What Is Considered the Best Guitar of All Time?

Guitars may appear to be nothing more than six strings and a piece of wood, but in the right hands, they are the ultimate instruments of expression! With so many respected models, it can be difficult to pick just one as the “best” guitar ever created. In this post, we’ll look at some contenders for the crown and see who comes out on top! Whether you’re curious about what makes some guitars stand above their peers or looking for inspiration when shopping for your next six-string weapon, join us as we explore what might be the greatest instrument of all time.

Gibson Les Paul

If you want warm and thick tones oozing from your amplifier, get the Gibson Les Paul! It has a solid body made of mahogany, which gives it a creamy and ‘full-fat’ tone which helps the notes sustain beautifully. The Les Paul is equipped with a pair of humbucker pickups, which provide more mid-range and thus a ‘fatter’ sound.

Furthermore, the set neck improves the sustain, and the scale length is typically shorter, making it slightly easier to play for small hands. It’s popular among heavy metal, classic rock, and hard rock guitarists, as well as the best rock guitarists in the world. Among the most well-known Les Paul players are:

  • Billy Gibbons
  • Eric Clapton
  • Gary Moore
  • Jimmy Page
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Neil Young
  • Zakk Wylde

Fender Stratocaster

7140suX85gL. AC SL1500

When Leo Fender released the Strat in 1954, it struggled to make a name for itself. Buddy Holly popularized it briefly before his untimely death in 1959. Fast forward a few years to the 1960s, when Jimi Hendrix chose the Strat as his primary guitar, and everything changed. Due to his popularity, Hendrix hugely influenced the sale of more Stratocasters.

So, what about the Strat makes it one of the best electric guitars ever made? The body is contoured to nestle into the player’s body. It also has double cutaways, which reach higher on the neck and make the upper frets more accessible.

In terms of tone, it has three single-coil pickups that produce bright and cutting tones and overall excellent tonal versatility. The three single-coil pickups are in the bridge, middle, and neck positions. The two-tone controls and three-way pickup switch (later upgraded to a five-way switch) enhance its tonal capabilities. Add in the whammy bar, and you’ve got a music-making machine at your disposal.

Some notable Fender Strat players include:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Buddy Holly
  • Dick Dale
  • Eddie Van Halen
  • Eric Clapton
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • The Beach Boys
  • The Beatles

PRS Custom 24

715cpnFLHrL. AC SL1500

Fender and Gibson dominated the solid-body electric guitar market until PRS arrived in 1985. It features their well-known 85/15 pickups and Gen III tremolo system, providing clarity and extended high and low end. It also looks great in design, with iconic flying bird inlays on its fretboards. Paul Reed Smith (PRS) debuted the Custom 24 model at the Winter NAMM show in 1985 and has remained a best-seller ever since. Among those who have used the PRS Custom 24 are:

  • Al DiMeola
  • Carlos Santana
  • John Mayer
  • Mark Tremonti

Ibanez RG550

51DE9LOhfRL. AC SX679

When the Ibanez RG550 was released in 1987, Fender and Gibson felt very mature (like something your dad would play), and it, therefore, impressed with its ‘young punk’ pointy appearance. It was inspired by Steve Vai’s famous JEM777 guitar and served as a lesson in what a good shred and metal guitar should be: A low-profile and a wide and flat fretboard, powerful pickups, a dependable tremolo, and top-notch craftsmanship throughout. Some well-known players who have used it include:

  • Dave Navarro
  • James “Munky” Shaffer
  • Mick Thomson
  • Paul Gilbert
  • Richie Kotzen
  • Steve Vai

Martin D-28

71UA2E ATL. AC SL1500

The Martin D-28 is more than just a guitar; it’s a piece of history that became the focal point of the folk and folk-rock movements in the 1950s and 1960s. Its rich tone, incredible bass, and projection made it an instant classic, used by strummers and pickers in every genre, from country to bluegrass to rock.

Famous Martin D-28 players include:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Hank Williams
  • Jimmy Page
  • John Frusciante
  • Neil Young
  • Noel Gallagher
  1. Gibson Hummingbird
L73686000002000 00 720x720 1
Source

The Gibson Hummingbird is unquestionably one of the best guitars of all time. Its cherry sunburst top and finely engaged pickguard give it a country vibe, and it’s also eye-catching enough to be noticed across a crowded room. It has the sound of birdsong. When you play a chord on this legendary guitar, every note of the chord is audible, which helps it cut through the mix. It’s ideal for playing big open chords because it adds responsiveness and sweetness.

Due to its short scale length, slim nut width, and tapered neck profile, it’s also incredibly easy to play, especially if you have small hands. For these reasons, the Gibson Hummingbird has been embraced by some of the world’s most famous guitarists from various musical genres – from blues to country to folk to rock. Famous Gibson Hummingbird players include:

  • Billy Joe Armstrong
  • Chris Cornell
  • Keith Richards
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Sheryl Crow
  • The Edge & Bono

Fender Telecaster

71Oyto5E2jL. AC SL1500

Whereas the Strat appeared futuristic, the Tele is purely functional. There is no contouring to make things more comfortable; it is a solid piece of flat wood. Aside from its working-class appearance, the tone distinguishes it the most. The Tele’ twang’ has become so synonymous with country music! The Telecaster has only one tone control, compared to the Stratocaster’s two and only two pups. Famous people who have used the Fender Telecaster include:

  • Albert Collins
  • Brad Paisley
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Graham Coxon
  • Keith Richards
  • Keith Urban
  • Merle Haggard
  • Mike Stern
  • Prince
  • Tom Morello

Final Thoughts

So, what is considered the best guitar of all time? It really depends on who you ask. There are many great options listed here and its best to try them out for yourself and see which suits your style best. If you’re looking for guitar tabs, visit our resources list of free tabs today. Happy jamming!

Spread the love

Similar Posts