Five unique guitar body styles

Most guitars you see fit into a couple of main body types. However, some guitar manufacturers have gotten creative over the years, creating guitar bodies that break the mold. Here are five of the most unusual guitar body shapes out there.

Yamaha Revstar

The sleek style and vintage styling of this solid body guitar was inspired by the zippy Cafe Racer bikes of 1960s London.


Gibson Explorer 

“File:The Edge playing Gibson Explorer on Experience and Innocence Tour in San Jose 5-8-18.jpg” by Remy is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

This futuristic-looking guitar actually dates back to 1958. The first run of the guitar design wasn’t successful – it was discontinued in 1963. It was reissued in 1976 and became popular with hard rock and heavy metal musicians in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dean Cadillac 1980

Dean Guitars founder Dean Zelinsky started out building guitars based off of existing models that would be friendlier to heavy metal and hard rock guitar players. He created the “Cadillac” in the early 1980s, a body that looks a bit of Les Paul and a bit of Gibson Explorer. 

Gibson Flying V

“Jimi Hendrix’s Flying V Gibson Guitar” by Mike Cattell is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Gibson Flying V was released the same year as the Gibson Explorer. Just like its sibling, the Flying V wasn’t popular in its initial run, selling less than 100 units. However, guitarists like Lonnie Mack and Albert King popularized it. In 1963, Gibson put out a small number of Flying Vs made of parts from the original run. It re-entered production in 1967.

BC Rich Warlock

“BC Rich Warlock” by Kolin Toney is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

With an undeniably “metal” design, the B.C. Warlock stands out amongst a sea of telecasters and Les Pauls. Company founder Bernardo Chavez Rico said in 1969 that he designed the guitar at a drafting table, using straight-edges and French curves. “At first I thought it was the ugliest guitar I’d ever designed,” Rico said. The edgy-looking guitar was popularized in the heavy metal movement of the 1970s and 1980s.


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