Show Your First Guitar


May 30, 2021
Western Central Michigan Lower Peninsula
Here's my first.

I started my musical journey one week after I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan
show. That was 1964 and I was 10 years old. When I asked my parents if I could
take music lessons, my dad was elated as he had tried to teach me clarinet when
I was 5. I was not interested at that time, so he didn't push the issue. He
was very happy that I was now showing interest in learning music.

I took lessons from Norman English studios in Lansing Mi. RIP. He had made a name for himself
in the big band era playing lap steel. He was a great teacher.
My first few months of once weekly lessons, were spent playing on a 5 dollar per week rental.

It was a pos Stella acoustic that cost at least 30 or 40 dollars new. lol The action at the
12th fret was unplayable with the strings being a half inch off the fret board. I remember measuring
it with a ruler. It was all my young fingers could do to play chords in the open position.

My parents wanted to see if I would stick with it before committing to buying an instrument for
me. Norman had started a company called English Electronics, and he had Valco make one for him
that he could sell to his students. It had Tonemaster by English Electronics on the head stock. $150. CASE

The guitar has a reso body with a very unique design for the time, and that is the acoustic/peizo
style pickup buried in the body under the bridge, along with a humbucker.

I took lessons from Norman for a couple of years before stopping. In hindsight, I wish I had continued
the lessons, however the foundational building blocks he taught me were there and have served me well.
I've been self taught ever since. I hope I never quit learning. Thanks Norman.

'65 Tonemaster Electric by English Electronics

Show yours and share a story or two.
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Silver Supporter
Jan 15, 2017
SE Alaska
Not the absolute first, but close to it.

This poor thing, an early 80's Fender Bullet. I just had to make it better by hacking off its integral metal "bridge," drilling it for string-through ferules, and installing a left hand strat bridge. Sure wish I'd left it alone. Thus began a lifetime of molesting perfectly good instruments.


It does have a nice neck, if a little small for my paws. I keep it out of sentimentality and as a reminder not to mess with stuff. It hasn't worked :lol:


May 29, 2003
washington state / SoCal desert
Not my exact one, but this:

I put in a sidewalk to pay for it brand new in 1964.


Friend of Leo's
Feb 4, 2015
UK Europe.
A parental veto stopped me buying a Hofner archtop from a friend just before my A level exams in 1968.
Like this one

Hofner Congress.jpg

I was furious.

As soon as I left school I bought the Eko Ranger which was my Best Friend for many years and now, though still playable, is in honourable retirement, together with the real tortoise shell pick I'd bought a year or so before I ever got a guitar.


When my dad died and I inherited some cash I went looking for a Hofner archtop, as a final act of (belated) teenage rebellion. I found a battered 1956 ES125 instead and love it to bits. It's just had a good refurb and always makes me smile when I play it. Here it is with the amp I bought in the 70s, which dad didn't like much either. I used to plug the Eko in, with a sound hole pick up, through a Cry Baby and a Colorsound Tonebender. Also the book by Dan Morgan which I bought at the same time as the pick and which I nearly knew by heart before I ever had a guitar.



Friend of Leo's
Jun 27, 2019
Tampa, FL
My first was an Xmas gift. I've told this story before, but almost 30 years ago I gave it to my brother, who ultimately dropped it and broke the neck. I was pretty upset when I found out about the neck. He put on a aftermarket neck and then later gave it to my first cousin, who is also one of my best friends. About 7 years ago, my cousin found an identical Ibanez, swapped the necks (he knew I was upset about it), then gave it back to me so I could have my first guitar back. He kept the other one with the aftermarket neck for a couple of years and then pawned it. Him 'restoring' my guitar and giving it back is one for the coolest things anyone has ever done for me.

So I got it back over 20 years after I gave it away.


The first guitar I bought myself. Or, rather, I bought a used 90s MIJ Ibanez RG550 that I really didn't like, and a metal head dude I worked with had a SG he didn't like, so we swapped. I didn't realize what a good deal I got at the time.

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Poster Extraordinaire
Sep 28, 2004
I don’t have my first, or even a picture of it. It was a Harmony flattop with uncomfortably high action that I had bought new.

I do have a picture of me with my second, my first electric. It was a Tele copy, I think it was a Kingston, and it was new. The store where I bought it was moving across town in Conway, S.C. and selling gear at half price. So it had been marked originally at $80 and I got it for $40. I think it was a toploader, its output jack was also on top. I traded it for some other guitar.

A few months later I was shortly out of USAF basic training and this was my first trip back home in, my room, not far outside Loris, S.C. in 1974.

I was probably plugging in to a silverface Bassman 10 - four 10 inch speakers. That’s now a long time gone, sold in early ‘80s to some teenager in Hawaii, along with the guitar that I got after the Tele copy.



Friend of Leo's
Feb 23, 2018
Sauth Carolina
Instruments 2.jpg

I found this picture just the other day. 1981, I was living part-time in a shack in a rice field in Louisiana. My buddy (who taught me to play the banjo) owned the banjo on the couch and the mandolin. I owned the cheap, pawn-shop guitar, the banjo on the floor (Washburn B-16) and the Bass. I found the Bass accidently. I walked into a music shop just as the owner was closing the doors for the last time. He sold me the Bass for $150. I later traded it for a nice Washburn mandolin (which I subsequently gave to my buddy...who still has it).

The Guitar was a Korean POS...but it taught me my cowboy chords. By the next year, its neck had corkscrew-warped so badly that it was unplayable. It died a gruesome yet satisfying death. El Kabong!

LOL, just for fun, here's a pic of me playing my first banjo. It was another crappy cheap aluminum POS, I kept it in one of the lockers behind me. This is my bed in a bunkroom on an offshore oil rig where I was the resident helicopter mechanic. Yup, that's a Rapala fillet knife on the bed...I fished a lot.
Marc Banjo 1980.jpg


Feb 14, 2012
A ~76 Univox High Flyer. I have a picture of 12 year old me 'playing' it, but would have to scan, etc. so here's someone else's photo of one. Thought it was crap then, wish I still had it today.

Second was a Lotus LP copy, I hated it.


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