When you’re looking for a reliable guitar that’s always ready to perform, there’s one brand name you can always count on. For professionals and novices alike, acoustic guitars and electric guitars that bear the Gibson script on their headstock are known as well-made instruments, praised for their rich, tonal sounds and ease of playing. Perfect for whatever genre you play, Gibson’s revered line has something to offer in every song and situation.
The Gibson line of instruments has exemplified quality since its start in 1902. Now, with over 100 years of manufacturing under their belt, the company has all but perfected the instrument. It’s why you can find a huge selection of Gibson guitars wherever you look. Online boutiques, small specialty shops, and national music stores all make an effort to keep their instruments in stock. To have this name missing from their inventory would be an embarrassment!
While the models may differ from location to location, there are three major lines that will always be easy to find.
First up, is the iconic Les Paul, a model dating back to 1952.Ironically, it was once the worst selling models on their line-up. Now, its rich, versatile mid-tone has become synonymous with rock and roll and is played by a list of musicians as famous as the model, including Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl, to name only two. Its solid-body is known for its mahogany construction in sunburst finish, with the signature humbucking pickups.
In 1960, when the Les Paul was still considered a failure, the SG (or Solid Guitar) was originally released as its replacement. As another solid-body electric guitar, it bares little resemblance to its predecessor. Thinner, flatter, and with a more contoured body with double cutaways, the SG is a lighter, slimmer choice known for its shoulder-friendly weight. The cutaways allow for better access to the higher frets, making it easy to move through licks at a fast, even pace. Due to its smaller stature, it’s better at creating harmonic feedback with a mature and creamy sound.
Standing for Electric Spanish, the ES is Gibson’s most popular semi acoustic guitar. The hollow bodied electric guitar was built with considerable flare, and the model is known for its Venetian and Florentine cutaways with humbucker pickups. The sound it produces is warm, making it a favourite of jazz players like John Lee Hooker and B.B. King; however it’s bright enough that rockers like Chris Cornell and Billy Joe Armstrong take it on tour.
Are you a Les Paul, SG, or ES player or do you prefer the sound of another line entirely? As long as you stick with the Gibson family, you know you’ll have a well-made instrument worth playing. And if you’ve never tried out any of their instruments, it’s time you spend an afternoon at a music store playing around with what they have to offer. It won’t take long before you understand why Gibson has such a reputation.