Top 5 Most Iconic Electric Guitars
Ever since guitars first rose to prominence in the early 20th century, there’s been something about them that captures the imagination. And some particular electric guitars have become so famous over the years that they have reached a level in the public consciousness where everyone, even non-guitar players, can recognize them. Simply put: these guitars are icons. They represent the height of style and a level of craftsmanship unmatched by many of their rival models. These guitars appeal to many people, most notably the virtuosos who have, over the years, claimed one or more of these models as their own.
With that in mind, here are some of the most iconic electric guitars to have graced the world stage.
Rickenbacker 381 V69
The guitar that started an electric revolution. The Rickenbacker company produced the first ever electric-model guitar back in 1932, and from there the new instrument skyrocketed in popularity. By the 1960s Rickenbacker V69s were being played by popular musicians everywhere, including four mop-topped Brits with a knack for producing snappy harmonies.
Gibson Les Paul
If the Rickenbacker started the electric movement, then the Les Paul model cemented it. Out of all the electric guitars in the world, this one is arguably the most famous. This eponymous guitar was created by Les Paul in the early 1950s and quickly became the benchmark by which all other electric guitars were measured. Over the years the Les Paul has received the musicians’ stamp of approval by everyone from Eric Clapton to Slash.
If ever there was an electric guitar to rival the Les Paul, the Stratocaster was it. First introduced in 1954, the Stratocaster is known for its light and metallic twang as well as its sleek body. And it’s just this style and sound that has beguiled generations of musicians, from Buddy Holly all the way up to John Mayer.
Gibson Flying V
Even those who can’t draw this instrument from memory likely have a good idea of what it looks like. That’s because the form is in the name. Those who do know the Flying V recognize it as a modernistic axe that pushes the boundaries of style. In fact, it’s just this bold, V-shaped design that turned consumers off when the guitar was first released by Gibson in 1958. But after a certain afro’d virtuoso named Jimi Hendrix started playing one, budding guitarists everywhere sat up and took notice.
Another entry from Gibson, the SG is also a widely recognized electric guitar simply because of the sheer amount of famous musicians who have played one over the years. Angus Young of AC/DC fame was often seen duck-walking across the stage with his signature SG, while jam-happy Jerry Garcia and heavy metal pioneer Tony Iommi preferred this stylish model as well.
In the end, any one of these guitars would make an excellent addition to a musician or aficionado’s personal collection. But there are many more iconic guitars out there that have been played by famous musicians of all genres; this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Justin Miller is a professional blogger that writes for Jamplay.com. JamPlay is a leading online music educator offering 2,000+ online beginner acoustic guitar lessons in HD.