Lindsey Buckingham is one of the defining musicians of his generation. Known for his intricate fingerpicking style, he has been a pillar in the music world for the better part of five decades.
His unique approach to the guitar and iconic sound has made his choice of instruments a topic of great interest to many.
He’s not just a talented musician; he’s an artist who appreciates the subtle nuances that each guitar brings to his music. He knows that the instrument isn’t just a tool, but a partner in creating his unique sonic landscape. Let’s explore his journey through the world of guitars.
Lindsey Buckingham’s Early Guitar Journey
Lindsey’s journey with guitars began at a young age. His brother Jeff introduced him to a Mickey Mouse guitar, sparking an interest that would define his life. From that humble beginning, he went on to play some of the world’s finest instruments.
His first guitar was an inexpensive Harmony acoustic model. This modest instrument laid the groundwork for his lifelong passion for acoustic guitar.
He used it to develop his fingerpicking technique, adapting a style akin to banjo picking to the guitar. This approach would later become a defining characteristic of his playing.
The Unique Guitar Technique of Lindsey Buckingham
Buckingham’s fingerpicking technique is a significant element of his style. Unlike most guitarists, who use a pick, Lindsey often uses his fingers to pluck the strings, creating a rich, layered sound. He plays bass lines with his thumb while using his other fingers to play chords and melodies.
This distinctive style, borrowed from folk music and adapted to rock, gives him a unique sound and has influenced his choice of guitars. He prefers instruments that respond well to this style, with clear, balanced tones that allow each note to stand out.
For this reason, he often plays on acoustic guitars or semi-acoustic models, giving him the tonal range he needs to fully express his musical ideas.
The Impact of Fleetwood Mac on Buckingham’s Guitar Choice
Joining Fleetwood Mac in 1974 had a profound impact on Buckingham’s career and his choice of instruments. The band’s blend of rock and pop required a different sound than he had previously been used to. To adapt, Lindsey began incorporating more electric guitars into his repertoire.
During his time with Fleetwood Mac, he primarily used a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Telecaster.
These guitars offered a more powerful, driving sound that was well suited to the band’s style. The Les Paul, in particular, with its humbucking pickups and solid mahogany body, became a favorite of Lindsey’s for its warm, rich tone and excellent sustain.
Rick Turner Model 1: Lindsey Buckingham’s Signature Guitar
The Rick Turner Model 1 has become synonymous with Lindsey Buckingham. It’s a guitar that fits him like a glove, designed specifically to accommodate his unique playing style and sound.
The Model 1 offers a combination of electric and acoustic characteristics, making it perfect for Buckingham’s intricate fingerpicking style.
Why is the Rick Turner Model 1 Lindsey’s go-to choice? It all boils down to versatility. This semi-hollow body guitar delivers a punchy, electric sound when plugged in, yet still maintains an acoustic-like
Lindsey Buckingham’s Collection of Acoustic Guitars
In addition to the Rick Turner Model 1, Lindsey has a significant collection of acoustic guitars. He is particularly fond of the Martin D-28 and the Taylor 814ce.
The Martin D-28 is a classic among acoustic guitars, renowned for its warm, resonant tone and excellent projection. Lindsey often uses this guitar in the studio and on stage, leveraging its vibrant and dynamic sound. Its key features include:
- Solid Spruce Top: Delivers a bright and full-bodied tone.
- Rosewood Back and Sides: Enhances sound projection and adds a rich low end.
- Neck Profile: A comfortable profile that facilitates fingerpicking.
Despite these great features, the Martin D-28 has some drawbacks, such as:
- Weight: The guitar is quite heavy, which might be a downside for some.
- Price: It is a high-end guitar, and its price may not be affordable for everyone.
The Taylor 814ce, on the other hand, is a modern take on the acoustic guitar. It features advanced construction techniques and materials that result in a crisp, articulate sound. This guitar has a Grand Auditorium body style, which offers a versatile tonal palette that suits Buckingham’s diverse musical needs.
Buckingham’s Electric Guitars
When it comes to electric guitars, Lindsey Buckingham has shown a preference for models that offer a wide tonal range and playability. He often turns to the Fender Telecaster and the Gibson Les Paul.
The Fender Telecaster, a staple in rock and roll music, is known for its bright, twangy sound and smooth playability.
Its single-coil pickups give it a unique tonal character that can cut through any mix, making it a fantastic choice for Buckingham’s dynamic and intricate playing style. The key features of this guitar include:
- Ash or Alder Body: These tonewoods provide a balanced, resonant tone.
- Maple Neck: Offers a bright sound and smooth playability.
- Single-Coil Pickups: Deliver a crisp, clear, and bright tone.
On the downside, the Telecaster can sometimes produce unwanted noise due to the single-coil pickups, and it doesn’t offer the same warmth as guitars with humbucker pickups.
Meanwhile, the Gibson Les Paul has been another staple in Lindsey’s electric collection. Known for its warm, rich tone and excellent sustain, the Les Paul has been the guitar of choice for countless rock legends. Its key features include:
- Mahogany Body with Maple Top: This combination provides warmth, fullness, and clarity.
- Humbucking Pickups: These offer a powerful, smooth sound, eliminating the hum produced by single-coil pickups.
- Set Neck Design: Improves sustain and tone.
One potential con of the Gibson Les Paul is its weight. It’s a heavy guitar, which can be an issue during long performances.
The Effect of Buckingham’s Guitars on His Music
The choice of guitar plays a significant role in defining an artist’s sound. In Lindsey Buckingham’s case, his selection of instruments has undoubtedly shaped his unique sound.
In Fleetwood Mac, the use of his Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster provided a powerful and vibrant sound that defined the band’s hits.
In his solo work, the Rick Turner Model 1 and his array of acoustic guitars offered a wide sonic landscape, allowing his intricate fingerpicking to shine.
Lindsey Buckingham and Custom Guitars
Buckingham has always had an appreciation for fine craftsmanship, which extends to his relationship with custom guitar makers. He works closely with these luthiers, ensuring that every instrument he plays is optimized for his unique style and requirements.
One of the key relationships in this realm is with Rick Turner, the maker of Lindsey’s signature Model 1 guitar. Turner’s meticulous craftsmanship and innovative design ideas have resulted in an instrument that is perfectly matched to Buckingham’s needs.
The Model 1, with its blend of acoustic and electric characteristics, was developed through a process of close collaboration and mutual understanding.
In addition to Rick Turner, Lindsey has also worked with other custom guitar makers. He is known to request specific customizations to suit his playing style.
These usually revolve around the feel of the guitar – the neck profile, string action, and overall balance. His meticulous attention to detail ensures that every guitar he plays is a perfect extension of his musical vision.
Future Guitar Choices: Where Will Lindsey Buckingham Go Next?
The future of Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar choices is an intriguing prospect. As he has shown throughout his career, he is not afraid to experiment and adapt his choices based on the music he is creating.
Given the constant evolution in guitar technology, it is plausible to imagine Lindsey incorporating more modern and technologically advanced guitars into his repertoire.
Manufacturers are constantly pushing the boundaries, creating instruments with new tonal possibilities and increased playability.
Perhaps we might see Lindsey using more guitars with innovative features like MIDI compatibility, advanced pickup systems, or alternative materials in the future.
At the same time, Lindsey’s love for the traditional guitar craft suggests that he will continue to use and value his collection of classic and custom guitars. His relationship with guitar makers like Rick Turner will likely remain a vital aspect of his guitar journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.
What is Lindsey Buckingham’s favorite guitar?
Lindsey Buckingham’s favorite guitar is arguably the Rick Turner Model 1. This semi-acoustic guitar is custom-made to his specifications and suits his fingerpicking style perfectly.
How many guitars does Lindsey Buckingham own?
The exact number of guitars Lindsey Buckingham owns is not publicly known. However, he is known to have a sizable collection, including several custom and vintage models.
Does Lindsey Buckingham use a pick?
Lindsey Buckingham is famous for his fingerpicking technique. He does not typically use a pick, instead preferring to pluck the strings directly with his fingers.
Has Lindsey Buckingham ever sold any of his guitars?
There’s no public record of Lindsey Buckingham selling his guitars. His instruments are valuable not only for their musical quality but also because of their association with him.
Summary and Final Thoughts
Lindsey Buckingham is a musician who is deeply connected to his instruments. His unique style and the wide range of guitars he uses reflect his commitment to creating a distinctive and impactful sound.
Whether he’s playing his beloved Rick Turner Model 1, a Martin D-28, a Fender Telecaster, or a Gibson Les Paul, he uses each guitar to its full potential, crafting songs that have captivated audiences for decades.
While it’s always fascinating to look at the guitars a musician like Lindsey Buckingham uses, it’s essential to remember that a guitar is just a tool in the hands of the artist. The magic comes from the player, and Lindsey Buckingham is indeed a master of his craft.