Ibanez is a Japanese company that produces instruments and other musical equipment, with some of their most popular products including electric guitars and amps. This company is one of the first Japanese producers to become an established brand in the United States, becoming popular with amateur users as well as professional musicians. Are there users of Ibanez guitars who are famous?
Famous Ibanez guitar players include Paul Stanley of the famous KISS band and Steve Vai. Dexter Holland of the punk band The Offspring is another notable Ibanez guitar user.
In this article, we’ll run through some background information about Ibanez guitars. We will also mention other prominent Ibanez guitar players aside from those previously mentioned. Read on!
Ibanez: Some Background Info
Ibanez started as a musical instrument store at the beginning of the 1900s, owned by Hoshino Gakki. Initially, the store imported guitars from Spain, but in the 1930s, Gakki decided to produce his own Spanish-style guitars, which is why he named the store Ibanez. Throughout the 50s, Ibanez designed and built several types of electric guitars as well as other equipment.
At some point in the 1960s, Ibanez started making copies of well-known Fender and Gibson guitars and selling them for lower prices in the United States. This was a common practice among Japanese producers at the time, as copyright laws were still quite murky at the time. Understandably, this led to several lawsuits, which became a major problem for the company and prompted the manufacturers to start designing and producing original pieces.
Around the 1970s, Ibanez produced several original models and started to collaborate with guitarists to make more unique signature models that were aimed at professionals. Unlike most other companies at the time, Ibanez did not offer a prototype to the artists and allow them to add or remove elements; instead, they gave artists complete freedom to build their perfect instrument.
Additionally, Ibanez continued to design new guitars, both electric and acoustic, as well as other equipment such as synthesizers and pedals. They became well-known for their loud instruments with crunchy and bold sounds, which were great for more “aggressive” performances.
While not as popular as certain household names like Gibson or Fender, Ibanez remains an established and well-regarded manufacturer in the States and beyond. It is quite popular with heavy metal and jazz musicians. This company has become a symbol of innovation and creativity.
Check out our guide on the Best Ibanez Guitars
List of Famous Artists Who Play Ibanez Guitars
Ibanez is mostly famous for its electric guitars and electric guitar equipment. Understandably, most of its famous users come from heavy metal and hard rock, but others are also jazz or blues guitarists.
Steve Vai is one of the most important names in the history of Ibanez, as he has frequently collaborated with Ibanez to create some of their most iconic instruments. Steve Vai began his career in the late 1970s as part of Frank Zappa’s band and then continued as a soloist.
The collaboration between Vai and Ibanez started in the 1990s when Ibanez approached Vai to design some innovative guitars. This collaboration resulted in the Ibanez Universe, the first solid-body seven-string electric guitar that was mass-produced in the States.
Vai has also collaborated with Ibanez for the Ibanez JEM, another popular electric guitar that was first released in 1987. This guitar remains one of Ibanez’s best sellers and has several sub-models, which are basically variations of the original and that Ibanez keeps producing to this day. If you want to know more about this guitar check out my review of the Ibanez JEMJR. .
Paul Stanley is better known as the co-founder and frontman of the band KISS. He plays the rhythm guitar in the band and has continuously chosen Ibanez guitars for his live performances. He has used these guitars since the late 1970s and later became a collaborator, creating his own signature Ibanez guitar.
Stanley has used several Ibanez guitars throughout his career. He created his signature Paul Stanley Ibanez guitar in 1977 and has used variations of this model for decades. Some of the submodels of his signature guitar include the PS1CM, PS10, and PS120.
Paul Stanley is one of the most popular frontmen of the last few decades. He is known for his powerful vocals and guitar-playing abilities. His Kiss persona is called The Starchild. The band KISS has released 24 albums in more than four decades and has broken several records.
Tosin Abasi is a well-known American Nigerian musician, best known as the lead singer and founder of the progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. He is another great Ibanez ambassador, as he has used several Ibanez models throughout his career and has his own signature guitar with this company. His collaboration with Ibanez is called Ibanez TAM100 Tosin Abasi Signature and was released in 2013.
Abasi started as a musician playing for several different bands in the 2000s. In 2009, he created a solo project that became known as Animals as Leaders, which soon became a band, including members like Javier Reyes and Matt Garstka. Abasi always plays the guitar during his live performances.
Broderick is best known as the lead guitarist of Megadeth from 2008 until 2014. He has used a few Ibanez guitars throughout his career, including a seven-string RG model as well as several six-string S models. While he no longer uses Ibanez guitars, he remains an important figure that has endorsed and immortalized these guitars by recording several Megadeth albums with these instruments.
Although Broderick is mostly known for his years as the Megadeth lead guitarist, he has also been part of other bands such as Jag Panzer and Nevermore. Since 2014, he has been part of the band Act of Defiance.
Paul Gray was the bassist and co-founder of Slipknot, one of the most popular heavy metal bands of the last few decades. He became a fan of Ibanez when he found a four-string ATK bass in a second-hand shop and contacted the company to convince them to start selling the discontinued model once again. Gray decided to collaborate with them for a series of bass guitars, the PGB1 line.
Gray has played bass for several bands besides Slipknot, including the Have Nots, Vex, and Body Pits. He recorded several albums with Slipknot, including “All Hope Is Gone” and “Iowa”. He died in 2010 and was replaced by Donnie Steele in the band.
John Frusciante is currently the guitarist and back vocalist of one of the most popular bands in the world, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He first became part of the band in the late 1980s, having idolized them and their late guitarist, Hillel Slovak for years. He left and rejoined the band several times and is now part of the group once again.
Frusciante used an Ibanez RG250DX when he first joined the group. This guitar has been used to record one of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ most famous albums, “Mother’s Milk”. Some of the biggest hits of this album include “Higher Ground” and “Knock Me Down”.
Gambale is the first jazz musician on this list. He is known for his jazz fusion music and particular finger-picking styles. Gambale used to collaborate frequently with Ibanez, creating his signature guitars. These collaborations culminated in the FGM series of guitars, a line of electric guitars that were quite popular. However, Gambale has switched to Yamaha since then.
Frank Gambale is mostly known for his guitar-playing abilities, having championed several techniques and styles throughout his career. He has played both in bands and solo projects. Besides playing music, he also teaches guitar techniques, as he is the head of the guitar department at the Los Angeles Music Academy.
Pat Metheny is yet another jazz musician that prefers playing Ibanez guitars. He is well known for his particular playing style and his use of 12-string guitars. He plays jazz fusion with progressive and Latin influences. Metheny has been a fan of Ibanez for a long time, ever since he switched from Gibsons. He has his own line of Ibanez guitars, which includes models like the PM100 NT Pat Metheny and the Mini PM20 Pat Metheny Signature.
Metheny has played for a few different jazz groups and has also released solo projects. Some of his best solo albums include “One Quiet Night” and “What’s It All About”. The legendary jazz guitarist is the only artist in history to have won Grammy awards in ten different categories.
Dexter Holland is the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the punk rock band The Offspring. He is another fan of Ibanez guitars, as he has played them on stage throughout his career. Holland has remained loyal to this brand, using several Ibanez models for recording and performing to this day.
Holland’s favorite guitar is probably the Ibanez RG Prestige 570, which he has used for decades. He owns two different copies of this guitar. Another Ibanez favorite of this musician is the ARZ800. Holland also used the RG Prestige RG3521 Electric Guitar at the beginning of the 2000s.
Dexter Holland is the last remaining original member of The Offspring. This band was formed in 1984 and is still active, having changed several members throughout the years. Some of their most famous songs include “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid”, “All I Want”, and “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Genre Are Ibanez Guitars For?
Ibanez has a certain reputation when it comes to the genres that the guitars are best suited for. Generally, Ibanez guitars are famous for their use in different metal subgenres due to their unique, bold, and harsh sound.
However, it would be unfair to box these guitars in just one genre. They are very versatile and can be used in various musical styles, including jazz, blues, and country.
How Come Ibanez Is So Affordable?
Ibanez guitars have a reputation for being relatively affordable, especially compared to other famous brands. The truth is that Ibanez includes a variety of instruments for different skill levels and budgets. There are plenty of cheap options, but there are also some expensive models that are usually targeted at professionals.
The cheaper models are generally pretty reasonable since they are manufactured in China, which cuts the production costs and makes them more affordable. The prince range of Ibanez guitars is between $200 and $8000.