Guitars are one of my favorite hobbies.  Playing them, cleaning them, restoring them, playing them, admiring them, playing them...I love guitars.

Some of these guitars I own, others I only dream of owning.

Guitar #1
It was only a couple of years ago that I said, "I'll never play anything but an acoustic guitar."  So I guess that is where I'll start... with my acoustic.

I started playing guitar in December, 1997.  My parents owned a music store "Music & More" and they gave me an Alvarez 5210 acoustic guitar.  I began teaching myself chords to praise music so that I could sing and play to lead teenagers in worship.

This is a picture of my son with that Alvarez in 2009.  I love that it is bigger than he is!
  The first time I lead worship was with this guitar.  It was Spring Break of 1998 on a mission trip to Corpus Christi, TX. 

So, there you have it!  Guitar #1.

Guitar #2

It was the summer of 1998.  I was going to to help my good friend (and roommate) Matt Atherton lead worship for the students at Fee Fee Baptist Church at their summer retreat... one problem.  I didn't have a guitar that had I could plug into a sound system.  So, my parents stepped up and bought me an Alvarez Yairi WY-1.  This is a stock photo.  I'll add a picture of the real thing soon, but for now here is a stock photo from a random website.

It has a Rosewood back and sides and a Cedar top.  I still have this one.  Can't see myself getting along without it!  I played this guitar on the "Primetime Worship" CD that our student band made back in 2001.  It's got a lot of wear and tear now but that is all because it's been played so much over the years.

So, there is guitar #2.

Guitar #3
I received this guitar as a gift from the most gracious group of students and adults.  I had just graduated from Seminary with my Master's degree and the students and parents at First Baptist Raytown gave me the best present ever!  A Jumbo body 1999 Taylor 655ce.  Once again, I'll get a real picture up soon but here is a stock photo...
This guitar is beautiful!  The three piece back sides are Flamed Maple and the top is Sidka Spruce. I played this guitar for the "Live from Durango" worship CD that we made in 2002.  I no longer have this guitar.  I traded it for another one that I'll write about later.  It was a gift from a great group of people and in the end, it blessed another group of people!

So, there is guitar #3.

Guitar #4
It was after many years of playing the Alvarez Yairi that I almost lost it when Matt Calhoun picked it up on stage and dropped it.  Good news, Matt caught it before he hit the ground.  I was fortunate enough to be able to get a 2004 Taylor 312ce.  I don't have a picture of this guitar so a stock photo is all I can come up with.  This guitar stayed at First Baptist Raytown when I left to come to Ridgecrest.  Last time I checked it was still in use in the student ministry.
So, there is guitar #4.

Guitar #5

After leaving First Baptist Raytown to join the staff of Ridgecrest Baptist Church I picked up another Taylor in January of 2007.  A Fall Limited 2006 Taylor 410 with Walnut back and sides. I'll add a real picture soon.  Until then, another stock photo. 

I no longer have this guitar. It was traded along with my Taylor 655ce towards another guitar that I'll write about later.  It too, was a blessing and was used to bless others.

So, there is guitar #5.

Guitar #6
Guitar #6 is my first electric guitar.  A cherry red 2006 Fender Stratocaster American Standard with a white mother pearl pickguard and a maple neck.  I had it for less than a month and traded it for a 2007 American Standard.  I didn't like the color with the pickguard therefore I don't have a pic.
So, there is guitar #6

Guitar #7
My 2007 Fender American Standard Stratocaster.  It came with a white pickguard but I quickly swapped it out for a tortus shell pickguard and replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan JB Jr. mini-humbucker.  I loved this guitar! Here is a photo.
This guitar was sold to pay for the Gibson Les Paul you'll see later.
So, there is guitar #7.

Guitar #8
This guitar was a dream come true.  I made the mistake of telling a friend of mine what my dream acoustic would be.  A custom made Taylor GS with cocobolo back and sides and a spruce top.  When I priced a custom build I knew it would never happen.  Then one day I went into Springfield Music just to play around.  When I went into the acoustic room to play around I met a salesman named Mitch.  He asked me if I was looking for anything and I told him "no".  Then he asked, "What is your dream guitar?"  I smiled and told him what it was.  He then smiled and said, "Wait right here!"  He went to the back room of the store and came out carrying a 2008 Fall Limited Taylor GS with Cocobolo back and sides, Koa binding and back wedge and a spruce top.  It was all over.  I had to have it.  Here are some pictures.

I loved playing this guitar.  It took a lot of sacrifice to get it.  I had to trade and sell my Taylor 655ce and Fall Limited Taylor 410 and throw in some cash.  But it was so worth the sacrifice.  I've never played a guitar that sounded and looked so beautiful.  It was the best 9 months of guitar playing that I've ever know.

But all good things eventually come to an end.  I heard of a group of international Christians who were in need of a sound system, instruments, and everything went with that so that the could hold worship services.  Here was a group of believers who couldn't have a worship gathering as a whole group and I had this amazing guitar that I kept all to myself.  The Lord made it clear to me that I needed to use this guitar to help others worship Him.  So, I went back to Mitch at Springfield Music and we made a deal.  I donated the guitar to this new church and it was used to purchase everything needed so that corporate worship gatherings could begin!

So, that was guitar #8

Guitar #9
I got a used Taylor 310ce so that I'd have two acoustics.  However, I didn't like it very much so I quickly took it back and got Guitar #10.

Guitar #10
Taylor T5 Standard with Honeyburst finish.  This hollowbody electric was made to have the sound of a hollowbody electric as well as a true acoustic sound in the neck position. Here is a pic.

This guitar felt good.  It was comfortable and had a good acoustic sound.  But it was not exactly what I was looking for in either an electric or acoustic.  So, when the right opportunity came along.  I sold it and bought guitar #12. This was my last Taylor (hopefully not forever).

Guitar #11
 I found this vintage Alvarez Yairi at Handpicked Guitars. It is a circa 1974 beauty!  I had it for a few months before I traded to a friend for Guitar #13. Here are a couple pics!

That was Guitar #11

Guitar #12
A few months earlier I saw this guitar come through Springfield Music.  It was a special order that a guy made from Gibson.  A Gibson Advanced Jumbo with Tobacco Burst. This guitar has Rosewood back and sides and a spruce top. The guy that ordered this guitar only had it for two months before he brought it back to trade it towards something else.  I was fortunate enough to be around when he brought it in that day.  So, I got it!  I put the LR Baggs iMix pickup in it.  Here are some pic's.

I sold this guitar to Sean Lea to buy Guitar #20.  This is Guitar #12.

Guitar #13
This guitar came from my friend Kent Robertson.  I wanted a second electric so instead of keeping three acoustics I traded Guitar #11 for this Seinna Burst Fender American Standard HSS Stratocaster with a maple neck.  I never took a picture of this guitar, so this is a stock photo with a rosewood neck.

I sold this guitar and Guitar #7 (white Fender Strat) to get Guitar #15 a Gibson Les Paul.  You'll see it soon!

Guitar #14
While I was selling Guitar #13 & #7 I needed and electric so I picked up a Epiphone Sheraton II.  I replaced the pickups with a Gibson '57 classic Humbucker in the neck and a Gibson P-94 in the bridge. 

I sold this guitar in to my friend Caleb in order to get cash for Guitar #18.  It is a great guitar!  That is Guitar #14

Guitar #15
This is my Gibson Les Paul Standard Axcess in a Iced Tea Burst.  I walked in to Springfield Music one night and Mitch was unpacking a shipment of five Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul guitars.  When I saw this one I knew I needed to have it!

I sold this guitar to get Guitar #21 and #22!  Guitar #15.

Guitar #16
This guitar was a gift from my parents.  A 2003 American Standard Fender Telecaster. Sweet! They found it at a pawn shop in Camdenton, MO and surprised me one day when they drove to Springfield and dropped it off! 
I still have this one and plan on keeping it that way!  This is Guitar #16.

Guitar #17
I missed having a Strat.  So, one day when I was at Springfield Music, Mitch and I were talking about how I'd like to have another one but didn't want to spend a lot of money on a new one.  I wanted something that was in great shape but well used.  He had just that!  A 1992 American Standard Stratocaster. 

This is the sweetest Strat that I've owned so far.  The neck was perfect and the tone was the best!  What a quality guitar.  I sold this one just recently so that I could fund my project Tele (Guitar #19).  I'll always remember this one fondly!   This is Guitar #17.

Guitar #18
I was looking around the acoustic room in January of 2011.  Honestly not looking to get any other guitars.  I was sitting pretty with two acoustics(#2 & #12) and four electrics (#14-17).  But I made the mistake of picking up this Martin that was innocently hanging on the wall.  A Martin D-16 Aderondack.  Now I've never been a Martin kind of guy.  I was hardcore Taylor fan for years.  Then I found a Gibson that I liked well enough and could afford.  But I never thought I'd get a Martin.  Until I picked up this one.  Long story short.  I now play a Martin.  It is Aderondack Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides. 
I plan on keeping this one a long time! Guitar #18.

Guitar #19
This is my project Tele.  It started out as a Fender Nashville Telecaster Deluxe with a cool looking burn mark on the headstock.

Then I had it customized.  Custom made pickguard.  Bigsby B-5 Temolo.  Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini-Humbucker in the neck, hot strat pickup in the middle, and a Vintage '54 Broadcaster tele pickup in the bridge. All new wiring, volume & tone pot, and a three way switcher. New vintage Fender tuners, strap locks and a Couch Luggage Strap Guitar strap.  And top it all off with a G&G vintage Fender black tweed case.
This is my project Tele!  It looks classic and plays like a hot rod! Guitar #19.

Guitar #20
I picked this up used from Morgan Music.  The previous owner must have never played it because it was mint when I bought it!  This has incredible tone.  There is something sweet about the hollowbody with the Filtertron humbuckers.  This is a Gretsch Tennessee Rose.

I still have this one!  Love it! Guitar #20

Guitar #21
I was selling Guitar #15 to get something with a little different sound when I got my hands on this guitar.  A Duesenberg Starplayer TV GoldTop.  The pickups are unreal!  They are between the sound of a Gibson humbucker and a Gretsch Filterton.  This one has a Domino Single Coil (basically a P90) in the neck and a Vintage Humbucker in the bridge.  The tremolo is so smooth.  The moment you pick this guitar up you can tell it is 100% quality.

 This is Guitar #21.

Guitar #22
I had my eye on this guitar for about 6 months.  Hidden away in Camdenton, MO in a little pawn shop (yes, the same pawn shop that Guitar #16 came from) was this 1978 Gibson "The Paul".  This guitar is all original, even the case is original.  The first owner bought it barely played it then put in in the closet for a couple decades only to pawn it later.  So, I'm the lucky guy who found it at that pawn shop!  It has a walnut body and T-Top Humbuckers (Gibson only made these pickups for a short time and people will spend as much for the pickups as I paid for the entire guitar).  It has a great vintage Gibson sound.  What a great guitar!

This is Guitar #22

Currently, I have two acoustics (#2 & #18) and five electrics (#16, #19, #20, #21, #22).  I use them all!

This is my son in 2011, playing my Fender Squire Stratocaster.  I picked it up as a decoration for my office. However, I sold it to my father-in-law, Rick, so that he could get Jimmy Vaughn's signature on it and now it hangs in Rick's office.   I'm glad that I got this picture. It's one of my favorites!

This sums up my guitar collection to date.

I'm Nate, and this is what I think is essential!