Country music's origins trace back to the 1920s and artists such as Vernon Dalhart, Jimmy Rodgers and Gene Autry. Since the early days of country music, the guitar has been one of the centrepieces of the style's signature sound. While any guitar can be used to play any type of music, some guitars are better suited to country music than others. Electric guitars with snappy sounding single-coil pickups tend to be the guitars of choice for country pickers.
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The Gibson ES-150 is one of the most famous semi-hollow body guitars ever created. First produced in 1936, these guitars were shunned by many of the southeastern country musicians, but southwestern swing bands took to them instantly. Semi-hollow instruments like the ES-150 were also the instruments of choice for early rockabilly musicians. If you play a style of country music that incorporates facets of these styles, a Gibson ES-150 (or another ES model guitar) may be the instrument for you.
Gretsch is a high-quality guitar manufacturer with extremely versatile instruments. Gretsch has an entire line of electric guitars dedicated to country pioneer Chet Atkins that are perfect for playing country music. They also offer a line of guitars known as "Country Club" guitars that are well suited for country music. Many Gretsch guitars are hollow-body instruments similar to the Gibson ES-150, but they also offer an acclaimed line of solid body guitars under the name Duo Jet.
Among modern country musicians, like Brad Paisley and Vince Gill, the Fender Telecaster is the solid-body guitar of choice. The Telecaster's single-coil pickup is perfect for creating the signature country "twang." Fender produces several different types of Telecasters, so it is a good idea to visit a guitar shop and try a few different models before purchasing one.
If you have tried various Gibsons, Gretschs and Fenders and found none that you particularly like, try different guitars. Although these types of guitars have been used commonly throughout the history of country music, they are not the only types of instruments that work for the style. You may want to find out what type of guitars your favourite country musicians play and look into that company's instruments. You may find a guitar that feels right to you even though you know of no country musicians who use that brand. When picking a guitar, the most important things are sound and playability.
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