Show Your First Guitar

belleswell

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 30, 2021
Posts
138
Location
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 INCLUDED.lol

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
1nlnCMoh.jpg


Show yours and share a story or two.
 
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SparkleFart

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Posts
625
Location
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.

violatedbullet.jpg


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:
 

guitar_paul1

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
May 29, 2003
Posts
1,048
Location
washington state / SoCal desert
Not my exact one, but this:

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

WingedWords

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Posts
2,921
Location
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.

20180307_102855.jpg

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.

20190809_123631.jpg
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
2,353
Age
48
Location
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.

Ibanez.jpg



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.

SG.jpg
 
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yegbert

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Posts
7,311
Location
Maryland
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.


8DA601D5-441C-414A-B403-A424F310569A.jpeg
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,190
Age
65
Location
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
 

Quexoz

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Posts
307
Location
USA
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.

UnivoxHiFlyer.jpg


LotusLP.jpg
 
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