Guthrie Govan: "Make sure you explore the whole range of your guitar – not only will you become a better player, but also a more informed buyer"

Guthrie Govan
(Image credit: Steve Thorne/Redferns via Getty Images)

What was the first serious guitar that you bought with your own money?

“I’m going to have to say an Ibanez JEM, I think. I had the precursor to that in the form of an Ibanez RG550, which was none more black, but I don’t know if that quite qualifies as my first serious guitar because I bought it wishing it were a JEM. So when I actually got a JEM, that felt like a momentous occasion… for about a year and then I thought, ‘I’m going to have to sell this because it looks like somebody else’s guitar.’ I sold that guitar not long after acquiring it in the hope of shedding any unnecessary Steve Vai connotation and ended up buying a more grown-up looking Paul Reed Smith.”

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.