What Guitar Does Lindsey Buckingham Play?
Have you ever wondered what guitar Lindsey Buckingham plays?
Well keep reading!
For many years, Lindsey Buckingham has been a fan favorite for some of his greatest hits like “Go Your Own Way,” “Trouble, “Never Going Back Again,” “Shut Us Down,” and “The Chain.”
His work is usually split between both electric and acoustic. Many up and coming guitarists want to emulate his beautiful blend of folk acoustic, classic, with a hint of the country for his signature sound.
Lindsey Buckingham is quite the unique player, and if you’re looking for the guitars that he has played, we’ll break down all of the electric and acoustic guitars to help you reproduce a similar tone.
So what guitar does Lindsey Buckingham play?
In short, Lindsey Buckingham is known for playing his Rick Turner Model 1-C-LB guitar. In addition, he also plays various other guitars from notable brands including the Taylor 814ce, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Fender Telecaster and Fender Stratocaster.
In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at all of the guitars Lindsey Buckingham plays. And since his guitars of choice are definitely on the pricey side, we’ll also give some suggestions for some affordable alternatives in case you wanted to replicate his sound without breaking the bank.
Let’s get started!
Lindsey Buckingham Guitar: Some Background Info
Lindsey Buckingham rose to fame when he helped turn the music group, Fleetwood Mac, from falling apart to one of the most successful bands in history.
From 1975 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2018, Lindsey was the lead vocalist and guitarist for their group known for playing British-American rock music. He is by far one of the most accomplished rock musicians. Buckingham was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and ranked in the top 100 of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Before joining Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey primarily played the Fender Stratocaster. However, once he joined the band, he switched to the Gibson Les Paul Custom. The first acoustic guitar he uses is the Taylor 814ce.
Lindsey was the leading contributor for Fleetwood Mac’s most popular album called “Rumours,” which won the 1978 Grammy Award and has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
Overall, he left his mark on the group by offering them with dark pop songs and enhanced their member’s music through his arrangements, production, and breathtaking guitar playing.
What’s fascinating about Lindsey is how he received no formal training on playing the guitar and is not able to read music.
Unlike most traditional guitarists, Lindsey developed his unique sound by not playing with a pick, but instead by picking with his fingers and strumming. His finger styles lead sounds classical sometimes and other times sounds country with a bit of ragtime using an open-string guitar.
He has a rich style of fingerpicking that utilizes chords, melodies, rhythm, and smoothly blends the techniques of bluegrass, folk, and rock to develop his unique sound.
Lindsey’s distinct playing style was inspired by musicians that he looked up to like the Kingston Trio and Merle Travis, whom he reproduced their picking and strumming techniques.
List of Lindsey Buckingham Guitars
Fender American Telecaster
The Fender American Telecaster is one the most iconic guitars in history known for it's classic twang tone. It's a professional guitar that excels in the blues, country, and pop genres.
Fender Telecaster is the first commercialized solid-body electric guitar that is versatile to play across most genres like reggae, pop, rock, country, soul, jazz, blues, folk, alternative, metal, punk, R&B, and indie rock.
Aside from Lindsey Buckingham, some of the most famous musicians have hoisted the Tele, such as Andy Summers, Jim Root, Jimmy Page, Buck Owens, Keith Richards, and James Burton.
The Fender Telecaster is made from alder or ash and is designed with a flat, symmetrical single-cutaway body with a maple neck.
Most Telecasters include two single-coil pickups, single tone control, volume control, and a three-way pickup selector switch.
Fender specifically uses alder or ash wood for a resonant tone that is ideal for playing in the upper mid-range. The guitar also offers sharp pronounced attacks along with longer sustains, made for shredding tough licks. Its construction is extremely durable and sturdy with a flawless finish.
This guitar is designed with a C-shaped maple made for comfortable playing, especially long jam sessions. Its scale length is a full size of 25.5 inches with a smooth maple fretboard that provides brighter tones. On any telecaster, you can expect superb electronics to help fine-tune your sound.
All knobs can be adjusted individually with single-coil pickups at the bridge and neck. Tuners are very modern and make intonation a breeze to handle.
With the dual single-coil pickup feature, this gives the Fender Tele, a unique twangy sound. Its sound comes from its unique combination of bridge and neck, especially where the bridge is added to the bottom plate giving it a soft, slightly jazz sound.
However, you can change the Telecaster sound to nearly anything you want with simple changes in wiring, swapping the single coils for humbucker pickups, and adjusting the strings.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
If you truly want the best of the best, then you can't go wrong with the iconic Gibson Les Paul Custom. While it's definitely pricey, it screams quality and can handle anything you throw at it.
Gibson Les Paul Custom is the most popular guitar under the brand of Les Paul and made its debut in 1954. This is a guitar that is extremely versatile to suit guitar aficionados from different experience levels, genres, and playing styles. Its the body has six strings and constructed with genuine mahogany, with a gorgeous nitrocellulose finish and handcrafted maple top.
The neck has a scale length of 24.75 inches, 22 frets, and acrylic block inlays. Similar to other Gibson guitars, it has six gold tulip tuning machines along with a classy headstock.
Gibson Les Paul Custom features a dual humbucking pickup combination, which is the 488T at the bridge and 490R at the neck with Alnico magnets to provide a very authentic and personalized tone.
It features a stop bar tailpiece and bridge slot equipped with a Nashville Tune-o-Matic system to ensure perfect stable intonation. The pickups are supplemented by various tone, volume controls, and a three-way selector switch.
With the humbucking pickups, this guitar wields incredible punching power that can be used for bright crystal jazz, metal tunes in the lower tonal spectrum, and chunky rock tunes. For metal players, you may pursue a different ax or replace the pickups to fine-tune your sound.
The pickups provide a slightly darker and rounder sound with plenty of bite in the upper mid-range. Additionally, due to its thick body design and having one solid piece of wood, it offers unmatched resonance and sustains.
However, Gibson’s Les Paul is quite the luxurious instrument that has upgraded since it’s 50’s edition. This guitar has amazing tonal possibilities from singing rhythms, shimmering cleans, and screaming high gains. If you’re a player that gigs and records, you’ll find that this instrument is durable and will last you a long time.
Read Also: Cheap Vs Expensive Electric Guitars: What’s the Difference?
Fender American Stratocaster
Fender Stratocaster is one of the most well-known and versatile electric guitars in the world. Some of the best guitarists have played the Strat, including Buddy Holly, Eric Caption, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix.
Designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, it is well known for its double-cutaway design along with an extended upper horn shape to provide balance. These solid-body guitars are made with alder or ash bodies. Each wood type has its advantages.
Alder wood is very lightweight and is a closed-pore wood that provides a brighter, more balanced, and great resonance to the guitar’s overall sound.
This wood type also provides more emphasis in the upper mid-range octaves, has pronounced attacks and great sustain. Ash is better for giving a more significant presence, better articulation, and has more warmth to its tone.
Stratocaster has a bolt-on neck with a scale length of 25.5 inches, features 22 frets, and a 9.5-inch fretboard radius.
Compared to the Telecaster, it has a more extensive set of electronics. Stratocaster has a master volume control, and dedicated tone knobs for the bridge pickups and middle, along with a five-way switch selector.
In terms of hardware, the strat bridge is connected to the springs enabling the player to lower or raise the pitch of their strings using the whammy bar. Its deck offers a sophisticated two-point tremolo system along with six adjustable saddles.
The sound of the Fender Stratocaster largely depends on the pickups that you decide to go with. Many Fender players typically modify the pickups to experiment with different tones.
Modern Stratocasters usually come with three single-coil pickups located on the neck, bridge, and middle. With the single-coil pickups, you get a brighter, sharper, and snappier sound. To produce the signature snap sound, engage the middle pickup.
Read Also: Where Are Guitars Made? (16 Examples)
Taylor is without a doubt one of the best acoustic guitar brands on the planet. And the Taylor 814CE is the best they have to offer. It's not cheap, but it's one of the best acoustic guitars on the market.
The Taylor 814ce is Lindsey’s primary acoustic guitar. This is a grand auditorium acoustic guitar with six strings, Sitka spruce softwood on top, and a Venetian Cutaway.
The spruce top is designed with a Relief Rout meaning its edges at the top are loosened to offer more flexibility while maintaining the structure of the instrument. The design of the instrument allows for a better balance in tone and boosts the bass. It’s sides, and backs are made from Rosewood with an abalone rosette outline and feature a high-gloss thin finish.
When you play this guitar, you’ll notice that the end of the guitar vibrates. Taylor 814ce has an advanced performance bracing for increased vibration and stability at the back and the top, giving this guitar its voice.
Their V-class bracing offers stiffness that is parallel to the strings for more structure, thus better sustain. At the same time, you get flexibility on both sides to allow for air movement needed for vocal projection.
This guitar has phenomenal capabilities and can lull if you know where to tickle its sweet spots. For better consistency and stability, the guitar features a bolt-on neck and specifically shape the point where the fingerboard and neck meet to accodomote for players who enjoy American-style thumb fretting.
Grand auditorium body guitars are extremely popular due to their playability and all-around sound. It’s the overall body shape, and the Sitka Spruce soundhole helps to add low-end depth and looseness to fill up any room when playing, making it sound like a larger guitar.
The guitar’s high end-gloss finish provides a bright and clears Taylor tone. In summary, the Taylor 814ce is a fantastic sounding guitar with thick highs, rich, smooth mids, and fat lows. Many jazz guitarists enjoy the comfortable neck, and it’s flexibility in the high registers.
Rick Turner Model 1-C-LB
The Rick Turner Model 1 is Lindsey Buckingham's claim to fame. If you truly want to replicate Lindsey Buckingham's iconic tone and have the cash, then this is the guitar to get.
Rick Turner guitars aren’t exactly household names. However, icons such as Lindsey Buckingham and John Mayer have adopted the Rick Turner Model 1-C-LB into their repertoire.
The idea of this guitar was to provide the detailed tone from an acoustic, but have the power of a Les Paul and maintain clarity of a Stratocaster. This is a six-string solid-body guitar built with a chambered mahogany body, has a medium-depth C profile, rosewood fretboard, and a set laminate maple neck.
Its scale length is slightly smaller than others at 24.6 inches. However, it packs some powerful electronics and hardware.
Rick Turner Model 1 has a turner humbucker pickup, with an LR Baggs T-Bridge piezo system. It also features one master volume, one master tone, a frequency select switch, push-pull coil tap, and an active/passive mode switch to modify your sound.
You can easily adjust tuning using thier Gotoh 510 tuners, and tune-o-matic bridge. It’s range for the tone control is quite wide from completely rolled off to some very high treble lift.
There’s nearly zero hum increase when you switch in the parametric circuit and set the gain knob to a flat position. This position offers a gain increase and produces a clear midrange and fat lows similar to a boosted Les Paul. With the single-coil mode, you can raise the frequency kob to give a volume boost similar to the Tele or Strat.
In terms of playability, it seats nicely and strpped on. Although there’s a slight neck pull, itg can be balanced using your right forearm resting on your body. Depsire it’s heavy weight of 9.13 lbs. It still feels comfortable by positioning the arched back pushing againsted the face of the guitar and it’s fingerboard directing up towards you.
Lindsey Buckingham Guitar Affordable Alternatives
Let’s face it. Lindsey Buckingham plays some expensive guitars!
He’s obviously a professional guitar player, so it makes sense that he’s using the best of the best in terms of guitar equipment.
Most of us are not in a position where we can spend thousands of dollars on a single guitar.
But luckily you don’t need to spend a that much to replicate Lindsey Buckingham’s tone.
Here is a list of several affordable alternatives that are modeled after Lindsey Buckingham’s guitars that were listed above.
These will definitely help you get closer to Lindsey Buckingham’s iconic tone without breaking the bank.
Fender Player Telecaster
The Fender Player Telecaster is a Mexican made guitar that is almost identical to it's American counterpart at half the price. It's an excellent value and most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
With the Fender Player Telecaster, Fender brings the essential components of the Telecaster, at an affordable price making this more accessible to players with a smaller budget. This is quite the modern reincarnation of the original Tele, except with a few thoughtful improvements.
The Player Tele is made of alder to create a bright response and has a balanced and clear palette. Like the standard Telecaster, it has a single cutaway to provide access to it’s 22 frets that are along the neck.
This guitar also usings the Fender’s modern C profile which isn’t too thick, but has enough depth to accommodate players who play a wide variety of genres. With this instrument, you won’t have any issues fretting or bending chords.
For the fretboard, it usually comes with either a maple or pau ferro finish. With maple, it accentuates the Tele’s chiming rebels and offers plenty of top-end sparkle. Pau ferro adds emphasis on the bass and lower midrange, while providing more depth.
It’s fretboard is shaped to a 9.5” radius which is curvy enough to enhance fretting chords, but also slightly more flat than other Fenders to allow you to zing through the frets up and down fast.
Player Telecaster features a three-way pickup selector switch located on the chrome plate undernet the bridge and knurled knobs which controls the master tone and volume knob to provide an array of tonal possbilitis.
At first glance, it’s electronics look similar to other Telecaster models, however, these pickups provide more vintage sounds that are optimzied for modern players. This instrument delivers the classic Tele sound emphasizing clarity with it’s bright and smooth tonal palette.
If you can overdrive your amp, your Player Tele responds beautifully, maintaining it’s classic twang, but adds a more muscular and beefier distorted sound. This sond is ideal for blues, classic rock, country and indie.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is one of the best guitars out there for the price. It captures the look and feel of an authentic Gibson Les Paul Custom at a fraction of the price.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom offers many advantages over the Standard Les Paul. One of it’s biggest draws is it’s smooth playing action with it’s fretless wonder design, which is why many shred-center players like Randy Rhoards, Al Di Meola, and Zakk Wyde choose this version of Les Paul.
Antoehr reason this guitar stands out is it’s white and black finish to look much more “rock” than the standrd sunburst finish and traditional goldtop. Epiphone has a maple top, mahogany body, and glued-in set mahogany neck with 22 medium jumbo frets, ¾-inch scale and large block inlays.
As far as electronics, the pickups are the ProBucker 3 at the bridge, and the Epiphone ProBucker 2 at the neck. It’s circuit is designed to offer out of phase tones, and coil splitting for superb humbucking sounds.
Compared to the standard Les Paul which sounds a little too woofy and dark, the Epiphone offers a much livelier and brighter sound. The humbuckers are individually voiced where the neck pickup delivers a rounder sound with a nice treble snap, lively bass and crisp percussive attack. It’s bridge pickup offers a more throaty mid and upper range.
When using it’s split-coil settings, this instrument can produce thinner tone, but still remain punchy and strong. Players can strategically use the out of phase settings to generate a pronounced hollow midrange tone that is much more musically tasteful than the standard shrill treble produced by most phase switches. One notable upgrade is it’s Slim Taper D profile neck.
This is a very sleek and fast playing neck making it super easy to access frets and race across the fretboard due to it’s stellar fretwork. Although it’s not quite the Gibson Les Paul Custom, it has an amazing coil-splitting, SlimTaper D neck profile and a phase switch to make this an extremely playable, versatile and affordable instrument.
Read Also: The 15 Best Les Paul Style Copy Guitars
Fender Player Stratocaster
The Fender Player Stratocaster is a Mexican made strat that rivals that of an American Strat at much more affordable price.
Read our Fender Player Stratocaster Review
Fender Player Stratocaster aims to make the Stratocaster more accessible by offering affordable prices to attract younger guitarists to the authentic vibe and sound of Fender.
There are some thoughtful updates such ash the Alnico 5-magnet pickups and the modern C-shape necks. The player stratocaster comes in a suite of vibrant colors like black, three-color sunbrutst, buttercream, sage green matallic, tidepool, sonic red, and polar white.
The body is constructed with a two or three peice Alder wood along with a gloss polyester finish. It’s neck features a satin urethane finish and the fingerboard radius is 9.5 inches, which is much flutter than the original strat.
It’s hardware includes bent steel saddles and a two-point synchronised tremolo. With it’s signature Alnico 5 pickups, it delivers the legendary sparkle and spank tht you’d expect from Fender.
This comes with a 5-position blade switch so that players can nail those glassy Strat sounds by simply flicking the switch. The neck is slim and contours perfect to make the guitar highly playable and easy to play fast on the 22 medium-jumbo frets.
This is the ideal beginner to intermediate guitar that is versatile enough to play a wide variety of genres like rock, folk, blues, soul, pop, and country.
Read the Full Review: Fender Player Series Stratocaster Complete Review
Taylor GS Mini
Taylor Guitars are known for being a top of the line acoustic guitar brand. The Taylor GS Mini gives you the quality of a Taylor Guitar at an affordable price.
Taylor GS mini is a ¾ size dreadnought acoustic with a grand symphony body shape but able to still capture a rich tone and solid bass despite it’s miniature size. Most people expect small songs from smaller guitars, but this one packs quite the booming sound.
This guitar is the perfect travel guitar to take with you on the road in the car or on the airplane. It’s perfor for outdoor types, frequent travelers and even living room pickers.
Due it’s affordable price, wide dynamic range, long sustain, clear tone, it makes an excellent or first or second guitar. With this guitar, you can choose to flatpick, strum or fingerpick.
This guitar is built with a solid Sitka spruce top, sapale neck, X-braced top for enhanced vibration, laminate sapele back and sizes and 23.5 inch scale.
This model is built with a laminate Indian rosewood sides and back for durability and great resonant tones. It’s spruce top build helps for articulate, bright and fantastic note definition.
When strumming softly or with a medium attack, the Taylor GS mini generates a clear and warm tone that favors the midrange, but still offers a rich base and bright trebles. Although it may come with a low factory-set action, the aggressive guitar players may want to adjust the action.
This guitar is likely more suitable for playing in a small group or solo, since the sound breaks up especially in the bass when raising the action.
When flatpicking, the notes come out extremely clear and crisp, enabling all six strings. Even on lower bass runs, it’s able to rise above chords suitable for blues music.
The guitar has a very comfortable factory neck and setup making it ideal for playing up and down the fingerboard. There are also some accessories included like the ES-Go soundhole pickup for better tones and a Taylor V cable for built-in volume control.
For guitarists who are in rock bands, Lindsey Buckingham has been an icon for them to look up to. If you’re looking to model your sound off of Lindsey, then our comprehensive list of guitars is a great place to start. These guitars can help you emulate the blend of classical and folk sounds that he produces. However, it’ll be up to you to decide which guitar suits your genre, playing style, experience level and budget. We hoped our list of guitars has helped you determine which guitar is right for you.