Note: Professional musicians use many different guitars and frequently change them. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list of every guitar they’ve ever played, we’ll try our best to keep this list updated with their most notable guitars.
Harry Styles is one of the last decade’s biggest pop and alternative rock stars. Although he was introduced to the music world as part of a massively popular boy band, the singer found his sound as a soloist, creating (so far) three critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums.
Harry Styles is also a good guitar player, consistently using this instrument on stage. Styles doesn’t seem to have a particularly favorite brand, as he regularly uses different guitars, but he may be partial to Gibsons for his live performances.
This article will focus on the favorite and most meaningful guitars in Styles’ career. We have also included a list of other gear he uses, so let’s dive right in!
Harry Styles: Some Background Information
Harry Styles started his music career in 2010 as a contestant on the British X-Factor, where he first auditioned as a solo artist and then became part of a vocal pop group named One Direction. Although Styles and his group did not win the contest, they became overnight sensations that took the world by storm at the beginning of the 2010s.
Styles wrote several songs as part of the group and was regarded as one of the most popular and charismatic members. Once the group disbanded, Styles continued to write music as a solo artist, focusing more on soft rock and alternative influences rather than pure pop. Additionally, he founded his own record label.
The first project Harry Styles released as a solo artist was a 2017 self-titled, commercially and critically very successful album. The album had soft rock and 70s synth-pop influences, making critics draw comparisons between Styles and David Bowie or Elton John. The single “Sign of the Times” from this album remains one of Styles’s best and most popular songs.
Two years later, Harry Styles released his next album called “Fine Line”, a return to pop and once again a very successful project with both the public and critics. “Golden” and “Watermelon Sugar” are two of the most popular singles from this album. In 2022, Styles introduced his next album, “Harry’s House”, which received universal praise and several awards, including two Grammys: Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Throughout his career, Harry Styles has played several different instruments on stage. He mostly uses electric and acoustic guitars but has also played the harmonica, drums, banjo, and ukulele. His favorite instrument to play in live performances seems to be the acoustic guitar.
List of Guitars That Harry Styles Plays
Although Harry Styles has had a relatively short career as a solo singer, he has played hundreds of live concerts and performances throughout the last decade with his guitars. Let’s see some of his favorite guitar models and their main features.
Gibson ES-350T is probably one of Styles’ favorite guitars and the one that seems to be his signature instrument so far. Fans have seen Styles play a few different unidentified Gibsons throughout the years, but the ES-350T is his favorite electric guitar by far and the most well-known one. As such, it deserves number one on this list.
The first appearance of this guitar was in 2017, as Harry Styles was promoting his first self-titled album. He appeared on Saturday Night Live, playing his single “Ever Since New York” with this particular guitar, as you can see in this video:
Since then, the Gibson ES-350T has appeared numerous times throughout the years. Styles seems to prefer it for live performances in concerts and promotional events, but also for recording and writing music. Fans have seen this particular guitar in different live performances from various tours.
The history of the Gibson ES-350T is quite interesting. This guitar is quite rare and unique; its original model was released in the 1950s as a replacement for the original ES-350. A famous European musician used styles’ particular models and was then sold at auction. The instrument Styles uses is an identical copy of that same guitar.
The main feature of the Gibson ES-350T is its hollow body. The T in ES-350T stands for thinline, which means the guitar has a hollow and flat body. Hollow guitars generally have a more delicate sound, similar to acoustic guitars. They don’t have a lot of sustain, and they may have more issues with feedback. However, they can be versatile and create a unique sound, especially for jazz and blues music.
The Gibson ES 350T has a laminated maple body with a solid mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard. This guitar also features double coil humbucker pickups and a two-piece bridge with a rosewood base. This rare guitar comes in two finishes, Natural and Sunburst, and has a glossy finish style. Harry Styles’ particular guitar has a Natural finish.
Harry Styles is only one of many musicians who have used this unique guitar for their performances. Chuck Berry is probably the first famous musician who used this particular guitar for live performances and recordings in the 1950s. However, several other guitarists have used the Gibson ES-350T in their performances, including legends such as Keith Richards and Jimmy Page.
As I mentioned above, Harry Styles plays both the electric and acoustic guitar on stage, but he seems to favor the latter in most of his performances. He has used several different guitars throughout the years, but the Martin D-28 is one of the most prominent acoustic guitars he has used and probably his favorite.
This particular dreadnought-style acoustic guitar has appeared in several live performances of Styles on stage and television programs. Styles has also included the Martin D-28 during photoshoots, especially for his debut self-titled album, as seen in several articles like this one. You can also see Styles playing this guitar in studio recordings:
The Martin D-28 is an incredibly rare guitar. Right now, only a few hundred guitars of this model are available worldwide, because the manufacturer only releases a limited number of copies yearly. The D-28 was released in 1931, almost one century ago, and has been used by several prominent musicians; Martin keeps producing this unique guitar even today but keeps the number of copies very low for exclusivity.
This guitar features a spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides. The neck is made of select hardwood, and the fingerboard is made of ebony. It features Chrome Enclosed Gear tuners and scalloped bracing. This guitar is only available in a Natural finish with a glossy finish style.
As a high-end guitar, the Martin D-28 offers a powerful and balanced tone, with a strong bass response and clear treble notes. Although the bass sound is unique, the high notes sound beautifully and clearly on this guitar. The Martin D-28 is quite loud and bold but also subtle at the same time.
1970s Fender Telecaster
Another electric favorite of Harry Styles is the Arctic White 1970s Fender Telecaster. This particular Fender is relatively cheap compared to the other rare models that professional musicians typically use, but it still offers a great sound and it’s easy to use. As a result, plenty of musicians have used the Telecaster before, including Jeff Buckley, Keith Richards, and George Harrison.
It is believed that Harry Styles received this guitar as a gift from his composer friend. This 1970s Fender Telecaster has been used in several live performances, especially during the promo and tour for his first and second albums. Fans instantly recognize this guitar because of its noteworthy all-white finish and the unique stickers Styles has used to personalize it.
The 1970s Fender Telecaster is a great solid-body electric guitar that features an alder body, and a maple neck and fretboard. This guitar has two pickups: a Vintage-Style ’70s Single-Coil Tele bridge pickup and a Tim Shaw Authentic CuNiFe Wide-Range Humbucking neck pickup.
The sound of the 1970s Telecaster is quite bold and thick, which is consistent with the general direction of instrumental music in the 1970s. The bridge pickup contributes to a brighter and twangy sound ideal for rock or country music, while the neck pickup creates a smoother sound typically used in blues and jazz melodies.
Originally, this guitar was available in several different finishes, including blue, black, gold, and white. Nowadays, Fender sells versions of this model in 3-color Sunburst, Mocha, and Vintage Blonde. Styles’ version is Arctic White, which is quite rare. 1970s Fender Telecasters are available in both glossy and metallic finish styles.
Taylor GS Mini Acoustic
While the Martin D-28 seems to be Harry Styles’ go-to for acoustic guitars, he occasionally uses several other brands and models for writing songs, recording, and sometimes performing on stage. For instance, fans have noticed Styles playing a Taylor GS Mini Acoustic a few times.
The Taylor GS Mini Acoustic is quite small, as its name suggests. This guitar is compact and lightweight, so it’s great for musicians with a relatively small build or aspiring guitarists learning the ropes. However, this guitar is also great for any experienced musician who likes the lightweight feel and is comfortable playing on a relatively narrow fretboard.
This guitar is part of the Taylor Mini series, small, lightweight guitars targeting beginner musicians. This instrument is quite cheap compared to the rest of the guitars on this list. The compact size and affordable price have made the GS Mini Acoustic one of the most popular acoustic guitars in the world.
The Taylor GS Mini Acoustic features a Sitka spruce top and layered Sapele back and sides. The neck is also Sapele, while the fingerboard is ebony. This guitar also features die-cast chrome tuners and an ES-Go pickup to amplify the sound during live performances on stage. The Taylor GS Mini Acoustic sound is warm, bold, and rich.
While Harry Styles has not been spotted playing this guitar recently on tour or in the studio, fans have seen it in older footage from a recording session. It’s safe to say that this particular instrument is not a favorite for live performances, but it may be suitable for writing songs or recording them.
Fender Malibu Player
The Fender Malibu is just another electric-acoustic guitar that Harry Styles is believed to have played at a certain point, even though fans have not seen it in recent live performances. Styles has probably used this particular guitar to write songs or record them in his study, as some photographs that fans have unearthed suggest.
The Fender Malibu Player is a great instrument that is easy to use and suitable for different skill levels. Like the Taylor above, this guitar is also quite affordable and compact, which means that it’s perfect for new guitarists who want something relatively cheap and lightweight. Although the Fender Malibu Player is not as high-end as most of the guitars on this list, it produces bold and high-quality sounds.
This electric acoustic guitar features a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The C-shaped neck is also made of mahogany, while the fingerboard is made of walnut. The Malibu Player also features a Fishman preamp system with Sealed Nickel tuners and volume controls for amplification.
The Fender Malibu Player has several finishes, including Sunburst, Aqua Splash, and Arctic Gold. The finish style of this guitar is typically a Gloss Poly finish. The particular Malibu Player model that Styles owns seems to have a Midnight Satin finish.
The sound of the Malibu Player is crisp, warm, and versatile, allowing you to experiment with different genres, including rock, jazz, and country. Although it is relatively cheap and small, this guitar offers great sound quality that a musician can use. It seems like Harry Styles has found a useful instrument for recording sessions in this particular Fender model.
As far as fans know, there is no footage of Styles playing this particular guitar except for a few photographs that show him holding and playing this guitar. Like the Taylor above, this guitar has not been used by Styles for any performances on stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Harry Styles a Good Guitar Player?
Since Harry Styles is primarily a singer and often performs without an instrument, people may believe he is not a skilled guitar player. Many people underestimate Styles’ skills as a songwriter and instrumentalist because the general public tends to judge pop singers who are popular with younger age groups.
However, it is safe to say that Harry Styles is a pretty good guitar player, having seen several performances where he plays both the acoustic and electric guitar. He plays the guitar frequently during his tours and seems very comfortable with the instrument.
Understandably, you will not hear the name Harry Styles among guitar legends; several past and contemporary musicians are much more highly skilled. Nevertheless, it’s still fair to say that Styles is a good guitar player who writes and performs comfortably on his acoustic and electric guitars.
When Did Harry Styles Learn How To Play the Guitar?
Although Harry Styles was interested in music from an early age, he did not learn how to play the guitar until he was in One Direction. During the boy band years, Styles and the rest of the group generally did not perform with instruments.
On a few occasions, Niall Horan, another group member, played the guitar, as he was the only member who already knew how to play an instrument.
In interviews, Harry Styles mentioned that he attempted to learn how to play this instrument when he was nine but quickly became frustrated and quit. According to an Instagram picture from 2014, Styles learned how to play the guitar with help from his fellow band member, Niall. Since then, he has developed his skills significantly, playing the acoustic and electric guitar quite well.
The guitar is only one of the instruments that Harry Styles plays nowadays. He learned how to play the kazoo as a child, which seems to have suited him more at the time since it is much easier to learn.
Throughout the years, Styles has also learned how to play other string instruments, including the banjo, mandolin, and ukulele. He has also played the drums, harmonica, and piano. He plays most of these instruments in the studio while writing or recording music. During live performances, he typically sticks to his guitars.
What Gear Does Harry Styles Use?
During concerts, Harry Styles seems to prefer certain brands regarding his gear. For instance, fans have noticed that Styles uses a Fender ’68 Custom Twin Reverb amplifier. This amplifier has a classic 1960s look with a silver panel and custom CH controls.
The Twin Reverb amplifier provides clear and deep sound with reduced negative feedback.
Some additional musical gear that Harry Styles has used throughout his career include:
- Sennheiser SKM 5200-II microphone during live television performances
- TC Electronic PolyTune tuner pedal.
- Sennheiser E 935 microphone during previous tours.
- Sennheiser e 945 Supercardioid Dynamic microphone during the latest tour.
- T-Rex Engineering FuelTank Classic Power Supply for the pedal board.
- Kemper Profiler Rack for profiling amplifier sounds.
The above gear is not officially announced in any capacity, but knowledgeable fans have been able to identify this equipment from videos of his performances on television or tours.