If you were a professional touring guitarist, would you use someone else's "signature" guitar?


My Squier is on Fire !!!
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
New York
Let's say that you're a successful professional touring guitarist. Would you play on stage with another guitarist's signature guitar?

If you were the guitarist for a metal band, would you use James Hetfield's Snakebite, an Ibanez JEM Steve Vai, a George Lynch ESP, etc ?

I think I would want my own identity. These signature guitars are all premium models, but I'm not sure I'd use someone else's guitar.


Nov 4, 2012
Owen, Wisconsin
It depends on the artist model. Some of the Epiphone and Squier artist models, like the Lzzy Hale Explorer and Avril Lavigne Telecaster, can be seen as just somewhat distinctive versions of that type of guitar, and wouldn't feel like trying to copy that artist. Other artist models, like a copy of the SRV #1 Strat, or Malcom Young's Gretsch, would feel more like copying them.


Jan 12, 2021
I'd rather make my own mark with my own style, but I'm not opposed to certain signature models. Wouldn't say no to a Les Paul, or maybe something like an ESP Snakebyte (not really my style but not too extreme), but I wouldn't be grabbing something like a SRV #1 strat or and Ibanez JEM.

It's kind of weird though because to a certain extent, I wouldn't want to play something that is so iconic to certain players, but at the same time, I would play something like Kurt Cobain's Jagstang.

It's a weird dynamic.


Nov 15, 2021
Fagaras, Romania
if I found a particular guitar I get very well along with, I'd go with that. Plus if it happens to be one of my favs. I mean even artists can have their own favorite artists (apart from themselves). I would do it for the heck of it - my signature guitar would be another guy/gal's. If it fits. But if not, a bog standard whatever- because I am of the tinkering kind- I would roll out my own pretty soon....


Dr. Squier
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 29, 2011
I would play a signature. I'd have no problem playing a JEM or JS. I'd also play the Phil X Friedman or a 5150 amp.
I think I'd try not to play the sig guitar full time though. I think if I was pro and touring I'd get Squier to make me Hand Strat replicas and I'd play them. Maybe a Squier Hand Strat with a Floyd like the Contemporary models.



May 1, 2019
San Antonio, TX
I have yet to see a professional musician playing a signature guitar they supposedly signed. To me, it's always been a sales gimmick.

Much of the time, I'd agree with you. But there are some signature models that have unique specs (like the Robert Cray hardtail Strat, or the Jimmie Vaughan Strat with V-neck and overwound pickups), and I could see maybe getting a sig for that reason. But NEVER for the artist name.

As for your first point, I've seen quite a few artists playing their signature guitars. Like Kenny Wayne Shepherd:

and Gary Clark Jr
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