Kurt Cobain first began playing with a Univox Hi-Flier guitar , which is a cheap replica of the more expensive Mosrite Gospel model. He played some of these Hi-Fliers in his early periods, including a spoke model decorated with stickers, and a white one, given to him by his then girlfriend, Tracy. The Bleach era was also filled with various half-functioning guitars, such as the blue Gibson SG, put together by Kurt himself, and a Greco Mustang, which went through at least two different reincarnations.


When Nevermind came out, Kurt mainly played Stratocasters, the most distinctive of which was a black model decorated with a sticker reading “Vandalism”. For the album tour, he played a 1965 Fender Jaguar, which is the guitar most people associate Kurt with. Around the same time, he also purchased a 1969 Fender Competition Mustang, which he used during the music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Kurt Cobain’s 1965 Fender Jaguar


the Utero era was mostly marked by four different Fender Mustangs, three of which were blue and one was red. All these Mustangs were customized according to Kurt‘s tastes. The body of each was made to fit a full-size humbucker in the bridge position-more specifically a Seymour Duncan JB, and the stock bridge was replaced with a Gotoh Tune-O-Matic.

Kurt’s favorite guitar?

According to an interview Kurt gave to Guitar World magazine in February 1992, this “competition” Mustang was his favorite guitar at the time, along with his 1965 Fender Jaguar. Kurt ‘s statement also explains why we did not see the Mustang more often during concerts-because Kurt didn’t want anything to happen.

Kurt’s 1969 Fender Mustang on display at Seattle’s MoPoP.


As for acoustic guitars, Kurt’s most famous guitar is a 1950s Martin D-18E that he played during the Unplugged on MTV concert . Also worth mentioning is the 12-string Harmony Stella, which Kurt played on “Something in the Way,” and a 1961 Epiphone Texan with a “Nixon Now” sticker on the upper body.