Top Ten Guitar Models Used by The Beatles

Throughout the 1960s, The Beatles used a variety of guitars and basses. Hofner, Rickenbacker, and Gretsch all received a tremendous boost in popularity due to the Beatles' popularity and influence, and they spent the late 1960s using various Gibson, Fender, and Epiphone models in the studio. I did my best to rank these instruments by how closely they are associated with The Beatles. It's also worth noting that the photographs are not exact photos of their gear; I just wanted to give you a rough visual idea.

The Top Ten

Hofner 500/1 Hofner 500/1 Product Image

Paul McCartney bought his first Hofner bass while the Beatles performed in Hamburg, Germany. He liked it because it was lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and perfectly symmetrical.

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Easily one of the most iconic Bass Models ever.

This looks like a violin.

This is Pauls most iconic bass.

Rickenbacker 360/12 Rickenbacker 360/12 Product Image

George Harrison received the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made, and he frequently used it during the "Beatlemania" years.

Rickenbackers so good, if only they made more rightie guitars

Rickenbacker 325 Rickenbacker 325 Product Image

John Lennon bought his first Rickenbacker while also in Hamburg. His first Rickenbacker was blonde and later painted black. The company later gave him an updated 325 with a better truss rod.

Gretsch Country Gentleman Gretsch Country Gentleman Product Image

George Harrison used a Country Gentleman from 1963 to 1965. One of these guitars fell off their equipment truck and was destroyed, while the other ended up in the hands of Ringo Starr.

Epiphone Casino Epiphone Casino Product Image

Paul bought one in 1964, a right handed guitar which he strung upside down. John and George bought theirs a year later and used them frequently. John later sanded the finish off his guitar, inspiring George to do the same because "it sounded better".

Rickenbacker 4001 Rickenbacker 4001 Product Image

Rickenbacker gave Paul a 4001 bass, which he used frequently on Revolver and Sgt Pepper. He said that the Rickenbacker had a much thicker bass tone than the Hofner.

Epiphone Texan Epiphone Texan Product Image

Paul bought a right handed Texan and strung it upside down. He used it most famously on "Yesterday".

Finally a guitar that looks like a guitar...

Fender Stratocaster Fender Stratocaster Product Image

Mal Evans, their roadie, bought John and George two identical blue Stratocasters in 1965. George gave his Stratocaster a psychedelic paint job two years later and named it "Rocky".

Gibson SG Gibson SG Product Image

George Harrison used an SG in the studio until 1968, when he gave it to Pete Ham of Badfinger.

Didn't their SG get sold for like $500K or something

Gibson Les Paul Gibson Les Paul Product Image

Eric Clapton gave George Harrison a red Gibson Les Paul; George named it "Lucy" because it reminded him of Lucille Ball (who was a redhead). When George invited Eric to record the solo to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", he said "I have the perfect guitar for you to use". Sure enough, it was Lucy.

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