First elec guitar, first amp and pedals, first reaction:

EndGame00

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I was 9 during the 80’s. Being in a military family, budget was tight. Anything outside food, shelter and clothing was non-priority according to dad. My oldest brother was able to borrow an electric guitar and a SS amp from one of his friends, brought it home late afternoon. I recall it was a Fender strat painted like an EVH and a Yamaha solid state... my brother was an intermediate guitar player so he knows how to play some songs and simple solos... plugged it in and I was totally underwhelmed and dissappointed.... It didnt sound like The ELECTRIC GUITARS” I see on MTV...

Then I was eleven, everybody told me a pedal is a distortion pedal... i was able to borrow a purple pedal from one of my friends... plugged it in... again, disappointed came over me... all I heard was a swirling sound... it was a fricking flanger.

What was your first reaction to the first electric guitar, amp and pedal you ever played on?
 

NRBQ

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I have zero recollection to be honest, I do know today that I love a good wah wah pedal which is at least something.
 

jaycoyoyo

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When I got my first electric I didn't even own an amp. Went to a music shop, and my parents bought me a cheap Fender amp. Brought it home and turned it on in my room - instant connection. I was a bit of an antisocial loner, and I immediately saw this as an opportunity to occupy my mind and focus on a hobby that I could learn on my own. A couple years later I discovered the joy of playing with other people, so learning guitar ended up being my ticket out of loneliness.

-Jay
 

meatball

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A Univox Les Paul Copy and a Montgomery Ward Amp ... I traded it for a Deistortion pedal later in life .. Man i miss that guitar ,,,, Good thing I got this now .....
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artis_xe

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for me it was absolutely unreal . as in : I seriously thought that I was losing my mind ( again ) __ and that the guitar was trying to talk to me / tell me what notes to play
I only started playing appx. 6 years ago . before that I played drums and synth . but a heart attack had me lying in a hospital bed , wondering why I never played guitar before

during my recovery , a neighbor gifted me a 70s JP copy of an LP . and shortly after , I stumbled upon an old Champ , from a music room at a school that was shutting down . so between the survival of the heart attack , and things just falling into place with the gear . it's like it was meant to be

now I enjoy the guitar to a much greater level than I did with synth . and almost as much as the drums . I didn't know the difference between right handed guitars , vs. left handed ones . and I learned with a righty , even though I'm a lefty . I think this might have helped me in a way , as I don't understand why more people don't use their dominant hand to fret . . .

but anyway . an overall good doesn't even begin to describe it experience for me
 
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fry

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It didnt sound like The ELECTRIC GUITARS” I see on MTV...
That’s pretty much how I felt. My dad bought me an electric guitar and amp from Montgomery ward. The guitar was some imported off brand, but it was a copy of a Les Paul. I was in love with it, because that’s what Ace played. The amp was a little piece of garbage that was a single channel-clean. I did not know how the rockers made their guitars sound the way they did, but this was not doing it for me. I was disappointed. It was a couple of years later when I went over to a buddy’s house, and he had acquired an Arion distortion pedal. At last, the answer! I thought that was the best sounding thing I had ever heard in my life.
 

PeteK

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I started on an old acoustic my mom had from when she was a hippie. I played that for a few months. I don't think I learned any actual songs, but a friend showed me how to play a 3 note bar chord and move it up and down the neck. On my next birthday my parents got me an Ibanez RX40 and a Crate amp. Probably sounded awful, but I remember turning the volume and distortion way up and hitting a power chord and it instantly connected with me. It was the first time I'd ever played electric guitar.

Honestly, I don't think I really cared for music much until that moment. My parents always listened to cheesy country and my dad had a collection of old big band shit from a million years ago so I never really paid much attention to music. But coincidentally, the same time they got me the electric guitar, it was the early 90's and bands like Nirvana, Green Day, Offspring, etc were just starting to take over the radio and a lot of their songs were easy enough to learn. I tortured my entire family by playing day and night learning new songs. My parents made me move all my guitar stuff to the garage since even with the volume on 1, it was loud in the entire house.

Funny, a few years later my dad moved on from the "big band phase" and it turned out his vinyl collection was full of great stuff like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I couldn't help but think "how come you played all that shitty music for years when all this great stuff was just sitting on the shelf?" :laugh2:
 

Duane_the_tub

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The year was 1982. My first electric was an Arbor (Hohner) Les Paul "copy" with EMG-style pickups (that were actually single coils under the covers), shark fin inlays and a Krameresque pointy headstock, in electric blue. Basically, this exact guitar minus the crackle paint job and white pup ring:

Arbor.jpg


My first amp was a Squier Champ, which I thought was cool because of the song "Joe's Garage."

amp.jpg


The resulting tone wasn't exactly sublime, but the first "riff" I learned was Roadhouse Blues by the Doors and I was hooked. My cousin had a few cheap knockoff electrics as well and we used to jam. Didn't try a pedal until many years later.
 

artis_xe

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Funny, a few years later my dad moved on from the "big band phase" and it turned out his vinyl collection was full of great stuff like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I couldn't help but think "how come you played all that shitty music for years when all this great stuff was just sitting on the shelf?" :laugh2:

that's funny , because I can cite Frank Zappa as the reason that I didn't want to learn guitar when I was a kid . my Father was really into him ( bootlegs and all ) . constant Zappa playing at all hours

the day that he brought me to a music store to pick out an electric guitar , I think a little piece of him died when I ran towards that drum kit . remember the commercial where the single tear falls down the Indian's face ? that was him :laugh2:

I later learned to appreciate Zappa , to the fullest . and when I did __ I realized my Dad was cooler than I was , all of those years . . .
 

EndGame00

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That’s pretty much how I felt. My dad bought me an electric guitar and amp from Montgomery ward. The guitar was some imported off brand, but it was a copy of a Les Paul. I was in love with it, because that’s what Ace played. The amp was a little piece of garbage that was a single channel-clean. I did not know how the rockers made their guitars sound the way they did, but this was not doing it for me. I was disappointed. It was a couple of years later when I went over to a buddy’s house, and he had acquired an Arion distortion pedal. At last, the answer! I thought that was the best sounding thing I had ever heard in my life.
I remember the tone coming out of that guitar and amp sounded like rubber bands stretched to its breaking point and tries to make a sound out of it... My brother spent more time fiddling the controls to find a good tone, but eventually gave up... He returned the guitar and amp back to his buddy the next day....

Five years later, my mother scrounged up enough money (dad had already passed away at this time) and asked the oldest brother to buy a guitar within a budget ($150).. he came home with a no-name DIY pawnshop guitar for $99 (he pocketed the rest)....

We have an electric guitar, no amp...we plugged them on a Marantz stereo system, and it still sounded like ass... No distortion pedal...my brother, who was good with a solder, cannibalized a transistor FM radio, took the tiny speaker out, wired a 1/3 jack, and plugged them into the headphone jack of the stereo system, cranked the volume and there we have it: gobs of distortion...

Downside: the tiny speaker blew up after a few power chords...

But it was the most awesome distortion tone I have heard in my early years...
 

fry

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it was the most awesome distortion tone I have heard in my early years...
Yeah, I remember hearing different amps/pedals over the years, and thinking that they sounded awesome at the time. Looking back, they probably sounded like crap, I just didn’t know any better. I actually was blown away the first time I heard one of these-
EB5FA0D0-A91F-43EF-B679-3AA368B79229.jpeg
 

EndGame00

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Distortion pedal was THE game changer for me...several months later after acquiring the electric guitar, I bought a brand new ProCo Rat, using the money I saved from paper routes during summer..I was like, "Fuck the amp, I got me a distortion pedal"... showing it off to my friends...

How frickin naive I was...
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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sheer love.

magic sounds out of a magic box.
That sums it up nicely for me. My neighbor was about 10 years older than I was and was always flipping gear. I think he may have been in drug sales... :eek2:

I was playing a crap new Harmony Stella. They were not very good in the mid 70s. Really nice xmas gift, but did not play very well.

He had the guitar below and a small I think Magnatone tube amp with an 8" speaker. Gave them to me - wasn't that nice! He also got me started on learning how to play real rock.

I bought an Electro Harmonix LPB-1 inline power booster. That kicked up the volume nicely! Might have been the first day I had it - I was able to get the feedback note in Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady to scream out.

With that, my asshole stepfather started banging on the door yelling at me to turn it down. It was then I knew I was onto something great! :laugh2:

Wish I kept the guitar and amp now ...

Kingston_s.jpg


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Fret Hopper

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1978, Univox, black LP copy. Plugged into my Marantz stereo and played at low volumes. in 1979 i bought a 40 w Crate SS amp.
First pedal I ever bought was around 1994, picked up a 1983 Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer for $50 from a pawn shop down on Broadway in Denver.
Still have the pedal.
 




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