Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, although I suspect anyone of any age who engages in guitar playing would agree. After all, why pursue playing any instrument if it weren’t fun (notwithstanding the parental requirement of having to play)?
For me, I sometimes feel like kicking myself for not expanding my horizons sooner. By that, I mean when I was deep into playing, I stayed pretty much in the acoustic guitar arena. Oh sure, I had my (very sweet) 1957 Gibson ES-225, which has a pickup, but I never really plugged it in to a serious amplifier.
Yes, I had my little Pignose amp, but that lulled me into thinking what I had was an electric guitar, when in truth what I had was an amplified acoustic-electric.
Then along came idle bachelorhood (again) and inspired by the young people playing guitar during church services, I pulled my instruments out of their cases, took them to a luthier for proper setup, replaced the strings, and started to play. I added another acoustic because I thought I might have to wait weeks for the setup to be completed.
But then I came across an electric guitar–one might even say the electric guitar of my dreams–and my life changed for the better. I bought the Eric Clapton artisan model Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Champion 40 amplifier, and I was transported into a new dimension.
But that was just the beginning. The Stratocaster was such a fine instruments, and I found playing an electric guitar so much more different than playing an acoustic, I added another electric to my collection. This one was the guitar world’s counterpoint to the Fender beast, a Gibson Les Paul.
Oh my, how the guitar world has changed since my days as a teenager. Back then, your choice in models was limited to a handful. Now, the choices are country of origin, type and number of pickups, and even the type and quality of the wood used to build the guitar. Gibson offers the Les Paul in Standard, Custom, Studio, Classic, and more. Gibson even owns the Epiphone company, which makes their own line of Les Pauls.
I found what I hope/believe is a collector’s item: A 2015 Gibson Les Paul Classic “Rock II.” It’s a limited-edition LP with a body that looks like marble instead of wood, hence the “Rock” monicker.
Now I was off and running. The other guitar of my youthful dreams was the Fender Telecaster, and lo and behold, I came across a 60th Anniversary mode that just spoke to me.
Next up was another Stratocaster. Honestly, I wasn’t looking, but I came across this 40th Anniversary aluminum-bodies Strat, one of only 400 made, and added it to my growing collection.
(I should also add that I bought a Pignose PGG-200 Deluxe travel/practice guitar to allow me to meet my commitment to myself to practice a minimum of 5 minutes a day).
I think I’ve cooled off on the collecting. I now have an acoustic 12-string, an acoustic (with built-in pickup) 6-string, an acoustic-electric, and four electric guitars plus one electric practice guitar. Knowing that collecting is a personal thing, I won’t say I’m done, but for the present, I have a wonderful choice of guitars to play when the urge strikes. And it strikes often!