How To Design a Guitar in Four Easy Steps

From those great innovators over at Gibson Guitar Corporation…

1. Start with a 1958 design originally intended to show you weren’t just a stodgy old guitar company being shown up by the likes of upstart Leo Fender.

2. Turn the guitar body 180 degrees.

3. Stick a neck in the vee’s crotch.

4. Proclaim it “a daring move” and “a bold new take on a groundbreaking classic”.

Gibson Reverse Flying Vee

Thankfully only 400 of these abominations guitars will be produced. If we’re lucky they’ll be vacuum sealed and ferreted away in a collector’s climate controlled room – never to be seen again…

For real innovation and daring, I invite you to examine the works of the various guitar makers – electric, acoustic and bass – featured throughout this site. In sharp contrast to marketing propaganda about the Gibson Reverse Flying Vee, luthiers like Chris Forshage, Jerome Little, Rick Toone, Leo Burrell and Jerome Barde truly represent state of the art thought in guitar design.

27 Responses to “How To Design a Guitar in Four Easy Steps”

  1. Nice to see your sense of humor coming out, Robert.

    1. Thanks, Rick. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s my not so tongue in cheek way of pointing out the complete lack of originality among the big manufacturers. But I’m sure it will be an economic success.

  2. At least these are more polished than those other reverse body guitars. They leave the original neck pocket as a gaping, unfinished hole.

    1. Hey Ray! Yes, I’ve seen those too. Unbelievable.

  3. Well, depending on who endorses these things, it may actually be successful! Maybe “Kiss” will play them . . . .


    1. I’m sure Gibson will make plenty of money on these. With only 400 of them produced, collectors will snap them up.

      Is Cheap Trick on tour? Maybe we’ll see one there.

  4. Well my blog related to computer ergonomics but whenever I visit your blog I find a lot interesting stuff… as one of my friends into karaoke I share this info with him…and sent your url too…

    1. Welcome back and thanks for helping to spread the word!

  5. > Is Cheap Trick on tour? Maybe weรขโ‚ฌโ„ขll see one there.

    Rick Neilson has got an even weirder Flying V-derived guitar – the top half is reversed and the bottom half is the standard way around. It’s like a Flying V doing the splits, and Yes, it is a Gibson.

    1. Why am I not surprised? ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. GO ROB!!!

    Yeah, they’ve really outdone themselves with this one!

    1. You gotta love the “design team” over at Gibson for this one. And, good to see you!

  7. Hey Robert!

    Don’t steal anything from the site

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I’ll try to resist, Mats!

  8. This guitar actually *does* look more ergonomic than the original ‘Flying V’. Perhaps they should call it the ‘Flying A’.

    1. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey Bentley – Thanks for dropping in!

  9. Bentley, lo and behold, the risk / chance are – in fact – that it is. It does not only “look” but I’ve encountered tremendous balance when standing up only with their Flying V and Explorer series guitars. They do not neck dive or feel heavy. The old Firebirds too. Sitting down is quite awful, though, if you’re not into rock and roll with low slung guitars, and thumb over the neck, then they may sit perfectly. All those guitars are made for looks FIRST, that’s one thing for certain. Ergonomics are always a second, or a pure fluke.

  10. Hey…this is the same reaction that the explorer and original flying V met in 1958. Weird…was the comment. Only 16 explorers and 82 v’s were made and their production was abruptly halted. The new reverse flying v is super and very original. Dean and the others copied both the explorer and the V…finally something original from the original makers of the 1958 Moderne and Explorer….I think it is the second greatest thing Gibson has ever done….the first was in 1958.

    1. Welcome to the blog “Rick Neilson”! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Don’t forget ONE important thing about all these Flying Vs, Flying As, Explorer guitars, such as the above:

    Blues great Albert King bought one or two of those flying V’s in 58 and JUST turned them around and played. It was the first – if not only – electric guitar at that time that looked and felt the same if you turned them left handed! THAT’s why he thought the V’s where great, you didn’t have to produce a lefty model, or make big changes to them. Albert didn’t even restring it, he played with a thin e on top! On top of that it gave him a visual striking appearance that separated him from all the others blues kings out there.

    But, then when the british blues boom came Gibson resurrected it, and then when the second wave of metal flourished, the people started using V’s all over the place. Wishbone Ash, Michael Schenker are the most prominent and persistent users. I did “trade-borrow” a 70’s flying V once and I thought it had great balance when standing up. One of my friend borrowed my Les Paul and I borrowed his V for a year. Or something like that.

    Actually I am not the one for Les Pauls. If Gibson made any solidbody that I find any good is actually the V or Explorer, or L5-s. But I would certainly not sit down with V or Ex. Then I’d choose a Les Paul or L5-S which I actually had. But conclusion, look at the above guitar, it does behave/look/feels/plays the same way for left handed players as with right handed. THAT’s ergonomic too in a sort of way.. to them that is.

    Imagine for yourself, what would happen if a lefty turned a Klein upside down and started to play, or even TRY to play it! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jeez, its starting to sound as if I am defending the poor thing above…;-)

    1. “Jeez, its starting to sound as if I am defending the poor thing aboveรขโ‚ฌยฆ;-)” – Don’t worry Mats. I’ll never accuse you of that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ok then, Steinberger paddles works as well for lefties too, just turn them around. You can even leave the strap plate on and turn them around like ZZ top did once. But I seriously doubt that that was their original idea at all from the start. Or even part of it.

    1. Good point, Mats and I agree – I don’t think that was ever in Ned’s mind when he designed the “broom”.

  13. I believe that Andy Warhol said that “Art is what you can get away with”, so who am I to judge?

    1. Hey Jol! Thanks so much for stopping in! I just heard about your new blog. I’m looking forward to your insights.

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