Years ago my ideal set up was a Les Paul into a Marshall. Now I've done a complete u-turn and my ideal set up is a Fender Telecaster/Jaguar into Fender Twin Reverb.

I attribute this to listening to a lot of indie, jazz, funk and country and swaying away from rock and metal. Now instead of being influenced by the likes of Rory Gallagher, Josh Homme and Jimmy Page my guitar hero's now would be Johnny Marr, Wes Montgomery and Chet Atkins. I'm now starting to incorporate a more extensive chord library into my playing while learning techniques like travis picking, which is making me as excited about guitar as I've ever been. I would go as far to say that I would swap my Gibson Les Paul Studio and Orange TH30 for a Telecaster and Fender Princeton in a heartbeat.

Just wondering if anyone else has had a drastic change in their identity as a guitarist?
What I did was the reverse. My first pieces of electric gear were a Strat and an Orange Rockerverb. I loved the tones I got out of it, but I was trying to play metalcore/post-hardcore kind of music with single-coils, so I mostly stayed with the humbucker in the bridge. Eventually, my tastes changed and I got into blues, mostly Strat-driven blues. Hendrix, SRV, Mayer, Buddy Guy, recent Clapton, to name a few. I think playing the Strat gave way to that.
Eh, I went from deathcore to muse to blues and jazz to drone. Things change. Everyone has that.
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Excluding metal, pointy guitars and "high gain" amps, I started out with a cheap strat and Fender amp, ran the gauntlet and have come back around to Fender (or at least Fender inspired).
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Quote by Duffman123

Just wondering if anyone else has had a drastic change in their identity as a guitarist?

Pffft. I started out as a classical pipe organ player (both feet, heel and toe, on the bass pedals, at least three ranks of keys, lots of stops, etc.

Went from there to jazz and showtunes on piano and a Hammond M3 (jazz trio to big band). Moved into rock with a B3 and a Fender Rhodes 88, arranged a 10-piece band with Tower of Power type horns. Started playing guitar, then added bass, and I'm currently working with a Korg Kronos X (keyboard workstation) and an M Audio (MIDI keyboard) and guitar in one project, guitar in a second project, and bass in a third (that one mostly because I terminally suck at bass and need the enforced practice <G>. None of them doing the same kind of music. It's pretty normal to slide back and forth between genres.

I haven't gotten rid of the old guitars, though. What goes around...
I didn't necessarily change genres, but I went from trying to learn solos to seriously not giving a **** and being strictly a rhythm player.
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Etreybody's tastes change. The question is how does that manifest in your playing.

I bet most pro musicians who listen to more genres than you'd expect...and consequently, PLAY more genres than you'd expect. Problem is, when you're a pro, you're a brand and the buying public isn't necessarily going to accept things outside of that brand identity too easily. Even if it is done well.

Look at Alex Skolnick, for instance. Great metal guitarist, right? Well, his jazz albums, while good, haven't exactly flown off the shelves. His metal fans, for the most part, don't necessarily grok the jazz and jazz audiences seem a bit mystified my his take on their genre.
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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
I really wasn't into music when I got into guitar. A weird time in my life. "What is music?" I saw someone else playing guitar in person and I really wanted to do that!
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Quote by Duffman123
I'm now starting to incorporate a more extensive chord library into my playing while learning techniques like travis picking, which is making me as excited about guitar as I've ever been.

Yeah, I got Mark Hanson's first Travis Picking book and I devoured it, I never went through a method that fast. Now I moved on to his solo fingerpicking book, which is quite a bit harder, but I absolutely love it. For more than a year I pretty much didn't touch my electrics. At all. I've started again lately but now my go to guitar is still my resonator. Frankly that finger picking book was a bit of a revelation...
What you're experiencing is pretty normal, I've went through a different phases as well.
I started with metal, a while ago I was playing rock and a bit of indie, and now I'm back to high-gain metal. It always depends on which music I'm listening to at the moment, which bands/projects I'm in...
And I feel that moving my focus between music genres from time to time makes me a better guitarist -- when I go back to play stuff I haven't played in a while, I often feel like I've improved. Not only in overall technique, but also in playing comfort and expressivity.
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I used to hate Marshall amps and telecaster guitars. I now have only Marshall/marshall based amps now and I love tele style guitars. Tastes change over time.

As far as music styles go I have always been very eclectic so I don't think my tastes have changed, just grown.
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My tastes haven't changed all that much.

Used to listen to a lot of prog, metal, hard rock, thrash and death. Still do. I do like more genres than I used to, but the original genres that got me into guitar are still the main focus.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 17, 2014,
About six months ago I went to a club and jammed with a well-known jazz guitarist who is a close friend of my band partner. I'm not a jazz player even in the remotest terms but normally I can play most any style a little. I was both impressed and jealous of his playing. This guy plays great ( his friend Keith Richards calls him "the man of a thousand inversions"). It wasn't his lead playing that floored me, it was his rhythm playing. The chord inversions that he used were beautiful and just flowed from his fingers. I was inspired to go home and get back into studying chord inversions, chord relations and playing something other than pentatonic scales (something I have let slip away over the years). About three weeks ago I got the nerve to go play with the same guitarist again and I didn't feel nearly as intimidated. I plan on learning more and practicing harder. Once in a while when you think you're playing pretty good you need a change of style and a good kick in the ass.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Oct 17, 2014,
What I found is that I do not care about category or what label you put the music in. If its great it is!

Go back 20 years and thrash were the most interesting style to play and Metallica the favorite band.

Now I do not have to listen to Puppets/Justice x number of times in a day but spend the time on whatever I would like to play.

I still got my Strat (19 years ago) and my US Jackson RR custom (17 years ago) and I love them both but for different reasons.

My style does not really change but playing with single coils takes more focus for clean and accuracy outcome as otherwise it will not sound good.

I use vintage Marshall tones (1978 combo) and hi-gain ( Mesa Boogie Quad pre amp). It depends on what I like to hear/play everyday and if both options are available/working. Currently the Quad are waiting for new tubes.
I started out playing death metal, metalcore and stuff like that. Now I'm playing indie/emo/shoegaze and stuff. I still play some heavier stuff, some screamo/powerviolence and little bit of sludge. I never really had good gear when I was playing that, but say rather than that ESP Horizon with EMGs and 5150 I would have wanted, I'm playing an Epi Les Paul Custom and an Egnater Tweaker now.
ive had a few yeah, started out playing punk/grunge, moved on to doom/sludge metal and now i play screamo/post rock
I totally understand. When I first started playing all I wanted to play were monster riffs from Metallica,Sabbath and Cream. Now that im more profficient, I'm im obsessed with the blues,especially Hendrix,SRV, and John Mayer. I pretty much play only my hot rodded strat through a modded Fender amp now. I still like the awesome riffs but nothing compared for my love of the blues.
My tastes always evolve. I just change pickups in my Strat.
I started, as a lot of other people, as a Metallica/Maiden/Slayer fan, and nowadays I'm learning Jazz and classical counterpoint. I still love metal, but I mostly play atmospheric and progressive stuff. My gear sucks at the moment, but if I had the money I'd probably go for a Fender and a Laney amp. If I had serious money, I'd a have a few Bad Cats already.
Quote by JustRooster
My tastes always evolve. I just change pickups in my Strat.

Love that idea..I did the same thing haha
I really quite wanted a Marshall. But whenever I actually played one, I could never get the sound I wanted out of it. Always sounded just a tiny turn of a knob away, and every tiny turn always seemed to take me just a little bit further from what i actually wanted.

Playing a Blackstar atm. Would sound better if I hated my neighbours and cranked it up, but even on a really low volume, it's better than any of the practice amps or modellers I've owned.
All about metal and hard rock at first.

But been listening to country (modern and old), some blues and jazz, and pop music. More about playing
or writing something fun and catchy than the really technical stuff.

Always stick wit Mesa amps and Ibanez guitars though. They just work for me for any style I want
I went from Rush to Led Zeppelin to blues to Hendrix to Pink Floyd. I wanted to play fast, loud, technically tough songs and came full circle to simple chords and melodies. And back again....and it's been fun all along the way.....
I started out rock and metal but from 2010 to 2012 I had a huge transition from Schecters and high gain amps to a 50's strat playing Eric Johnson and John Mayer. Just like somebody mentioned the "brand" thing...my hard rock band is making leaps and bounds in the regional scene and the things I play in it aren't close to Mayer and Johnson even though they're still two of my favorite players. The fans have an idea for our sound and most likely introducing a song like "Gravity" may not be best for us now but being open to other genres has made my playing immensely better behind the scenes so to speak.
When I started playing I just wanted to rock and be rock guitarist. I wasn’t interested in any other style of music. As years passed I began working toward the idea of becoming a musician rather than just a rock guitar player so over my many years of playing I have taken some side roads into other styles of music even learning some basic keyboard so I could understand theory a little easier. It wasn't because I particularly liked those styles of music but because I just wanted to be a better musician.
The best pure musician I ever worked with was a keyboard player I knew who gave me three good pieces of advice: Don’t keep practiceing what you already know…..Always try to play with musicians who are better than you so you have a chance to improve…………Never pass up a chance to play anything, anywhere, anytime.

I think it was great advice.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Oct 21, 2014,
My set up is now i just change my pick attack to get the sound i want. :shrugs: pedluls for the win!
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10-13: if it's made after 1975 it sucks. I don't know about gear, I just have a guitar.
14-16: blues blues blues blues blues blues low output humbuckers into a tube screamer into a fender
15-16: I wish it were the 1980s. Synthesizers, heavy metal, and prog rock? Hell yes. Oddly enough I went with a telecaster here,into some amp sims of high gain Marshalls and diezels. Also chorus. Lots of chorus.
17-19: Shredding is love, shredding is life. I must shred so I can reach ascension. Same tele, same amp sims, but later a Carvin C66, then an American Standard stratocaster.

Then earlier in year 20 it was "modern music is so much better", followed by "I haven't listened to the Beatles in years I forgot how good they were" and now I'm in this weird place where I'm trying to reconcile dance music, jazz, blues, Queen, and the Beatles. Using more low gain amp sims, and a pod instead of VST, but still clean fenders and dirty marshalls. Really using more delay now, and a more subtle chorus. Bouncing between the Carvin and the strat.

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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Oct 21, 2014,
This could end up being kinda long for me....

11-12 (mid 90's) - I just have a guitar or two - a Yamaha Classical and a Kramer Focus 3000, I'm into grunge rock, and fancy myself strictly rhythm, I wanted a Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Mustang, and later a Jag-Stang, but could not afford one.

12-14 (late 90's) - I got into the 80's again: The Cars, Boston, Loverboy, Billy Squier, REM, Whitesnake, and Journey, I start playing lead tabbing out all of ZZ Top's Eliminator. I bought the guitar handbook and started building/modifying my own when I found out Paul Dean (Loverboy) made his own guitars in the early 80's.

14-16 (late 90's/early 2000's) - I start hot-rodding cheap guitars like a madman, merging 80's Metal shred with 90's Pawn Shop 50's/60's multi-switched-kitsch. My guitar teacher in high school took one look at my hot-rodded Kramer Focus and asked "do you have a pilots license to fly that thing" - started getting into Van-Halen, then my experiments, tweaks, and messing around with whammy bars begins.

16-18 (early 2000's) - Now I'm in thrash metal, taking James Hetfield, Iommi, and Dimebag as major influences. I join some bands, play lead guitar in them. By now I found m ultimate shred axe - the Jag-Stang, fitted with EMG pickups, of course hop that one up too.

18-21 (early 2000's) - I quit metal again, get into 80's pop metal and virtuoso guitarists for awhile, bought G3 live in Denver, started getting a bit into Yngwie and Lynch at that time. Played my first Fender Jaguar (bone stock 63'), fell in love with those in stock form, so I stopped wanting modded ones. Start really experimenting with amp modeling and synthesizers as well.

21-26 (most of the 2000's) - By now I've amassed a huge collection of reasonably priced guitars and gear, I'm writing songs every day, and amassing quite a collection. I"m taking influence from the lesser known alt-rock acts now (Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine), merging it with my previous New Wave (The Cars, Loverboy, The Call), and metal (Metallica, Dokken, Sabbath) and coming up with my own style of music with the heavy metal guitars, 80's synths and textured guitar, and the experimentation and noise art + D.I.Y. punk ethos of alternative rock. I used a Behringer V-Amp Pro at home with the Brit Hi Gain + Stereo Chorus and Ultra-Room Reverb being the order of the day - I found my sound - 80's, but not too much so. Started using my Fender Jaguar a lot, particularly in double drop C tuning (CGDGBE).

26-present - Start playing really professionally in 4-5 different bands varying from "Psychadelic Funk Metal" to "Radio Friendly Rock" to "Doom and Gloom Stoner Metal". Also have several solo projects of my own. Have found my ultimate guitars (see my signature). Start getting into a more raw, tighter sound, still with Chorus (usually), but only in the studio. Still using the same gear as before, just differently. Have started tinkering around with Ricky Wilson of the B-52's guitar tunings and creating my own variations and experiments that should see the light of day before too long.

Other things about me and how my tastes changed, I started getting back into Pomp/AOR in the last few years through all sorts of rare/obscure/never-made-it 80's rock bands that were on the MTV Basement Tapes or had an MTV video once in the 80's that few remember such as : HYTS, Bootcamp, The Young Invaders, Look-A-Likes, and the Moderns. I also started getting back into grunge a bit as I was forming a 90's cover band at one point. seems I've really just let my music tastes fly all over the place as of late.
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)
When I played guitar back in high-school I was totally into Metal, especially Megadeth. My ideal setup was basically a Jackson into a Marshall with tons of gain/distortion piled on. I stopped playing during college and just started again a couple months ago (roughly 10 years later).

Now I have very little interest in playing Metal, and really want to play more psychedelic/classic rock type stuff and some blues. My ideal setup now is basically a strat/tele and a Vox AC15/30 (saving up for one or maybe that new AC4 12").

Learning from this different angle has made me realize just how much I was lacking in the fundamentals back when I used to play. My technique was pretty good, a lot better than now actually, but there was no understanding behind any of it or how to use it for anything other than exact covers. I knew maybe 6 open chords total, and didn't even know barre chords. I had no understanding of theory of even the notes on the fretboard.

I do still listen to Metal along with many other genres, I'm just not that into playing it anymore for whatever reason.