Your first instrument is a big deal. It’s your first big investment in music, likely the tool you use to write your very first songs, and it’s kind of your first love.
So, when it comes to buying your very first instrument, you might be feeling a little lost. What will be the perfect instrument for you to cut your teeth on? And where will you find it? We asked five artists from Western Australia to talk us through their first loved instruments, to give you some inspiration before you go into it head-first.
A sibling rivalry saw Abbe fling herself into music and guitar-playing.
Receiving her first guitar after half-begging at 9-years-old, Abbe May explains that her brother got a guitar and so she had to get one too. Her first instrument of choice? An $80 electric guitar. “You’ve gotta start somewhere. We didn’t have lots of money. So, you’ve got to get what you can afford.”
Cameron Charles of The Bambuseae Rhythm Section
The Bambuseae Rhythm Section’s Cameron Charles came from a musical family where his Mum played the piano and his Dad guitar.
Cameron, who’s been playing tunes for 25 years, had a real affinity with the guitar. His first one?
A Valencia, classical, nylon string guitar. “Nothing flash at all. A very basic guitar,” says Charles.
Cameron’s career was mostly kickstarted by a movie, Desperado. “I was probably way too young to see that film,” reflects Cameron. “But in that movie, he plays the guitar, and it’s mariachi kind of music, Latin influence. That’s what inspired me to look more into Latin music and world music.”
Fieldsy had a more unusual foray into the music world. Her first instrument, at the age of 7 or 8 was the tin whistle.
“I remember learning ‘Sound of Silence’ and thinking, ‘Wow what a beautiful song,’” she says.
“It was my first introduction to lyrics and meaning into song. And at that age, I realised ‘Wow, I want to sing it, instead of playing it on the tin whistle.’”
“So I did.”
The first instrument she bought though? A “pink, classical, nylon guitar” from Cash Converters, no less.
Fieldsy explains how that guitar opened up her career. “Having the guitar kind of pushed me into venturing down different genres, and finding different ways to write. As opposed to coming up with a lyric and trying to find a melody.”
Nick Osborne of Yomi Ship
Nick Osborne’s first instrument was a 12-inch, Jarrah block snare drum. As you’ll notice in the video, it’s currently skinless, but special nonetheless.
Osborne shows an engraving inside the instrument from his parents for his 10th birthday. “It hasn’t seen the light of day for a little while,” he says. “But I recorded one Yomi Ship EP with it, the very first one that we did.”
“Since then, ironically, I think my Dad picked up another Brady fibreglass snare at a Cash Converters store. So, I’ve been using that one ever since.”
Tom Fisher of Tom Fisher & The Layabouts
A classic story of venturing into the music world, Tom Fisher tells us the story of how jamming with two slightly more experienced friends saw him take up the bass guitar.
“[They] were far superior in their guitar skills than I was,” Fisher says before revealing he was then delegated the position of bass player and vocalist.
“Do you have a bass?” they asked him. “I think I’ve seen a bass laying around at home. I think Dad’s got a bass,” he said.
“I fished it out from under his bed and it was a ‘71 Precision. At the time, I just saw it as a bass. But, it’s actually a classic, amazing bass.”
Today? Fisher reckons the number of gigs he’s done with the guitar is up in the thousands. He’s taken it all around the world with him.
Looking to get your mitts on your very first instrument? Well, buying a second-hand instrument from a secure on-seller, like Cash Converters is your best bet. Check out their range of second-hand instruments here.