Eric Painter Discusses His Favorite Guitars of All Time

Eric Painter loves playing his guitars at home and on stage and takes great care to only have the best possible guitars in his collection. Those who think a great guitar isn’t essential to a player’s sound are not guitar players or haven’t heard nasty guitars. Recently, he discussed his five favorite guitar models of all time and examined a few fantastic examples of players who used them.

Eric Painter: My Top 5 Guitar Models Ever

Over the years, Eric Painter has played many guitar types and has discovered that the most popular types are often the best. Professional guitar players are not slackers, and they only choose the best possible models for their playing needs. For example, the number of players who use the Fender Stratocaster has only increased in recent years and is likely to skyrocket even more.

Since its debut in 1954, the Stratocaster has introduced things like a double-cutaway design that makes accessing strings easier and multiple switchable pickups that create various tones and styles. The sheer number of players who’ve picked up this instrument makes it hard to highlight them all. But names like Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, and Eric Johnson should do the talking.

Those who cannot afford a Strat or prefer a heavier or more diverse sound may enjoy the Gibson Les Paul. Eric Painter has found these guitars possess a resonant tone and various playing options at a reasonable price. The best Les Paul players start with the guitar’s inventor, the inventive and skilled Les Paul, and masters like Jimmy Page, Slash, Billy Gibbons, Randy Rhoads, and Gary Moore.

As you can see, many of the best guitars are commonly used for hard rock or even heavy metal. But what if you’re not much of a rock fan but love playing your Chet Akins country licks or enjoying some lighter blues sounds? The Telecaster has your name on it! The first solid-body electric guitar includes two coil pickups and is rocked by players like Merle Haggard, Vince Gil, and Brad Paisley, though even rock players like Keith Richards and Tom Morello make it sing.

Here’s something that may surprise many guitar players: a guitar that isn’t a Gibson or Fender! However, the PRS Custom 24 is a model that Eric Painter loves because of its solid design and unique sounds. It comes with a high level of detail and a unique sound that made it an almost immediate hit when it debuted in the 80s and earlier.

One thing it does very well is producing a consistent tone for jazz players. Experienced shredders like Carlos Santana, Al DiMeola, and John Mayer use the PRS Custom 24 during extended improvisations with their groups. However, rock-oriented players like Creed and Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti and Rush’s Alex Lifeson have turned these jazz-ready guitars into beautiful rock instruments.

The Gibson SG is one of those fantastic guitars that features a relatively simple style similar to the Strat but with a sound comparable to the Les Paul. If you’ve ever listened to Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, Frank Zappa, or Derek Trucks, you’ve heard the SG in action. It can do rock crunch with ease and smooth and melodic tones.

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