I started with a Fender Stratocaster HSH Player guitar. Sage green metallic, maple neck, black pickguard. I installed a set of Dunlop strap locks, tuned it, started playing.
Then I added a Fender 60D $200 acoustic to gain hand and finger strength, and returned it because even knowing the action was high and could be fixed, the intonation up and down the neck was so bad it was frankly unplayable.
On to Martin. I learned mostly on a D-10e, a beautiful working Martin guitar with those deep booming bass notes. But…
But it felt not right, yet. As I gained more experience in playing and more of a sense of what I was doing, I felt a flatness to the feel of the fretboard. Not bad, but just – flat. Silent. Not communicative. Not speaking to the notes fretted, just present to make sounds. I didn’t know what this was I was looking for. I took the guitar to a local luthier, who did an outstanding job of setup. Better.
I ordered a Taylor. I had heard, but not played one. But I had heard they were a player’s guitar, intended to speak to the musician and respond. Whatever that was.
I tried the guitar when it arrived and it was frankly a revelation. Fretting a note was a collaboration rather than an isolated act. The string felt right or wrong, but very clearly defined. Something about the tone released when not quite right on top of the string in quite the right place on the fret communicated back how to adjust, and I was able to feel the note in a way neither Martin nor Fender had managed. This, for me, was the perfect guitar to learn further on.
I found it made the Fender fretboard feel incomplete.
Not saying Martin or Fender are bad. Just saying they lack this sensitivity to touch.And I find this incredibly helpful in this stage of my journey. I think as an experienced and competent guitarist both of these would be useful tools to express myself in music. But they are not Taylors. And they lack that feel to them.
I bought a T5z, a Taylor electric.
I have a sound in my head, connected with an emotion I can conceptualize but not write out or express in visual. It is so clear to me.
My song (Zen Guitar).
And this T5z captures that sound, in the variety of tones it can produce. Kind of a blend of Wes Montgomery and Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. Space and clarity and emotional resonance.
Plus, it has that exquisite neck and playability.
Best learning guitar ever. Taylor.