When I first started learning guitar, back in January 2022, I started playing with a very old Ibanez. It felt ok and, really, I wasn’t sure that I would stick with it so using that old thing was a low risk way to see how far I could go. I was tempted to get a new one but I just promised myself that if I was still playing and enjoying it after a year, well then I could justify getting my own guitar.
It turned out using that old guitar actually held me back a little. So, yeah, I probably would not have started playing without it but, on the other hand, I probably would have gone farther faster with a better guitar. As I mentioned in my last post, I managed to borrow a Fender Tele when I figured that out after about 8 months. That was a great guitar to practice with and by then I knew that I was going to keep at it. So over the next few months I researched what guitar I would get when I hit that 1 year mark.
I ended up getting a Fender Jaguar.
I’m still not sure why I landed on getting an offset guitar. I think (although TBH I’m not sure) it’s because I’m a big Elvis Costello fan and he has played a Jazzmaster since forever. You can see it front and center on the album cover for “My Aim is True”, his debut album. I guess somewhere in the back of my brain that offset shape imprinted on me early. I didn’t even make the connection until someone pointed it out and then it was, well duh, of course he did.
So yeah, around mid-January 2023 I got a Jaguar. More specifically I got a Fender Squier Contemporary Jaguar HH ST in Skyburst Metallic. I did look at the Jazzmaster but the whammy bar seemed like too much and I’d heard that they tend to make it hard to stay in tune.
I ordered from Sylvan Music, a music shop in nearby Santa Cruz that is a Fender dealer. They seemed to be really knowledgeable and friendly. And by friendly, I mean that they did not laugh at me when I asked stupid questions. What? You need a strap to play? Oh, you didn’t bring a pick? No problem; here you go.
They just handed me the guitar and let go off to a small quiet room to play with it for as long as I needed to. That was different from the experience I had when shopping at the massive Guitar Center in San Jose. Just walking around looking at that wall of guitars and having to play in the middle of dozens of other people that seemed so obviously much better players that I was, was just too intimidating for me. I walked out without having touched a guitar.
The Jaguar is a great guitar. I love the sound. I love the feel. I love the look. I leave it on a guitar stand in my home office so that it’s always ready for me to pick up and play. I wish I did that more but I do it enough that I feel like I’m making progress.