Before the purchase of a Blues guitar you should consider yourself exactly how you want to sound like. E.g. How is the sound of your favourite guitarplayer?It´s very annoying if you don´t get the good Stevie Ray Vaughan only because you bought the wrong guitar.
Actually this question the most important if you want to buy a Bluesguitar and usually it comes to the same result: Fender or Gibson? These two brands influenced the sound of every guitar player and they split them into two factions.
Both brands differ not only outwardly, but particularly in the sound. Responsible for the sound are the pick-ups. Gibson used so called Humbucker pick-ups, that are pick-ups with 2 coils, while Fender primarily uses the so-called Single-Coils that are pick-ups, which consist of an individual coil.
Like that the sound of the Les Paul and their closer and more distant relatives, stands for the fat Humbucker sounds while the Stratocaster however stood for the typically spicy, clean and more bluesy Single-Coil sound.
Naturally this separation (Fender = Singlecoil, Gibson = Humbucker) was given up and some Stratocaster guitars had a mix of Humbucker and Single-Coil pick-ups, e.g for the Artist Signature models from Iron Maiden or Eddie van Halen.
Subsidiaries: Both Fender and Gibson have subsidiaries, which make licenced reproductions of the expensive original guitars. They often offer good quality for a little money. Gibson guitars are built under license by the company Epiphone, who is inferior to the originals in price achievement in nothing. Fender drives its low-priced models under the label Squier out.
Naturally should you before the purchase of a guitar test both marks, in addition, the sound of your favourite guitarists can be an assistance there. If you want to sound like SRV you shouldn´t buy a Gibson guitar ;-)
Typical Gibson ES -335 players: B.B. King, Freddie King, John Lee Hooker
Typical Gibson Les Paul players: Eric Clapon (Bluesbreaker years) Gary Moore, Jimmy Page
Typical Fender Stratocaster players: Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, SRV, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Clapton
Typical Fender Telecaster players: Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Jonny Lang
Now we take a closer look on these two companies and their guitars to help you to decide which guitar would be the best for you.
And you will find some soundsamples on the following pages played with a Fender or Gibson Guitar to give you an impression of the typical sound of these guitars!