Gibson ES Series!
Gibson’s Semi-Acoustic Guitars
Welcome to our main Gibson ES Series page!
Below you’ll find reviews, detailed history, trivia, features, videos, and user submitted feedback on the the Gibson ES Guitar.
The Gibson ES Series, manufactured by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, is one of the most popular lines of semi-acoustic guitars in production today.
Gibson guitars have become so popular, in fact, that it they will forever be closely associated with rock n’ roll in the popular mindset.
There is quite a long history associated with the series, and many musicians are famous for using Gibson ES guitars.
The “ES” in Gibson ES Series stands for Electric Spanish.
Designating this line of guitars as “Electric” separates them from acoustic guitars, which Gibson was and still is known for producing.
“Spanish” is a label that means that a guitar has six strings and resembles traditional Spanish guitars.
While the Gibson ES-335 is, perhaps, the most widely known guitar of the line, the entire series has a long and interesting history.
The Gibson ES-150
One of the earliest guitars in the series was the Gibson ES-150.
The ES-150 was released in 1936 and is generally considered to be the world’s first commercially successful Spanish-style electric guitar.
It was designated the ES-150 because, along with an amplifier and cable, the model cost $150.
It quickly became popular with jazz musicians, most notably Eddie Durham and Charlie Christian.
Durham is remembered for being the first musician to create an electric guitar solo with his ES-150 in 1938, while Christian is generally credited with being the man who popularized the concept of using the electric guitar for solos and not just for rhythm.
The “early” Gibson ES guitars, which included the ES-150, were produced from around 1936 to 1946 and were innovative in that they were arch-top electric guitars with spruce or maple tops.
Newer models in the ES series continued to have maple tops.
Arch-tops, it should be noted, are typically arched on the top and back, steel stringed, and especially popular with blues and jazz musicians.
The ES Series
Before 1952, Gibson produced only hollow body guitars, which, when amplified loudly, are prone to feedback. However, after Les Paul’s guitar experiments in the early 1950’s, Gibson began selling some solid body models.
These produced lower feedback but did not achieve the same lower tones of the hollow body models.
The ES-355, first released in 1958, was an attempt to compromise between the hollow body and solid body models.
The ES-335 is neither hollow nor solid.
Rather, a solid wood block runs through the center of the body, while the sides of the guitar are hollow.
The body is normally made out of maple, and the solid block running through the center of the body is usually made of maple as well.
The neck is solid mahogany, while the fingerboard is usually rosewood, though it is sometimes made of ebony.
There are several variations of the ES-335, which include the ES-330, the ES-335, and the ES-333.
These vary from the ES-335 in a few technical ways, such as the quality of components and grade of wood.
There have been and continue to be many famous musicians who have used and still use Gibson ES guitars.
These include Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards, Dave Grohl, T-Bone Walker, Frank Zappa, and B.B. King, to name just a sampling.
B.B. King is particularly well known for using an ES Series guitar.
He was one of the first popular guitarists to use the ES-355 as his main guitar.
His favorite guitar, a Gibson ES nicknamed “Lucille,” became very widely associated with King.
King, in fact, became so linked with the ES Series that Gibson created a whole “Lucille” signature line of guitars, which are quite similar to the Gibson ES-345, though there are a few notable differences between the two.
The Gibson ES Series is one of the most popular lines of guitars in music history.
Gibson ES Series guitars are some of the most well known and are used by many extremely talented musicians.
These guitars have been an important part of music in the past and will surely continue to play an important role in music for many years to come.