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What got you hooked on the Gibson brand?


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My first experience was when I was 9 (in 1962) and started playing the guitar and saw three sunburst acoustic Gibsons hanging on the wall inthe music store I was to take lessons in.  The two others looked similar, but were smaller and I recall the store owner saying they were both priced differently.  I have to assume one was a LG2 and one was a LG1 because they both looked the same.  Not that either of those 3 were the first instruments I learned on, as at the time they were too expensive for my Dad to have bought for either my brother or I, who were just signing up for lessons.  Instead we started on a sunburst Stella that, realistcally at the time, looked just as good to me at the time I’m so far as having a first guitar to learn to play on.  (It was actually tented from the music store, although a few weeks later my Dad (at my insistence) bought me a used one to own as my first guitar.  But, that image of those shiny Gibsons hanging on wall in that music store stayed in my head (and still is in my head.)  

From there I remember my older brother talking with a friend of his how his friend’s older brother owned a rare Gibson that was worth a lot of money.  I saw that guitar once when my brother’s friend borrowed it from his older brother.  To my recollection, it had to be a J45, likely from the 50s.  It had a repaired crack on its top, which made it look really cool at the time to me. 

The first time I ever played a Gibson was a year later, when I was 10, when my brother from his Bar Mitzvah’s gift money, bought a  new LG3.   I inherited his Kay guitar at the time, but, I played that LG3 when he wasn’t around more than he still knows of, today.  What was it about it?  It’s slim taper neck shape, no question about it...that made it a simple joy to play.  Still today, that Gibson neck shape is what hooks me on playing Gibsons (or Epiphones that have the same neck shape.)

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff




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We were a Gibson family.  We did not own any Gibsons -- we were too poor for that.  When I was maybe 12, my best friend and next door neighbor got a new LG-0 and lessons.  I learned from him on that guitar.

By the time I went away to college in 1961, I could play a few folk songs (KT, etc.) and a few rock songs (Ventures, Johnny be Good, etc.) -- all on borrowed guitars.  I pledged a fraternity at MIT and there were a lot of both acoustic and electric guitars around which I could borrow.  I had a scholarship, but I had to pay for room and board.   That cost $500 per semester -- I worked construction each summer to pay for one semester and my parents paid for the other.  Well we had to buy our own meal on Friday night,  but the house supplied PB&J 24/7.  So I freed up $75 by eating PB&J for a year.  There were no Gibsons in the house, but I wanted a Gibson.  A LG-0 would have been fine but I found a "new shop worn" LG-1 that fit my budget.  I played it for 20+ years until it was stolen out of my office at GA TECH.

When I went over to the dark side (bluegrass) in the 1970s I learned most common Gibsons were not adequate for that genre.  I now have 4 Gibsons that I play in bluegrass regularly -- pretty much as much as I play my prewar dreads.  35 Jumbo, 35 RSRG, 36 AJ, and 43 SJ (RW).  Here is that story. https://vintageacousticinsruments.blogspot.com/

Let's pick,



Edited by tpbiii
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Sound, im recently new to having Gibsons, like 5-6 years, i started getting an SG, and then an LP and i just loved the sound and the necks. But i also love strats

Only have 1 gibson acoustic i love, the other ones i've liked are way out of my budget but i hope to have a hummingbird and possibly a j45 in a future (if i find the ones)



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Scotty Moore was probably the first.. Many more since... 

My first good Electric was a mid 50's Gibson LP Jr. I scored in a Pawn Shop in D.C. For $70.00 way back in the day. Beat up & sitting way back on a Shelf in the Corner behind a bunch of stuff. The Store Owner tried to talk me out of it.. He said, you don't want that old thing... It was the only thing I could afford.. I didn't know it would turn out to be an incredible Guitar! Should never have sold it!

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  • 4 weeks later...

My Dad had a early 50's Gibson ES 125 that he bought new.My first guitar was a Sears SG copy. Then bought a Fender 3/4 scale Musicmaster at a garage sale for $5.00.

Dad had a Ventura Hummingbird 12 string copy. First gigging acoustic was an Ovation. Was in Santa Monica Ca , West LA Music went into acoustic room picked up a J185, started playing. 2 hours later I was hooked.


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When I first took up guitar again as an adult (after a long, long layoff since my teen years), I began taking notice of what kinds of instruments my favorite musicians and bands played. I found most of them played Gibson or Kalamazoo-era Epiphone acoustics or electrics. 

Red 333

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Gibson was always symbolic and dreamlike to me...my first great guitar, when I was 19 and mostly working with bands as a lead player, was a Les Paul Standard in cherry sunburst. It was the most expensive guitar in my local guitar shop and seemed to shine like an amber and cherry hued jewel. I fantasised about it for a long time, saved and saved, sold most of my other kit and finally bought it just after the turn of the millennium. I slept with it in my bed for the first week of owning it as I was so worried about one of my housemates (or the people that hung around with them) stealing it. 

That guitar represented a dream realised for me, and soon I started thinking that adding a Gibson acoustic would be a fine idea, especially when I started to do more and more solo work. I had always seen the SJ200 as the pinnacle of acoustic guitar, as a kid I had marvelled at my parents' album sleeves with the likes of Emmylou, Waylon, Johnny Cash and so on holding these big, curvaceous and beautiful guitars, and in my mind an SJ200 represented the absolute zenith of guitar craftsmanship, and was a totemic symbol of artistic success. 

In early 2004, I walked into the same guitar shop that my Les Paul had come from, and the manager said to me "You have to see this..." and pulled out a pristine 2003 SJ200 Historic Collection in stunning vintage sunburst, which had just come in as a PX (the previous owner traded it for a Taylor as the SJ200 was too big for him!). They cut me a killer deal on it and after a few more weeks of scrimping and saving I took it home.

I felt more emotional about the SJ200 than I had about the Les Paul, I adored that guitar and after my solo work gained momentum it became my travelling companion for eight years and around 1200 shows...I took it all over the world with me on tour. By late 2012, after several refrets, two headstock repairs and a huge amount of playwear/travel damage, I relented and retired it, but replaced it with my current SJ200, a 2015 in Antique Natural, as soon as I could afford to. The SJ200 has always been a big part of the Gibson mystique for me. I now deeply appreciate the whole range, but my go-to guitars tend to be either my SJ200, my Dove (which I've always regarded as an SJ200 in square shoulder dread form), or my Maple AJ, all of which have the "Maple 'n' Bling" DNA to a greater or lesser extent. 

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Started playing in 1971 at the age of twenty.  After purchasing a new Yamaha FG-160, I soon developed a strong interest in guitar construction & desirable build quality, and became well aware of the big three at the time - Gibson, Guild, and Martin.

By 1973, I was scouring flea markets for inexpensive solid-topped acoustics (archtops & flat-tops) to restore to playing condition - never paying more than $40 for an instrument.  After restoration, I would use them to trade for higher end instruments, including four new Guilds.

Along the way, the flea market finds included three Gibsons:  a 1948 L-48, a 1950s LG2-3/4, and a 1964 Epiphone FT-45n Cortez (B-25 clone).  These were my gateway drugs into a love affair with Gibson's short-scale fingerboards & fast neck profiles, as well as the percussive tonal characteristics that worked well with my fingerpicking style.

Dozens of Gibsons later, the attraction still remains!          

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I'd only been playing for 3 years or so and hadn't caught the Gear Bug yet. I usually hit the Denver Folklore Center once a week checking out CDs and music books. They had a new J45 on the wall so I played it.

Changed everything. That guitar had character, one that fit me  just right. And the looks, oh my.  I brought it home. Shortly after, I visited a shop that had 2 50's J185s. Had no idea guitars could sound, play AND look like that. 

Edited by Mr. Paul
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