My first guitar was a $50,- Höfner nylon string with a small (3/4) fretboard (for kids). About fifteen years I only could play the four standards chords (C, G, G7, F). Then I got my first EC record, Crossroads I. I still wasn’t blown away and didn’t hear it too much. One day I saw John Lee Hooker with Carlos Santana performing The Healer (on MTV), and on the next day I bought the CD. I listened to it over and over. At that time I didn’t know much about this kind of music called blues, but I liked it. I digged out Crossroads again an listened to it, this time the music grew on me. I began to collect CD’s from Eric Clapton, mainly from his earlier days. I tried to play to this music on my acoustic guitar, but the sound was horrible. At the 8th fret the strings were about 1 cm above the fretboard, I couldn’t play any solo licks. I had to get an electric guitar!
On Christmas eve 1994 I got a Fender Strat from Santa Claus. I also got a small transistor amp, but unfortunately no cable to connect it to the guitar. No “Silent Night” on a Strat that evening…
The Strat is a red one, manufactured in Korea (Squier series, Fender label), I use Ernie Ball medium (0.010) strings. I replaced the neck single coil pickup by a Seymour Duncan humbucker to get a fatter “Gibson” sound when needed. The coil is splitted and can be used either as single coil or humbucker with a push-pull volume poti.
The guitar is directly connected to my computer sound card using a Line 6 TonePort GX.
In October 1996 I got a Fender DG18 acoustic guitar. I enjoy playing to EC’s “unplugged” songs. I use Martin strings (0.010-0.47).
In December 2007 I finally got my Epiphone Sheraton II, build around 1991 in Korea. The Sheraton is Epiphone’s version of the popular Gibson ES-335, introduced in 1959. This is now my favorite Blues guitar.
I have a cheap Fender Champ 600 tube amp and an original Marshall stack – the battery driven MS-4 mini amp. As an alternative to the Line6 interface I use the Vox Tonelab LE, which combines lots of amp models, effects etc. with a simple, easy to handle interface. The sound is great! Recently I switched to the smaller Zoom G1on which fits better on my desktop.
I don’t use any kind of picks on my guitars, I only play fingerstyle.