Charlie Christian - Gibson ES-150

The Gibson ES-150 was the first electric guitar played by Charlie Christian, equipped with the pickup that would later be named after him.

The association between Christian and the ES-150 was so strong that it became known as the "Charlie Christian Guitar" (even though no formal association between Christian and Gibson ever existed), and the pickup that gave the instrument its voice was referred to as the "Charlie Christian pickup."

The "Charlie Christian" pickup was an early electric guitar pickup. It was first used on the Gibson ES-150, which entered the market in 1936. The ES-150 was the first electric "Spanish-style" guitar; previous electric guitars had been designed to be played lap, or "Hawaiian" style. Jazz musician Charlie Christian's pioneering use of the ES-150 demonstrated to the world that the electric guitar was a viable instrument.

1936 Gibson ES-150, Tobacco Sunburst


  1. The guitar Christian is holding in the photo above is an ES-250, not an ES-150.

  2. Thank you Khodges for the catch. Photo has been changed. Hope we got it right this time.