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Wolf Marshall >> History of the Electric Guitar >>
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roots of the electric guitar homeGibson Guitars USA
instruments guitarists guitar lessons
Gibson ES 150 Charlie Christian Charlie Christian
Gibson ES 250 T-Bone Walker T-Bone Walker
Gibson ES 175 Howard Roberts Howard Roberts
Gibson ES 175D Joe Pass Joe Pass

Gibson ES 150 with Charlie Christian Pickup

In mid-1936 Gibson announced the production of the first Electric Spanish guitar, the ES-150. Shipped in quantities in 1937, it was heralded as "Another miracle by Gibson- a true, undistorted tone amplified by electricity." The ES-150 was an amplified L-50 non-cutaway hollow-body model equipped with a single bar pickup. The ES-150 was so designated because it cost $150 as a complete set with the matching EH-150 amplifier and 15-foot cord.
The sound of the ES-150

Guitar Features: ES 150
guitar feature 16 1/4 hollow body
guitar feature Charlie Christian pickup (single blade)
guitar feature two knobs (volume, tone)
guitar feature trapeze tailpiece
guitar feature single bound pickguard
guitar feature carved spruce top
guitar feature northern maple back and rim
guitar feature golden sunburst top
guitar feature chocolate brown finish side and back
guitar feature slender f-holes
guitar feature ebony adjustable bridge
guitar feature white ivoroid binding
guitar feature nickel tuners with ivory heads
guitar feature Gibson adjustable truss rod neck
guitar feature 19 frets with dot inlays

The ES-150 was immediately embraced by guitarist Eddie Durham, who was widely acknowledged as the first to record electric guitar solos in 1938 with the Kansas City Six. Durham converted banjoist Floyd Smith, who played an ES-150 on the seminal track "Floyd's Guitar Blues" in March 1939. Durham also converted Charlie Christian, who in his brief career became the most visible and significant player of the ES-150. In fact, the bar pickup of the instrument was soon to be renamed the "Charlie Christian pickup" due to its popularization by the famed guitarist. Christian used the ES-150 to produce the flowing, horn-like lines and warm woody tone that to this day epitomize jazz guitar.

Gibson ES 150 with Charlie Christian Pickup
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