The Remarkable Gibson Es 335 Guitar

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Over the past fifty years a guitar has stood out in both design and sound. The Gibson Es 335 Guitar is an American classic that has become a staple amongst musicians.

The ES (Electric Spanish) is a hybrid between acoustic and electric guitars. The instrument design uses a wooden block within the length of the body to limit feedback, while the side “wings” are left hallow to reverberate a warm acoustic sound through top-cut f-holes. A slim neck allow comfortable handling and easy access to the upper frets.

Traditional construction materials have been a maple body and center block, with a mahogany or maple neck. Most models have come with a rosewood fretboard, but some variations have replaced this with ebony, and inlays unique from the block shaped mother perloid material. Standard pickups include two Humbuckers of opposite polarity to produce a “warm” and “fat” tone.

The goal of Gibson, when it originally introduced the ES in 1958, was to draw on the best of both acoustic and electric guitars. While hollow bodies offer a distinct “warm” and “dark” tone, they tend to produce too much feedback when amplified. Solid body electric guitars offer much better sustain. The design of the ES was conceived to reach a middle ground.

Rhythm and Blues, and popular rock musicians have relied on the ES as a standard when developing trademark sounds. Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and U2 have all drawn on the guitar when developing as artists. Of particular note is Blues player, B. B. King’s adoption of the model soon after its release. Gifting the name, “Lucille”, to his personal guitar he garnished a name for himself and later endorsement by Gibson with the signature B. King Lucille ES model.

As unmistakable as the artists who play it, the Gibson Es 335 Guitar is a standout amongst it’s peers. The revolutionary design and sound has left indelible marks on both guitar design and popular music.