5 Iconic Indie Rock Guitars

In front of every great artist is their instrument

A guitar can say a lot about a musicians style, technique and sound. Despite having a world of instruments at their disposal, many iconic musicians use the same instruments in their fame as they did when they were starting out. For many, the guitar is as much as the identity of a musician as the musician themselves. Here are 5 guitars that should be as famous as their owners.

Don’t miss video performances of these iconic guitars in the playlist at the bottom of the post!


Nile Rodger’s “Hitmaker” Stratocaster

The white Stratocaster Nile Rodgers always plays belongs in a museum behind 2 inch glass. He calls it the “Hitmaker.” It’s been played on songs for Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran and a bunch more. This is the guitar that plays the riff for David Bowies “Let’s Dance” and on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” then 30 years later. The total value of music that has flowed through it has been estimated at 2 billion dollars.

Jack White’s Res-O-Glas

When it comes to musical instruments, Jack White’s famous Airline Res-O-Glas was originally very inexpensive. In the 60’s you could buy one for under $100. Most guitars are made out of a solid piece of wood, where this bargain guitar is made from two pieces of plastic. After playing it in many of the music videos for the White Stripes album Elephant, Airline Res-O-Glas guitars now go for thousands of dollars on Ebay.

St. Vincent’s Man Albert Lee HH

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Even though designing and releasing her own Signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar this year, Annie Clark has been known to use another Ernie Ball Music Man, the Albert Lee HH. While St. Vincent uses a Jazzmaster and vintage Les Paul for recording, the Albert Lee HH suits her best live because of it’s light form and shape. Her new signature series designed recently, is the perfect balance between the two, as it is shaped specifically for a woman’s body.

Dave Grohl’s Gibson Memphis Dave Grohl ES-335

Dave Grohl calls this guitar “the sound of the Foo Fighters”. He has played it on every one of their albums and bought it when he was still in Nirvana at a guitar shop in Bethesda, Maryland. The similar looking black, and odd blue colored guitars he often plays live are custom Gibson ES-335’s often referred to as DG-335 that are completely inspired by this guitar.

Dan Auerbach’s Harmony H78

Nobody can say they dont want to be in a blues rock band after watching this king. #danauerbach #theblackkeys #harmonyh78

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One of Dan Auerbach’s most recognizable guitars is this Harmony H78 that he’s been playing for years. He bought it from a music store in his home town Akron, Ohio, his guitar tech Dan Johnson owned. Johnson opened that store in 1998 while on a break from working on a Judas Priest tour.

Watch these guitars in action below

Know of any guitars that should be included for a part two? Let us know in the comments below!


Main image courtesy Jason Persse and remixyourface via Flickr