating those punchy-sounding power chord riffs was pretty easy.
Eventually, I upgraded to an Ibanez S-Series after about a year or so of playing. I sold on the Stagg to a friend at school, who I believe still owns it over 10 years later!
Elliot Stent, Writer
So there you go – did they match up to your expectations? How does yours compare? If you’re reading this wondering where to get off to a good start, check out our recommended beginner guitars or starter guitar packs at the Andertons website.
If you enjoyed this read, take a look at our other Learn articles.