#1
Now then,

I'm watching Jeff Beck's Rock & Roll party (Honouring Les Paul) and i've seen pretty much every style of guitar in there including Strats, Teles, Les Pauls. ES Hollowbodies e.t.c. e.t.c.

It's got me thinking, what do you think the most and least versatile guitar is without going into specifics? I'm generally referencing body shapes and pickup configuration.

I was going to do a poll... but i'd probably miss something off by accident and be forever banished.

Regards

Panama.
#3
Well, probably the most versatile, would be some sort of Strat, or Tele, Or Les Paul kind of guitar, those have been used for literally everything.

Jazz hollow bodies, like a Gibson Es-125. That style of guitar, would probably be the only guitar that I would consider a one trick pony, at least in my opinion.

A hollow body with only a neck pickup will only allow you so many tones, in my opinion at least.
#4
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#5
Quote by Lespauljames
I'd say a hsh or hss is pretty versatile, Body shape is subjective.
A lot of Versatility comes from the player and amplifier though.


Yeah, I think 50% of the tone comes from the player. But saying that, each guitar and body shape also has it's own distinct flavour regardless of who's playing it.
#6
I think it comes down to the player mostly, some players are extremely versatile on any guitar, while others will always sound the same on any guitar...

Personally I have a strat and a les paul, I find the strat more versatile... but that might just be the kind of music I prefer to play...
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#7
HH with funky switching like coil splits, series/parallel, in and out of phase and stuff like that. Also, I guess a piezo but I personally think they're kind of useless.
Just HH with coil splits will get you pretty far though.
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#8
The most versatile guitar is any guitar that Jeff Beck puts his hands on.
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#9
i think versatility comes from the player and the way they play being well matched to a particular type of guitar that they can use effectively for whatever they play simply because it's a good match for them.

i find gibson les paul juniors super-versatile. no kidding.

edit: i for one cannot stand coil splits and find they contribute absolutely nothing towards versatility. more often than not, i find the sound of a coil split is so bad the full humbucker just sounds better for everything anyway.. but that's just my opinion.

for me the least versatile guitar is one that is trying to be too versatile that becomes a jack of all trades and a master of none, whereas i'd rather have a guitar that doesn't exactly give you a typical tone associated with a particular genre, but sounds great doing it anyway. i just think too many switching options gives you a whole load of uselessly mediocre tones.
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Last edited by Blompcube at Dec 20, 2011,
#10
The question is much too general to get a short answer. It's not necessary, for instance, that an HH configuration be less versatile than an HSH or SSH or SSS one. If the humbuckers can be coil-tapped, you can have a very versatile guitar. Even a regular Les Paul is versatile, because of its tone & volume pots per each pickup. One thing is sure: the less versatile guitars are those single-humbucker, single volume, no-tone pot type, favored by some metal shredders who are looking for a straight, well defined sound and period. Even a (rare) Fender Esquire is more versatile than this, with its 1 single coil pickup, because the volume pot can act as second tone pot, killing the distortion when cut to level 1 or 2, and making the guitar shimmer.
Based on my humble experience, I'd say it's irrelevant how versatile a guitar is. You don't need an extremely versatile guitar, because you won't really use all of its features anyway. No guitar player does so.
It's more important the type of sounds you can get from it, the guitar's "pattern": Strat type, Tele type, Les Paul type, Superstrat, Hollowbody... and that's about it. All these patterns have a huge number of variations you can choose from.
#11
Quote by Blompcube
i think versatility comes from the player and the way they play being well matched to a particular type of guitar that they can use effectively for whatever they play simply because it's a good match for them.

i find gibson les paul juniors super-versatile. no kidding.

edit: i for one cannot stand coil splits and find they contribute absolutely nothing towards versatility. more often than not, i find the sound of a coil split is so bad the full humbucker just sounds better for everything anyway.. but that's just my opinion.

for me the least versatile guitar is one that is trying to be too versatile that becomes a jack of all trades and a master of none, whereas i'd rather have a guitar that doesn't exactly give you a typical tone associated with a particular genre, but sounds great doing it anyway. i just think too many switching options gives you a whole load of uselessly mediocre tones.



Good response!
#12
If it has minimum 1 string, and some sort of pickup, I'd say it's pretty versatile depending who's playing it.
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#13
The most versatile guitar would have to be a Strat, HSS cause then you can get Fender-y and Gibson-y tones. It also has a full scale neck, which is more versatile than the Gibson short (24.75") neck IMO. I think there's a lot of least versatile guitars out there. My friend's Danelectro is a good example of this. It gets a surf rock tone which is also good for alternative/indie, but anything heavier and it ends up sounding way too thin. I also think metal oriented guitars aren't very versatile, especially ones with a Floyd Rose. I've played my buddy's Jackson Randy Rhodes many times and the sound is pretty much only suited for metal, the neck is SO uncomfortable to play on, and it takes too long to change tunings due to the Floyd Rose, so this particular Randy Rhodes is in drop D at all times and isn't good if I wanted to play a Weezer or Nirvana song for example (which are mainly in Eb tuning).
#14
I think experience can increase the versatility of an instrument. Someone who doesn't really know what they're doing with a guitar will probably only get a limited number of tones from it, whereas someone well experienced with using pots, pickup selectors, pick attack/position and vibrato control will be able to make anything sound in a massive variety of ways. I've never really struggled to get a huge variety of sounds from a Les Paul because of the control layout
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#15
Most: HSS Stratocaster.
Least: Rickenbacker 620 (doesn't mean I don't love it).
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#16
Quote by PerpetualBurn
The most versatile guitar is any guitar that Jeff Beck puts his hands on.


+10 good sir. The amount of stuff that Jeff Beck can do with any guitar is mindblowing.

My opinion. Most versatile would be either an SSS or HSS Strat.
Least versatile is something like single pickup hollowbody, gibson citation style (huge body, neck minihumbucker).
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#17
Quote by Koshman32
If it has minimum 1 string, and some sort of pickup, I'd say it's pretty versatile depending who's playing it.


This.......you can play jazz on 1 string, the riff from thunderstruck is on one string, tremolo pick like crazy, metal......not so much but still

Give santana a guitar with one string and he can solo on a harmonic minor scale all day (it'll get boring after 10 mins but still) and give a complete beginner a $3000 PRS and he can't do anything.
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#18
most versatile: HSH ibby

least: anything with 1 EMG in it.
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#19
Most: Les Paul style guitars. Their look fits any style of music, you can coil tap if needed, and each pickup has its own volume and tone control.

Least: Any "Metal" guitar that has an extreme shape, one active pickup, and a single knob.

I say this loosely. A tatooed, mohawked, leather-clad punk might look silly taking his BC Rich Beast to a blues club, but if he can play the music then the guitar doesn't matter that much.