Your First Guitar


Senior Gretsch-Talker
Feb 10, 2010
LaFayette IN
Too late to edit my first post, so....

After I sold that entry level Silvertone for cash to fund a keyboard, I stayed with keys till I went into the service in '69. For my birthday that year, the folks sent me enough cash to cover a new winter jacket, and with some savings added in, I picked up a $69 Voxton (became Yamaha) acoustic and a $25 used hardshell case (worth every penny!). Still have the guitar, tho it looks like it went thru the war and thousands of miles in the back of C-130s. That's the guitar I really learned on.

Back in Black

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jun 22, 2020
Ottawa, Canada
Well... This time, I'll leave my first guitar, a Venerable ES-335TD from 1980 - still with me 43 years later - to present my first custom designed and build from scratch guitar : my Fake Lefty Improbable Danelectro "Minerva Verde", which is an evocation of the great design of the Dano DC59 :

View attachment 203914 View attachment 203915




That Bottle Green Metallic Paint is Alfa Romeo "Minerva Verde" (below, on a model 166) :

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Below, my regular LH DC59 in copper (why did I idiotely sold her ?) flanked by two Custom Fake Lefty Improbable Danelectro guitars :


One little regret : I should have slanted the middle lipstick PU on my Minerva Verde. Beside the fact that it would have been more aesthetically more "Dano-ish", th plucking of the strings would have been completely "interference-less".


Many early guitarists started with Danos/Silvertones, if for no other reason than parents of the time found them affordable, and easily obtainable through the early catalogs, especially the 1960's era Sears Christmas catalogs.

Today, guitars ar more expensive than my Dad would have paid for a new car in the 1960's.

Never mind cars, you could buy a decent house in the fifties/early sixties for a lot less than the price of a 2023 high end guitar.

I took the photo of my Dad washing my car, circa, 1980, I was home on R&R from an assignment in Iraq. Him and my Mom bought this house in 1956. As I recall, he paid $5000. The previous owner held the mortgage, Dad paid it off $75. a month.

He could have bought a veritable mansion, with a Cadillac in the garage, for what an average Gretsch Custom Shop guitar costs today.

Now you tell me...are we going forward or backward??

Oh...the 1963, fuel injected ZO6, I paid $7000. for it in 1979. At first, Dad thought I was crazy, because a new 1979 Vette, could have been had for the same money.





Feb 2, 2023
Washington USA
First guitar I bought was a very cheap nylon-string classical for about $60. It's still around, although I can't recall the last time I played a note on it. I did replace the bridge saddle for something more playable, and it did appear in the background of a few commercial recordings back in the day.

First electric guitar I spend any time with was likely a JCPenney-catalog sort of thing, probably from the late 60s or early 70s, maybe made by Kay—I want to say it may have been a Penncrest but who knows. It was lent to me by an older friend—I think it had belonged to one of his older siblings and had been sitting in a closet for many years. I don't think I'd recognize it if I saw it again, but I remember it had a baseball-bat neck and a terrible setup but it looked reasonably cool, and that was pretty important.

The second electric guitar I spent any time with was a low-end Ibanez Les Paul copy, just-barely post-lawsuit. My brother picked up at a pawnshop for $75. That's in the other room: it's been hotrodded and it's honestly pretty great. I get better results from it than "real" Les Pauls, probably because I have so many hours on it and know exactly what it will do.

The first electric guitar I bought was a Peavey Horizon II, kind of a take on an HSH Strat. It's still around and still has unique tricks, but there are issues. We'll just say the quality level of the parts and materials Peavey was using on those has shown clear over the years.


Jan 12, 2023
Dayton Ohio
I had two at about the same time, I really don't recall exactly which one was first. No-name two pickup electric that my aunt gave me (I think it was either a heit or G-holiday, both are very similar. Mine had a natural headstock face and no nameplate. The heit has the right vibrato, though,,,,). My grandparents bought it for her (Or my grandpa may have won it in a poker game) sometime in the 70's I think. Gave it to me when I was ten and had started showing some interest in learning to play. And a plastic Emanee "Western Folk" guitar that my grandparents brought back from a trip out west (I think they bought it at Wall Drug). Both guitars were set on fire and smashed when I was in high school. I often wish a person didn't have to go through the "young and dumb" phase,,,,,,


Friend of Fred
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2012
Montgomery Ward "Airline" branded acoustic guitar. Parlor sized, and I believe it was a re-branded Stella, because a friend had one that was very similar that was a "Stella", which I believe were made by Harmony back then.

My first guitar was a Harmony Stella parlor my parents got me in 1967 at 7 years old. I played the he'll out of it!


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