Gibson Guitars have a long history. Originally a man named Orville Gibson obtained his first patent for a musical instrument in the late 1800's and so began the start of the company that was to become an electric and acoustic guitar standard. Most guitar players automatically think of the Les Paul Guitar when the name Gibson is mentioned, although a few purists will probably relate to their iconic acoustics.
The next time you are out on a Saturday night listening to your favorite local band, take a close look at the guitars being used. There is better than an even money chance that he will be playing a Les Paul model guitar. The Les Paul is probably one of the most copied guitar out there. Gibson Guitars are expensive and beyond the price range of most local musicians but great copies abound. In fact, you can buy a tremendous vintage Japanese copy from the 60's or 70's for several hundred dollars and a modern Chinese copy for a lot less! If you look around on the Internet, you can easily find those worth buying.
If you have any friends who play the guitar, next time you are talking to them, ask them which guitars they play. You will find that most have a Les Paul copy, one of the cheaper Fender Stratocasters, and an Acoustic or Acoustic Electric.
The sound of the Les Paul is distinctive. It has two Humbucker pickups. A Humbucker pickup is two individual pickups in one package, wired to have opposite polarity. Any noise will appear on both and will cancel thereby almost eliminating that annoying guitar amplifier hum that you live with if you have one of the classic Fender models. The humbucker is wound with a lot of turns of wire, and that gives the Les Paul that distinctive sound that electric Gibson Guitars are noted for having. That sound is grungy and loud, doesn't ring, like the single coil pickups used on the Fender, but is just made for modern genres of Rock and Roll.
The Gibson Guitars Les Paul takes a bit of effort to handle during a gig; it is a substantial guitar that has a real solid feel. The only other downside for those who love its sound is that if you drop it, you will probably have repairs to be made. That angled headstock snaps when drops so if you have one, be careful! There are a ton of Gibson Guitars looking to have their headstock fixed. It is an easy repair though.
Epiphone is associated with Gibson Guitars and even uses their names on some of their models. Epiphone was originall a Japanese company which was bought by Gibson somewhere along the line. They are reasonably priced alternative to Gibson.If you happen to search Amazon for Gibson Guitars, you will find only a handful, but you will find plenty of Gibson Tuners, Pickups and other hardware. A lot of musicians buy a copy and then upgrade the hardware. It is a nice way to get that Gibson Guitars feel at a only a fraction of the price! If you are handy with a screwdriver, this might be an option. I have an Oscar Schmidt Les Paul copy that I paid about a hundred and fifty dollars for and with a little work, I ended up with a nice guitar!
One note of caution, very few electric and acoustic guitars are playable right out of the box. The neck usually needs to be adjusted, the intonation has to be set and you might need the guitar nut set up. It pays to take it to your local shop to have these things done. A child can become frustrated and playing a guitar with a bad setup is very difficult. If you are handy, do a little research and you can do it yourself and save money. Often the setup can change with the seasons so learning how to do this type of maintenence is well worth your while!
So if your child is looking to play modern Rock, take a look at a copy of a Gibson Guitars Les Paul. He can get a real one after he becomes a rock star and pay for it on his dime!
I have included a couple of Gibson Guitars in the products I feature, but you will mostly find Epiphones and Oscar Schmidts. After all, this is a kids guitar site!
Here is a Gibson Guitars muscian!
Next that famous Gibson Guitars Headstock! Notice the angle between the headstock and fretboard.