Gibson semi-hollow and hollow body electric guitars are, simply put, unlike anything else available. Beloved by aficionados, hobbyists, and everyone in between, a Gibson guitar is something truly special. Since the company was founded in 1902, Gibson has been pushing forward the technology that goes in to creating magnificent guitars that are as much works of art as they are instruments. To say Gibson wrote the book on the semi-hollow and hollow body guitar is in no way hyperbole. They actually released the first ever commercially produced hollow body electric guitar, and since then they have continued to blaze new ground in the world of guitar manufacturing. Because they are the originators, this has made them very popular with some of the most well-known guitarists the music world has ever known. The list of performers who use a Gibson hollow-body reads like a who's who of icons. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney's touring lead guitarist), Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, Joe Perry of Aerosmtih, Roy Orbison, Dave Grohl, and more have all used Gibson semi-hollows and hollow bodies to turn out some seriously memorable riffs.
With such a bevy of Gibson semi-hollow and hollow body guitars to choose from, it won't be difficult to find the one that is right for you. There's probably no better place to start than with a Gibson ES-335 such as the Studio Electric Guitar With Trapeze. Since its introduction in 1958, the ES-335 has been renowned for its incredible look and feel. This version is more focused on tone than ever before, with Dirty Fingers Plus Humbucking pickups giving you unbridled crunch when you plug in and play. If you're looking for a more all-around hollow body, check out the ES-175 Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst. This guitar's sonic versatility makes it ideal for any playing style. It also offers incredible presence, so you know your sound is going to stand out when you strap in. Gibson takes the time to do things the right way, and the results show in the quality of their craftsmanship. For over one hundred years, Gibson has been at the top of the mountain, and with these latest guitars, they look to be staying there for years to come.
Even before Gibson's iconic solid body guitars, there were hollow and semi-hollow body models. Bridging the gap between acoustic and electric started with the earliest Gibson archtop guitars, the L-4 and L-5, which became jazz mainstays in the 1920s and paved the way for all the various Gibson guitars to come in the decades that followed. Played by artists from Eddie Lang and B.B. King to Clapton and Harrison, Gibson's hollow and semi-hollow guitars earned themselves a place in music history just as revered as their solid body descendants like the Les Paul, SG and Explorer.
To kick things off with the archtop designs, you could start with a look at the original L-4 and L-5, which are still active in the Gibson lineup a century after their introduction. Or maybe you'd prefer to check out the ES-175, which was the first guitar in the ES series to come equipped with PAF pickups. Browsing the other Gibson archtops is like taking a trip through time, with the Le Grande, Byrdland and Citation each representing the unique features that were new, unique and sought-after in their respective years of release. Some of these designs even started as signature models - for example, the Le Grande was initially created for Johnny Smith in 1961.
Around the same time Gibson was customizing Smith's guitar, they were also looking for a way to fill the void between their new (at the time) solid body guitars and those classic hollow body instruments. The solution was to create the first semi-hollow electric guitars, which led to models like the ES-335 and ES-339. Some of the highlights from this class include "Lucille," inspired by B.B. King's signature guitar, and the ES-Les Paul, which takes all the best traits of the ES series and the Les Paul and merges them together into a world-class semi-hollow body instrument. These are just a few examples of what you'll find in the Gibson semi-hollow and hollow body guitar lineup, and it's definitely worth a closer look to see everything the category has to offer.