What is your main guitar? Would you recommend it to a friend?

I played an Ibanez Artcore for many years, an archtop with a pickguard. When I tried to learn Benson picking, that’s what I was playing.
I switched to a Tele on Christmas 2019. (My wife Donna gave me one.)
This year I added a PRS SE Custom to my small arsenal. I love a lot about that guitar—tonal options, the feel, the look—but the volume knob’s placement was bugging me when I tried to play fast passages on the high E string) so now I’m back to the Tele.
[I may get back to the PRS eventually, but that’s another story for another day.)
The Tele feels good.
So that’s my main guitar now.
What’s yours?

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I like that it has 21 frets, but i also hate that it doesn’t have 22. Theoretically I could get a 22 fret added to it there is room, but I lack the tools or skills to do so. The access to these frets is amazing as well it doesn’t have the normal shark fin thing most classical guitars have so I don’t have to take the thumb out unless I am trying to do a 3 note chord way high up on the top 3 strings in which case i do have to take the thumb out. but otherwise the g string sounds horrible on it like maybe somewhere I have something lose or maybe i need to try a different string gauge or wound string. its nice cause its not really loud cause its a thin body classical acoustic electric so i don’t annoy people when i play repeated nonsense over and over, i only annoy myself. :laughing:

sounds great hooked up to my amp, but it sounds thin without amplification. but that doesn’t bother me as i don’t want people to hear me until i am ready to plug it into the amp anyways. i took the strap screw off the back on the neck to not mess with my fretting hand.

huge plus is it was cheap because the neck and string action is insanely good for the price i paid. :stuck_out_tongue:


My main guitar was a Mexican thinline tele (I hated teles before I got this thing), which was the guitar when I got it. Before that I had played a Godin MultiAC Jazz for years, and I loved it. I moved away from that because they synth was holding me back due to tracking, etc. From the Godin I went to a Gibson ES 135, but I couldn’t get the overdriven sound I wanted. The thinline ended up being perfect.

I put the guitar down for several years while learning saxophone. I went back to it almost a year ago and ended up buying a strat, a Suhr Alt-T, a Collings 135 (I think), and some other things that I just didn’t connect with like I do the Mexi thinline. Sold ‘em all. Then, due to ergo issues, I bought a Strandberg, Heritage 535, Charvel Joe Duplantier, and probably something else… still didn’t connect like I do the thinline, but I kept those. Here’s the kicker - a friend who had my original guitar that I played in arts school and through music school sent it to me without telling it he was going to. I had forgotten he had it. That has become my main guitar, I can’t put it down. It’s a Charvel Model 4, red like the one Vai played on Crossroads, has a Kahler tremolo, active pickups. I’d NEVER buy this thing now, it’s not my personality, but it feels perfect, and the sound I get out of it is surprising. I don’t play rock or metal, I need a sound guitar that can go from clean and full, to overdriven and full. I can get that from this thing. I freakin’ pointy headstock, bright red, shred machine. I love it.

Edit: would I recommend it? I wouldn’t recommend anything, it’s too subjective.


For electric guitar, I think one of the biggest things is deciding whether it’s important to you to have a forearm contour or not. Nowadays I strongly prefer Stratish-shaped guitars because I’ve decided the forearm contour is a big deal to me. I like HH or HSS Strats, but the one thing I dislike about default strat ergonomics is the standard strat knob placement. Though again, that’s so ubiquitous it’s probably not a bad idea to get familiar with how to handle a guitar with that placement.

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My main guitar is an 86 Kramer Focus 3000 that I changed the pickups, electronics and tuners on. It’s an ESP with a different name, I’ve had it refretted once with 6105 wire. Yes I would absolutely recommend it to a friend and I actually did recommend one to my long time teacher/friend who is looking for a bolt-on with a solid alder body.

My main guitar arrived in 2022, it’s a black Ibanez RG j. custom. It’s a much better guitar than I need. I’m going to try to go down to just one guitar—perhaps with the eventual purchase of an identical spare—hence I wanted something a little bit excessive. There are so many amazing guitars out there, many of them would absolutely suffice to be somebody’s only guitar (including Stratocasters, Les Pauls, Telecasters, Flying Vs, Explorers, etc.). In my mind HSH is quite flexible, and I like 24 frets for ideological reasons (each note is on a string exactly two times); the ergonomics are good, and I like the neck. I used to demand EMG active pickups, but these days the signal needs go no further than a few inches before it reaches the wireless, so passives are better (now that the battery has moved into the wireless).

Would I recommend an RG? Absolutely, it’s a great guitar, and well worth trying. Is it “better” than the competition? No, that’s in the eye of the beholder.

Honestly Leo got it right the first time! Strats are just sexy though :wink:

The number of times I came across a cheap guitar that played well above it’s price point, somehow I
never end up getting it. I’ve done it for a few friends, and then often felt like a weasel for thinking I wish I’d have gotten it for myself instead. Still need to get a cheap acoustic that plays well.

Those are some well regarded guitars!

I shall take this advice rather seriously, the number of times I’ve felt evangelical is not funny.

I felt this for a week coming back to strats after years of a telecaster type, I had a Grosh EJVT for a few years. Oddly the thing that bugged me the most about the transition was the fiddly bits on a strat move to the right, enough to annoy me for a week atleast. Then it felt like home since strats are all I played before that.

Would make a fine 24 fretter choice for the money.

I’m currently making the transition from my YJM strat to a Lentz Croydon Carvetop, I have some history with this guitar, I had ordered it as a custom build, took Scott three years to complete, long story but the short version is I sold it due to a brain fart on multiple levels, was lucky enough to buy it back. It’s definitely the best guitar I’ve ever played or heard really. I’m glad I’m finally making it my #1, took me long enough to get over the YJM hump.


Currently a squier strat… :joy: I have it loaded with Seymour Duncan hot rails though and it sounds better than my fender which cost about five times the price!

It needs some action adjustment though as it’s too easy to catch the adjacent strings when bending or doing vibrato. I’ll give it an adjustment over the weekend, then I might recommend it to a friend!

I have 2 expensive acoustic guitars that sound AMAZING but don’t play well lol! (1970’s Martin D-35 that my late Grandad left me, brand new Taylor 317e Grand Pacific). Both are worth the pain :slight_smile: And I get a free setup at the shop where that I just bought the Taylor from, so I’m gonna take them up on that. Sadly, the Martin was built during a time when Martin, in great hubris, declared that their necks were so good they didn’t need truss rods. Spoiler alert: they were wrong and of course now they put truss rods in all their necks. Mine is sans truss, and no chance of improving the high action (without HUGE cost).

I’d definitely recommend the Taylor. It sounds better than Grandad’s Martin :slight_smile: It’s almost spiritual getting to feel all of its resonance and take in the high partials from the sympathetic vibrations when I’m working on my crosspicking endeavors. The projection is phenomenal. I tried about 10 different Taylors out that day and this blew away even some that were about $1K higher in price. I’m almost afraid to get it setup for fear that lower action will take away some of that tone and volume. Maybe I should just live with it. It’s not that hard to play…it’s just harder to play than other Taylors lol!

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This is something worth doing some day, take it to a great luthier. You are very lucky to own a working piece of art and legacy.

I know what you mean, my first acoustic was a every special nylon string guitar that I lost, yes, I feel just thinking about it. The resonance thing you talk about, this one had it, like those videos of people making music with wine glasses, where they rub the rim. Magical really, guitars like that are alive!

A good setup will be better, you could drop a gauge or two even maybe.

I hear you about expensive guitars often not playing very well, what’s up with that! I could be just a matter of setup, if it’s needs more than a truss rod adjustment it would be a crime at those prices.

Yeah, you’re right. I probably should. If nothing else, for nostalgia’s sake.

It’s got the same set of medium Elixirs that they put on all the guitars. It’s a minor departure for them in that it’s a dreadnought. It really sounds more like a Martin than a Taylor lol! There was 1 other dreadnought in that price range and it felt a little hard to play too :thinking:

I’ve read numerous stellar reviews of the Taylor I got and they all mention it “plays like we’d expect a Taylor to play”. So I dunno. Like I said, I’m good for a free setup so I’m highly tempted to take them up on the offer. I’m no guitar-tech guru but I know enough to be dangerous. A spot check indicates just a little neck relief (the normal kind we’d expect, close to flat but a tiny bit of relief), so I suspect the truss is fine. Intonation is perfect too. I guess it just needs a tiny shave on the saddle.

Your idea about the string gauge might be the best bet. I’m an amateur and that’s not gonna change unless something very unforeseen happens in my life haha. Sounding not quite as big, but being easier to play wouldn’t be a bad thing. And it’s a very warm sounding guitar in general (VERY warm for a Taylor) so a little slink from lighter strings might not do a bit of harm.

In the past I have adjusted the warmth of a guitar by dialling in a bit of fret with a lower action to brighten it a tad, it can work but probably not in your case as you say the truss is fine. Another thing I found is if the truss it too tight, it could dampen some of the resonance of the neck, just an observation from experience, I could be completely wrong.

Sometimes I feel I should sell my entire electric rig for one of them top of the line Martin HD things. There are some days that I just can’t take high gain, yet next morning I’m all exited again, neurosis of some kind I tell ya.

Back in the days when giving lessons was my livelihood (I know, it’s scary that I advised so many people on how to play guitar when I was just so wrong about so many things, and still am to this day…), one of my guys brought in an HD-28 that he’d just bought. It sounded and played amazing. Again, better than my Grandad’s Martin.


This is very true if you have access to guitar stores go over the course of a few months, frequent it every weekend to play on all the guitars. You will find even cheap ones can sound like a pro level built guitar.


Fender 75th Anniversary Stratocaster MIM. It’s basically a pumped up Player Series with Vintera 60s pickups. Also, I own another player series and I can tell they really put attention to detail on this one…and of course, that champagne color is the most beautiful thing. :heart_eyes:

Would I recommend it? Abso-freaking-lutely!


Hah, I know what you mean about the PRS - I have a love/hate relationship with it (Core 35 Anniv) Neck is amazing, sounds amazing, looks amazing but damn its uncomfortable to play. Recently just gone back to my Fender Strat Ultra and put new Magneto-Design pickups in and it sounds awesome. I love the feel of the Strat - hate the volume position but work around it ok, cant beat the comfort of a strat I reckon - yep would recommend, also recommend my Strandberg for someone looking for a headless/funky/modern guitar - sounds incredible (Shur pickups) but hard to get used to the different neck and fan-frets but I do love playing it … no would not recommend my PRS lol


After buying/selling guitars off and on for the past 3-5 years, i’ve come to know myself very well. I don’t believe that ONE guitar can do everything well. I like alot of different style guitars, but I always come back to the strat/SS platform. I have love for the RR/Gus G Half V - Star shape also.

IMO having a few guitars that make you play your best for the music you want to learn is essential to keep progressing. Like others have said, I need a break from time to time from the “high gain” stuff… I can get some good clean tones from my electric.

One day i’d like to get an Ovation again.


Funny you should mention an Ovation. My first good guitar was an Ovation Deluxe Balladeer. I was a kid. In no way was I worthy of it.
At the time—this was back in the early '70s—I lived in Nashville with the folks. Dad sold used cars In those days lots of musicians bought station wagons to haul equipment in. (This was before SUVs; unlike vans, a station wagon could also haul several musicians. ;o) Anyhow, a local musician wanted to trade for a newer station wagon. He didn’t have enough cash so he threw in the guitar and my dad took it and gave me the guitar.
Someone stole it from me later on but it was a great sounding guitar. (Hard as hell to hold on to, though, with that slick round back.) I miss it sometimes.


Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM Electric Guitar Matte Blue Frost

I bought this on the recommendation of Rick Graham, so yes I would totally recommend it, he’s a true modern virtuoso if you haven’t heard of him already.


Did he give it a good review, or did you do some lessons with him? Looks like a nice instrument at a good price.

Embarrassingly, I hadn’t heard of Rick pre-CTC. I sort of got away from guitar for a few years prior to finding out about Troy. I’ve been really digging Rick lately and bought his Legato workout, which I would “recommend to a friend” :slight_smile:

I know the more we learn about our favorite players, the more we become aware of stuff they can’t do…I’m coming up dry thinking of stuff Rick can’t do though lol! Usually with great rock players I can make myself feel a little better and say "Oh well at least he can’t play authentic classical guitar :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ". But nope, he does that too. He’s certainly an inspiration.