Never Get Rid of Your First Guitar

My first ever guitar, a Mexican Fender Stratocaster with a humbucker in the bridge position.

Guitar gear can be a tricky topic in the music world, some musicians have one guitar they’ve used their whole life, it’s comfortable, familiar, and it sounds like them. Some use a few, or as many as a dozen different guitars on one album or one tour. Even amateurs will often be loyal to their first Squier Stratocaster or move on to use a few different guitars as they progress as a player. Regardless of your gear tendencies or aspirations, I’m here to convince you never to get rid of your first guitar. 

Your first guitar is what you learn on, it’s what you develop into a unique player using. It may have its quirks or flaws that force you to approach chords, scales, or riffs differently. It may be so cheap or low quality that you come to actually enjoy the low fi or buzzy noises it produces. Either way, your first real guitar is inexplicably you. And I get it, the urge to trade up is always there, even if you’re a minimalist. You see a guitar with better pickups, a faster neck, or a fancy signature model and say “hey, if I trade this beginner guitar in I’m $100 closer to that”. But while I’m not here to convince you that you need multiple guitars to be a guitar player, work for or save up that extra $100 and keep that old Epiphone or Yamaha. 

Not only will you have the sentimental attachment to it, or a nostalgic affair with it later in your playing career, but you’ll have an instrument you know you can rely on in a pinch. If your main guitar breaks, gets stolen, or simply isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ll know where to turn. Even better, save that old beginner guitar and modify it when you grow more comfortable with soldering or guitar assembly. Set up the neck, add the pickups you always wanted, or rewire the whole thing, you can turn something you know and love into something you’ve always wanted. 

One day, you’re gonna look back on that old guitar and wonder what it could have been. There is a certain magic in your first guitar that just can’t be explained. Don’t let it go to waste just because a shinier toy appears. If you wrote your first song or riff on it, keep it around, and see what it inspires next.

Published by Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for and as well as a contributor for and Reach out to talk about guitars, commission a partscaster, or ask for a review.

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