I gotta tell ya… I’ve got a new love, and it’s in the form of my new Gretsch G5122DC Electromatic. I’ve been playing it at my solo acoustic gigs, and I’ve been playing it at my church gigs. It’s an incredibly versatile axe! Clean, it has a very natural, acoustic tone, and even though the pickups have enough gain to push an amp into overdrive, it helps to use a drive pedal to give it that extra oomph. Of course, I use the Timmy that retains my guitar’s tone, and I just LOVE the overdrive tone this guitar produces!
Which brings me to the title of this article: Why have I avoided hollow body guitars for so long? It’s probably because I always equated them to jazz guitars, and I was always pretty much a straight-up, four-on-the-floor rock and folk guy. So it was either an acoustic or a solid- or semi-hollow body guitar for me.
But then I completely overlooked one of my very favorite rock guitarists: Ted Nugent. I forgot that back in the 70’s, that madman used a Gibson Byrdland, and he totally ROCKED THE HOUSE!!! The sounds he could get out of that guitar were incredible!
After having used my own Electromatic for the last few weeks, like I mentioned above, I’m totally in love! Clean, dirty, you name it, the guitar can do it. It is definitely going to be a part of my arsenal from now on.
What about my Les Pauls? Don’t get me wrong, they’re not collecting dust. I’m still playing them, and to be honest, while the Electromatic sounds great in overdrive, the natural sustain and the balls-out power of my Les Pauls just can’t be matched. But the Gretsch has a completely different sound than my LP’s, and when I need that particular sound, that’s what I’ll play. But to be frank, I probably won’t be using it too much for my rock gigs; that’s what I have the LP’s and my Strat for. But the Electromatic has completely replaced my acoustics at my acoustic gigs. It has an acoustic enough sound to pass for an acoustic guitar, but the tone is so much more smooth and mid-rangy.
If you get a chance, try one out. Its sound will blow you away! And at less than $700, you get a gorgeous-looking and -sounding guitar.