When you think of electric guitars, you probably have an iconic shape and design in your head. Everyone does. That’s because we identify electric guitars with all our favorite iconic musicians: Jimi Hendrix, Eddie van Halen, Eric Clapton, and Bruce Springsteen, just to name a handful. One electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul, is even named after a musician: the legendary American jazz and blues guitarist, Les Paul.
Here are our top 5 iconic electric guitars (some of which you are apt to see in our online
1. Fender Stratocaster
The Stratocaster, also known as the Strat, is number one on our list because there is literally no electric guitar that is more iconic. From the two cutaways and classic two-tone color scheme, to the three single coil pickups and tremolo bridge, this guitar screams at you to play it.
It also has a rich history. Its first TV appearance was in 1957 on an episode of the Ed Sullivan Show and played by the great Buddy Holly himself. Fast forward to 1969, and guitar god Jimi Hendrix gave Woodstock attendees an unforgettable concert experience by rocking the "Star Spangled Banner" on a Strat.
2. Gibson Les Paul
The Gibson Les Paul has been through many iterations over the decades, but the original design from the late 1950s will always be the most iconic. Gibson designed it in collaboration with jazz and blues guitarist Les Paul, who would play on it during his performances. It features a single, distinctive cutaway, two humbucker pickups, and a stoptail bridge.
3. Fender Telecaster
The Fender Telecaster is the father of them all, the first commercially successful electric guitar with a solid body construction. Released in 1950, this gorgeous instrument would set the bar for how future electric guitar models would look and sound with its single cutaway and two single coil pickups.
4. Gibson ES-335
The stunning and iconic Gibson ES-335 was first released on the market in 1958. It was the first commercial semi-hollow electric guitar, meaning it was neither completely solid nor completely hollow. Instead, a block of maple wood runs through the center of the body, leaving the cutaway wings hollow. Because it offers the best of both worlds - the lower feedback of the solid body and the warm tone of the hollow one - it has remained a classic versatile guitar throughout the decades.
5. Frankenstrat (EVH)
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention one of the most famous guitars of all time: Eddie Van Halen's custom built strat, nicknamed Frankenstrat or "Frankie" for short. Not only is the red and white paint job completely epic, but the Stratocaster body, bolt-on neck, and HSS pickup configuration are simply genius. The iconic sound produced on this baby is one of a kind.
What's your favorite iconic electric guitar? Sound off in the comments below!