My first guitar was a $100 Squier Stratocaster that came bundled with a tiny 15W Crate amp. Both were terrible, but they were enough to wail out some bad riffs in my friend’s basement. Eventually I replaced it with an equally terrible Epiphone Les Paul Special 2. The bands didn’t get any better either.
One band – named Alternative Ending for some reason – came to an unceremonious end after our bass player got a girlfriend. Following that I played in a string of metal and punk bands, usually in some sort of rhythm role.
I’m realizing now that I never actually put in any effort to learn how guitars worked. Learning guitar, as I understood it, was mostly just reading tabs and learning how to execute them with the right timing. Turns out this is a pretty limiting way of approaching guitar. When you don’t understand how everything fits together, it becomes much harder to branch out beyond the handful of songs/riffs you know.
At some point in high school I ditched the Epiphone for a much nicer, but sorta tacky Schecter C1 Classic. It actually fit in pretty well with the sorts of bands I was playing in at the time.
Eventually I stopped being in bands, and sold that guitar when we moved to Seattle. Meanwhile I had started to really enjoy playing Kaitlin’s acoustic guitar. It was moderately comfortable and let me fiddle with something while working from home. Last year I went and picked up a classical guitar because I wanted a guitar that was A) smaller and B) had nylon strings. It’s perfect.
Now I’m pretty sure I want to get an electric guitar again. The only issue is that because space is a premium, I wont be getting an amp anytime soon. I’ve had decent luck with the Apogee Jam, but this time around I will probably upgrade to the iRig HD2.
In an effort to learn some more about music theory I’ve started working my way through LightNote. So far, it’s been exactly what I’ve always wanted – lots of visual examples and interactive tools to explain the concepts. Even with just the basics, it’s been super helpful for demystifying things about music/guitar that I never quite understood, but could tell I was screwing up.
I picked up a black Telecaster and couldn’t be happier. Most of the electric guitars I’d played in the past had weirdly thick necks and a set of super heavy guaged strings. I’m sure that was partially because I was playing in metal bands where you’re just thrashing on the guitar, but still. The neck on this Telecaster feels like the right size for my hands, and the strings are super easy to play on. Kind of a nice surprise.
The iRig HD2 & Amplitube have been good enough for what I need. It took me a while to find a sound I liked within all of the simluated amps, but ended up with some really nice ENGL stuff. I’m still impressed by just how good the digital amps can sound.