What is a better brand for guitar, Gibson or Fender?

Both companies make great instruments. And both companies had eras where they weren’t making such great instruments (but relying on their name and heritage to sell instruments)…even though that era (early 70’s through about the mid 80’s) is so long ago now that even these instruments are considered vintage and demanding fairly high prices.

But, if you’re considering buying a guitar, it’s not a matter of which is a better brand, but which guitar would work best for what music you’re playing.

If you’re a jazz cat, I’d go Gibson: the ES-175, the L-5, or maybe the ES-335.

Country picker: Fender telecaster. The tele ended up defining the sound of country guitar.

Blues: hard call. The Fender Stratocaster in the hands of Clapton is hard to beat. But Clapton’s era where he was playing a Gibson SG is cool, too. B.B. King’s Gibson ES-355,wow!   But, Albert King’s, telecaster…

When i think of shred, i think of modded Stratocasters, but Zakk Wylde’s Gibson Les Pauls…that a heavy sound!

The argument could be made that constructing a guitar such as the es-335 is more labor intensive and requires more tradition guitar making techniques and knowledge than a Stratocaster. When Gibson thought the telecaster was going to catch (or already had) they felt like they needed a solid body guitar to compete, they came out with the Les Paul. The joke was any kid with a band-saw could make a Telecaster, but the Les Paul required traditional guitar making skills.



But the telecaster was (is) the perfect blend of materials, and cost effective manufacturing with interchangeable parts…pure functionality…that it lives on, and thrives.

So, what is a better brand for guitar?

Apples and oranges, Beatles or Stones, Fender or Gibson: too different to make a comparison.

But…if pushed…I’d say: Peach, Dylan and Gretsch. I was always a difficult child.

Jake Kelly is a man on the constant search for enlightenment, if anyone finds it let him know so he can get some. For more of this hombre’s ramblings and the rest of L2P check out L2Pbandspace and L2Pnet.com

Originally posted 2010-08-18 15:41:01.