The Most Surprising Subjects For A Signature Guitar
There are many ways a guitarist can be immortalised beyond their music, and given the inventiveness and creativity inherent to playing at a high level, you get some rather unique examples.
Some guitarists such as the legendary Tony Levin invent entirely new accessories for guitar such as the Funk Fingers, most famously used on the Peter Gabriel song Big Time.
For most, however, the biggest dream is to receive a signature guitar, which in theory is a version of a guitar they already play specially designed to help them get the best out of their instrument through the use of specific parts and alterations to the design.
Unquestionably the most famous electric guitar design in existence was in itself a signature guitar; Les Paul was a blues guitarist for eight decades, and he was crucial to the development and popularity of one of the world’s most iconic guitars.
Other subjects for a signature guitar are somewhat less conventional. Some of them are not even guitarists at all, and some are not even real.
Epiphone Goryo Yuto Les Paul Standard
The immediate question that comes to mind when hearing that Gibson Guitars have created a custom model for guitarist Yuto Goryo is to ask who he is, which is actually a surprisingly tricky question given that he is not real.
Yuto Goryo is a fictional guitarist for the fictional band Argonavis, which is part of the Japanese BanG Dream musical franchise by Bushiroad.
As amazing as it is that Gibson would make a signature model based on a musician that does not exist, they are simply following the trend; ESP launched a model based on the virtual pop star Hatsune Miku, and the Fender Custom Shop made something called the Asuka Telecaster.
The latter character has nothing to do whatsoever with music so heaven knows what the justification is there.
Nigel Tuffnel, guitarist of England’s loudest band Spinal Tap, famously wants a guitar that can give you that little extra push over the edge and the pursuit of 11 has led to a truly strange custom edition in 1992.
Ernie Ball Music Man designed a guitar all around the fictional guitarist that became known as Mr Horsepower. Only 25 were made, but how many other guitars have seven pickups and a tachometer?
At least you are allowed to point at this one.
ESP E-II MF-9 Babymetal
Babymetal is a truly unique trailblazing musical outfit, but whilst their crunching low-end guitar is a distinct part of their sound alongside the duo's J-Pop vocals, they are not exactly the first subject that comes to mind when it comes to bands that need a signature guitar.
However, ESP, fresh off of releasing a Hatsune Miku guitar, put an alarming amount of effort into the E-II MF-9; it has nine strings, a single high-output pickup and custom Metal Galaxy-themed artwork.
It is very good for the exceptional levels of distortion typically seen in a Babymetal record, which is surprising in and of itself, but it is limited to exactly one setup window. It’s perfect for playing Karate or Gimme Chocolate, however.