Best and worst guitars

On this day in 1958, which I find staggering, the first Gibson Flying V was shipped from a factory in the wonderfully-named Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A recognisable design, often copied, it’s been favoured mostly by shredders – such as Kirk Hammett and Michael Schenker – and was the guitar of choice for many a thrash metal act in the Eighties.

That said, Jimi played one at the Isle of Wight festival, and blues legend Albert King, perhaps its most famous player, even has a Flying V on his gravestone.

Here he is, playing ‘The Grass Ain’t No Greener’.

Although obviously a fan of Gibsons, having used a 1956 Les Paul Goldtop for much of the ‘On an Island’ project, I’m told that David doesn’t have a Flying V in his collection.

I wonder which are your favourite, and least favourite, guitars; the best and worst, if you will, both to play and look at. Which is most sought-after? If money were no object, and you wouldn’t get arrested for trying to steal anyone else’s prized possession, which would you choose?

If you’ve got snaps of your guitar online, include a link so that we can have a look.

Not knowing the first two things about guitars, I’ll just say that red ones are best and presumptuously file this post under ‘Signature Strat/Strings’ to be blindly supportive (although Jimi Hendrix’s hand-painted ‘Psychedelic’ V is quite a sight).

It’s hard to believe that such a modern design could be over 50 years old, don’t you think? It seems well ahead of its time to me.

Happy Birthday to Pete for tomorrow, and enjoy the weekend, everyone.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

105 thoughts on “Best and worst guitars”

  1. My favourite guitar is the one in David Gilmour’s hands. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I can’t say anything sensible on this topic, I can’t play, I just love the sound they make and it’s all magic to me.

    ash X

    1. My favourite guitar is the one in David Gilmourโ€™s hands.

      ash:

      May I ‘echo’ your sentiments? What I know about a guitar you can write on the edge of a guitar pic.

      But I do know the sound that DG makes on a guitar is my favorite and my choice of his are the acoustic and the black Strat. Actually, anything he wants to play is OK with me. Like the beautiful job he did on the saxophone on the Gdansk DVD.

      I had a daily calendar that was all custom guitars. The photos were lovely. I think that Mark Knopfler’s was a beautiful bluish green. Looked like the art deco colors of South Beach in Miami.

      Jan

  2. Thank you for the video, it’s strange today to see someone playing blues with that guitar.

    Sincerely I don’t like Gibson Flying V very much. I find it curious, but its shape is too “aggressive” for me.

    I think that if I had enough money and I could play it well enough, I would choose a Fender one, maybe a Telecaster. I find a special charm in this kind of guitar.

    I also like Stratocasters very much, Black Strat (I only found the book under my Christmas tree), of course, but Candy Apple Red, too.

    About Gibsons, I like them, but they are not my favourite ones. I like acoustic Gibsons more than electric.

    Happy Birthday to Pete and good weekend to everybody!

    1. The under appreciated but great bluesman Lonnie Mack also plays the Flying V. He and Stevie Ray Vaughn have some great jams together, particularly on the song Double Wham.

      It’s out there in cyberspace if you ever want to check it out.

      Peter

  3. I just happen to love the Strat design. Easy and beautiful.

    I own myself a Squire Strat Sunburst, but I don’t play it that much, as I’m much more of an acoustic guy. Anyway, Sunburst is the best color, I think. Les Pauls can be quite nice too.

    I’d always welcome Gilmour’s Black Strat, the original if I’m allowed to steal, or a relic signature. Or maybe I could take the guitar of a man I know, who has a 1964 (I think) Strat. It’s blue, and just beautiful. :v

    1. I agree Alessandra, it is an agressive guitar with history. I think that anyone who purchases one is either egoistic or is a true fan who plays it solemnly. Good call!

  4. I never liked the Flying V. I tried once to hold one and found out that it wasn’t comfortable to play. That it was designed in the late fifties seems still incredible…

    I do like the shape of Stratocaster the most, but there are some other designs as Carvin CT3 uses for example, that look good and still give you an instrument that’s good to play.

    BTW: The next guitar I’ll buy will be a Tele for my daughter. Rather cheap desing IMHO, but a good working instrument…

    Have a nice weekend all,
    Taki

  5. My favourite is most definitely a Stratocaster. Looks and sound wise, guitars just don’t get much better than that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was never a fan of Flying Vs, I’ve tried one ages ago in a guitar store and it just didn’t feel right to me. But I do admire anyone that can coax a half decent sound out of them though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a relaxing weekend everyone!

  6. My Guitar

    Been playing for a few years, I use a Les Paul at the moment. It’s just a copy cos I can’t afford Gibson prices, but it does sound really nice. I’ve owned a Strat but just didn’t feel as comfortable with it as I do with a Les Paul.

    Wouldn’t mind having a Gilmour Relic Black Strat though. Would look great on my wall.

  7. My Guitar

    My favourite guitar… that one? :))

    Oh, I know, I know… but a good friend of mine brought it to me from Indonesia… ๐Ÿ˜•

  8. My Guitar

    I was one of those kids who liked to look at guitars in the shop windows (now I’m an old git who still likes to) and they all hold an aesthetic value for me…. be they Fenders or Gibsons, Yamahas or Ibanez, Strat or Tele, Les Paul, SG, Flying V or just about anything else solid bodied and whatever the paint job I just like the way they look and I like the way they sound…

    If I could own any at all it would probably be Jimmy Page’s Les Paul – he’s just about finished with it ๐Ÿ˜ฎ – and I am the proud owner of a red Strat-a-like, cheap and cheerful Encore which cost about as much as half a pickup on the real thing and which my good lady wife bought me one Christmas because she knew I hankered after one and which is therefore as dear to me as if it was handed to me by David himself having just played the definitive “Shine-On” on it.

  9. David should get one of those Flying V Gibsons and record a new album. Next week would be good…

    Later everyone.

    George

  10. The Stratocaster has such an adaptable sound to it, that it has to be at the top of the list for electric guitars. The shape is also incredibly well-suited to playing – the contours of it make it rest by your waist just so, making it so much easier, and therefore more rewarding to play, for both the guitarist and the listener.

    As epitomised by Jimmy Page favouring the sound of the Les Paul, that has a slightly gruntier sound to it as it were (unless played without a plec, such as on the blissful Where We Start solo), thus is not so adaptable for different styles of playing. Its solid body also makes it very difficult to get used to, as most of your concentration whilst playing one is centred on keeping the damn thing balanced!

    There are other great guitars out there, but I think that the Stratocaster is easily the ‘guitar for all styles’, or however you may wish to put it.

    I’ve never liked the Flying V, it’s always looked like a silly guitar. The shape just seems so incredibly impractical to me.

    As for the guitar I’d most like to acquire: Forgetting the blatantly obvious, it would have to be either Robert Johnson’s guitar, or Jimi Hendrix’s burnt on stage at the London Astoria and Miami Pop Festival – two objects that have a had an extraordinarily large impact on modern culture.

  11. There are a couple of guitars that i’ve grown fond of.

    The first would have to be my Strat. It’s a Standard Fender Strat in red and maple fretboard. Pretty much looking like David’s ’57 reissue (the reason why I got one).

    I had purchased a Les Paul Custom while I used to work at Guitar Center. I never played nor looked at a finer piece. I wish I still had it.

    My mother bought me a Martin 000-28ECB at the end of 2005. Mine was #453 out of 500. All 500 were hand signed by Clapton. At the time the piece was worth over $10,000. Since I don’t work at GC anymore I’m not really sure how much it’s worth today.

    Oh yeah, FEd, I was gonna try to find a link from Gibson about the Hendrix V but I guess they changed their site around and they no longer have the specs and stuff there… sorry!

  12. Let’s see, I’m a fan of the Fender Strat (of course) plus the Gibson Les Paul and Explorer models. I have a Fender Lead I (scaled version of Strat). Brian May’s Red Special deserves a mention.

  13. Off topic, sorry FEd.

    Sometimes it happens that I put an emoticon in my message, but it doesn’t appear in the published version. Is there a reason for that or it’s my computer again?

    Just curious.

    Thank you,
    Alessandra

    1. Strange. Maybe I deleted it by mistake when editing (if so, sorry) or maybe you misclicked the emoticon you wanted and it never actually appeared in your message.

      Has it happened more than once?

      I’ll keep a close eye on your comments in future.

    2. Yes, it happened two or three times, but don’t worry.

      I had some problems with my computer recently, so it could be that it depends on me.

      Thank you very much for your answer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I have an old silvertone guitar that my big brother passed to me years ago. However, my favorite is my gold Peavey Wolfgang. Eddie Van Halen endorsed Peavey guitars for a few years.

    I would buy one of David’s black Strats, but they are expensive. Plus, I could never play like him, LOL.

  15. Well, each guitar is different. You can only get that Strat sound from a Strat, then again you can only get the SG sound from a SG… but if I personally had to rate them…

    1. Paul Reed Smith Singlecut
    2. Fender American Strat
    3. Gibson Les Paul
    4. Gibson Flying V
    5. Fender American Nashville Telecaster
    6. Gibson SG

    I own the first 2 on the list, but would like to buy the others!

  16. ๐Ÿ˜€ Apart from various Strats and Les Pauls, a guitar that I would love to own would be a Gibson Firebird VII!

  17. Speaking of Kalamazoo… I live about 50 miles north of there in Grand Rapids, and we’re in the middle of a lovely snowstorm! No Gibsons would be shipped today!

    On an unrelated note, my 9-year old daughter cannot get enough of “Remember That Night”, particularly, the song “Echoes”! She loves watching Richard on the keyboard and David strumming! If David and the gang ever go on tour again in the US or in England, we will be there!

    And as a final vote of solidarity to David and his playing ability, I had the “Roger Waters: Live. In the Flesh” DVD on the other day. “Comfortably Numb” was being performed to which Madeline snubbed her nose and stated “it’s not even close to what David can do”! So another generation of David Gilmour/Pink Floyd devotee’s makes its voice heard!

    Thanks again for you and the band giving us hours of joy!

    Michael

  18. I’m a Strat man myself, owning a Lite Ash Stratocaster, which can be seen here. (That’s not my specific one, but that’s the model.)

    Now as far as my favorite guitars go:

    – Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic- Tonal heaven. Enough Said
    – Fender Stratocaster, especially a vintage 70s or 50s model. Those are my favorites. Any colour will suffice
    – Gretsch Duo Jet. You can get a mean sounding Comfortably Numb solo out of this. Its the model that was used for the Meltdown concerts. Its got a nice tonal range, and sounds great for blues
    – Any Ibanez will make me happy. Inexpensive and versatile

    I also love this guitar. Trey Anastasio from Phish uses one. Just superb tone coming out of this puppy.

    As far as guitars I hate: I’m not a fan of Dean, Schecter, or B.C. Rich.

  19. Thanks Fed for the memories, keep them coming! I love any footage shown here.

    If I can say, please show a Jeff Healey song to celebrate his passing. I’m not good at computers yet to correspond info. Just a thought.

    I personally haven’t played the V, I love the Strat and Tele along with my Gibson. They have personalities galore unto themselves.

    I wish to collect more, but my budget says otherwise.

  20. is there any chance in the world that david will come to australia soon?

    please reply. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I like to think there’s always a chance of (almost) anything happening, but I’m afraid it’s a very, very, very, very small one.

      There are no plans for David to perform anywhere right now.

  21. 1. Fender Strat
    2. Les Paul Studio
    3. Gretsch Chet Atkins Stereo

    It hasn’t been that long ago that my children made off with my instruments in the name of “hey dad, I want that one”, but I like those three in that order.

    I’m going to be a grandad again! Cassy’s going to have a baby!

    1. I would choose either David’s Black Strat or a Relic… :))

      David’s Black Strat should be placed in the British version of The Smithsonian!

  22. Good topic!

    I think that guitars can be special/priceless for different reasons.

    1; the looks: of course everybody knows the looks of the 3 cult guitars (as I call them) , the Strat, the Tele, and the Les Paul. The classic outlines are by now known to almost everyone (not players included) both timeless and ahead of their time when first “conceived”. Back than the finish wasn’t all that special. A couple of choices in colour, but that was very much it. Nowadays the most beautiful pieces of wood are use for the guitar tops. I noticed a “koa-made” Tele a while back in a magazine. an that one stole my heart (looks-wise). I can’t remember the make (was a custom built anyway) but I’ll see if I can post a link to a pic sometime soon!

    2, the Sound; I know that there are thousands of people which will disagree with me, but I think there will be as many who will agree. It’s the song that makes a guitar sound stand out. If the wrong guitar is used for a song, it not only takes the song down, it takes his own sound down as well. Every instrument is different, and if you put the right instrument in the right song it will work. Maybe recording is like cooking: use the right ingredients and it will taste like heaven, use the wrong ones and it won’t taste that good. (I won’t kill ya though!)

    Perfect instrument in song combination? David’s black Strat in “Echoes” (and than especially the 1st solo). Ooh man! Absolutely the finest tone I’ve heard ever!

    I would like that guitar.

  23. PS on the previous reply; I would really like Dave’s Black Strat, but only if it came with amps, effects and David’s skills!

    3, The historic value: There are millions of guitars around, some of them look good, sound bad. Sound good, look bad. Sound bad, look bad. sound good, look good (the latter are the ones most guitarist ar after for some reason). But there are a couple of guitars which have made an impression on the history of music (especially rock), for instance: Eddie van Halen’s “Frankenstein”, BB King’s “Lucille”, SRV’s “Number One” and numerous others. Why these guitars are so special is obvious if you know your history. That’s why I love “Hardrock Cafe’s” so much, a lot of rock history is displayed there (not all instruments are genuine and used on records but a lot of them are. I remember seeing the piccolo trumpet that played the solo on “Penny Lane” by the Beatles. Nearly everybody knows that song, and that distinct solo. And it’s weird to see it “in person”.

    But than there is a guitar with a history in rock that lasted a bit longer than that trumpets short career and that has got to be the original black Strat (although it has been modified in many ways, the actual body of the guitar has made his way on to so many Floyd and Gilmour records that it is actually just as famous as it’s owner/player).

    So yet again: the Black Strat stands out for me! Although it would be pretty useless in my hands. Better if Dave keeps it so he can coax pure gold from it!

  24. Has to be a Strat for me.

    – Hank’s red one
    – Jimi’s white one
    – Jeff’s white one
    – David’s black one

    I have a shoreline gold one (classic player 50s) but I would still make an awful noise whatever guitar was in my hands, although I am very happy with mine.

  25. I went to W.O.M.A.D once and remember a bunch of kids from South Africa playing guitars fashioned from empty 5lt oil tins, they did have equipment to adjust and amplify the sound. It was a super show and (not knowing much more than the difference between a Strat and a Gibson) will always remember the sound created as one of my favourites.

  26. I have:

    – a Gibson SG (here’s a kinda arty pic I took of it)
    – a Fender Telecaster (American of course)

    and amongst others I have a nice solid mahogany backed Johnson acoustic, which is nice.

    I’ve never been a fan of of Yamaha electrics or Ibanez guitars however.

  27. Being honest I know very little about what gives a guitar a good action, but I think I know when one is played well and I do like the look of certain guitars, whilst not others.

    Not too keen on the Flying V, but it did look good when in the hands of Mr Hendrix. Don’t like the look of double necks, but love them when played by Mr Page. Don’t particularly like SGs but I love their sound when played by Pete Townshend, Angus Young or Tony Iommi. I am told by those who should know, that the SG is possibly the most underrated guitar, but I still don’t like the look of them.

    The worst looking guitars, those with the cut-off headstock as played by Bill Wyman amongst others.

    I love the look and sound of a Strat and for my mind the ultimate Rock guitar is the Les Paul. They are both things of beauty, to be love and admired.

    I have recently bought an old Tele Squier, but struggling to play anything other than bum notes. In the hands of others it sounds great.

    One person who plays some beautiful looking guitars is Phil Manzanera and obviously has a fantastic collection. Like all great guitarists the instruments look like an extension of his body.

  28. A few of many I would love to own, or even play for that matter…

    Gilmour’s Black Strat
    Gilmour’s 1954 White Strat
    Slash’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Replica
    Jimmy Page’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul

  29. My favourite is Fender Stratocaster. The songs I like the most are played with it. I like the looks and the sound of it.

    Well, now that we are talking about Flying V guitars, I must say that “reverse Flying V” is probably the ugliest. Can be seen here.

  30. My gear (and friends)…

    One of my favourite guitars: My own version of the Red Strat (Standard modern USA Strat, mod. with DG-20 and Callaham bridge)

    And of course the Black Strat…

  31. strats, teles, gibsons are nice to look at, flying vs are way too 80s hair metal, and not too aesthetically pleasing to look at.

  32. Hey Everyone,

    I saw this post and so I decided to take the time to comment, haha. ๐Ÿ˜€

    All the electrics I own I love.

    In no particular order:

    1. Les Paul Classic (with P-94 Bridge Pickup)
    2. Gretsch Double Jet Electromatic
    3. Fender American Standard Strat (all Black with Dimarzio FS-1 bridge Pickup)
    4. Fender Telecaster

    I love these guitars. I think the only other guitar I would want it a lap steel and a Steinberger. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Cheers FEd.

  33. I play an Eric Clapton signature Stratocaster and a Martin acoustic guitar (not an expensive one though, unfortunately).

    I love seeing a Stratocaster being played. There’s just something about it that gives me the chills. Not just because of David Gilmour, although my first memory of ever taking an interest in guitars was watching the P.U.L.S.E. video (remember videos?). To this day, I still get the same feeling watching them…

    However, if money wasn’t an objective (I wish) I would probably buy:

    1) Rickenbacker 330 (6-string one, Jetglo…)
    2) A really nice Martin acoustic guitar
    3) A David Gilmour stratocaster

    I’m not a huge fan of Les Paul’s… they’re too commonly used these days. However, Neil Young’s “Old Black” is probably my favourite guitar of all time… amazing… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I agree Davey, a Martin would be splendid to have. The Les Paul I can enjoy for its fat sound and great bottom end.

      I wish I could collect all my faves including my 12 string Takamine which I sold, stupidly.

  34. My Guitar(s): One and Two

    My favourite guitar is obviously my all ash 1977 CBS Fender Stratocaster.

    The best guitar that I ever played was my friend’s Gibson Melody Maker. It had fantastic action.

    The worst guitar that I ever owned and played was a Kramer Pacer. The top “E” string kept falling off the fretboard everytime I did a pull off on it. I promptly sold that guitar after the heavy metal band that I was playing in at the time disbanded.

    The most beautiful sounding guitar that I ever played was my 70s reissue Mexican Stratocaster. It was a beautiful sunburst colour and its sound rang through the body. It was a gorgeous guitar which I stupidly sold.

    My most sought after guitar is the black Strat like the one David is playing in ‘Pompeii’. I would like an all original one. I also would not mind a 1950s Fender Esquire.

    Now if I were to steal a guitar, it would have to be one of David’s Fender Broadcasters. Now, I know I would get arrested for that! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I have never been a fan of the Les Paul, although it sounds lovely, I find that it is not a very well balanced guitar; it seems to be bottom heavy.

  35. There was something pretty special about that National steel guitar on the front cover of Brothers In Arms.

    But from the moment I saw David playing his lap steel on One Of These Days (on the DSOT video), that was it for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheers
    Ben.

  36. Unbelievable coincidence, the page I was looking at before coming to DG site, was an eBay seller listing for a Flying V reissue!!!! They list out at 12K, this one was being sold by a collector here in St Paul, Minn, for $6,300, just in case anyone looking actually wants one, it’s under item #220352145877.

    Myself, I’m looking for a Strat. I almost pulled the card out for a 40th Anniv. Concert Edition serial 04 of 40, it’s a toss up, I want a DG Sig Black Strat, never heard a better sounding guitar, since I first heard it in 1973, near the end of my tour in Vietnam.

  37. ha, hi FEd,

    grrreat topic!

    if I could steal one guitar, if I really had to decide, I guess it would be andy summer’s tele! or a replica of these for that matter. magic, versatile guitar this one. sadly fender’s decision to make a limited run of them and the price they asked was/is totally obscene imo. but the guitar is something I wanted for many, many years now.

    the edge’s famous explorer is another guitar that I would love to steal, hehe. most magical gibson tone you can get I think. had the pleasure to play a similar model some years back.

    as for the most perfect guitar I played, it certainly is david’s replica strat. here is mine.

    certainly also the most beautiful instrument I could think of, except maybe for something like david’s goldtop with the soapbar pus and the bigsby, or a rickenbacker 330 or 660…

    ugliest guitar, probably a gibson reverse explorer, or that new holy explorer. I do like explorers though!

    here’s a link to my guitars, I link to the album, hope thatโ€™s ok!

    thereโ€™s my old black strat that I slightly modified, with a (3ply) blk pickguard and an extra switch, that works a little differently though from davidโ€™s. the red one is an eric johnson signature strat with fender cs69 pickups. also a favourite!

    best,
    b.

  38. I’m not a guitar player, nor do I know anything about guitars. Like F’Ed, I just know what looks good and what sounds good to me.

    Paul McCartney has always played a bass guitar that is shaped like an acoustic, standup bass. Have always loved that. I like the look of a Flying V, but I really have no idea whether it is a good instrument. David does not have one, which tells me he either doesn’t like the sound or the feel of playing it.

    I’m not so much about the guitar as the player. If Gilmour and Clapton traded instruments, we couldn’t tell by listening to the music, but we would know in an instant which musician we were listening to. I know how much David loves his instruments, but I think that you could put the crummiest instrument in his hands and he would produce something wonderful with it. In David’s hands, any instrument sounds good.

  39. I do like the Flying V and would love to have a 1959 Flying V Korina but the guitar I would want to get before that is a 1961 Gibson Les Paul/SG (the link is of the reissued guitar that Gibson offers today here). This was actually the introduction of the SG to the market but originally it was called a Les Paul. I know, very confusing. It’s simple but I always liked the style and it doesn’t weigh you down like a Les Paul. Personally, I couldn’t get my hands on one of those yet but I do own a 1971 Gibson SG Pro with dual P-90 pickups which is a beautiful guitar to play.

    The worst guitar would have to be two recent releases by Gibson. The Reverse Flying V and the Gibson Holy Explorer. What were they thinking?????

    By the way, I did recently buy a guitar that some would label as the worst. Google an image of the Kramer Gorky Park. It was a metal guitar limited release during the Moscow Music Peace Festival (remember that concert?).

    I still love my Strats but owning that 1961 Gibson would be sweet.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. I thought Reverse Flying was ugly, but Holy Explorer is really terrible!
      I didn’t know it. That guitar is the proof that always something worse can be done. ๐Ÿ˜›

  40. Here are my steady favourites and a picture.

    1: black Strat (of course…)
    2: deep blue Strat (slight variation on theme)
    3: red Strat (just when I wear red…)
    4: Gibson Firebird (yes, I’d like one please…)
    5: Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway or Hamer Special with P90s (very versatile)
    6: Gibson Nighthawk (unique sound for the deep slanted bridge pickup)
    7: G&L (genuine beautiful instruments and they carry my initials, maybe I should get myself one…)

    I’ve owned SG, Explorer, Tele, Jaguar and Jazzmaster, but love didn’t last.

    Flying Vs are attractive and great to play in the higher positions, but there’s not enough vibrating wood to me.

    Generally speaking, I love guitars that maintain their own identity, like Ibanez for example, and I don’t like seeing great guitar brands like Gretsch quitting in US and producing in China, like many other corporations.

  41. Hmmm… I spent many years on Gibsons and have learned to get most of the sounds I like out of them. Two favorites are the ES-335 semi-hollow bodied guitar and the Les Paul. The 335 is sweeter and has some secondary resonances from the hollow parts of the body, the ‘Paul is gutsier.

    I do work with a small-shop custom Strat, but the longer neck is difficult for my short little fingers. Nevertheless, there are some things you can’t get anywhere else…

    Bob

  42. Oh, and it is fascinating that the Gibson ES-335, Flying V, and Explorer, all came out within a few months of each other in ’58. The Les Paul reached its basis, most popular form six months before.

    Bob

  43. My favorite guitars (those that I’ve owned at one time or another) are few in number:

    1) Rickenbacker 330 (had a vintage 1966 model but after finding it neglected in the corner far more than in my hands I sold it on eBay).

    2) Gibson SG – since seeing the Kids Are Alright I was smitten with this guitar and its sound. Still have the one I purchased at a ma and pa NYC store (called, appropriately enough “We Buy Guitars” – across from Manny’s Music) in 1988.

    3) Gibson ES-335 – I’ve always loved the warm sound and the controlled bite of these guitars. Double cutaway with f-holes, finger licking good. Finally purchased one not too long ago.

    4) Danelectro Longhorn Bass – again, seeing it in the hands of the late great John Entwistle (and hearing it punch out the famed My Generation solo) I knew I had to own one. Used it for a couple of gigs with my former band, and then after a couple of sessions / 8 track work, sold it.

    5) Rickenbacker 4003 bass – got drunk one night, played bingo with a cousin of mine… won the cover all prize (of $1600) and went out to purchase this bass of my dreams. Still have it! Love the chunky Rick-o-matic sound!

    The only other guitar I’ve always wanted to own, and will soon, is the David Gilmour Strat. It’s a comin’!!!!

    Darren

  44. Since I am a crap guitarist 8) I have an Epiphone (cheap Gibson) SG. It is basically looking the same as the Gibson SG.

    I would like to have a Gibson Explorer and a Flying V. ๐Ÿ˜›

  45. Ha Ha… for ages I’ve tried to get back on the blog but for various “technical reasons” my email address was classed as “unrecognisable” by the blog so hopefully this one works…

    I’m amazed the Flying V is so old… it certainly isn’t one of my favourite guitars as they are heavy, awkward to play and you really need to be a long haired, make-up wearing, silver suited, glam rock playing pooftah to play one… but that’s my humble opinion… (Brian May would probably fit the bill!).

    I’ve never been a fan of Gibsons as they are heavy and the necks are quite thick, which is why I’m a Fender fan… equally besotted with a Telecaster or Stratocaster depending on what’s being played…

    If I could have any guitar possible besides the obvious I would have either Wilko Johnson’s Tele or Francis Rossi’s Tele…

    1. ROOFER!!!! ‘Bout time dude.

      The way the economy is going, we may have to play on street corners with an open and not shut case for cash.

  46. Strats and Teles are almost like extra body parts to me, they just feel right. Godin guitars (from Canada) feel even better, but I can’t afford to purchase one just yet.

    Aside from those horrendous pointy 80s shredder axes, Gretsches are my least favorite guitars, only because I just can’t seem to get a good tone out of them, unlike Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, Brian Setzer or David Gilmour. And is it my imagination, or do Flying Vs look cool only when played left-handed, like Jimi or Albert King? Okay, Wishbone Ash may be an exception.

    Great video, FEd! Must be from the mid-70s, as Albert’s playing was more laid-back than his earlier recordings. His “V” guitar, by the way, was custom made, with a “normal” Gibson headstock, rather than the “Arrowhead” shape.

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  47. I play a Takamine GX 200, a fairly rare electric Taka. It’s a beater, and I can’t say that I take very good care of it, but, it is a good guitar for the casual player like me. It is loosely shaped like a Strat, but has much more of a big fat humbucking southern rock sound. It’s the first guitar I owned, and I’ve kept it over others because of sentimental value. I think I’ve had it for just about 20 years now. Back then, I also owned an red American Standard Strat, which I loved, as well as a Guild acoustic guitar (I do not recall which model). Alas, I needed to part with those when eating became more of a priority than playing.

    My guitar.

    As for other guitars I covet. I think guitars are such beautiful instruments, shiny and new or old and weathered. In rock and roll particularly, they have as much personality and historical importance as the people who played them. That said, I would happily take just about any guitar if I could, although any guitar I would have would be wasted on me. For the sake of playing along, three that I love:

    1) Candy apple 57 reissue Strat, for obvious reasons.
    2) Gretsch White Falcon. Such a beautiful instrument. So far out of my league. Kind of like Angelina Jolie, but with class.
    3) Stevie Ray Vaughn’s SRV 54 (I think) Strat. Because of the incredible sounds that emanated from that guitar.
    4) BB King’s Gibson ES-355 Lucille. Because she’s gorgeous.

  48. For the horse would never have won that race was it not for the jockey. Fender, Gibson, etc. etc. makes no difference in a craftsman’s hands.

    P.S. I can’t play a note but my ears never lie.

    P.P.S. Fed, do you wanna buy a collection of Liverpool kits?????? Going very cheap, ha ha.

  49. I’m not surprised to hear DG doesn’t have a Flying V… it just doesn’t seem to be his style, either in tone or aesthetics.

    My favourite guitar of all time has to be the Strat to listen to, but to play is the 335. There’s just something about the tone and feel that really appeals to my jazzier self. If I could have any guitar in the world, as much as it pains me to not have a DG signature Strat, it would be the 335. It just fits me right on every level. Now I just need the money and talent to justify owning one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Other guitars that I’d love to own would be a Martin acoustic (and one of those backpacker guitars, just because it sounds like the intro/radio part on WYWH), an SG and a Les Paul, although I’d be a happy bunny with any of them.

    Until then, it’s my trusty Ibanez Artist… quite possibly the heaviest, most unwieldy and uncomfortable guitar ever made… mine’s an ’81 and still sounds better than guitars ten times the price. She’s battered and beaten with some proper scars but she’s the Volvo of the guitar world (maybe a Toyota Hilux?!) with the sound of a Ferrari. ๐Ÿ™‚

    N

  50. Hey there FEd,

    How was your weekend? Mine was rather laid back.

    I do love the Strat, but I have a special fondness for my burgundy ’79 Guild that my father willed to me. 8)

    Penny

  51. To Paul Sexton:

    It would be nice to see a pic of your red guitar, Paul, because your avatar is too tiny…

    Michรจle

  52. I am a Strat man like the rest of you. I love the way Les Pauls look (they are so gorgeous) and sound but they aren’t comfortable to me to play. No vibrato arm either. I hate to say it but I hate PRS. They have no personality IMO. They are pretty but are just plain old boring and muddy sounding.

    I like Gilmour’s Black Strat from The Animals tour… black on black on black. That guitar is THE guitar too me I also like that red Strat that he played and toured for 20 straight years. That is the real DG Strat to me. That guitar sounds great to me.

    Love Gretsch as well… nothing to do with DG. That’s a Chet Atkins thing for me. I get to play some of the most beautiful Gretsch guitars available while living here in Nashville as one of my bf does artist relations. White Flacon, Black Flacon (Setzer model), Duo Jets. They are amazing. The binding and inlay are so ornate. Just amazing.

    Martin, Gibson or Guild acoustics… in that order.

    I’m kind of a snob and don’t recommend off-brands becase they depreciate to nothing in value… but ultimately, if it has 6 strings and will piss off the neighbors… then really does it matter?

    Blake in Nashville

  53. Cool topic for a late February evening. Funny to read a jazz enthusiast poster opt for a Gibson model (SG-335) that Chuck Berry really made famous.

    My first electric guitar was a mid 1960s Fender Musicmaster. I traded up a couple of years later when I acquired a 1969 Fender Telecaster, which I still have and play today. This guitar was originally white but a friend of mine did a nice job of removing the paint and bringing out a beautiful wood grain model with the best action of any guitar I have ever played. The neck is a little narrower that Stratocaster or Les Paul custom I have, and the glide over the frets is really frictionless. There is a treble that only Telecasters seem able to reach.

    ๐Ÿ˜€ In the early 1970s I was a huge Roy Buchanan fan (when not listening to Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon and Floyd soundtracks of course) and to this day there are sounds from that Telecaster that continue to inspire awe. I have to rate the Telecaster at the top for a purely signature electric guitar sound and feel.

    Thanks for the great forum!

  54. As a final thought, the worst guitar I’ve played has got to be the Ovation guitar, its huge body and aluminum neck just turned me right off.

  55. Talking about ugly/beautiful guitars, what do you think of this?

    Bo Diddley was a great artist, but I really don’t like that shape.

    Some days ago I saw someone playing a semi- acoustic rectangular guitar on TV. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a picture to show you. I can’t say anything about its quality or sound, because I don’t know, but for me it looked just as a black brick with the neck! ๐Ÿ˜€

  56. Here’s a photo of my old trusty Epiphone 70s Texan Acoustic, learned to play on it, wrote some songs on it, and it’s still with me (although I had a dream last night that someone stole it, very strange indeed as I only just saw this blog…).

    Worst guitar would have to be one of those ยฃ30 Spanish classical things with a warped neck.

    Now I’m more into acoustic guitars than electric and was thinking not so long ago of buying an Avalon guitar as they are hand made and I’ve read very good things about them, plus some of them look amazing as well as sounding amazing. I even contemplated flying over to N. Ireland for a weekend to pick one (hard to spend over a grand without hearing it first, really…) but other things came up (such as a 1 year long party), and… still with my old Texan.

    P.S. That video you put up says: Albert King – The Grass Aint No Greener (Godโ€ฆ

    Whatโ€™s the rest say?

  57. I don’t know much about guitars really, but I do think this is a pretty cool way to customise a guitar. Simon Nicol from Fairport Convention used to play it.

    Sadly a guitar in my hands would be pretty much useless but ignoring the obvious choice of the black Strat I do rather like the No. 1 Les Paul that Pete Townshend used when Live at Kilburn was filmed. It’s a nice colour and the addition of the extra pickups in the middle look nice and seem to create a good sound too (although that’s probably more to do with Pete than the guitar).

  58. I’m a big fan of The Stratocaster. When I first started playing the guitar, I didn’t want a Strat simply because everyone owned a Strat… Then I realized that everyone owned a Strat for a reason: It is a really good guitar.

    I like the sound of the Les Paul, but I think that it might be a little too heavy. Paul Reed Smith makes some fantastic guitars with wonderful tones and such. Martin is by far my favorite acoustic company.

    I absolutely despise the Warlock. The shape. The sound. Everything!

  59. As far as guitars, I like different ones for different reasons. I like the meaty, thick sounds of Les Pauls (or humbucker setups in general) for certain songs, especially blues and jazz. But, I like the crisp, clear sounds of Strats and single coils for rock, blues, and about anything else. One of my favorite guitars af all time are Danelectros. (I also want a Longhorn bass.) Dan-os with the lipstick tube pickups were just awesome. They had the best names for their amps and effects. You could have a Dirty Thirty or a Nifty Fifty amp, with the T-bone or Milkshake or scores of other great sounding names.

    Now that you’ve done guitars, how about a post for bass? There are just as many iconic basses and players as guitar.

    Have a good week, all

    Mike

  60. I was curious if David was an owner of this guitar few months back, so I’d like to say thank you for bringing the answer.

    If I’m surprised, rather not, because David’s personality does not fit to this shape, on the other hand, it is written (in FAQ section on main page) that David’s collection is more than 100 guitars and taking into account that Gibson is one of top players in electric guitar business, there could have been some chances that David has one. But nevermind.

    I can’t play the guitar, and never really tried to do it, maybe one day, maybe with my daughter, so I don’t have an opinion which guitar is the best and which one to avoid.

    As for Gibson Flying V my top guitar players are: Michael Schenker, Dave Mustaine, Andy Powell and Ted Turner. However most of my favouite artists prefers Strat (David, Eric, Ritchie (Blackmore not Sambora), Mark, Jeff). Peter Green and Jimi Page are top players in the Les Paul camp.

    As of others I recently watched Fleetwood Mac’s The Dance DVD and I was impressed with Lindsay Buckhingham’s somewhat strange, acoustic guitar which he used on Big Love. I really like that version.

  61. Love the sound of a Stratocaster in the hands of Mr. Gilmour. But I do like like the sound of a Steinberger (Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, my second favorite guitarist, plays one) has a little heavier sound but I think both are great sounding guitars.

  62. My opinion on the flying V is it only works if your standing up. Fine on stage, but ridiculous while sitting. They look cool though!

    I too am a Fender guy, for the most part. I own a ’75 B&W Strat I’ve owned since ’80. I installed a set EMG-SA pickups after reading an article with David in Guitar Player magazine. It’s pictured here, during a performance in Dallas, Texas in 1996.

    My favourite electric is one I constructed from parts from Warmoth. It’s a semi-hollow Telecaster body I stained and finished with a Strat neck made from Koa. The pickups are custom wound by Harmonic design. The guitar is pictured here.

    My prized possession is a custom made James Goodall KS-419. I’ve never played another guitar that sounds quite like it. This is the instrument to “prop up my mortal remains”. It’s pictured here, keeping me company in the back yard. ๐Ÿ˜€

  63. The famous Stratocaster of course! I never really liked the humbucker Les Pauls as much as the P-90 ones.

    I have my own (Mexican) Black Strat, black pickguard and all. I have added to the versatility of it, though, by completely redoing the electronics for series/parallel switching with a mini toggle switch and a push/pull pot which adds the neck pickup to any combination. When activated, positions 2 and 4 are neck and middle in series and bridge and middle, respectively, in series. If anybody wants the schematic, I could scan and post it, though you need a “super switch” (five way switch with 4 poles and 6 lugs) and a mini toggle switch or a push/pull potentiometer.

    I also have some degree of skill in woodworking, so I am going to try to build my own guitars, too. Of course, I will be starting easy with a lap steel, but if it turns out to be any good, I will share some pictures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anthony

  64. A guitar doesn’t need to look good, it just has to feel good. As far as the sound of a guitar is, that can easily be customized with new pickups, etc.

    I would never use a Flying V because they are uncomfortable to play. Personally I find the shapes of Stratocasters and Les Pauls to be the most comfortable in both body and neck shape. I currently own a Stratocaster I had custom built and I love it.

  65. Hi there!

    What is a good guitar? What is a bad guitar? IMO a lot depends on the one who plays it (I don’t play any instrument, but I remember quite well the weight of a 4×12″ cabinet). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    A good guitar-player can handle as well a good constructed and designed guitar as a “second” class instrument, but a black Strat for example in the hand of an untrained musician will probably not be worth the money that he paid for it.

    So I would change the title if this thread into good looking guitars and ugly looking guitars.

    Good looking guitars for me are Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster.

    Ugly looking guitars any kind of double neck instruments, even if they have a unique sound.

    And VERY ugly looking guitars… well, I’m sure you know who Rick Nielson is… he plays a 5-neck-guitar. And not to forget Bo Diddley’s guitars

    Finally, the Flying V, no matter if good or worse/bad, brings back the music and sound of Wishbone Ash into my mind. Real guitars have wings…

    Just my 2cents.

    Have a nice day
    Herbert

  66. I have an Eric Johnson sig model, an incredible maple neck with a 12″ radius. I love “It”! I was a drummer until 25, then my neighbors in NYC began to hate me so I had to learn the guitar. Ha! I am now almost 44.

    I recently played a DG relic… holy mackerel, as the Norwegians say! Too bad I am poor. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My closest friend Rob and his buddy Andy own a vintage guitar shop so I am spoiled and have been allowed to touch some special instruments (including a vintage Flying-V). That being said, all guitars have their own certain something and all are beautiful.

    The Strat is the Swiss army knife and will forever be my fav.

  67. Aaaaah…what a perfect topic for me! Too bad I’m so late that no one will likely see it.

    I am truly a guitar geek. If I have one vice it’d be guitars. I don’t own dozens but I definitely own more than my talent dictates! But that’s OK. They’re all played and they’re all very much loved.

    My favorite has always been (and no doubt will always be) the Fender Stratocaster. Certainly this comes down to the fact that my biggest guitar heroes are Strat players; but let’s face it: the instrument is pretty flawless. It’s the most natural-feeling guitar I’ve ever played, has a beautifully wide tonal palette, and looks cool as hell.

    A close second is the Gibson Les Paul. Gorgeous guitars with their own unique mid-rangey bite. I’m not a big fan of the look of the soap bar pickups (P-90′
    s) found on early models but they have a lovely tone. For me though, a Les Paul should have humbuckers.

    Third place (VERY close third place) is the Fender Telecaster. About 7 years ago I watched Robben Ford from about 5 feet directly in front of me, playing the whole evening on his cream colored ’61. His tone and incredible flowing style just knocked me out and now Teles are high on my list.

  68. (Jeez! Can you tell I’m home on a sick day??)

    I haven’t bought a guitar in a couple years, but the last one I picked up was this spectacular Gibson ES-335 dot-kneck in Cherry red. It has this very subtle but beautifully even flame-like grain showing through the finish. It plays effortlessly and has an incredible tone. Jazz, rockabilly, blues, whatever. Very versatile guitar.

    I have no specific “least favorites” but I’ve seen a lot of ugly guitars. Some players will buy such a guitar because they think it’s different. I personally don’t care about that. I like a guitar that attracts me and makes me want to play it. That’s the key to me. I don’t get collectors (someone who buys a ’59 Les Paul to display in their living room!) or worse, investors (someone who buys that same ’59 and sticks it in a vault for 20 years!). I think a guitar should be appreciated, loved, and PLAYED!

    Guitars I want? Too many to list! Thankfully there are still many that I’d love and new ones constantly pop up. But if I never got another one I couldn’t possibly complain because I’ve been very very fortunate.

    Great topic.

  69. I am a huge fan of the Stratocaster due in great part to David Gilmour.

    I wish I had one iota of the talent he does. I would cut off my right hand to play guitar like David Gilmour.

    1. An incredibly lofty (and impossible!) goal to be sure, but cut off your right hand and it’s gonna’ be a whooooole lot loftier!

  70. I have a Black Fender Strat with a maple neck, a Black Fender Tele with a Maple Neck, a Black Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cutaway with P90s and an Epiphone Double neck SG (AKA Jimmy Page). Oh and can’t forget my 1973 Black Ibanez Artist (first year of production).

    Hmmm… I seem to like the color black.

    I love all my guitars, but my favorite amps (oops, different subject) are my 1974 Hiwatt DR-504 custom 50, and my 1972 MusicMan 65. I think most of my sound is influenced by the great Mr. Gilmour.

    Anyone who cannot afford a Hiwatt… Get an old MusicMan 65. They are cheap, and clean sounding, take pedals very well and lots of headroom.

Comments are closed.