A history of the Gibson ES Guitar

all images courtesy of Gibson.com

The Guitar’s Rise to Prominence

The history of the ES guitar would not be complete without a tip of the hat to the jazz greats like Charlie Christian and Joe Pass who helped to popularize the early models of Gibson’s guitars. Unlike Gibson’s 1935 ‘EH-150’ denoting the instrument as ‘Electric Hawaiian’ the original ES-150 debuted in 1936 as the world’s first ‘Electric Spanish’ guitar and immediately set an unprecedented demand for the instrument in Gibson’s Kalamazoo, Michigan workshop.

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A Price Tag to Remember

At the cost of $150 guitar players could purchase an instrument that was not only a work of top class craftsmanship but would allow them the flexibility of turning an otherwise acoustic instrument into a loud, amplified counterpart. In response to this change in technology brought a new perspective on the guitar’s role within an ensemble, leading to new guitar rich arrangements and compositions by the end of the 1930’s.

Design by Beauty

In an appeal to the growing options of electric guitars on the market in the 1950’s, Gibson expanded their ES design to also feature a Florentine cutaway. This much sharper cut of wood gave the guitar a different appeal compared to the commonplace Venetian cut which featured a rounder softer curve for the guitar’s cutaway.

ES Variations

With the growing popularity of the ES-150 Gibson was hot on their heels to follow up with new even more desirable models of their ES style guitars. This set the stage for the ES-100, followed by dozens more in variation as Gibson’s understanding of technology evolved. To date there have been over 40 ES models released by Gibson and the ES style guitar is a design that remains in demand to this day by the guitar manufacturer.

B. B. King – Lucille (Gibson ES 355)

B.B. King, Lucille, 2009-07-17

One of the most famous Gibson guitars of all time – if not THE most famous guitar in the histroy of guitars … B.B. King’s Gibson ES355 – “Lucille” (photo Werner100359 / CC BY)

Timeless Classic

Although the approach to building an ES guitar has evolved with time, the contribution this design has made to the world of music is astounding. From becoming a staple in Duke Ellington’s Jazz orchestras of the 1940’s, duck-walking side stage with Chuck Berry in the 1950’s or becoming a signature image as BB King’s ‘Lucille’, Gibson’s ES model guitars bring an undeniable charm and character to the hands of guitar players worldwide. It is this allure that has placed the Gibson ES guitar as a timeless classic and cemented the design as one that will forever be loved and played by guitar enthusiasts around the world.

Recently listed Gibson ES guitars for sale

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Recent Posts
  • Nr Mint, Gibson 2018 Limited Edition ES-330 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with CaseNr Mint, Gibson 2018 Limited Edition ES-330 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with CasePosted in : Gibson ES Guitars Semi Acoustic Guitars for sale Posted :

    Brand : Gibson Model : ES Price : £1,475.00 Selller : edbray Condition : Used Location : Ships to : Description : Nr Mint, Gibson 2018 Limited Edition ES-330 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Case Sale by : buy it now Bids : Ends on : 2021-10-17 21:07:43 Time Remaining : Parent Category : Pre-owned Gibson ES Guitars View this guitar on eBay This guitar comes from our Gibson ES filtered search results. The Gibson ES is a hollow body electric guitar. The ES stands for Electric Spanish. It first appeared in 1936 as the Gibson ES-150 (*). Popular in music halls and jazz orchastras the amplified hollow body could be heard far better than un-amplified guitars. The most famous guitar in the world is an ES – B B King’s “Lucille” is a Gibson ES-355. Most popular in this range are the ES-330, ES-335 and the Gibson ES-339. For more information please visit our Gibson ES history page All Gibson ES Guitars on eBay today Further Reading History of Gibson Guitars History of Gibson Les Paul History of Gibson ES History of Gibson SG How much is a brand new Gibson ES from a UK dealer Before spending hundreds on a preowned Gibson ES we recommend researching the price of a NEW one from our partners at Gear4Music. We sometimes see used Gibson guitars sell for the same price as a new one – check prices at G4M before bidding

    more about this Gibson ES
  • Gibson ES335 in Cherry Red -1988 Vintage & Rare Semi Acoustic Guitar ES 335Gibson ES335 in Cherry Red -1988 Vintage & Rare Semi Acoustic Guitar ES 335Posted in : Gibson ES Guitars Semi Acoustic Guitars for sale Posted :

    Brand : Gibson Model : ES Price : £3,295.00 Selller : drbkb1234 Condition : Used Location : Warwickshire, United Kingdom Ships to : United Kingdom Description : Gibson ES335 in Cherry Red -1988 Vintage & Rare Semi Acoustic Guitar ES 335 Sale by : auction Bids : 0 Ends on : 2021-09-22 18:28:33 Time Remaining : Parent Category : Pre-owned Gibson ES Guitars View this guitar on eBay This guitar comes from our Gibson ES filtered search results. The Gibson ES is a hollow body electric guitar. The ES stands for Electric Spanish. It first appeared in 1936 as the Gibson ES-150 (*). Popular in music halls and jazz orchastras the amplified hollow body could be heard far better than un-amplified guitars. The most famous guitar in the world is an ES – B B King’s “Lucille” is a Gibson ES-355. Most popular in this range are the ES-330, ES-335 and the Gibson ES-339. For more information please visit our Gibson ES history page All Gibson ES Guitars on eBay today Further Reading History of Gibson Guitars History of Gibson Les Paul History of Gibson ES History of Gibson SG How much is a brand new Gibson ES from a UK dealer Before spending hundreds on a preowned Gibson ES we recommend researching the price of a NEW one from our partners at Gear4Music. We sometimes see used Gibson guitars sell for the same price as a new one – check prices at G4M before bidding

    more about this Gibson ES
  • Original Vintage 1959 1960 Gibson ES-175D Guitar Pickguard ES-175 PAF Les PaulOriginal Vintage 1959 1960 Gibson ES-175D Guitar Pickguard ES-175 PAF Les PaulPosted in : Gibson ES Guitars Semi Acoustic Guitars for sale Posted :

    Brand : Gibson Model : ES Price : £695.00 Selller : vintage_sales_inc_parts_dept Condition : Used Location : Los Angeles, California, United States Ships to : Worldwide Description : Original Vintage 1959 1960 Gibson ES-175D Guitar Pickguard ES-175 PAF Les Paul Sale by : buy it now Bids : Ends on : 2021-09-26 02:29:18 Time Remaining : Parent Category : Pre-owned Gibson ES Guitars View this guitar on eBay This guitar comes from our Gibson ES filtered search results. The Gibson ES is a hollow body electric guitar. The ES stands for Electric Spanish. It first appeared in 1936 as the Gibson ES-150 (*). Popular in music halls and jazz orchastras the amplified hollow body could be heard far better than un-amplified guitars. The most famous guitar in the world is an ES – B B King’s “Lucille” is a Gibson ES-355. Most popular in this range are the ES-330, ES-335 and the Gibson ES-339. For more information please visit our Gibson ES history page All Gibson ES Guitars on eBay today Further Reading History of Gibson Guitars History of Gibson Les Paul History of Gibson ES History of Gibson SG How much is a brand new Gibson ES from a UK dealer Before spending hundreds on a preowned Gibson ES we recommend researching the price of a NEW one from our partners at Gear4Music. We sometimes see used Gibson guitars sell for the same price as a new one – check prices at G4M before bidding

    more about this Gibson ES

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