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Best Epiphone electric for playing the blues


JefferySmith

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Okay, we've discussed which Epiphone is the best slide guitar. What's the best Epiphone electric for blues? I don't have an opinion on this as I am relatively new to the blues, having burned out on classical music after 40 years of non-stop listening. I listen to the Sirius blues station at my desk and in my car, and listen to WiFi blues stations when I'm in front of my computer.

 

The two most obvious choices are the Lucille and the Sheraton (if no other reason than their adoption by BB King and John Lee Hooker). Actually, the Lucille seems to be out of place, with its very high end stereo electronics.

 

I've picked up a few books and CDs and DVDs on playing blues guitar. I wanted to get some input from any of you blues players on your favorite guitar for the blues.

 

The Fender Telecaster is not an option. You have to stay wthin the confines of Epiphone, but it can be a discontinued version.

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Well, we did this, or something similar, not too long ago. But...I love the blues,

So...If we have to stick with Epi's? Electric Blues...Dot, Lucille, Sheraton, Riviera, SG, Les Paul...

or any other guitar you want. Acoustic Blues...EF-500 series, or the "Biscuit."

The "Blues" is a feeling (and a "style" too), but it's

only limited, by one's imagination, not the guitar. Traditionally, Semi's and even

early on, "Jazz" boxes, were often thought of as electric "blues" guitars. But now...ANYthing will work! It's

got to be in the heart/soul, and fingers. The rest is just "hardware!" LOL! IMHO!

 

CB

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Okay' date=' we've discussed which Epiphone is the best slide guitar. What's the best Epiphone electric for blues? I don't have an opinion on this as I am relatively new to the blues, having burned out on classical music after 40 years of non-stop listening. I listen to the Sirius blues station at my desk and in my car, and listen to WiFi blues stations when I'm in front of my computer.

 

The two most obvious choices are the Lucille and the Sheraton (if no other reason than their adoption by BB King and John Lee Hooker).[b'] Actually, the Lucille seems to be out of place, with its very high end stereo electronics.[/b]

 

The varitone isn't stereo.

It's actually featured on some 60's Gibson ES-335s, and a forumsite here has one installed on his les paul junior.

It changes the voicing of your guitar, not sure how or the operation, honestly....

 

I've picked up a few books and CDs and DVDs on playing blues guitar. I wanted to get some input from any of you blues players on your favorite guitar for the blues.

 

The Fender Telecaster is not an option. You have to stay wthin the confines of Epiphone, but it can be a discontinued version.

Epi_teles.jpg

Epiphone made a telecaster...

My personal choice is my (rather heavily modified) dot.

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Ummm.....for blues?

 

IT depends on the blues. Truly, truly it does....

 

I like my Les Pauls because it's a great segueway for aping other guitars.....

 

(But as for the personal guitar I own that's the best for the blues? Ummm....Well, all I can say is....er...ummmm....)

 

](*,)

 

EDIT: OK, to be fair about it....it's got a much wider fingerboard and jumbo frets...it's easier to bend strings on, but harder to stretch and play some chords on. It's also a "slower" guitar...

 

But, in terms of blues, nah, you don't have to play like Alvin Lee on crack to get your point across. And sometimes that's of great benefit in a genre like this...

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I don't have an opinion on this as I am relatively new to the blues.... I wanted to get some input from any of you blues players on your favorite guitar for the blues.

My input -- amp/speakers are far more important to electric blues than the guitar. Any guitar 'can' do blues' date=' [u']but not every amp/speaker![/u]

 

Electric Blues, all xxxx types, must:

-- 1st be 'envisioned' in the heart/soul/head of the artist

-- 2nd find expression using acquired skills (l/r hand fingers, technique, mood, etc.)

-- 3rd be expressed on an(y) electric guitar -- some EPIs do certain things better, all will do the task if used expertly

-- 4th be heard -- and sound like something we recognize as blues music

---------->which is why the amp/speakers is so vitally important.

Not all amps/speakers will do 'blues' tone. I know because I've owned/played some that would not sound like blues (usually SS amps and cheap-end speakers) regardless of the guitar I plugged into them. Oversimplification aside (the 4 steps listed), it's important for those who are new to the blues to understand, and to not overlook, the fact that amp/speakers are more important to "sounding like the blues" than the guitar.

 

To answer your "which guitar" question: After '03 I've played a stock EPI Elite LP for two main reasons: 1. versatility 2. preference of tonal and physical/quality characteristics.

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

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My input -- amp/speakers are far more important to electric blues than the guitar. Any guitar 'can' do blues' date=' [u']but not every amp/speaker![/u]

 

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

 

Steven,

 

I can see a lot of truth in what you say, so what amps are at the top of your list. I might say I look at it from the standpoint that I am playing in a 10x11 room, so I don't need to blow me out the window.

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My input -- amp/speakers are far more important to electric blues than the guitar. Any guitar 'can' do blues' date=' [u']but not every amp/speaker![/u]

 

Electric Blues, all xxxx types, must:

-- 1st be 'envisioned' in the heart/soul/head of the artist

-- 2nd find expression using acquired skills (l/r hand fingers, technique, mood, etc.)

-- 3rd be expressed on an(y) electric guitar -- some EPIs do certain things better, all will do the task if used expertly

-- 4th be heard -- and sound like something we recognize as blues music

---------->which is why the amp/speakers is so vitally important.

Not all amps/speakers will do 'blues' tone. I know because I've owned/played some that would not sound like blues (usually SS amps and cheap-end speakers) regardless of the guitar I plugged into them. Oversimplification aside (the 4 steps listed), it's important for those who are new to the blues to understand, and to not overlook, the fact that amp/speakers are more important to "sounding like the blues" than the guitar.

 

To answer your "which guitar" question: After '03 I've played a stock EPI Elite LP for two main reasons: 1. versatility 2. preference of tonal and physical/quality characteristics.

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

 

I agree with alot of what you are saying Steven...and tube amps in general are prefered for blues tones...but then there is BB with that damn SS Lab series amp! Kinda blows the whole deal because he got great tone from that thing! Then again we are talking about BB here......so much of it is in his heart and his hands.

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"The varitone isn't stereo."

 

Oops! I must have extrapolated that "fact". Is the ES 345 stereo? I'm wondering if I confused that point because the Lucille is derived from the 345 or something like that. With the chicken head switch?

 

The es-335 is the model on which the lucielle is most closely based.

Some ES-335s had varitones. These were almost exclusively mono, and require not much more space then a volume potentiometer. (Well, it's closer in size and function to the beefed up tone potentiometer found in most wah pedals)

The modern lucielle's varitone is somewhat smaller than even that.

 

The ES-345 was different.

Almost only offered with a vibrato tailpiece.

The Wiring for that particular varitone WAS stereo, and also required some heavy(we're talking amplifier hevay) electronic innards. This was 1960's electronics, and gibson predicting(flawedly) that stereo amplifiers were to become the standard.

 

Most all varitones use a "chicken head" switch". It's fairly easy to confuse the ES-335 with its flawed and failed cosusin, seeing as the construction (other than than the electronics) is identical.

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The es-335 is the model on which the lucielle is most closely based.

Some ES-335s had varitones. These were almost exclusively mono' date=' and require not much more space then a volume potentiometer. (Well, it's closer in size and function to the beefed up tone potentiometer found in most wah pedals)

The modern lucielle's varitone is somewhat smaller than even that.

 

The ES-345 was different.

Almost only offered with a vibrato tailpiece.

The Wiring for that particular varitone WAS stereo, and also required some heavy(we're talking amplifier hevay) electronic innards. This was 1960's electronics, and gibson predicting(flawedly) that stereo amplifiers were to become the standard.

 

Most all varitones use a "chicken head" switch". It's fairly easy to confuse the ES-335 with its flawed and failed cosusin, seeing as the construction (other than than the electronics) is identical.[/quote']

 

Ian, I am not sure that I agree with you that Lucille is most closely based on the 335, seems to me it is most closely related to the ES-355, which was available in mono and as a stereo/varitone model. The Gibson Lucille is a stero/varitone model as well. They also share woods and ebony fingerboards. I always thought of Lucille as a customized and f-hole-less ES-355TDSV. The main difference (other than the lack of f-holes) would be that the 355 came originally with a Maestro Vibrola and Lucille has a stop tailpiece.

 

Also, the Bigsby on the ES-345 was an option. Most came with a trapeze tailpiece. At least that was the way that they were pictured in the '60s catalogs of my youth. Sure saw a lot of them with the Bigsby, though. Or maybe it was just one that got sold from player to player. LOL.

 

I don't recall ever seeing the 335 with a varitone but I am sure that it could be added as a special order. If so, I am sure that the buyer had the option of stereo and varitone.

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Lucille, is a ES-355 with no f-holes, the signature "Lucille" on the headstock (instead of the split diamond), and, a bit beefier neck, to BB's specs! Otherwise it's a 355! B.B.'s first ES slimline guitar was a 335, then a 345, finally a 355...which he used for years, until Gibson, with his input, came up with his signature "Lucille!"

 

CB

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Lucille' date=' is a ES-355 with no f-holes, the signature "Lucille" on the headstock (instead of the split diamond), and, a bit beefier neck, to BB's specs! Otherwise it's a 355! B.B.'s first ES slimline guitar was a 335, then a 345, finally a 355...which he used for years, until Gibson, with his input, came up with his signature "Lucille!"

 

CB [/quote']

Which of those guitars is stereo? I don't know where I got that idea. I wouldn't know how to use it if I had it.

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Well, Jeff...they were both Stereo, if you ordered them that way. But, there are versions, of both

(345 and 355) that are Mono, too. I've seen 355's with no Varitone, as well. So, they are quite

varied. Some folks had varitones put on their 335's as well. But I don't (know) if they ever offered

the 335 with a varitone as a factory option? Someone here, might know more about that?

 

Lucille is stereo, if you have the cord. It's interesting as you can run it clean stereo...that is, in two

different clean amps, or use one overdrive amp, and one clean, at the same time. I guess, for that

matter, you could go 2 distorted amps, too...if that was your thing. Some folks just "daisy chain" two

amps, and run one clean and one distorted, without having to do the "stereo" bit. So....

 

 

CB

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Depends on what kind of blues you are talking about. Bluesville on XM is usually more about Mississippi Delta blues and generally blues from pre 1960. I like that sort of sound for picking up characteristics of the genre, but when I listen to blues for the enjoyment of it, it's modern blues rock.

 

Mississippi delta blues is dobro blues. Then there's electric blues played on any number of types of guitars, but always tube amps with thick heavy tone and overdrive saturation type distortion.

 

I'm happy with a Paul and an AD50VT.

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Depends on what kind of blues you are talking about. Bluesville on XM is usually more about Mississippi Delta blues and generally blues from pre 1960. I like that sort of sound for picking up characteristics of the genre' date=' but when I listen to blues for the enjoyment of it, it's modern blues rock.

 

Mississippi delta blues is dobro blues. Then there's electric blues played on any number of types of guitars, but always tube amps with thick heavy tone and overdrive saturation type distortion.

 

I'm happy with a Paul and an AD50VT.

 

[/quote']

 

And....let's not forget Chicago! ;>)

 

CB

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