The Different Electric Guitar Bodies and Shapes

There is no hiding the fact that the guitar is the most well known instrument, as well as the most sought out instrument to learn how to play.  When picking the guitar that you want to purchase, you need to know the guitar that will give you the sound you are searching for, or contribute to it at least.  There are several different guitar body styles, and they each create a different tone.  The guitar bodies and shapes we will discuss were created by Fender and Gibson. The different guitar bodies consist of some configuration between single coil and humbucking pickups.  Here are the different guitar bodies and shapes:

Fender Stratocaster Guitar Bodies

1979 Fender Stratocaster

History of the Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster or "Strat" as it is sometimes called was created in 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares.  The Fender Stratocaster is the most recognized of guitar body styles.  The Fender Stratocaster has 3 single coil pickups, and usually has a Tremelo bridge.

Most Famous Fender Stratocaster Players

Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Buddy Holly

Best Genres for Fender Stratocaster

It is used in many different genres, but it fits most perfectly in the blues genre.  The Fender Strat has great clean tones and lower amounts of gain.

The Guitar We Can Afford

Squier Bullet

The Guitar We Want

Fender American Professional Stratocaster

Fender Telecaster Guitar Bodies

Fender Telecaster

History of the Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster, sometimes called a "Tele", was released in 1950 by Leo Fender.  Before being called the Telecaster, it was called the Broadcaster.  The Fender Telecaster body is a single cutaway with what is called an ashtray bridge and single coil pickups.

Most Famous Fender Telecaster Players

Keith Richards, Clarence White, Merle Haggard, Jack White, Waylon Jennings, Dwight Yoakam, and James Burton

Best Genres for Fender Telecaster

It is known mostly for its use in the country genre, but it will sound good with any genre that doesn't use heavy amounts of distortion.

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Squier Affinity Telecaster

The Guitar We Want

Fender Standard Telecaster

Super Strat Guitar Bodies

Fender Superstrat

History of the Super Strat

The Super Strat style became popular during the 1980's.  While it can look like a Stratocaster, the pickups and bridge give the Super Strat a different tone.  The Super Strat uses humbucking pickups and most commonly a Floyd Rose style bridge.

Most Famous Super Strat Players

Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai

Best Genres for Super Strat

This guitar body style is best used in a genre with heavy amounts of distortion.  Therefore, the super strat works great for hard rock and metal.

The Guitar We Can Afford

The Guitar We Want

Fender American Special Stratocaster HSS

Gibson Les Paul Guitar Bodies

Gibson Les Paul

History of the Les Paul Guitar

The exact year that the Les Paul was invented is a little difficult to determine as it was a work in progress with many hands in the designing of it.  One person, of course being Les Paul.  It was, however, debuted in 1952.  The original Les Paul featured two P-90 pickups, and in modern day is known to have two PAF Humbucking pickups.

Most Famous Les Paul Players

Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Joe Walsh, Slash, Billy Gibbons, Randy Rhoads, and Zakk Wylde

Best Genres For Les Paul

It is great for any use with distortion.  In other words, it can be a great guitar for most genres.  Known mostly in rock music, and not recommended for most country (consider the distortion aspect).

The Guitar We Can Afford

Epiphone Les Paul Special II

The Guitar We Want

Gibson Les Paul Tribute

Gibson SG Guitar Bodies

Gibson SG

History of Gibson SG

The Gibson SG was released in 1961.  At that time, it was called "Gisbon Les Paul SG."  The SG Standard is Gibson's best selling guitar of all time.  In case you were wondering, SG is short for "solid guitar."  The Gibson SG has a double cutaway and consists of two humbucking pickups.

Most Famous Gibson SG Players

Angus Young, Tony Iommi, Frank Zappa, and Derek Trucks

Best Genres For Gibson SG

Similar to a Les Paul.  It is great for genres that use distortion.  Mostly used in rock music, and not suited for most country.

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Epiphone SG Special

The Guitar We Want

Gibson SG Standard 2018

Gibson Flying V Guitar Bodies

Gibson Flying V

History of the Flying V

The Gibson Flying V guitar was released in 1958.  The Flying V typically has two humbucking pickups.

Most Famous Flying V Players

Albert King, Lonnie Mack, and K.K. Downing

Best Genres For Flying V

Similar to Les Pauls and SGs, the Flying V is great for genres with distortion.  Mostly known in hard rock and metal genres.

The Guitar We Want

Gibson Flying V

Offset (Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Mustang) Guitar Bodies


Fender Jaguar


Fender Jazzmaster


Fender Mustang

The offset guitar body style includes the Jaguar, Jazzmaster, and Mustang styles.  This style has a very bright sound, which makes them great for effects.  Also good as a rhythm instrument.  Good to note that these are typically affordable guitars too!

Most Famous Offset Players

Kurt Cobain, Johnny Marr, and Thurston Moore

Best Genres for Offset Guitars

Due to being good with effects, they can be used with a lot of different genres as long as they are effect heavy.  Mostly in alternative styles.

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Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar

The Guitar We Want

Fender Player Jaguar

Gibson Explorer Guitar Bodies

Gibson Explorer

History of Gibson Explorer

The Gibson Explorer was introduced in 1958 for a futuristic design.  The Explorer guitar has 2 humbucking pickups.

Most Famous Gibson Explorer Players

James Hetfield and Matt Heafy

Best Genres for Gibson Explorer

Because of the two humbucking pickups, the Explorer is best suited for genres with distortion similar to the Flying V and Les Paul. Best suited for hard rock and metal.

The Guitar We Can Afford

Epiphone Explorer

Gibson Firebird Guitar Bodies

Gibson Firebird

History of Gibson Firebird

The Gibson Firebird was released in 1963.  It looks similar to the explorer body, but it has softer points.  The Firebird can have one, two, or three humbucking pickups.

Most Famous Gibson Firebird Players

Mick Taylor, Johnny Winter, and Allen Collins

Best Genres for Gibson Firebird

Similar to the Gibson Explorer, the Firebird is great for genres with distortion due to its humbucking pickups.  Best suited for rock music.

Semi-Hollow and Hollow Body

Semi Hollow Body Guitar

About Semi-Hollow and Hollow Body

While we lumped these guitars together, they are very different, but yet have a similar goal.  The semi-hollow body guitar has a solid center block inside of the guitar while a hollow body does not.

Most Famous Semi-Hollow and Hollow Players

BB King, John Lennon, and Dan Auerbach

Best Genres for Semi-Hollow and Hollow

These guitars are great for lower amounts of distortion such as jazz and clean blues.  However, musicians like Dan Auerbach uses it with his fuzz sound purposely working with the feedback from the instrument.

The Guitar We Want

Gretsch Streamliner

In conclusion, you can see that there are several different types of electric guitar bodies and shapes available, and they all alter the sound that is produced in a different way.  Knowing the different guitar bodies and shapes can help you purchase the guitar that is right for you.  Even the cheaper guitars still aren't cheap, so make sure you get the right guitar for you!  If you have any questions, never hesitate to contact us through our contact us page found here.