Gibson has been a namesake brand in the guitar industry for decades. Although, many beginners do not consider the brand because of the higher price points. I look to change that mindset as Gibson guitars are quality-made instruments that will last for many years.
What are the best Gibson guitars for beginners? The best Gibson guitar for a beginner is the Gibson Les Paul Studio. The second best is the Gibson SG Standard Tribute and the third is the Gibson ES-335.
Continue reading to see if Gibson guitars are good for beginners and which are the 3 best.
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Are Gibson Guitars Good For Beginners
Yes, Gibson guitars are good for beginners with a higher budget who can spend a little more in exchange for an extremely high-quality instrument that is guaranteed to last decades.
Because of the higher price point, many beginners dismiss Gibson entirely. Citing that they do not want to spend a large amount of money on their first guitar. I agree with this logic for beginners that are just trying guitar out and not entirely encapsulated by the sound of it yet. In that case, get a less expensive guitar to see if this newfound hobby is something that will stick.
For beginners that know they are going to stick with it for the long haul, I advise against purchasing a cheap guitar or a guitar that will need to be replaced as you get better. Blues listeners especially understand the potential, work ethic, and reward for playing guitar. And a Gibson guitar is a great guitar for a beginner like this.
Gibson guitars are extremely high quality and even more playable. They have a largely different feel than Fenders and play with a warmer tone. Think of B.B. King Live at The Regal or Albert King with his Flying V.
Gibson guitars are great for beginners because beginners will never “outgrow” the guitar. Many beginners purchase inexpensive cheap guitars that they eventually grow out of or have terrible playability (diminishing motivation during the learning process). They then have to purchase another guitar at a certain point and get used to that one.
Find Out If Gibson is a Good Guitar Brand Today
Buying a Gibson guitar, in the beginning, allows the new guitarist to become comfortable with it and keep playing the guitar for their entire guitar journey.
Best Gibson Guitars for Beginners:
The three best Gibson guitars for beginners are the:
- Gibson Les Paul Studio
- Gibson SG Standard Tribute
- Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody
Let’s review each of them to see which of the three options is best for you.
1. Gibson Les Paul Studio
The Gibson Les Paul is the quintessential rock instrument. Guitar legends like Jimmy Page to Slash have wielded this guitar for the majority of their guitar careers. When people think of humbucker pickups, they think of the Les Paul.
The Gibson Les Paul Studio runs for $1,699 on Sweetwater.
This is one of the lesser expensive Gibson models available. The prices for Les Paul’s are similar to Strats as there is an extremely large variance between prices throughout different Les Paul models.
The most important aspect of a quality guitar for me is its playability. For a playable guitar, many aspects go into it but some are truly important to me.
The neck is the most important aspect of determining the playability of a guitar for me. The feel of the wood and the abrasion of the strings on the neck make or breaks a guitar. Luckily and obviously with this guitar, the neck feels amazing. The neck has a SlimTaper profile made of mahogany.
The neck fits well around my smaller hands, and it was easy to move up and down quickly and smoothly. The frets were rounded well and not one was sharp. This is a very playable and fun guitar.
Let’s talk pickups. The Les Paul Studio has classic humbuckers which Gibson invented. Humbucker pickups are a higher gain pickup which can be associated with a little more of a distorted sound. An overdriven sound that is iconic classic rock and iconic mid-late Led Zeppelin.
It is this humbucker sound that helped to define rock and metal music.
I mean it is one of the most beautiful guitars out there. Its iconic body cut and arch-top are easily recognizable as a Les Paul. The design became the staple, “this is Gibson”, guitar and many have even purchased the guitar solely on the looks.
The full-body fits nicely when you are playing and looks even better. Jimmy Page popularized the rock look with this guitar.
Of course, this area is subjective but I am a massive fan of the look of the Les Paul Studio. The best way to describe the guitar is by simply showing a photo below.
2. Gibson SG Standard Tribute
When you think of hard rock, especially 80’s rock, you likely think of the Gibson SG. And many usually think of AC/DC or Santana at Woodstock. This guitar is powerful, simple as that.
The Gibson SG Standard Tribute costs $1,299 on Sweetwater.
$400 cheaper than the Gibson Les Paul mentioned above, the SG is a great alternative if you are looking to own a Gibson but save some money.
For young beginners, the SG can actually be favored over the Les Paul because it is much lighter. This makes it easier for smaller players, often younger, to learn how to play guitar standing up. It is extremely versatile, easy to hold, and just feels amazing in your hands.
Equipped with the same pickups as the Les Paul, the tone is meaty and full with very minimal high end. Although, because of the difference in body weight and overall makeup, the SG is a brighter guitar than the Les Paul. Think of the sound as an in-between of a Les Paul and a Fender Stratocaster. Less low-end than a Les Paul.
See How These Guitars Stack Up Against The 3 Best Fender Guitars For Beginners
Beginners and guitar masters can rock on this guitar. The neck feels amazing, the guitar is light, has a rich tone, and has many names to it that come to mind when you think of an SG.
Similar to each article written on the appearance of guitars, it is subjective. Personally, I am not a fan of the appearance of the guitar.
I have noticed that a large influence on my taste in a guitar’s appearance comes from the guitars that my guitar heroes played. For this reason, my two favorite guitars (in terms of appearance) are the Stratocaster and the Les Paul. This is because I did not listen to much AC/DC — Angus Young or early Santana and The Who.
But if you like the look of this guitar, then you will not be upset with the performance. I didn’t even like the look and was giddy with joy while playing it.
3. Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar
Coming in third among the three best Gibson guitars for beginners is the Gibson ES-335. The main reason it got third is because of the price which many beginners will not vow to spend. That being said, this guitar is beyond amazing and a blues guitar player’s dream.
The price of the Gibson ES-335 comes in at a steep $3,499 on Sweetwater.
Considerably more than the Les Paul and the SG, the ES-335 has more construction specifications than the two above, justifying the higher price point.
A semi-hollow guitar is a different experience than the two guitars above. There is a lot of different tone character that accompanies a semi-hollow guitar. Tone character that you do not get with a solid body. Hence why jazz and blues musicians love this guitar.
The tone pallet of this guitar leans towards the warmer side. It also almost feels like there is more slack with this guitar. When bending strings, higher pitched notes can easily be reached.
Furthermore, depending on how loud you have the amp cranked and where you are standing, you get highly enjoyable and good feedback. Overtone feedback.
The rounded c-shape neck is very comfortable and smooth, just as 99% of Gibson’s are.
If you have ever seen YouTube videos of B.B. King or John Mayer playing this guitar, then you know already that it is a good-looking guitar. The guitar just screams the blues. If I were to paint a guitar that represented the blues, it would look like this guitar.
Same with the Back to The Future Johnny B. Goode scene, it was this guitar that stole the show.
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