The Gibson and Epiphone Guitars Noel Gallagher
Whilst there are many guitars he has used over the years, it is Noel Gallagher’s Epiphone and Gibson guitars that he is most closely associated. And, although he considers himself to be a songwriter, and not a guitarist, he has still established himself as a bona fide guitar hero, and inspired thousands to pick up the guitar. So, with his solo album high in the charts, let’s have a look at the Gibson and Epiphone Guitars with which he has plied his trade.
An Epiphone Les Paul Standard was used early in Oasis’ march to superstardom. Designed to look and sound like a Gibson Les Paul but at a reduced price. Featuring a mahogany body and neck, like its more expensive brother, and also the Tune-o-matic bridge, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard retains the sustain and rich tone that have made the Les Paul a Rock ‘n’ Roll staple.
One of the first new Epiphone designs to appear after Gibson took over ownership at the end of the 1950s, the Epiphone Sheraton was (and still is…) a thinline, semi-hollow guitar, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Gibson ES335, which was produced around the same time. Constructed with a maple body and maple set-neck with rosewood fingerboard, the block fret inlays and ‘vine’ headstock adornment are more ornate than the ES335, however.
Whilst the originals featured a Frequensator tailpiece, the more recent Epiphone Sheraton II features a stopbar, for improved sustain.
Another of the ‘experimental’ thinline guitars produced shortly after Epiphone became a part of Gibson, the Epiphone Riviera is also, very similar in body-shape to the Gibson ES335. Although the original featured two mini-humbuckers, the most modern incarnation, the Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Royale features three Dogear P90s, adding greater versatility to the Riviera’s classic sound. The guitar is constructed with a maple body and mahogany set neck, and the gold hardware includes a Tune-o-matic bridge and a Classic Bigsby Tremolo system.
As the royalty checks began to roll in, Noel dispensed with the Epiphone, and upgraded to a Gibson Les Paul Standard. This classic guitar has a grade AA carved maple top, as well as the classic chambered mahogany body, which adds focus and clarity to the guitar tone. In addition, the pickups are Burstbuckers, which further increase the Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘s sustain and power.
Noel recently stated that his Gibson ES355 was “…the basis of everything”. Who are we to argue? The ES355 is a more luxuriously appointed version of the ES335. Employing the same construction, with a maple body and mahogany neck, but adding cosmetic touches such as binding on the body and neck, curly maple top, block inlays and gold hardware, the Gibson ES355 is a truly stunning guitar. And, with the same two ’57 Classic pickups, the 355 is every bit as versatile as the 335, but just a whole lot prettier.
A self-confessed ‘strummer’, the acoustic guitar Noel Gallagher is most commonly associated is the ultimate strummer’s guitar: the Gibson J200. This jumbo bodied classic quickly became famous for its balanced, powerful tone and incredible projection. As a result, the J200 was adopted by legendary players, such as Elvis Presley, Pete Townshend, Gram Parsons and, well, Noel Gallagher. Built with a Sitka Spruce top and maple back and sides, the Gibson J200 has a bright tone, with superb clarity and dynamic response.