It was the lyre, harp or the kithara that guitarists would be playing! These string instruments were widely used in ancient Greece. They were played by all the professional musicians. The lyre and kithara were portable harp-like instruments played primarily to accompany dances and epic recitations, rhapsodies, odes, and lyric songs. It was also played solo at receptions, banquets, national games, and trials of skill. You could have been a citharede (a singer who used the cithara to accompany their singing). Cithara or kithara actually means “guitar” .
Or you might have been a chelys player. The chelys was a string instrument which had a tortoise shell back. It was believed that the god Hermes invented this instrument using the shell of a tortoise, two horns of an antelope and an added crossbar called the “live yoke. Hermes lashed these items together with reeds, added an animal skin as a resonator (most likely a goatskin) and strings. It was a gift for his half brother, Apollo. Apollo taught his son Orpheus to play it which inspired a famous painting called “Orpheus’ Lament” by 19C French painter, Alexandre Seon.
Which one would you pick to play?