The stars understand the value of a great instrument. But when you make it to the top of the industry and have the cash to spare, what’s your guitar of choice? Whether acoustic, classical or electric, there’s the perfect model out there for everyone.
And most major musicians will have a whole collection. Although one usually stands out as their favourite stalwart piece.
Most iconic guitar models
The big factors considered by music icons when choosing a guitar are the functionality, sound and look of the instrument. The latter is probably the least impactful, as it can be hacked and customised to suit. Often the brand that is chosen just comes down to a personal preference.
What are the most famous guitars?
How do you know which guitar is right for you? Should it be electric or acoustic? What size and what budget? Here are some iconic guitars as listed by Rolling Stone.com.
- Eric Clapton’s customised Fifties Fender Stratocaster was assembled from parts of three Strats bought in Nashville in the 1970s.
- The Canadian musician Neil Young, had a 1950s vintage Gibson Les Paul Goldtop.
- Bruce Springsteen’s Fender Esquire was sometimes identified as a Telecaster – yet another creation from the mid-century era renowned for great design.
- US band frontwoman Joan Jett has a beaten up Gibson Melody Maker with a single Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer humbucker. It’s covered in stickers and survived decades of music-making.
- Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page played a double-neck Gibson with 12 strings on top and six on the bottom.
- The Beatles’ legendary guitarist and sometime solo artist George Harrison, played a Gretsch. However, his most iconic guitar was probably a 1963 Rickenbacker 12 string.
- Jimi Hendrix is often named the finest guitarist who ever lived. But his Stratocaster had a short life when he famously set it on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival.
What guitars do rock stars use?
It’s been said that the electric guitar has been the soul of rock and roll. Over the years certain guitars have become legendary and almost have a mythical quality. Here is a list of some of the best rock guitars:
- The Fender Stratocaster. Among its most famous players are Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen.
- The Fender Telecaster. Rock stars who used this guitar include Chrissie Hynde (who has recently had a cool new Telecaster named after her) Noel Gallagher, Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen and Joe Strummer.
- The Fender Jaguar. This was popular with Kurt Cobain, Elvis Costello and Johnny Marr.
- The Gibson Flying V. The solid body shaped like a V made this popular with Eddie Van Halen, Lenny Kravitz and Jimmy Hendrix.
- The Gibson SG. Angus Young of AC/DC was one of the most notable players of the SG, as well as The Who’s Pete Townsend and Thom Yorke.
- The Ibanez RG550. Popular with many hard rockers and metallers since the late 1980s, this is a modern classic.
- The Gibson Les Paul. This was a favourite with Jimmy Page, Slash, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons.