It is quite impossible for a rock n roll fan to not know who Chuck Berry is. His first hit Maybelline was a global success, but Chuck Berry didn’t stop there. He went on to have other iconic hits throughout his career, and some of these hits are rock and roll music, school days, roll over beethoven, Johnny B Goode, and sweet little sixteen. What guitar did chuck berry play is a question so many people are yet to find answers to, but there is a reason for this.
During Chuck Berry’s time, he was known to have used several guitars. Some of the guitars used by Chuck Berry includes;
- Gibson ES-350T
- Gibson ES-3ON TN
- Kay K-161 Thin Twin
- Gretsch 6120
- Gretsch 6121 Roudup
- Gretsch G6131 DC
Back in 1958, the ES-355 guitar found its way to the market. It was in the same 1958 Chuck Berry released the hit Sweet Little Sixteen, and it is a known fact that Chuck Berry made use of the ES-355 guitar in the same year till he died. Following the hit song Maybelline, so many singers and guitarists all over the world have desperately been looking for ways they can sing and play like Chuck Berry.
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Musicians like Angus Young and Keith Richards who have played the guitar all have Chuck Berry to thank as they see him as a source of inspiration for their music. The same goes for so many other young musicians and guitarists out there who share the same view of Chuck Berry. The innovation of Chuck Berry’s type of music is one of the foundation of rock and roll music all over the world today.
Described as the grand daddy of rock and roll music, Chuck Berry was also familiar with the Gibson brand of guitars. There are so many pictures taken of Chuck Berry during his time that showed he was always with the ES-335 guitar, and there is a notion that this guitar was always provided for Berry when he needed to perform so he never had to struggle with flying from one place to another with a guitar.
On other occasions, Chuck Berry was also pictured with the Gibson ES-330 guitar, and one outstanding feature of this guitar was the fact that it had a hollow body. Fast forward to 1980, Chuck Berry developed love for another guitar, and this guitar was the BB King Gibson which was used by Kenny Rogers at that time. Surprisingly, this was the guitar used by Kenny Rogers when he released one of his songs titled Lucille.
In his later years before his death, Chuck Berry also made use of other guitar types. There were times when he was spotted with a Gibson Flying Red Cherry guitar in 1967, and there were other times when he made use of the Gibson Super 400 guitar. You can see for yourself that Chuck Berry was a huge fan of the Gibson guitars, and the whereabouts of some of Chuck Berry’s guitars remain unknown till date.
There are some that are in museums, but no one will ever find the Gibson ES-335 guitar as Chuck Berry was buried with it when he died in 2017.
What Guitar Did Chuck Berry Play
Early Life Of Chuck Berry
Born Charles Berry on the eighteenth of October 1926 and died on the eighteenth of March 2017, Chuck Berry was one of the greatest rock n roll musicians the world has ever seen. He was an American singer and songwriter, and he was a pioneer of the rock n roll music till he earned the name the grand daddy of rock n roll music. Redefining the rhythm and blues music is one of Chuck Berry’s unique attributes, and these elements formed the rock music.
He has several hit singles during his time which we have already mentioned earlier on in this post, but his songs were mainly written to attract the youths at that time since they were his biggest listeners. Chuck Berry was a skilled singer and songwriter which explained why he could have such a huge fan base all over the world, and he created a style of music where the player has to exhibit his skills while playing the guitar. This was what made him stand out.
Influencing rock music greatly is yet another feather to Chuck Berry’s hat, and he already started showing interest in music from a very tender age. He gave his first performance while in high school, but he was also sentenced for murder when he was still in high school. He spent four years at a reform school, but he later got married and settled down after his release.
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Just like every other guitarists out there, there are strings that they enjoy or love to play with. The acoustic guitar strings or flatwound guitar strings were the strings Chuck Berry made use of in his time, and the reason for using these strings was because they were the only strings available as at that time. Another question that might be asked is what amps did Chuck Berry use.
Chuck Berry made use of an Epiphone which was his first ever amp, but he moved to making use of the Fender Dual Showman reverb after some time. He also made use of the Orange Top amps too. However, one surprising fact is that Chuck Berry has no history or records of making use of effect pedals. However, anyone trying to sound close or sound just like Chuck Berry should consider trying out the CatalinBread Formula 5F6 Tweed Bassman Pedal.
Just like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, Chuck Berry was regarded as the grand dad of rock music. He also played other music like country, ballads, calypso, and blues. This shows how versatile the man was in his time, and there were only very few musicians who could express this level of versatility when it comes to making music. If you want to sound like Chuck Berry, you can only achieve that when dedication and constant practice comes to play.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.