What Kind Of Guitar Does Dave Grohl Play? – 2023

When you think of the rock and roll legend Dave Grohl, you probably think of his powerful, guitar-wielding voice. You may also think of his signature “Foo Fighters.” But did you know that Grohl plays a variety of instruments? And what kind of guitar does Dave Grohl play? Here are the answers to those questions and more!

Dave Grohl guitars included several types of guitars that are hard to find in a local guitar shop. The Trini Lopez is on the top among the list of Dave Grohl’s guitars. He used it to play rock music in foo fighters album.

Let’s dive deeper into guitars that Dave Grohl owned.

Who is Dave Grohl?

Dave Grohl is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from the United States who got interested in music from a very young age. He first started playing guitar when he was about 12 years old. At that time, he played in several bands.

He began playing the guitar at an early age and is primarily self-taught. Later, he trained himself to play the drums, claiming John Banham as his main inspiration.

Grohl was a drummer for the grunge band ‘Nirvana’ from 1990 until 1994 when the band disbanded after the death of its lead vocalist, Kurt Cobain.

dave grohls

Following the abrupt end of ‘Nirvana,’ he formed his own band, ‘Foo Fighters.’ He was also a member of the rock supergroup ‘Them Crooked Vultures,’ where he played drums and sang backup vocals. Grohl also sings and plays the acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, and keyboard.

Besides guitars, Dave Grohl’s pedalboard is also famous among young guitarists. Dave Grohl’s Guitar Rig was equipped with the latest components such as fender tone master heads, paf humbucker pickups, too many distortion pedals, clean guitar overdubs, diamond-shaped f-holes, mesa boogie dual rectifier, several guitar amps, and effects pedals.

Dave Grohl owns different guitars that include Gibson Trini Lopez, a signature guitar, a Grindy Guitar, a super distorted guitar, Gibson Sg, Gibson Dove, and a few iconic electric guitars. Some most famous guitarists who played with Dave Grohl include Tom Petty, Dave Dearnaley, Budweiser Les Paul, and Eric Clapton.

Gibson ES-335
Gibson ES-335
  • Brand: Gibson Memphis
  • Top Material Type: Maple
  • Body Material: Maple
1991 Gibson Les Paul
1991 Gibson Les Paul
  • Brand: Gibson USA
  • Color: Titanium Grey
  • Top Material Type: Maple
Gibson Firebird
Gibson Firebird
  • Brand: Gibson USA
  • Color: Vintage Sunburst
  • Body Material: Mahogany

What Guitar Does Dave Grohl Play

Most of Dave Grohl’s Guitars are Gibson Guitars and acoustic guitars. The most common Dave Grohl’s guitar is the Gibson Trini Lopez that he used while recording the foo fighters album. Here we are going to look into the guitars Dave Grohl played the most during his career.

1. Gibson ES-335

Gibson ES-335 is the most famous Dave Grohl Guitar that he played at several concerts. The Gibson Custom ES-335 Dot Electric Guitar combines classic design with modern technology.


The traditional mahogany neck and body are finished in a rich chocolate brown, accented by natural blonde maple binding. The body shape is rounded off, allowing the instrument to be played comfortably with both hands.

The guitar also has a carved rosewood fingerboard with Pearloid dot position markers. The guitar’s neck features an abalone dot fretboard inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The Custom ES-335 Dot Electric Guitar features a Gibson Custom built-in active electronics system, providing the best-sounding and most convenient guitar.

gibson custom es335

This guitar has a vintage sound reminiscent of a Telecaster or Stratocaster. It also features a humbucker-equipped neck-thru-body construction. The Custom ES-335 Dot Electric Guitar is equipped with a locking tremolo bridge. This guitar is also designed with a chrome-finished pickguard.

The Trini Lopez model has a one-sided headstock rather than the conventional three-a-side headstock that we identify with Gibson. In this model, the standard f-holes are diamonds. The Gibson Trini Lopez is distinguished from standard ES-335s by its distinctive design. Grohl himself stated that it was the distinctive appearance that drew him in.

2. 1991 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Dave Grohl has been a prominent Les Paul player since forming the Foo Fighters, and on the last leg of the 1995 tour, Dave obtained matching Custom Les Pauls, one in polar white with a black pickguard and the other in black.

By mid-1996, they had become two of his most famous and associated guitars, as they were frequently seen on stage alongside his Custom SG and trademark Gibson Explorer.

This model is known as the world’s best-sounding Les Paul. This classic instrument has been a favorite among guitarists for decades. Introduced in 1952 by Gibson, the Les Paul was designed with the intent of being able to compete with any jazz combo in the world.


By incorporating the revolutionary “Les Paul” humbucking pickup into the body and utilizing a higher-output single coil pickup in the neck, the Les Paul has been able to produce an unparalleled low-end that is rich and dynamic without sacrificing a great high-end and mids.

gibson les paul

The Gibson Les Paul Custom features a sleek, highly-contoured body and neck shape that produces more than a touch of low end and offers a natural feel. The Custom’s slim, fast neck has an 18.5″ scale, a 16.75″ nut width, and a 1 3/4″ radius for easy access to all the standard and optional features. The “Custom Shop” version of the Les Paul features a mahogany body with a rosewood fingerboard and a maple neck with a single, custom vibrato unit.

The Les Paul Custom is the best-selling Les Paul model, with over 15 million units sold worldwide. Despite lasting into the 2000s, they were eventually supplanted on stage by Dave’s Gibson Explorers and Standard RD guitars. They may now be found at the Foo’s traveling museum, and they still appear in a few gigs with Pat Smear and, on occasion, Grohl himself.

3. The Gibson Explorer

Dave Grohl’s go-to on-stage guitar, the Gibson Explorer, appears to be as much of a signature as his trademarked model, the DG-335. But, unlike his Les Paul or other specific models, the Explorer has been the regular prevalent six-string since he picked it up.

While some sources suggest that Dave obtained this heavy metal classic via buddy and producer Barrett Jones, others just go towards the most apparent conclusion, that he purchased it someplace and has remained with it ever since.

This guitar is an instrument from Gibson Guitar, a famous brand that makes all kinds of instruments. Its sound and appearance have set it apart from other guitar models, and the Explorer is no exception.


It is an affordable electric guitar that delivers a rich, warm sound and a unique, three-dimensional appearance. It is constructed of solid mahogany and is equipped with a maple neck that extends to the 22nd fret, a rosewood fingerboard, a 1.75″ radius, and 24 jumbo frets that provide comfortable playing experience.

gibson explorer

Thanks to the Explorer’s dual humbucker pickups, you can play and hear the beautiful, rich, full sound with ease. The Explorer is also equipped with vintage-style control knobs that add to this guitar’s appeal.

The Explorer is fitted with Seymour Duncan JB humbuckers pair and a 3-way toggle switch. Older Explorers used classic Humbucker pickups, while recent Explorers have the same Burstbucker as the ES-335. The Explorer has a more vintage, shimmering tone than other guitars on the market, which can be heard in Grohl’s songs.

4. Gibson Les Paul Standard

Despite the presence of Dave’s favored Trini Lopez Gibson during the studio sessions for the eponymous Foo Fighters debut, producer Barrett Jones maintains that much of the stuff was performed on this Standard Les Paul. It was also Grohl’s primary guitar for the Foo Fighters’ 1995 promotional tour.


The body and neck were then finished with a glossy lacquer, which enhanced the wood grain. Since the guitar is still manufactured today, its production methods have not changed significantly.

The bridge and the hardware are made of nickel and silver, which gives the guitar a warm, dark finish. The headstock features a three-pronged screw-in tuning machine and a large pickguard that protects the guitar’s internal parts. The bridge is adjustable, but not as well as on some other models.

gibson les paul standard

Gibson uses a “Pebble Grain” finish on this guitar. It is a special coating that is brushed on after the lacquer has dried and allows for the natural grain pattern to show through. It is considered a semi-gloss finish, which means a lot of reflections make the guitar appear darker than its actual color.

The guitar strings are steel, giving the guitar a clear, bright sound and providing a wide range of tonal possibilities.

The guitar remained one of Grohl’s major options for live performances until 2007, when he said he needed to alter it “to look like a Matchbox race car,” but yet he was left with a skeleton, which is thought to be lying around someplace.

5. Gibson Firebird Electric Guitar

The Firebird, like the RD, has been an important component of Dave’s arsenal, and this specific black model has been primarily responsible for achieving the color and form that his beloved Trini Lopez can’t deliver.

Many Firebird guitars have come and gone in Grohl’s setup, but if there is a relatively iconic one to his name, it has to be the black finished with white pickguard one.

Although there are likely many identical models to this musician, he is one of the most well-known players of this six-string. The black Firebird is immediately recognizable and generally referred to as the guitar from The Pretender’s song video. While it is no longer the primary option, it does occasionally appear in live performances.


This guitar features a classic Gibson-style body and a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The pickups are located on the bridge and at the front of the instrument. The case measures 15″ wide, 9.5″ deep, and 5.5″ tall.

gibson firebird

The strap has a buckle that will fit most sizes and is adjustable in length. The overall scale of the guitar is 18.75″ from the nut to the saddle.

The Firebird has a wide array of customization options, including choosing from two different finishes, different colors, and even the thickness of the neck plate. It is a versatile guitar that is equally at home in the studio as it is on stage.

6. Martin D-28

This music industry-standard acoustic arrived in Dave’s hands in the early to mid-1990s, and it’s safe to say that it was his most often performed acoustic piece for over two decades. But as a special guest on the live Kilborn program, Grohl sang a down-to-earth campfire performance of Elton John’s classic Tiny Dancer that the Martin D-28 became a treasured item.

Martin D-28 Guitar is a solid body, mahogany-neck acoustic guitar. It has a beautiful rosewood fingerboard and classic rosewood fretboard inlays. This guitar is sure to become a favorite for all who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of a fine instrument.


The Martin D-28 Guitar is a very comfortable acoustic guitar with a rich and warm tone. The soundboard is made from premium grade spruce, and the back and sides are made from premium grade rosewood.

martin guitar standard

The mahogany neck is bound in a traditional double cutaway shape. The D-28 has a great deal of tonal versatility with its warm, rich sound. The guitar has a traditional neck joint and is fitted with Fishman Electronics, including a dual-band preamp with a built-in tuner.

The electronics are housed in a custom Fishman headstock overlay, with a gold gear tuner, chrome-enclosed tuners, and chrome-plated tuning machines. The guitar features a 1.65″ nut width and a 16″ scale length. There is a Fishman bridge with a compensated ebony saddle and nut.

Other features include a Fishman FSR-2 Bridge and Fishman Electronics. The mahogany neck features a modern slimline, high-gloss fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets.

The guitar’s sound is bright and lively, producing a crisp and clear tone. It is designed for acoustic performances with ease of playing.

7. Taylor Guitars 612ce Guitar

Dave began utilizing two Taylor acoustic models, the 612ce instrument being more prominent in radio appearances and solo concerts. Grohl has used this acoustic piece as one of his most frequent backup instruments for special gigs throughout and after the Skin and Bones years.


Taylor Guitars’ 612ce is a very versatile instrument with a beautiful warm sound. Taylor Guitars 612ce Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar features a solid, mahogany neck with a comfortable, medium-fret contoured, slim-taper profile.

The 612ce is a full-size guitar with a 25.5-inch scale length and a 24.75-inch nut width. It has a single-bound rosewood fingerboard and a 3-piece dovetail bridge.

The Taylor 612ce series of guitars were designed to perform in any musical environment and are sure to satisfy even the most demanding musician. Each model has its own distinct tone and features.

taylor guitars 612ce

A new 3-piece neck construction provides for greater stability and reduces unwanted resonance. The 12th fretboard radius gives the 612ce series guitars exceptional playing dynamics and resonance.

This instrument has a comfortable, easy-to-play, ergonomic design. With a solid mahogany body, the 612ce provides a bright and clear tonal character with a smooth, ringing top end. It also has a mahogany neck and back plate that blend together nicely.

The guitar also features an ebony fingerboard and dot position dots. The Aquila brand strings are specifically engineered to bring out the rich tone in a guitar.

These are also made from nickel silver alloy. These strings have a consistent high tension and provide a nice, crisp attack. This is a versatile string that can be used in any type of playing. It may be heard in numerous Dave radio program performances, particularly when the Foo Fighters visited the United Kingdom.

8. Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker

Although this guitar was never truly Dave Grohl’s, it was one of the few and most infamous six-strings he used to record his earliest recordings and concepts for the Foo Fighters. This Melody Maker belonged to colleague and producer Barrett Jones, who would help and evaluate Dave in the studio when Cobain and Novoselic weren’t there during the Nevermind sessions.

It was one of the first guitars that allowed him to experiment with different sounds and ideas as a songwriter outside of his famous initial act, as well as the first Les Paul-style instrument that allowed him to grow as a guitarist.

According to reports, Grohl often borrowed this guitar from Jones at the Laundry Room studios throughout the years to write songs for the Pocketwatch EP and, eventually, the Foo Fighters’ eponymous first album.


This electric guitar is made of rosewood, ebony, maple, and brass. It has a black satin finish. Gibson USA is famous for producing some of the most iconic instruments in the world. They are the only guitar company that has survived and continues to thrive in this fast-changing musical industry.

gibson melody maker

The company was founded in the 1920s by Orville Gibson, an electric guitar pioneer. It was the first electric guitar company to produce a mass-produced instrument.

Since then, it has been producing musical instruments that meet the needs of players. Their guitars are known for their quality, durability, and versatility. The Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker Electric Guitar is a traditional-sounding electric guitar.

Its body is made of a solid piece of wood, and it has three single coil pickups, which provide a wide array of tonal possibilities. It also features an innovative neck joint that allows for a quick, easy, and smooth fretboard adjustment. The Les Paul Melody Maker Electric Guitar is great for rock and blues and perfect for fingerpicking.

9. Silvertone Classic 1963 Series

Another ambiguous item in Grohl’s collection is the guitar his mother bought him for Christmas in 1981; Dave once revealed that it came with a built-in amplifier in its guitar bag. In terms of specifications, these Silvertone versions are now hard to come by; they were short-scaled, bolt-on devices with a Danelectro-styled double-cutaway body.

The significance of this electric guitar is that it saw Dave’s transition to a drummer and served as a rapid dynamic backup during jam sessions for his pals. After a few years of heavy use, this initial guitar was immediately replaced by Dave’s drums and, later, a studio Les Paul Melody Maker during Nirvana’s stay in the studio.

The Silvertone Classic 1963 Series Electric Guitars are one of the most popular instruments in Silvertone’s long history. These instruments are crafted with a quality build and traditional style that appeals to guitar players looking for a great guitar without breaking the bank.


Silvertone’s 1963 Series is a solid-body guitar that has the classic look and feel of an acoustic-electric guitar. This model comes in a natural gloss finish with a classic three-color, five-stripe pattern.

silvertone classic 1478

The 1963 Series’ sound is clean, crisp, and bright. It is easy to play because of its comfortable, round neck with a 22.75-inch scale length and 12-fret rosewood fingerboard.

The guitar’s hardware includes a setscrew locking bridge saddle and nut, a string tree with adjustable steel-wound strings, and a chrome gear tuner. It comes with a black pickguard that protects the guitar’s body from scratches.

The Silvertone Classic 1963 series guitar features a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The soundboard is made of a solid piece of mahogany, and the guitar has a solid spruce top. It has a contoured back and sides. A set neck joint gives the mahogany neck a good amount of flexibility.

10. 1972 Fender Telecaster Custom

Dave mainly plays 1972 Deluxe versions with humbuckers in the neck and single coils in the bridge. Fender’s classical Telecaster electric guitars are some of the best-selling guitars of all time.


This 1972 Fender Telecaster Custom model was produced in 2 Color Sunburst finish with a Maple body, Maple neck, and fingerboard, with a single-coil pickup.

The instrument comes equipped with a traditional chrome pickup cover. The guitar has a 22 fret neck with a 25″ scale length. This Fender is in good condition and plays very well. The guitar features a solid alder body with maple wood on the neck, fingerboard, and bridge. It is equipped with two humbucker pickups that allow you to play chords, single notes, and riffs.

fender classic series

It has a rosewood bridge, a walnut neck, and a rosewood fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets. The guitar features a bolt-on style neck that is comfortable to play for extended periods of time. The hardware and truss rod cover are black. The hardware is a 3-ply pickguard, and the tuners are chrome.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer a few FAQs to clear your mind further.

Who is Dave Grohl?

Dave Grohl is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from the United States. He got interested in music from a very young age. He first started playing guitar when he was about 12 years old. At that time, he played in several bands.

What kind of guitar does Dave Grohl play?

Dave Grohl plays six-string electric guitars. He uses a Gibson Les Paul Standard, a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson EDS-1275SX, and a Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul. He also uses a Fender Mustang Bass. Grohl loves the Gibson Les Paul and the Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul. These guitars have helped him to create his signature sound.

What acoustic does Dave Grohl use?

When he started playing music, he only played acoustic guitar. At that time, he used a Gibson J-200. His favorite instruments were the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. He played a Gibson ES-335 and a Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul.

What’s the story behind the album “Nevermind”?

“Nevermind” is the debut album of Nirvana, which was released in 1989. The album was produced by Jack Endino. It was recorded at Seattle’s Reciprocal Studios and produced by Endino. The album has ten tracks. The lead singer of the band is Kurt Cobain, the bass guitarist is Krist Novoselic, and the drummer is Dave Grohl.

What is “Foo Fighters”?

Foo Fighters is the name of the rock band founded in 1994. The band has released five albums and several singles. The band got its name after the band’s two founders decided to call themselves “Foo Fighters.” The band’s first album was “The Colour and the Shape.” The album also features Dave Grohl on drums.

What Age Did Dave Grohl Learn Guitar?

Dave Grohl began learning to play the guitar when he was 12 years old. He eventually quit attending classes and taught himself after getting bored with them. When he initially started, all he wanted to do was play “faster, louder, darker,” but then he discovered punk music.

How To Play Guitar Like Dave Grohl?

To sound like Dave Grohl, you have to play a semi-acoustic guitar like his ES-335. You also need to consider the guitar like a drum set. He employs a down picking/palm muting technique and makes the most of the beat.


Dave Grohl is one of the most renowned musicians of all time. He has played various guitars over the years, including a Les Paul Junior, an Explorer, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom. He also used custom-made guitars made by his friend and musician, Taylor Hawkins.

foo fighters

We have provided a brief description of multiple guitars played by Dave Grohl along with their Amazon links so you can go and check out these amazing pieces of instruments. These guitars include Gibson ES-335, Les Paul Custom, Les Paul Standard, Gibson Firebird, Martin D-28, Taylor 612ce grand concert, Silvertone, and Fender Telecaster.

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