As an advanced guitar player with years of experience, I heard this question multiple times: do guitarists name their guitars? I won’t lie if I tell you that people ask me about the name of my guitar at least a few times a year. Funny enough, my answer is always the same – “no, my guitar doesn’t have a name”. Still, I know a lot of people who name their guitars and it’s actually more common than you think. What’s more, a lot of professional musicians do it as well!
Whether you’re a musician and you’re struggling with coming up with a good name for your guitar or if you just want to expand your knowledge about this topic, I encourage you to read the whole article. In today’s blog post, we’re going to find out why some guitarists name their guitars, what are the most common guitar names and which legendary guitar players did it in the past. Ready? Let’s jump into it!
Why Do Musicians Name Their Guitars?
Some guitarists feel a special connection with their guitars. Think about it: guitars make us feel great, they always bring the best in us and most importantly, they never leave us. It’s like a perfect relationship, right? It may sound funny, sometimes guitar players treat guitars as a part of their family. Moreover, if the guitarist used this particular guitar for a long period of time, the more likely he is to name it.
Although my guitars don’t have names, I have to agree that there is a special connection between me and them. Although they’re just objects, they mean so much to me! And I have so many great memories with them (like first live gig, first time busking and many more). Why I never used the names? Well, I’m not sure. Maybe I have too many guitars? If I would just stick to one, I’d probably developer even a more intense emotional connection with it. Who knows!
It’s All About Science
According to research, it’s totally normal to give names to objects – it’s just a part of our human and social nature. In fact, assigning human characteristics to items is actually called anthropomorphizing. Although it sounds complicated, it’s really simple. Some people name their cars, motorcycles and other item that are meaningful to them. And what’s interesting, people did it in the past throughout thousands of years! For example, medieval knights used to give names to their swords. What’s the science behind it? Well, here’s the professional answer by Ingrid Piller, a linguistics expert:
“You name the vessel because it becomes your most important companion. You want to believe it has vested interest in keeping you safe—even though it truly has no interests at all.”
While knights had swords, we – guitarists – have our own weapons: guitars. They are our perfect companion and it’s not surprising that some of us decide to use specific names.
Who Named Their Guitar?
There are a lot of professional guitar players who name their guitars. In fact, the list consists of some of the most iconic guitarists of all time! Here are the examples of musicians and their guitar names:
- Eddie Van Halen – Frankenstrat
- B.B. King – Lucille
- Eric Clapton – Blackie
- Brian May – Red Special
- Keith Richards – Micawber
- Prince – Cloud
- Willie Nelson – Trigger
- Yngwie Malmsteen – The Duck
- Bo Diddley – Twang Machine
- Neil Young – Old Black
- Tony Iommi – Old Boy
How To Come Up With A Guitar Name?
Okay, so now we know why do guitarists name their guitars. But how to actually do it? Undoubtedly, coming up with a guitar name can be really challenging. If you’re just a beginner and you bought this guitar recently, here’s my advice: don’t overthink it. Sometimes giving it more time will be the best idea. If this guitar is meant to be your lifelong companion, you will eventually come up with a great name. Still, I have a few suggestions for you in case you really want to name it. You can:
- name it after someone special
- refer to your favorite musician
- name it after your favorite song (like Lithium)
- call it after one of its characteristics (like Blackie)
- refer to the place you bought it (like Amazon)
- name it after your hometown or neighborhood (like Brooklyn)
- be really creative!
If you still don’t know how to come up with a great guitar name, here’s a few questions that you can ask yourself:
- Why do you like this guitar?
- What’s so special about this guitar?
- What memories do you have with this guitar?
- Why do you even want to name it?
- Are you looking for a funny or a serious name?
These questions should aim you in the right direction. As an example, I had a really old car back in the days and I always used to call it ‘Porsche’. It was a total disaster and it kept breaking every week, but for some reason it was always a Porsche for me and my friends. If that’s the approach that you’re looking for, you can always try to come up with a funny and sarcastic name!
Why Do Guitarists Name Their Guitars? Summary.
As you can see, it’s totally normal to name your guitar. The stories of legendary musicians mentioned earlier in the article prove that it’s actually really common! Does your guitar have a name? If so, how is it called? Share your guitar name in the comment section below!
Thanks for checking out Best Guitars Now. I hope that today’s post was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: