Gibson ES Guitars
The ES marks the beginning of Gibson's Electric guitar journey. Dating back to the '30s, these legendary semi-hollow & hollow body instruments remain hugely popular to this day.
Let's start with the basics: what does ES stand for? Gibson made a name for themselves selling acoustic instruments, pioneering the archtop design. When they decided to leap into electric territory, they coined the term 'Electric Spanish', shortened to ES - and as they say, the rest is history!
The first instrument to bear this name was the ES-150, a hollow-body instrument with an acoustic shape and a pickup in the neck position. Since then, there have been hundreds of variations, each with a number of tweaks and a unique character. Some of the most popular models include the ES-335, a thinline semi-hollow made famous by players like B.B. King and Chuck Berry, and the ES-339, a smaller-bodied version hailed for it's comfortable playability.
Often boasting PAF-style humbuckers, a resonant semi-hollow design with F-holes, and beautifully vintage aesthetics, the Gibson ES range has proven popular among guitarists across the musical spectrum. The rich, warm ES tone lends itself to everything from jazz swing (Larry Carlton) to modern rock (Dave Grohl).
If you've got any questions about our Gibson ES range, please don't hesitate to get in touch - you'll also find information on the Gibson 2019 range here. In the meantime, check out the full selection below!
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Gibson ES FAQs
What does ES stand for?
'ES' stands for Electric Spanish. Gibson and Epiphone ES guitars have been around since the 1930s. Back then, guitars were often played under the arm/on one knee (Spanish) or on the lap (Hawaiian). The term Electric Spanish identified the instruments as being played like a Spanish guitar but with built-in electronics.
What's the difference between an ES-335 and an ES-339?
The ES-339 is very similar to the ES-335 but with a smaller body and the input jack on the side of the body (rather than the front).
What is a Gibson 'Dot'?
The term 'Dot' referred to the early ES-335 models which featured dots for fretboard markers rather than Gibson's traditional block or trapezoid markers.
What's the difference between a Gibson ES and an Epiphone Sheraton?
ES guitars were introduced by Gibson, while the Sheraton has always been an Epiphone model. While Epiphone also make more affordable licensed versions of ES guitars, Gibson have never made a Sheraton. Common distinguishing features of the Sheraton include double binding, traditional Epiphone headstock shape and unique block & triangle inlays.
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