Chris Alderton’s top gear picks for beginner artists

By Dennis Minter

20 May 2024

Buying your first real six string at the five and dime is so 1969. The Amazons’ Chris Alderton gives his top three gear picks, and some advice on finding bargains in the modern era.


Name: Duesenberg Caribou 

Type: Guitar

Price: £1,800

“Before buying any guitar I did a lot of just reading articles figuring out what I liked. I watched Andy on the Pro Guitar Shop YouTube channel, and watching that guy just play different guitars and then going into the shop and just playing with them and trying them out

Read our full interview with Chris here

“I’ve had my Duesenberg since I was 21. My parents wanted to buy me a nice watch or something for my birthday, because we have quite a traditional family.

“I liked the idea and I appreciate that it’s a tradition, but I said to them what would be really good is if you bought me a really nice guitar. 

“The reason I chose it was because there was a cover on the Triple J Youtube account which had a guy called Kirin Callinan and they did a cover of Queens of the Stone Ages ‘I Sat By the Ocean’. 

“Kirin has like a semi-circle of pedals around him that make noises that I’ve never heard come out of guitar and he plays a Duesenberg, and at the end of the performance he picks the guitar up takes it off and then like spins it in the air on its like x-axis, which is so sick. I’ve tried it. Really really difficult. I’ve dropped loads of  guitars having a go but I mainly just really liked how it looks so I went and had a play with one in the shop. It’s still by far my favourite guitar to play.” 


Name: Vox AC 15 C1

Type: Amp

Price: £650

This is good for a first time musician. I think this should be like your second or third purchase. It is not an expensive amp but I will never replace that amplifier. It’s so good, it’s my favourite and that was another birthday present. I got that when I was 18. I’m lucky all my landmark birthdays have just been gear we’ll see what I get for my 30th. I love that thing, it’s great and it may be boring but it’s my favourite.

I think a good tip which surprisingly not very many people sort of utilise is just buy stuff second hand. It’s so much cheaper, and it just absolutely doesn’t matter that it’s second hand unless it’s broken. I just bought two Strymon pedals, and I got one second hand and they were almost 500 pounds cheaper than they should have been had I brought them new. They work great, and it’s good for the environment.  


Name: TC Electronic flashback X4

Type: Delay pedal

Price: £200

I actually don’t use this pedal anymore but it has a special place in my heart. It’s a delay pedal, it’s not too expensive and it’s just extremely versatile and really fun to play with. It has a Looper on it and I do a lot of songwriting and solo writing with the loop pedal because you just play over and over again and kind of figure out what you want to play, so that’s always been like a really really important part of my music making equipment. 

Aside from buying second hand, there are places you can hire equipment, although it might be a little bit dodgy. I had a friend who was renting out a little synthesiser, and she lent it out on one of those sites and it just never came back. She got the money back but you just don’t get your equipment back sometimes. If you were going into the studio and if you were really smart and really organised that would be a great thing to do, as it would save money, I just think the majority of people just like owning their gear.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok for more content!

You may also like…
document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() { // Select all audio modules with the custom class var audioModules = document.querySelectorAll('.custom-audio-module'); audioModules.forEach(function(module, index) { // Create a container for the counter var counterContainer = document.createElement('div'); counterContainer.classList.add('counter-container'); counterContainer.innerHTML = '0'; // Append the counter container to the module module.appendChild(counterContainer); // Get the audio element var audio = module.querySelector('audio'); // Initialize the counter var counter = 0; // Add play event listener to the audio element audio.addEventListener('play', function() { counter++; document.getElementById('audio-counter-' + index).textContent = counter; }); }); });