What Guitar Does Billy Gibbons Use

What Guitar Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy plays mostly Gibson guitars and in particular a sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard that he bought from a farmer in Houston Texas for $250 in 1968. He called the guitar “Pearly Gates” which was also the name of the car he sold to pay for the guitar. That guitar has been used by Billy on every ZZ Top recording since the band first formed in 1969.

What Kind Of Guitar Does Billy Gibbons Play?

Billy’s first electric guitar was a sunburst Gibson Melody Maker which he received for his 13th birthday. He is reported as owning more than 450 guitars and has played many guitars over the years including;

  • 1965 Fender ‘California’ Jaguar
  • Gibson Les Paul Gold-top
  • Bolin Billy-Bo Pro
  • Bolin/Gretsch Bo Diddley
  • 1963 Fender Jazzmaster
  • John Bolin Supermodel Esquire
  • 1955 Fender Stratocaster
  • 1983 Gibson Explorer
  • 1963 Fender Esquire
  • John Bolin Broadcaster
  • 1961 Gibson SG
  • Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird
  • Dean ML
  • Bolin Guitars ‘Tiki’
  • Neiman Marcus Custom BFG SG
  • Moix ‘KruiZZerhed’ Custom
  • 1952 Fender Broadcaster
  • Nacho Baños De Valencia Leo Fender Special
  • Headless Fender Stratocaster
  • Bolin Guitars Jellybean
  • 1958 Gibson Flying V
  • And many more

Who Has Billy Gibbons Worked With During His Long Career?

During Billy’s long career he has worked with many famous artists including;

  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Jeff Beck
  • Slash
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Mike Flanigin
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Vivian Campbell
  • B.B. King
  • Greg Morrow
  • Kid Rock
  • Jim Jarmusch
  • Sammy Hagar
  • Social Distortion
  • Joe Hardy
  • Lou Reed
  • Ben Harper
  • Eric Johnson
  • Dusty Hill
  • Everlast
  • John Mayall
  • Al Jourgensen
  • Mike Ness
  • Frank “Rube” Beard
  • Roky Erickson
  • the Raconteurs
  • Nickelback
  • Les Paul
  • GG Maartine
  • Ronnie Dunn
  • Rick Nielsen
  • And many more

What Strings Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy uses Dunlop Rev. Willy’s Lottery super light gauge strings for regular playing and 8 gauge for slide guitar.

What Amps Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Fender guitar amp

Billy uses Marshall amps, his main amp is a 1968 Marshall Super Lead 100W but he also uses;

  • Fender Bassman
  • Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb, Marshall Bluesbreaker
  • JMP-1 Preamps
  • Fender Dual Professional
  • Fender Super
  • JTM45
  • Fender Tweed Deluxe

What Effects Pedals Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy changes the effects he uses on a regular basis but he has used or is using the following;

  • Devi Ever Effects
  • Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone
  • MXR Bass Octave Deluxe
  • Metasonix Agonizer
  • Dallas Rangemaster
  • Austone Textone Fuzz Nutz
  • Bizzarktone Ring Modulator
  • Z.Vex Super Hard-on
  • Marshall Supa Fuzz
  • Tubeworks Real Tube
  • DigiTech MEQ Mono 28 MIDI Programmable Equalizer
  • Samson UR5D Wireless Unit
  • Blackstone Appliances
  • Colorsound Wah-Swell
  • Bixonic Expandora Overdrive
  • Boss SE-70 Super Effects Processor
  • SIB Varidrive
  • Dearmond Tremolo Control
  • Analog Man effects
  • RJM Music RG-16 Rack Audio Loop Switcher
  • Gooby Bag of Dicks
  • Chandler Tube Driver
  • Foxx Tone Machines
  • Black Cat Overdrive
  • Furman PL-8 II Power Conditioner
  • Pro Analog effects

What Pickups Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy uses standard pick-ups in many of his straight guitars and in his custom built models he prefers Billy F Gibbons (BFG) Banger humbucker pick-ups.

What Chords Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy uses minimum movement when playing chords, he uses dyads or 5ths but often played inverted using only the two notes on the same fret. For instance instead of playing G5 on the 6th string 3rd fret and 5th string 5th fret 4th string 5th fret, he just plays 5th fret 5th and 4th strings and omitting the 6th string note.

This allows Billy to change chords faster which is where a lot of his riffs originate. This makes playing easier, and allows for faster chord progression.

What Pick Does Billy Gibbons Use?

Billy uses Dunlop Custom cleaf orange extra heavy Gel picks. He often uses a Mexican peso coin as a pick too (even thicker).

What Kind Of Music Does Billy Gibbons Play?

Billy plays blues, hard rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock and boogie rock music.

How To Play Guitar Like Billy Gibbons

To play guitar like Billy Gibbons you will need to play a Gibson guitar or one that sounds similar. He plays using plenty of minor pentatonic scales double-stops (5ths). Billy is a master of the minimalist playing style, using just two or three strings in around a four or five fret area. You’ll need plenty of rich tone and a relaxed playing style.

What Age Did Billy Gibbons Learn Guitar?

Billy was 13 when he got his first electric guitar (A sunburst Gibson Melody Maker). His first bands were “The Saints”, “Billy G and the Blueflames” and “the Coachmen”. When he was 18 he formed the band “The moving sidewalk” which found some fame, opening for Jimi Hendrix during Hendrix’s first American tour as a headline star.

He then formed ZZ Top along with Bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Rube Beard. Their first album was released in 1971.

Frequently Asked Questions

What guitars does Billy Gibbons use?

Billy uses his 1959 Gibson Les Paul that he named Pearly Gates most of the time.

How many guitars does Billy Gibbons have?

Billy Gibbons has more than 450 guitars.

What guitar did Billy Gibbons play on La Grange?

On La Grange Billy Gibbons plays a 1955 Fender Stratocaster.

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