The Gibson ES 335 Guitar Guitar has changed into a standard amongst rock and blues musicians. With a long history and unique sound, the model has been instrumental in shaping popular music.
The ES (Electric Spanish) is a hybrid between acoustic and electric guitars. The instrument design uses a wooden block within along 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 feature 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 purpose 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.
When it was originally released by Gibson in 1958, the original sticker price was 2-3 hundred dollars, helping to launch it’s popularity. Since then the guitar has become an icon amongst popular guitar players. The sound produced by the instrument has helped shape artists and groups including the Black Crows, the Foo Fighters, Rush, Blink 182. Soon after the guitar’s inception, B. B. King made the ES-335 is instrument of choice, adopting the name “Lucille” for his personal guitar. In 1980, Gibson introduced the B. King Lucille signature model, based on the original design but with modified wiring and no f-holes.
As unmistakable as the artists who play it, the Gibson ES 335 guitar guitar is a standout amongst it’s peers. The revolutionary design and sound has left indelible marks on both guitar design and popular music.