Getting a new guitar is one of the most exciting things that can happen to many of us.
It might even be a sentimental experience for some, and rightfully so.
This joy from having a new piece of gear could lead you to even give a name to the thing.
And that’s great. A name will make that piece of gear unique.
It’s not just another Les Paul, it’s your dear Lessie.
Naming a guitar is a tradition for many people. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s pretty normal to give a name to something you love and cost you some hard work to earn. Many people choose names that derive from features of the instrument, but, of course, there are no rules and you should listen to your heart.
In this article, we will debate about naming your guitar, we will remember some famous guitar names, and finally, we will give you some suggestions about coming up with an original name for your new best friend.
Let’s get started!
Is it weird to name your guitar?
There’s no weirdness in giving your guitar a name. It will be your companion for many years to come and it’s clear that you have a special bond with it.
After all the work you put in to earn what that guitar is worth you shouldn’t be wary of expressing your feelings towards it.
Let’s call it an act of love for your hard work.
That guitar is now part of your life and, hopefully, it’ll be so for the coming years.
Most famous named guitars
It’s well known that many well-known artists have named their guitars.
It’s a very common practice among touring musicians, especially for the time spent with these machines on the road that makes a stronger bond.
Also, on the practical side, when you have multiple very similar or maybe the same model guitars it’s easier to call them by a specific name to distinguish between them.
Have you ever thought of that?
Hey! Even same-model guitars, with exactly the same specs, sound different. That’s why there are so many “number ones” and “number twos” on the road.
Here’s a list of some of the most renowned guitar names and their owners:
- B.B. King – “Lucille”
- Eddie Van Halen – “Frankenstrat”
- Bo Diddley – “Twang Machine”
- Prince – “Cloud”
- Neil Young – “Old Black”
- Brian May – “Red Special”
- Tony Iommi – “Old Boy”
- Keith Richards – “Micawber”
- Eric Clapton – “Blackie”
- Tom Morello – “Arm the Homeless”
- Yngwie Malmsteen – “The Duck”
- David Gilmore – “0001”
- Billy Gibbon – “Muddywood”
- Willie Nelson – “Trigger”
- George Harrison – “Lucy”
Most common guitar names
In our experience, the most common names for guitars are derived from their model names.
It’s very usual for a Stratocaster to be called “The Strat” or a Telecaster to be named “The Tele”.
Is this giving a name to your guitar? Well, most likely. Although common, your strat is your strat and when you talk of “The Strat” you refer to its uniqueness.
Is the guitar a “he” a “she” or a “they”?
Well, you call the shots here, mate.
A guitar can be whatever you want it to be.
And if you look at the list of famous guitar names above, you’ll see that there’s enough variety to appeal to any taste.
Do you feel your guitar is a partner? A friend? Someone you desire? Or is it just a tool?
There’s no right or wrong answer. Just be happy and pick an amazing name that makes you happy.
5 ideas to come up with a name for your guitar
If you have to sit and think about it, you’re not doing it right.
A good name for your instrument will come alone and when you least expect it.
Let it flow naturally, give it a few weeks. Let your friends have a stab at it.
Maybe start a vote as zoos do.
Don’t overthink it, just have fun. Nothing is final, also. You can change that name anytime you want.
1. Naming your guitar after some of its characteristics
It’s very common to call a guitar by one of its main features as its color or brand, for instance, “The Red One”, “The Gretsch”, etc.
Maybe even its construction, pickups, bridge, or tuners have something you can work with, like “The Locking One”, “Big Bigs” (for a Bigsby, maybe?), “Maple”, ”Blond”, “The Acoustic” or something like that.
2. Naming your guitar after a variation of its model name
Guitar models are oftentimes named after the person who designed them or popularized them. That’s a great starting point.
In other cases, the name of the model might be a word for something. You can work with that also.
A Les Paul can easily turn into a “Lessie”, a Jaguar into “Jaggy” or an SG into “Sausage”.
Mind blown, right?
3. Naming your guitar after a person
Perhaps there’s someone special that guitar makes you think of.
Or maybe you can project the avatar of someone you have not yet met.
In a more silly way, for instance, George Harrison’s “Lucy”, a red Les Paul is named after redhead comedian Lucille Ball. Easy relation, great name.
4. Naming your guitar after a date or moment in your life
Maybe you got that guitar before a tour, or in a specific city that was special for you.
“February”, “Oklahoma”, “Golden Years”, all of these are amazing names that might have a deeper meaning to you.
And, like a tattoo for many, this might be a matter of meaning.
5. Naming your guitar after just anything that comes to your mind
Maybe when you first picked up your ax you felt like it was a “Blue Pickle” or maybe “Captain Stringy”. You go, dude. That’s amazing.
Let your mind wander, and come up with something unique and truly yours.
Your instrument is a tool for your creativity and its name shouldn’t be off the table to express it.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.