Top Country Music Artists Who Use Hollow Body Electric Guitars

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Country music has been an integral part of American culture for decades, telling stories of love, heartbreak, and small-town life. When it comes to creating that iconic twangy sound, one essential tool for many of the genre’s biggest stars is the hollow body electric guitar. From Johnny Cash to Keith Urban, these legendary musicians have crafted their signature sounds through their use of these instruments. Join us as we explore the stories and sounds of some of the most famous country music artists who have relied on the unique qualities of hollow body electric guitars to make their mark on the industry.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
When it comes to country music legends, few can match the impact and influence of the Man in Black. Johnny Cash’s unique blend of rockabilly and country styles created a sound that was instantly recognizable and beloved by fans around the world. But it wasn’t just his voice that helped him stand out from the crowd. Cash was also known for his use of hollow body electric guitars, which gave his music a rich, full-bodied sound that helped cement his status as one of the greatest musical icons of all time. In this section, we’ll take a deeper look at Cash’s use of hollow body electric guitars throughout his career. For a list of 10 best hollow body guitars for country music, check out our article.

Early Years

During the early years, these famous country music artists who used hollow body electric guitars were just starting out their musical journey, refining their style and discovering what sound worked best. Johnny Cash, for example, began playing guitar at the age of 12, and by the 1950s, had started to make a name for himself with his unique blend of country, rockabilly and gospel music. He often used a hollow body electric guitar to achieve his signature sound, and many of his early recordings feature this type of guitar.

Similarly, Chet Atkins started playing guitar at a young age, and quickly developed his own distinctive style. He was known for his fingerpicking technique, and often used a Gibson hollow body electric guitar to achieve the warm, smooth tone that became his trademark sound. Atkins’ early years were spent honing his craft in his native Tennessee, and he eventually became one of the most influential country guitarists of all time.

Duane Eddy, another famous country music artist who used hollow body electric guitars in his music, got his start in the 1950s playing guitar for various country and western acts. He soon developed a signature style that became known as the “twang sound”, and his use of a Gibson hollow body electric guitar helped him achieve this distinctive sound. Eddy’s early years were spent touring and recording, and he eventually became one of the most respected guitarists of his generation.

These early years were crucial for these country music artists, as they developed their unique sound and style. Their use of hollow body electric guitars helped to shape the sound of country music, and their influence can still be heard today. If you’re interested in learning more about the history and impact of hollow body electric guitars in country music, be sure to check out our informative articles and resources on the subject.

The Sound

When it comes to discussing the sound of famous country music artists who use hollow body electric guitars, it’s impossible not to mention Johnny Cash. The man in black’s deep, resonant voice married perfectly with the warm, full-bodied tones of his hollow body guitars. With his early hits like “Cry, Cry, Cry” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” Cash established himself as one of the leading figures of the genre, and his use of the hollow body electric guitar was an integral part of that.

Cash’s sound can be attributed to a number of factors, including:

  • The hollow body construction of his guitars allowed for a greater resonance and sustain, resulting in a full, rich sound that was perfectly suited to his voice and lyrics.
  • His use of light gauge strings and a thumb pick, which added brightness and definition to his sound.
  • The use of slapback echo, which was used on his early recordings and helped create a distinctive, rhythmic sound that would become a hallmark of his style.
  • The incorporation of elements of rockabilly and early rock and roll into his sound, which was heavily influenced by the likes of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.
  • The unique combination of his voice and guitar sound, which helped to create a sense of intimacy and authenticity that resonated with audiences around the world.

Cash’s influence on country music and the sound of the hollow body electric guitar cannot be overstated. His legacy is still felt today, and his signature models, such as the Gretsch G6119-1962HT Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose, continue to be sought after by guitar players and fans alike.

If you want to learn more about the sound of hollow body electric guitars in country music, you can check out our article on the sound of hollow body electric guitars in country music. You can also read up on topics such as hollow body electric guitars in country music, semi-hollow vs. hollow guitars, acoustic-electric vs. hollow body electric guitars for country music, and how to maintain hollow body guitars.

Signature Models

Johnny Cash is a legend of country music and has been widely recognized for his unique sound. His choice of guitar contributed significantly to his signature sound. Cash had several signature models that he used throughout his career, including Gretsch G6119-1962HT Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose Hollow Body and Gretsch G6136I Irish Falcon Hollow Body.

One of Cash’s iconic guitars was the Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins model, which he played for many years. This guitar featured a hollow body with a single-cutaway, as well as a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, and was favored by Cash in his early years. He later switched to the Gretsch Country Gentleman, a guitar that featured a more refined look and sound.

Cash’s guitars continue to inspire modern-day musicians and are regarded as some of the most iconic hollow body electric guitars in country music. These instruments are prized for their unique sound and build, combining the warmth of an acoustic instrument with the versatility of an electric guitar.

Many of Cash’s guitars are still available today as signature models. These guitars are popular among collectors and musicians alike and have become highly sought after. They are well-made instruments that offer a unique playing experience and sound.

Johnny Cash’s instrument of choice, the hollow body electric guitar, played a significant role in creating his signature sound. Cash’s guitars and playing style influenced many musicians that followed in his footsteps and remains an important part of country music history. To this day, his signature models are still highly regarded and are a testament to the enduring legacy of Cash and his music.

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins
Often referred to as “Mr. Guitar,” one of the most influential and innovative musicians in the realm of country music is none other than Chet Atkins. With his impeccable fingerstyle technique and unique picking style, Atkins has been inspiring guitar players across generations. Despite his success as a producer and executive, Atkins’ guitar playing is what continues to leave an indelible mark. In this section, we will take a closer look at Atkins’ contribution to the country music scene and how his signature sound was shaped through his use of hollow body electric guitars. Don’t forget to check out our article on iconic hollow body electric guitars in country music and how they have influenced the modern country sound.

Guitar Style

Chet Atkins, also known as “Mr. Guitar,” was a legendary artist and producer who pioneered the “Nashville Sound” in country music. His style of guitar playing was unique to him, and he was known for his fingerpicking technique, which combined elements of country, jazz, and classical music. Atkins was a master of the hollow body electric guitar and created a sound that defined country music for decades.

Here are some key elements of Atkins’ guitar style:

  • Fingerpicking: Atkins was a master of fingerpicking, which involved using his fingers to pluck the strings instead of a pick. This gave him greater control over the dynamics of the guitar and allowed for a greater range of expression.
  • Chords: Atkins was known for his use of complex chords and melodic lines. He often played chord progressions that were more commonly associated with jazz music, adding a sophisticated touch to his country sound.
  • Harmonics: Atkins made use of harmonics, which are a type of overtone that can be produced by lightly touching the strings at specific points. This gave his guitar playing a shimmering quality that was uniquely his own.
  • Hybrid Picking: Atkins often employed hybrid picking, which involved using a pick to play the bass notes of a chord while plucking the higher strings with his fingers. This allowed him to create a fuller, more complex sound than could be achieved with just a pick or just fingers.

Chet Atkins’ guitar style was a major influence on the country music scene and has continued to inspire musicians to this day. With his mastery of the hollow body electric guitar, he created a sound that was uniquely his own and paved the way for many other artists to explore the possibilities of this versatile instrument.

To learn more about the role of hollow body electric guitars in modern country music, check out our article on hollow body electric guitars in modern country music.


Chet Atkins was widely known as “Mr. Guitar” for his exceptional musical talent and contributions to country music. His legacy in the music industry is undeniable, having influenced countless artists who followed in his footsteps.

Record Producer: Atkins worked as a record producer at RCA Records for over two decades, producing hits for artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. In fact, he produced more than 70 top 10 country hits during his career as a producer.

Instrumental: As a guitarist, Atkins was a true instrumentalist, playing a wide range of styles from fingerpicking to classical. He developed a unique picking style that combined rhythm and melody, which became known as the “Atkins style”.

Innovation: Atkins was known for his innovative use of studio recording techniques, including layering multiple guitar tracks to create a rich, orchestral sound. This approach is evident on many of his hit recordings, such as “Yakety Axe” and “Mr. Sandman”.

Awards and Honors: Atkins received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including 14 Grammy Awards and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. He also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, recognizing his impact on the music industry.

Cross-Genre Collaboration: Atkins collaborated with a wide range of artists from different genres, including Mark Knopfler, Les Paul, and Jerry Reed. He was also an early advocate for the use of the hollow body electric guitar in country music, which influenced many artists who followed in his footsteps.

Chet Atkins’ legacy in country music and the wider music industry is one of innovation, excellence, and influence. His contributions as a musician, producer, and collaborator continue to inspire generations of artists to this day.


Chet Atkins was not only a talented musician but also a prolific collaborator throughout his career. His ability to adapt to various styles of music and his willingness to work with other artists made him a highly sought-after collaborator.

One of Atkins’ most notable collaborations was with Elvis Presley on his album, “From Elvis in Memphis.” Atkins played guitar on several tracks of the album, including the hit single “In the Ghetto.” The two musicians had a mutual respect for each other’s talents and this collaboration helped to bring Atkins’ guitar skills to a wider audience.

Atkins also worked with The Everly Brothers on several of their albums, including “The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country Hits” and “The Everly Brothers Sing Country Songs.” His guitar work on these albums helped to define the sound of the Everly Brothers and cemented Atkins’ position as one of the most influential guitarists of his time.

In addition to his collaborations with other artists, Atkins also worked closely with Gibson to create his signature model guitar, the Gibson Chet Atkins SST. This hollow body electric guitar features a unique design that allows for a more natural acoustic sound, while still offering the benefits of an electric guitar.

Atkins’ collaborations and innovations have had a lasting impact on the music industry and his legacy continues to influence musicians to this day.

Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy
When it comes to the unique twang sound that characterizes country music, there are few guitar players as important as Duane Eddy. This iconic musician has left an indelible mark on the genre, inspiring countless artists to follow in his footsteps. Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve almost certainly heard his unmistakable sound on classic tracks like “Rebel Rouser” and “Peter Gunn”. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the life and legacy of this guitar legend, examining the impact he’s had on country music and beyond.

Twang Sound

Duane Eddy is known for his distinctive “twang” sound, which he achieved by playing a hollow body electric guitar. The sound has become synonymous with the rockabilly genre and is instantly recognizable to fans.

Eddy’s signature sound was created by a combination of factors. First, he utilized the unique resonance of his hollow body guitar, which allowed him to sustain notes for longer periods of time without losing clarity. Second, he made use of special techniques, such as playing with a pick held at a 45-degree angle, which accentuated the “twang” of the guitar strings. Finally, his use of reverb and echo effects further enhanced the sound, creating a distinctive and atmospheric tone.

Eddy’s “twang” sound has had a lasting impact on music. Many artists, such as The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, have cited Eddy as an influence on their own work. The sound has become popular in its own right, leading to the development of the “surf” music genre in the 1960s.

Here is a table that highlights some of the key elements of Duane Eddy’s signature “twang” sound:

Hollow Body Guitar Allows for longer sustain and clear notes
45-Degree Pick Angle Accentuates the “twang” of the strings
Reverb and Echo Effects Enhance the atmospheric tone of the music

Duane Eddy’s “twang” sound is an essential element of rockabilly and has had a lasting impact on music. Fans and musicians alike continue to be inspired by his distinctive style and innovative techniques.


When it comes to famous country music artists who use hollow body electric guitars, Duane Eddy is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures. The impact that he had on the genre is immeasurable, and today, he is still remembered as one of the pioneers of the twang sound.

Impact on the Genre As one of the first guitarists to utilize the twang sound, Duane Eddy created a new style of country music that was a departure from the honky-tonk sound that was popular at the time. The simple, yet effective, style that he pioneered would go on to influence countless musicians in the decades to come.
Influence on Other Musicians Many famous guitarists have cited Duane Eddy as an influence on their own playing styles. For instance, Pete Townshend of The Who has stated that he was heavily influenced by Eddy’s use of the tremolo arm, and George Harrison of The Beatles has cited Eddy’s “Peter Gunn” as an influence on his own songwriting.
Legacy Duane Eddy’s legacy is still felt in the world of country music today. He has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame, and continues to inspire new generations of musicians with his unique style.

Duane Eddy’s impact on the genre of country music cannot be overstated. From his unique twang sound to his influence on other guitarists, Eddy’s legacy continues to live on today.


Duane Eddy’s music and guitar style have been massively influential in the world of rock and roll. Eddy was heavily influenced himself by earlier ‘twangy’ guitarists, such as Les Paul and Chuck Berry.

However, Eddy’s personalised, reverby sound and memorable riffs have gone on to inspire generations of guitarists who have either tried to replicate his sound, or who have simply been inspired by the tones and techniques he pioneered.

One of the most notable examples of Eddy’s influence is in the work of Dick Dale, the ‘King of Surf Guitar’. Dale took Eddy’s ideas and combined them with the sounds of the California surf culture in the early 60s, creating an entirely new and vibrant genre of music.

Another artist who has acknowledged Eddy’s influence is the Edge, guitarist for the pioneering Irish rock band U2. The Edge has often cited Eddy as a major inspiration on his own guitar playing and the sound of the band, and has stated that he was one of the reasons he wanted to pick up a guitar.

Other notable musicians who have been influenced by Eddy’s work include Bruce Springsteen, who has called Eddy’s sound ‘one of the most beautiful sounds in the history of recorded music’; and Mark Knopfler, guitarist for Dire Straits, who has spoken about being inspired by the tones, textures, and guitar techniques he heard on Eddy’s records.

Influences Table

Musician Connection to Duane Eddy
Dick Dale Took Eddy’s ideas and created the surf rock genre
The Edge Has cited Eddy as a major inspiration on his guitar playing and U2’s sound
Bruce Springsteen Called Eddy’s sound “one of the most beautiful sounds in the history of recorded music”
Mark Knopfler Spoken about being inspired by Eddy’s guitar tones and techniques

Keith Urban

Keith Urban
When it comes to virtuosity on the guitar, few can match the talent of this next artist. With a career spanning multiple decades and a musical range that covers everything from rock to country to pop, he has consistently wowed audiences with his incredible skills. His love for the hollow body guitar is well-known, and he has even helped design his own signature models. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s dive into the world of Keith Urban.

The Virtuoso

Keith Urban is widely recognized as one of the most talented country musicians of his generation. His virtuosity on the guitar is a major part of his appeal, and he has made extensive use of hollow body electric guitars throughout his career. Here are some of the reasons why he is considered a virtuoso:

  • Technical Skill: Keith Urban is known for his impeccable technique, which is the result of years of practice and dedication. He can play lightning-fast runs, intricate chord progressions, and complex solos with ease.
  • Musicality: Although he is a technically proficient player, Keith Urban never sacrifices musicality for showmanship. He always puts the needs of the song first, and his solos and riffs are always in service of the overall composition.
  • Innovation: Keith Urban is not content to simply imitate other guitarists. He is always striving to push the boundaries of what is possible on the instrument, and he frequently incorporates new techniques and styles into his playing.
  • Versatility: Keith Urban is equally comfortable playing country, rock, pop, and blues music. He is a versatile musician who is able to adapt to a wide range of styles and genres.
  • Passion: Finally, Keith Urban’s virtuosity is driven by his passion for music. He is a true student of the guitar, and he spends countless hours perfecting his craft. His love for the instrument is evident in every note he plays.

Keith Urban’s virtuosity on the guitar is a major reason why he has become one of the most respected and admired country musicians of his generation. His use of hollow body electric guitars has been a key part of his sound, and he has helped to establish the instrument as a versatile and essential tool for modern country music.

Hollow Body Love

Keith Urban is one of the most impressive guitarists in the country music scene, and his love for the hollow body electric guitar is no secret. Here are some reasons why Keith Urban loves hollow body guitars:

  • The Sound: Few guitars have the warmth and tonal versatility of a hollow body. They produce an entirely different kind of resonance than solid-body guitars. Keith Urban is a master at coaxing dynamic tones from his hollow body guitar, thanks to its unique soundboard setup and the way the strings vibrate against it.
  • The Feel: A hollow body guitar is much lighter than a solid-body electric, and often has a softer, more yielding feel – something that many players say helps them play more expressively. For Keith Urban, the feeling of a hollow body guitar adds a layer of comfort and versatility that other guitars simply can’t replicate.
  • The Look: Keith Urban is a performer who puts as much thought into his wardrobe and overall presentation as he does into his music. A hollow body electric guitar has a classic look that is both classy and timeless.

It doesn’t hurt that Keith Urban has a spectacular collection of hollow body guitars, ranging from classic Gibson models to modern builds. With his incredible skill on the guitar, and his mastery of tone and style, it’s no wonder that Keith Urban is considered one of the top guitarists in country music today.

Guitar Collection

Keith Urban is one of the most talented and diverse musicians in country music and his guitar collection proves it. He has a vast collection of guitars, including his favorite hollow body electric guitars. Let’s take a closer look at some of the guitars in his collection:

Guitar Description
Fender Telecaster Keith Urban’s first guitar and his go-to for country twang. He has several Telecasters in his collection, each one with a unique sound.
Gibson ES-335 Keith Urban’s favorite hollow body electric guitar. He loves the warm, jazzy tone and the versatility of the guitar.
Gretsch White Falcon A classic in the rockabilly world, this guitar is known for its big, bold sound and flashy aesthetic.
Gibson Les Paul A staple in any guitar collection, Keith Urban’s Les Pauls bring a rich, full-bodied sound to his music.
Martin Acoustic Keith Urban is known for his impressive acoustic playing, and his Martin guitar is a big part of that. Its bright, clear tone is perfect for country ballads.

Keith Urban’s guitar collection is a testament to his love for music and his dedication to his craft. He takes each guitar’s unique sound and uses it to create beautiful, memorable melodies that resonate with his fans. It’s no wonder he’s one of the most celebrated guitarists in country music today.

Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer
When it comes to iconic hollow body guitar players, few names have made as much of an impact as the one and only Brian Setzer. With a career spanning over four decades, Setzer has become synonymous with the sound of modern rockabilly, blending the classic styles of the past with a vibrant and energetic twist all his own. From his breakthrough days with the Stray Cats to his reinvention as a big band leader and beyond, Setzer has proved time and again that the hollow body electric guitar is capable of anything in the hands of a true artist. Let’s take a closer look at Setzer’s journey to the top, and what makes his contributions to the genre so significant.

The Stray Cats

Brian Setzer rose to fame as the frontman of the rockabilly band The Stray Cats, known for their high-energy performances and retro style. Setzer’s weapon of choice? The hollow body electric guitar.

The Stray Cats formed in 1979 and quickly gained a following with their hit single “Rock This Town.” Setzer’s hypnotic guitar work stood out, blending elements of rockabilly, jazz, and blues. His hollow body electric guitar, a 1959 Gretsch 6120, gave him the twangy, resonant tone that became a trademark of the band’s sound.

But Setzer wasn’t content to just play classic rockabilly. He took the genre to new heights with his innovative playing style and songwriting. One of the band’s biggest hits, “Stray Cat Strut,” showcased Setzer’s ability to craft a catchy melody and playful lyrics. He also incorporated elements of swing and big band music, creating a unique sound that set The Stray Cats apart from their contemporaries.

The band’s success paved the way for Setzer’s solo career, which saw him explore a wider range of genres while still maintaining his distinct rockabilly sound. His 1998 album “The Dirty Boogie” was a commercial and critical success, earning him a Grammy award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Setzer’s influence on modern rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll cannot be overstated. His use of the hollow body electric guitar helped to define the sound of The Stray Cats and remains a staple of his solo work to this day.

Big Band Blast

Brian Setzer, the founder of the Stray Cats, is known for his love of the big band sound. In fact, he has been able to successfully blend the sound of rock and roll with big band music, creating a style uniquely his own. This style is evident in his use of hollow body electric guitars, which produce a warm and rounded tone that lends itself well to big band music.

Setzer’s love for big band music can be traced back to his childhood, where he listened to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman. This early exposure to the genre clearly had an impact on him, as he has gone on to become one of the most prominent modern practitioners of big band music.

One of the reasons why Setzer’s use of hollow body electric guitars works so well in a big band context is that it blends the warm tone of an acoustic guitar with the volume and sustain of an electric guitar. The result is a sound that is both rich and powerful, which is perfectly suited to the big band genre.

In addition to his use of guitars, Setzer has also been instrumental in reviving interest in the big band sound by forming his own big band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This group has been successful in reintroducing the sound of big band music to a new generation of fans, and has helped to keep the genre alive and well.

Brian Setzer’s use of hollow body electric guitars in a big band context is a testament to his creativity and musical genius. By blending the sounds of rock and roll with big band music, he has created a style that is uniquely his own, and has helped to ensure that the big band sound will continue to thrive for generations to come.

Modern Rockabilly

Brian Setzer, the Grammy-winning musician, is one of the most famous modern rockabilly artists in the world. He is not only an accomplished guitarist but also a talented singer and songwriter. His unique blend of rockabilly and big band music has won him numerous fans all over the world.

Rockabilly Roots

Setzer’s love for rockabilly started during his teenage years when he discovered the music of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. He was particularly drawn to the twangy sound of the guitar and the rock and roll beats. He formed a band called The Stray Cats with his friends, and they quickly became a sensation in the early 1980s with their hit songs like “Stray Cat Strut” and “Rock This Town.”

Big Band Revival

In the late 1980s, Setzer started experimenting with big band music and incorporated it into his rockabilly style. He formed a new band called Brian Setzer Orchestra and released several successful albums, including “The Dirty Boogie” and “Vavoom!” These albums featured a mix of original songs and covers of classic oldies, all with a big band twist.

Signature Sound

Setzer’s modern rockabilly sound is defined by his use of a hollow body electric guitar, coupled with a powerful horn section and a driving rhythm section. His guitar playing is characterized by fast, stinging runs, and jazzy chord progressions. He is also known for his powerful and dynamic vocals that match the energy of his guitar playing.

To summarize, Brian Setzer is a true modern rockabilly legend, his unique blend of rockabilly and big band music with signature sound and guitar style made him famous worldwide.

Dwight Yoakam

Few country artists have been able to capture the essence of classic honky-tonk and rockabilly quite like Dwight Yoakam. With a signature sound that blends the raw energy of punk rock with the traditional twang of country music, Yoakam has made a name for himself as both a pioneer and a maverick within the genre. From his early days gigging around the Los Angeles punk scene to his chart-topping success in the ’80s and ’90s, Yoakam’s music has always been defined by his love for vintage instruments and classic tones. And at the heart of that sound is his trusty hollow body electric guitar. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at Yoakam’s guitar playing style and the impact it has had on the world of country music.

Early Days in LA

Dwight Yoakam’s early days in LA were a defining period in the formation of his unique sound. Yoakam moved to the city in the late 1970s to pursue a career in country music. He honed his craft at local clubs and gained a following among LA’s punk rock scene.

During this time, Yoakam began wearing the fashionable cowboy boots and tight jeans that became a staple of his look. He even went as far as to sew his own clothing, including his signature “hillbilly rave-up” shirts.

In addition to his distinctive style, Yoakam’s early days in LA were characterized by his relentless dedication to his craft. He spent hours writing and playing music, often living in his car to save money on rent.

Through his persistence, Yoakam eventually caught the attention of legendary producer Pete Anderson, who recognized his talent and helped produce his debut album “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” The album was a commercial success and marked the beginning of Yoakam’s rise to fame.


What: Dwight Yoakam’s early days in LA
When: Late 1970s
Where: Local clubs in Los Angeles
Style: Cowboy boots, tight jeans, and signature “hillbilly rave-up” shirts
Dedication: Spent hours writing and playing music, often living in his car to save money on rent
Notable Accomplishment: Caught the attention of producer Pete Anderson, who helped produce his debut album “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.”

Gibson Connection

Dwight Yoakam is known for his iconic honky-tonk sound that he has been delivering for decades now. A big part of this sound can be attributed to his use of Hollow-Body Electric Guitars. In particular, he has a special connection with Gibson, the legendary guitar company.

Throughout his career, Yoakam has been using Gibson guitars prominently. The company has also recognized his talent and has even presented him with his signature DW-DG20 acoustic guitar. This guitar is a testament to his successful partnership with the brand.

What makes Gibson guitars so special to Dwight Yoakam is their quality and craftsmanship. He has been playing Gibson guitars ever since his early days in Los Angeles when he was struggling to make it in the music industry. He fell in love with the sound and feel of the Gibson hollow-bodies, and since then, he has been a loyal fan.

One of his most notable Gibson guitars is a vintage model from 1958 that he calls “the Magic Guitar.” He has used this guitar on many of his recordings, including his hit song “Fast as You.” This guitar has been with him throughout his career, and it has become a symbol of his connection with the brand.

Another notable Gibson guitar that Yoakam is associated with is the J-200. This guitar is a symbol of extravagance and luxury, and it perfectly complements Yoakam’s honky-tonk sound. He has used this guitar on many of his recordings, and it has become a staple in his collection.

Dwight Yoakam’s connection with Gibson guitars is something special. He has been using these guitars throughout his career, and they have become a significant part of his sound. The quality and craftsmanship of Gibson guitars, coupled with Yoakam’s talent and passion, have resulted in some of the most iconic music of our time.

Signature Tones

Undoubtedly, one of the defining features of Dwight Yoakam’s music is his signature tone on the hollow body electric guitar. This tone has earned him a legion of loyal fans who appreciate the unique blend of country and rockabilly. Let’s take a closer look at Dwight Yoakam’s signature tones in this section.

Throughout his career, Dwight Yoakam has used a variety of guitars to achieve his characteristic sound. However, his primary instrument has always been the Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar. His hollow body electric guitars have also been a key part of his sound, including the Gibson Byrdland and the Gibson J-200. These guitars have a warm, mellow tone that perfectly complements Dwight’s vocals.

Dwight Yoakam is known for using a combination of fingerpicking and flatpicking techniques on the guitar. He often employs the use of arpeggios to create a rich, layered sound. His use of vibrato and bending techniques also adds a touch of blues to his rockabilly style.

In addition to his signature guitar tones, Dwight Yoakam’s production techniques have helped to define his sound. He frequently uses slapback echo, a technique that creates a quick echo effect, to add depth to his recordings. This has become a hallmark of his recordings and live performances.

Ultimately, Dwight Yoakam’s signature tones are a result of his unique blend of musical influences and technical proficiency on the guitar. With his extensive collection of guitars and his masterful playing techniques, he has cemented his place as one of the most influential country music artists of his time.


After exploring the famous country music artists who use hollow body electric guitars, it’s clear that these instruments have played a significant role in shaping the sound of the genre. From the legendary Johnny Cash to the modern-day virtuoso Keith Urban, these artists have utilized the unique qualities of hollow body guitars to create some of the most iconic country music sounds in history.

One thing that stands out is the diversity in playing styles and music genres. Johnny Cash’s raw and emotive sound was a departure from the Nashville sound of his time, while Chet Atkins’ fingerpicking style set the standard for country guitarists that followed him.

Duane Eddy’s twangy guitar sound influenced countless artists in the rockabilly and surf rock genres. Meanwhile, Brian Setzer’s fusion of rockabilly, swing, and jump blues created a massive following for his band, The Stray Cats.

Dwight Yoakam’s signature twang sound was heavily influenced by his Gibson hollow body, solidifying the instrument’s place in the country genre.

Keith Urban’s virtuosic playing showcases the versatility of hollow body guitars, with the instrument adding rich warmth and depth to his sound.

Overall, the legacy of these artists and their use of hollow body electric guitars continues to impact the country music genre today. As newer generations of musicians continue to explore and innovate, we can expect to hear even more iconic sounds created with these classic instruments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hollow body electric guitar?

A hollow body guitar has a hollow chamber inside the body, which helps produce a warm and resonant sound.

What is the difference between a hollow body and a solid body guitar?

A solid body guitar has a solid block of wood for its body, resulting in a brighter tone and less resonance compared to a hollow body guitar.

Who invented the hollow body electric guitar?

Orville Gibson is credited with inventing the first hollow body guitar in the 1890s.

Why do country music artists prefer hollow body electric guitars?

Hollow body electric guitars are better suited for producing the warm and twangy sound that is characteristic of country music.

What are some famous songs that feature the sound of a hollow body guitar?

Some famous examples include Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Keith Urban’s “Days Go By,” and the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut.”

What sets Keith Urban apart as a hollow body guitar player?

Keith Urban’s incredible skill and dexterity on the guitar, as well as his mastery of a variety of musical styles, make him a standout among hollow body guitar players in country music.

What is Brian Setzer’s relationship to the hollow body guitar?

Brian Setzer is known for his virtuosic playing on his signature Gretsch hollow body guitar, which he has used extensively in his rockabilly and big band projects.

How did Dwight Yoakam achieve his signature sound on the hollow body guitar?

Dwight Yoakam’s use of a signature Gibson hollow body guitar, combined with his unique blend of traditional country and rock influences, helped him create the twangy and melodic sound that is now associated with his music.

What are some tips for playing a hollow body guitar effectively?

Some key tips for playing a hollow body guitar include experimenting with the position of your picking hand and being mindful of your playing dynamics to get the most out of the guitar’s unique tonal qualities.

What should I look for when choosing a hollow body electric guitar?

Some important factors to consider when choosing a hollow body guitar include the quality of the materials, the guitar’s playability, and the tone and sound characteristics that the guitar is capable of producing.


About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

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