The 335 – the most versatile guitar in the world?

The ES-335 was the world’s first commercial thinline archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar (also known as “semi-hollowbody” or “thinline”). Originally released by Gibson in 1958, it is neither fully hollow nor fully solid. Instead, a solid maple wood block runs through the centre of its body. The side “wings” formed by the two “cutaways” into its upper bouts are hollow, and the top has two violin-style f-holes over the hollow chambers.

Recommended listening:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll – just about any recording or live performance by Chuck Berry
  • Blues – Eric Clapton with Cream at the Royal Albert Hall on 26th November 1968
  • Rock – Ritchie Blackmore with Deep Purple at the Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 24th September 1969
  • Indie – just about any recording or live performance by Noel Gallagher with Oasis

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get hold of one or to enjoy playing one of these fantastic guitars. Whilst a Gibson 335 will cost you around £2,500 you can pick up a Washburn HB30 for around £280, which I actually use.