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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How do you decide which guitar to play?

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Contributing Member


Apr 7th, 2019 05:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have four American Deluxe HSS Strats that I use for most practices and live shows. I just rotate them.

At home I play whatever guitar suits what type of music I want to play, such as a jazz box when I feel like playing jazz or a Tele for country, etc.

I even own a 7-string for times when I want to play very aggressive rock and metal/shred.

Contributing Member

Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Apr 7th, 2019 05:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

In general, I prefer Gibsons. But if it's a place where I feel something might happen to the guitar, I bring my Epiphone LP. It ends up being the guitar I play the most.
Certain songs, as Peegoo said, require a tremolo and also, certain songs sound better with single coils, or that Strat out of phase sound, so a Strat is necessary in the arsenal, also. I often go back and forth between a Strat and a LP at gigs.

(This message was last edited by walshb at 09:55 AM, Apr 8th, 2019)

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
Apr 7th, 2019 02:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

whatever guitar has 6 strings which are the least rusty!

Yep, I'm slack when it comes to string changes

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Apr 7th, 2019 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

What color shirt will I be wearing?


Arkansas, USA

Apr 7th, 2019 09:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

I take a maximum of two. The audience will never know the difference. One humbucker and one single coil is all I want to put up with. From 1986-2013 I took my only one. I only change at break, never during mid-set.

(This message was last edited by alnico357 at 11:34 PM, Apr 7th, 2019)



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Apr 8th, 2019 08:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Our band plays in standard tuning and I bring 2 guitars to a gig.
What we have done with our set list is break down the songs so that I just need to change instruments for the different sounds that require a different type of sound per the way the songs were recorded and this works out really well for me. I am the rhythm guitarist and enjoy playing the songs with the same type of sound that I've heard them recorded and it brings me to a level of confidence and feel to each of the songs in the set list.
So, basically I do one guitar change when performing.
So if you can arrange your set list to accommodate this set up, you'll be able to feel comfortable and hear the sound in your head that the song demands.
I find it very inspiring this way.
Just make sure that each guitar has its own strap and then its just a plug and play venue. Of course, I have to use a signal boost on my pedalboard to bring up the volume for the Strat, but that way I don't have to mess with my amp settings and just play.

Contributing Member

San Diego, CA USA

Apr 10th, 2019 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thank you all for weighing in on this!!!


Southwest Florida

Alone in my principles
Apr 10th, 2019 09:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

You have to play them all, or they get jealous 😎

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Apr 11th, 2019 06:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

As themaestro said, it depends on what color shirt I'll be wearing at the gig. Light colored shirts call for a dark guitar, and black shirts make a white guitar really pop. I'm all about fashion - LOL big time!!

Contributing Member

Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 11th, 2019 07:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just so you know--blue suede shoes go with everything.

Contributing Member

South Florida

Apr 11th, 2019 08:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have the 'big 3' of Les Paul, Strat and Tele.

I tend to default to the Telecaster. It has the advantage of simplicity and versatility. The tone and volume are generally dimed and all I have to do is roll off a bit of one or the other and my sound is the same no matter the amp. Also without a whammy bar it stays in tune.

The Les Paul is hotter and the notes really sustain but you do have to dial in your tone. My main issue is it starts out a bit darker and more muddy and I have to play around with it. But having said that I think Warren Haynes is a living God and whatever he says is good enough for me.

The Strat is lighter and more comfortable. Also you've got a greater variety of sounds. But to my ear a Strat is thinner than the other two. But the whole reason I started playing guitar was because Jimi Hendrix hit the airwaves in when I was in Junior High and I lost my mind after that.


Mesa, AZ

Apr 20th, 2019 03:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

My Mustang is it. Period. Luckily I don't need the Strat "quack"...no "Free Ride", "Sweet Home Alabama", Knopfler, Cray in my current repertoire.


Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Apr 23rd, 2019 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

For me it's easy...

If it's a jazz tune, I use the archtop, (Gibson or Epiphone)

If it's a rock/blues/funk tune, I use a Fender, (Strat or Tele)

If it's a bossa, or ballad, I use the Nylon-electric (Godin)



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Apr 23rd, 2019 04:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

I agree with LadyJazzer, as it's nice to have the right tools for the song/sounds that the song demands! You play so much better and easier not trying to compromise and with it comes confidence.
That's why we developed our set list to accommodate my needs for a guitar change per the songs we play and with a known agenda, it minimizes our down time between sets.
Yeah, every once in a while we will play out of order, but with having a pedalboard, it makes it so much easier to change guitars and not have to adjust my amp to keep up and continue playing.
So, with all this in mind and not having a roadie to get things prepared, it works out really well and I have the proper tools for the job and don't have to fight for the sound I need as the rhythm guitarist.


Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Apr 24th, 2019 11:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...every once in a while we will play out of order, but with having a pedalboard, it makes it so much easier to change guitars and not have to adjust my amp to keep up and continue playing. "

Exactly... I use a Pod/XT with an FBV pedalboard that's got my amp, EQ and FX settings for each guitar, so changing guitars is one-step process, and the pedalboard does the rest.

(This message was last edited by LadyJazzer at 01:02 PM, Apr 24th, 2019)

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Apr 26th, 2019 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

For much of my life I’ve had only one bass. 1965 to 1981 it was a the Framus Atlantic, 1981 to 2000 it was the Precision Special. Added a Warmoth parts 5 String around 2007. A few came and went but generally I would just take one or the other to the job. The Framus was a wall hanger at this point, I didn’t restore it until after I retired, I still don’t gig with it.

Now a days it’s the Guild Starfire and my first homemade P bass fretless. Occasionally I’ll bring one of my funky home built like the one made out of Home-depot 2X8s.

Before I started switching between a few basses I was really weak at moving from one to another. Now I can go from 20” scale up 40+” 4 to 6 string no problem.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 05:02 PM, Apr 26th, 2019)

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Apr 27th, 2019 05:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Simple, I own one bass.
Here's a picture.
I have owned it for almost forty years.
It's a doll.

Peter Elias #027

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Apr 27th, 2019 02:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I play mostly Country. I take my Tele with a B-bender.

Contributing Member


England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Apr 27th, 2019 03:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve got a AmSe B-Bender Tele. I really should play it more often ;-)

Contributing Member


May 12th, 2019 06:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

The one closest to the door. If I'm playing an unknown venue, I take a "bar guitar." I only take the nice ones to places I feel secure that drunks won't fall on them.

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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How do you decide which guitar to play?

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