Just ran into this history of modern guitars poster by Pop Chart Lab. It displays many of the iconic guitar designs from the most basic and still used regularly today like the Stratocasters and the Les Pauls to the downright outrageous such as Rick Neilson’s 5 neck guitar.
This really is a fun look into the history of guitar design. Although there are a few curious omissions and little mistakes, I’ll still be picking this poster up. Fair warning, I’m not much of a gearhead, so if anyone wants to split hairs about model numbers, series, or really technical details, go for it.
Here are some of my favorites…
|The Jimmy Page Les Paul with violin bow,
||the Jimi Hendrix guitar on fire,
|the Spinal Tap guitars,
||and the air guitar.
(Very) Minor Gripes
When I initially wrote this blog post, there were two little mistakes that I caught right away. This first one is arguable, but it is the Kurt Cobain guitar. Ask anybody in the know what guitar Kurt Cobain played and they will inevitably answer either Fender Jaguar, Mustang, or Jagstang. While Kurt Cobain owned that Mosrite guitar, it really wasn’t the guitar he made iconic. A google-image search of “Kurt Cobain Mosrite guitar” brings up only two images of him actually playing this guitar and a slew of images of him playing various Fender guitars. This one is debatable I suppose, as I admittedly don’t know the history of Kurt Cobain and this obscure guitar.
Kurt Cobain’s guitar. Sure, he played this, but what guitar do you think of when you think about Kurt Cobain?
The second mistake was a pretty blatant one, but has since been corrected! The James Hetfield signature guitar from 1992 had a shape that was almost identical to a Gibson Explorer. The guitar they originally showed on this poster was the James Hetfield “Snakebite” which premiered around 2011. They have since changed it to the ’76 Explorer, so the Metallica nerd rage inside of me has been quelled. It looks like they changed the year of the Jimi Page guitar too, which I didn’t catch (again, not a gearhead!).
The old chart, with blue boxes for the ones I like, and red boxes around the Hetfield model (bottom of poster) and the aforementioned Kurt Cobain guitar. Sorry about the quality here, but you can tell it’s the new model of the Explorer.
…and Corrections for All! That’s what I’m talking about! METAL!!!
|Willie Nelson’s guitar (the one with the sound hole that is getting bigger because it’s so busted up),|
|Jimmy Page’s Danelectro (although plenty of other guitars Page used are mentioned in the poster),|
|Buckethead’s guitar with the killswitch,|
|John Petrucci’s 90′s guitar (on the right, artful, but ugly as sin), and the modern (on the left, much better!),|
|Joe Satriani’s chrome guitar,|
|and the new trend of 8-string guitars.|
Overall, this poster kicks ass, and I have to have it. It is laugh-out-loud funny and a fascinating look at the wonderful variety of guitars over the last 100 years. I had more to say about my minor gripes and curious omissions, but really they got the basics right. I don’t know about you, but I really feel like playing some guitar right now, which makes this a perfect poster for my new studio! If you find any other mistakes or guitars you would have like to have seen let us know!