This is my guitar. It's guitar for life and I'm lucky to have it. Long before though, this was my guitar.
I still have this guitar, even though it had a P.A. system fall on it once and nearly snapped the headstock off. I once got back from a holiday in Madrid to find that it had been stolen from me when the house I was living in got broken into. It turned up in a local music shop a couple of days later, the police then took it and it was returned to me covered in fingerprint dust. It's on it's 3rd bridge and second set of pickups. It needs new frets and I've been threatening to scallop the neck for a long time. I once ended a tour in Southampton and I had to get to Durham. However I only had the money to get to Bradford. I turned up in Bradford with a torn bag of cloths and this guitar in a case. I'll never forget trudging around from house to house of people that I knew trying to find someone in who would give me a bed for the night. Everyone but the last house I tried was out. I really didn't want to sleep rough in case my guitar got stolen. It had already happened once before. No matter what though, it's still my guitar.
Potentially any guitar could be my guitar though, budget allowing of course. I'd like to think that I still sound like me no matter what guitar I play on. Of course I have preferences to which guitar I play as I know some are better at getting the sound that I prefer for a particular occasion, some feel better in my hands because of the dimensions of the neck but it doesn't matter too much. If I can get my sound then it's all good and as I've got older I've realised that it doesn't matter if a guitar is worth £90 or £9000 the main thing is that I can get it to sound the way I want it to without too much trouble. If I put the guitar down and don't play it, how does it sound then? The most sought after instruments in the world sound worse than the cheapest if they are not played.
People are constantly striving for their next instrument. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty out there on my 'to own' list but in recent years this list had got a lot shorter. I've had to sell 3 very good guitars in the last 12 months to stay financially afloat and it made me take a long look at what I actually want out of it all. Do I want a huge collection of guitars, each worthy of a front page feature on Guitarist magazine or do I want the few that I've grown up with that I know like the back of my hand?
With the guitars that I mentioned above, and with a select few others in my collection, the more time I've spent with them the more familiar they've got to me to the extent that they feel very familiar, like hanging out with old friends. Some of them are old, beaten and wern't the best quality instruments when I first aquired them but they are mine. I don't think I want any more guitars. Like with friends, the quality of the relationship matters way more than the quantity of relationships you have. The moer I play them the more I enjoy using them for what they were made for above all else; making my music.