Gibson Guitars: From Mandolin to MaGIC

The Origins And Progressions Of The Gibson Guitar


Gibson has become a household name and often comes to mind when thinking of quality guitars, but you may be surprised at its humble beginnings. It all began in Michigan where a modest man named Orville Gibson founded his company based on his mandolin making abilities. He was confident in his skills and made distinctive mandolins that were carved with strikingly accurate precision. His unique mandolin design was innovative and caught the attention of musicians since the instrument's tones were hauntingly beautiful and distinct. Since the mandolins could be created in large numbers, due to his improved design, he began manufacturing them in large batches to raise his company's popularity.


From Small Beginnings To An Overwhelming Demand


As Gibson progressed to guitar making he incorporated the archtop design, commonly found on violins, into his guitar's body. This drew attention to his company since he was doing things his own way, and with a creative touch, instead of following the traditional guitar designs that were popular at the time with his competitors. In 1894, Gibson opened his own personal workshop in Michigan that consisted of only one room. This allowed him to continue creating his instruments while his popularity continued to rise. While he still had the chance, Gibson patented his archtop design in 1898 to keep it unique to the brand and to reduce the likelihood of copycatters. Gibson continued to pour his heart and soul into his work all the way up until his death in 1918, due to complications that were caused by an inflamed heart.


The Gibson Name Lives On Despite Orville's Unfortunate Death


Originally named the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd., the company continued to sell and patent their instruments after Orville's death. The Gibson enterprise finally hit their big break in 1930 when they introduced their first electric guitar, known as the ES-150. The electric guitar was a hit among buyers and the word spread rapidly of their existence. This reaction alone became a good indication of their growing popularity, but it was just the beginning and soon enough Gibson was bound to take over the United States with a vengeance. This was like a spark that ignited the forest fire, since the brand began to spread like wildfire across the nation.


How Gibson Grew Their Brand And Remain A Top Seller Today


As the company expanded, so did their inventory and when they joined forces with guitarist Les Paul it led to the creation of their most legendary electric guitar model. This model was the Les Paul solid body electric guitar, which was designed to compete with another popular company known as Fender. As the years passed, Gibson stood its ground and remained a big name in the world of guitars. Because of the high quality materials used, and the precise craftsmanship put into each and every guitar, Gibson continued to surpass expectations and provided its players with dependable instruments with innovative designs. A few notable guitars were the Flying V, Explorer, Firebird, Les Paul, and a newer body design, the SG.


Gibson Uses Marketing To Reach The Population At Large


As Gibson continued to produce quality instruments, they began selling variations of their designs under separate brand names that included the Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger, Slingerland and more. These strategies, along with many others, were Gibson's way of enhancing their sales and outreach. Gibson chose to team up with a variety of notable players, designers, and other big names to ensure that their products would continue to remain in high demand. Gibson continued to use these and other smart strategies to help them take full advantage of any opportunities that happened to present themselves. As the years passed different guest designers joined forces with Gibson, such as the music industry's own Ted McCarty and legendary Les Paul, to produce ongoing electric and acoustic guitar models to please even the most pickiest of guitar purchasers.


The MaGIC Solution For Computer Based Audio


Gibson MaGIC is a technologically advanced digital audio soundboard that uses an Ethernet-based protocol to eliminate the need for analogue. With the new digital connection a performer reaps a series of benefits that include superior sound quality, an easy to install program, multi-channel support, the ability to power digital instruments, and unique adaptability that allows for the use of MaGIC in combination with other digital interfaces.


Gibson Guitars: In Retrospect


When considering that Gibson guitars began as a personal vision in one young man's mind, it can be awe inspiring to look back at the series of events leading up to the company's success. Determination and hard work paid off for Orville Gibson, and his innovative designs are still favoured among many top leading guitarists today. Many popular guitarists are known for choosing Gibson, including Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds, legendary guitar soloist Buckethead, Alex Lifeson of Rush, Eric Clapton of Cream, and Steve Clark of Def Leppard. Barely scratching the surface, the players of Gibson guitars are numerous, and the numbers only continue to grow as players purchase Gibson guitars for their recording and live performance needs.


Joseph Sedillo is a guitarist and Gibson aficionado. He enjoys writing about many music-related topics. For more about Gibson guitar, click here.


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