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Abbott took up the guitar when he was twelve. His first guitar was a Les Paul-style Hondo, which he received along with a Pignose amplifier on his twelfth birthday. Influenced by Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Kiss and Van Halen, he would initially spend time in his room standing in front of a mirror holding the guitar while wearing Ace Frehley-style makeup, though he was unable to play the instrument at the time. Jerry learned Kiss songs on guitar in order to teach Darrell how to play them. Darrell also learned from country musicians who recorded at Jerry’s studio, such as Bugs Henderson.