There are many folks who have always been associated with certain guitars that really and literally become part of their identity. I mean can you imagine B.B. King without his “Lucille” ES 355, or the Allmans without Les Pauls? Highly unlikely… but this is also because these artists really found the instruments that truly “speak” for them. Your search should be an ongoing story that can involve many guitars along the way, and certainly, I have nothing against you becoming a collector, but the guitar or guitars that are really you, will become the most important to you!
It’s actually quite a fun adventure to embark on, and who knows how long it will take you, but it’s a trip certainly worth taking. I have enjoyed the process over the years, and I have been associated with many different guitars that were strongly identified with me. I find that it keeps changing, especially when it comes to what guitars really feel like they “fit” me. Lately, for example, it’s been of all things, a ’64 Gibson ES 330. That’s the hollow body that is similar to the famous 335, but with the P-90 pickups, and the shorter scale. It has a kind of warmth of tone that I love, and it plays just wonderfully! Still, it’s been a long time since I was able to feel that “at home” with a tailpiece guitar, yet it suddenly seemed to feel and sound like what I’m currently into!
As you try out different instruments, of course, the first consideration should be how it fits you sonically as well as how it physically feels in many ways. The second thing to find the guitar that is “you” is believe it or not, something as seemingly self-indulgent as how it looks! This is really true, and the guitar must have not only visual appeal, but it must look really cool with you! And this doesn’t mean it has to be as unique as the old National map-shaped guitar I was known for years ago. It can even be as simple as it being an SG in an unusual color, or a mahogany Les Paul. Whatever it is, you’ll certainly know it when you and your axe really “click”!
So, through your playing and collecting, I certainly hope that you do eventually strike the right “chord” within your guitar identity…an identity that will always be personally important, as well as publicly!