Show Your First Guitar

Winky

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Posts
463
Location
Canada
My mom picked this up for $2 at a garage sale in the 1970s. Actually got it to play quite well. Currently awaiting a neck reset.

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That is utterly gorgeous.
 

HootOwlDude

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Posts
76
Age
49
Location
Wilmington, NC
My brother had a little mahogany Gibson that he never played so I learned on that, cowboy chords and some leads. This was in 69. I convinced my Mom to sign for a new Tele at Joe Fava’s music store on 8 mile. 2 of my favorites, Joe Walsh and Jimi Page played them so they must be good. When I got to the store with Mom the salesman convinced us that any smart young musician knew that the way to go was the Fender Jazzmaster for only a few dollars more a month. Knowing nothing about electric guitars except that the Jazzmaster looked like a rocket ship compared to the Tele we got the Jazzmaster (At full price). When I brought it home my older brother who was in bands and had played for years asked me why I bought a Beachboys guitar. Years later I realized he had sold me a 65 or 66 NOS that had been sitting in the store for years (this was 1970) because it had binding with dot fret markers. I loved that guitar even though between it and my Ampeg Gemini VI I had the cleanest sounding rig money could buy which wasn’t what you wanted back then. Traded it for a Ovation in 72 because who wouldn’t want a guitar that was both electric and acoustic!! Wish I still had that Jazzmaster. Bad Polaroid pic is all I have left of it. View attachment 941043
That pic screams album cover.
 

SASouth

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Posts
394
Location
Ohio
Mine was a Kent 834. I learned to play on it. I traded my original one in on my first Gibson, an ES-325.

The one in the picture I found for sale about a year or so ago and in the fit of nostalgia, I bought it. It actually plays well and sounds pretty good.

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TimmyM

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Posts
342
Location
Rialto, CA. USA
The first guitar I started to use was my brother’s Sears Silvertone acoustic. I used it during a summer recreation course that was held at the jr. High school. Summer of 1977

When my parents saw that I enjoyed playing guitar (I had previously taken piano lessons) they went to Dugan’s piano and organ and bought me a new acoustic guitar, a Westminster 000 sized instrument like this: Christmas 1977.

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a few months later, one of our neighbors saw me playing it in the front yard. He was a drummer and he gave me a Zen-On electric guitar that he had. It was missing the bridge, but I found one at the Olde Christian Guitar Store. It was a tuneomatic type and my brother helped install it. Spring 1978.

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this isn’t it, but it was just like this…eventually I will find one like it again and replace it.

Next up was an Electra Stratocaster copy that I bought at Ontario Music with my first few pay checks from my job at a movie theater. Summer of Fall 1978

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now here it is 2021 and I have 73 guitars and other stringed instruments.
 

gitold

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Posts
6,281
Age
68
Location
Greeley Co.
Mine was a Kent 834. I learned to play on it. I traded my original one in on my first Gibson, an ES-325.

The one in the picture I found for sale about a year or so ago and in the fit of nostalgia, I bought it. It actually plays well and sounds pretty good.

View attachment 942154
That Kent is the coolest. I’d rock the heck out of that!
 

skunqesh

Tele-Holic
Joined
May 17, 2008
Posts
952
Location
West Coast
can't find my old band photos from the 80s, but here's my son's first guitar.
I did a then-now pic of my kiddo for when he turned '11'
he pretty much glommed onto my '67 tele from the get go.
 

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Telecaster582

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Posts
978
Age
13
Location
Muskegon MI
Series 10! That was my first electric guitar! It was a Les Paul copy with a mini humbucker in it. I needed space though and i never played it because I had better guitars so just a couple of weeks ago i traded it to guitar center and bought a Rouge lap steel. Speaking of Rouge, that was my actual first guitar. It was a three sunburst acoustic and sounded pretty good. It's currently getting a refinish. And new hardware.
 

Greg70

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Posts
724
Age
51
Location
St Louis, MO
I started playing when my two older brothers found a classified add for an electric guitar and amp for $100 and went in together on them sometime around 1984. My brothers quickly lost interest. I was already into music having played the sax for several years in school so I picked it up. My best friend already played and was taking lessons so he helped me out as well. The guitar was a Global Asian made model similar to the picture below. It had two single coils, 19 frets, and a 0 fret. It was missing the trem arm. It actually played pretty good but the strings would slip out of the shallow notches on the bridge. I think some of the early offset Fenders had the same problem. The amp was a solid state Peavey Backstage 30. The setup also came with a white coiled cord! I think the guitar and amp are still around somewhere in the bowels of my brother's basement.

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StoneH

Tele-Afflicted
Gold Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
1,778
Age
66
Location
Florida Gulf Coast
I posted the first guitar I owned (1934 Duolian), but it was impossible to play, so my Mom bought me my first acoustic (Sears Silvertone) and my first quality guitar (Martin 000-18). Both pictured below. I was refinishing the Silvertone for fun (originally a cowboy red sunburst). 1971.

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LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,360
Age
68
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
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
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Show yours and share a story or two.

I'm just now seeing this thread, but I'd like to conribute.

I too was greatly influenced by the experience of watching The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but my Mom sang in a trio before she ever met my father in college, and my Dad played guitar and sang, so my musical journey began with their influence.

More specifically, my guitar journey began with me "plunking around" on Dad's guitar at the time. And like your first/rental, it was a Stella made by Harmony, the H929 parlor. It was the one that had the white pickguard screwed onto the top, which was a feature that started in 1961 on that model, and Dad had it in 1961. I don't have pics of Dad's, but my younger brother (born in 1960) remembers a pic of him lying on the bed with Dad's Stella next to him as a point of reference.

But like I said, on that guitar, several years before seeing the Fab Four for the first time, I was just "plunking around" on it. It was not until the summer of 1967 that I got serious about playing and practiced daily, so I count that time as my actually starting point. By then Dad had a different guitar, a Harmony Archtone H1213. I do have pics of me playing that one.

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Bruxist

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Posts
4,362
Location
Kentucky, USA
I'm just now seeing this thread, but I'd like to conribute.

I too was greatly influenced by the experience of watching The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but my Mom sang in a trio before she ever met my father in college, and my Dad played guitar and sang, so my musical journey began with their influence.

More specifically, my guitar journey began with me "plunking around" on Dad's guitar at the time. And like your first/rental, it was a Stella made by Harmony, the H929 parlor. It was the one that had the white pickguard screwed onto the top, which was a feature that started in 1961 on that model, and Dad had it in 1961. I don't have pics of Dad's, but my younger brother (born in 1960) remembers a pic of him lying on the bed with Dad's Stella next to him as a point of reference.

But like I said, on that guitar, several years before seeing the Fab Four for the first time, I was just "plunking around" on it. It was not until the summer of 1967 that I got serious about playing and practiced daily, so I count that time as my actually starting point. By then Dad had a different guitar, a Harmony Archtone H1213. I do have pics of me playing that one.

View attachment 946655
View attachment 946656

Looks just like my Dad's guitar that I started playing on. Right down to the missing pickguard.
 
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Smokin OP

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
1,160
Age
61
Location
Leesburg, GA
From a few weeks ago at church. I'm holding my first guitar my mom & sister bought me when I was @ 13. It's a Dorado & I took it to my tech who put some love into since it has not been touched in years. Have enjoyed using it again. It was the only guitar I had for the first 10 years I played. My tech also worked on my buddy's Washburn bass guitar so we took a picture of the 2 he'd worked on the day before.
 

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ChickenKiller

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Posts
558
Location
Oklahoma
My first guitar was one just like this photo… I think I paid 125$ for it used in Sophomore summer of 1986…

I was more about the “party aspect” of music than I was about learning how to play music… I learned a few easy metal songs in the late 80s but never got serious.

In college my wife saved loose change and surprised me with a no name acoustic guitar… Shortly after we were expecting a baby and I got SAVED so I started learning Gospel Music and that’s when I got a little more serious about playing 1994 or so.

When we graduated college I kept the Katana around but

Gave it to the neighbor kid in 1996, he put a Floyd Rose on it and had it professionally painted metallic green.

My 1st acoustic ended up breaking the bridge in 2000 or so and I did not play for a long while…

In 2006 or so I was at a music store and I saw a big Takamine Jumbo “maroon” and my dad happened to be there and he just bought it for me… That’s when I got serious and ended up on a Worship team a few months later…

I still have the Takamine but it has BAD fret wear and needs repair.
 

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