Who's using a Gretsch for Blues?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by JT19, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. OleDangy

    OleDangy Gretschie

    Oct 23, 2020
    JC Tennessee
    All I play is blues and blues rock. Aka rock came from blues.
    I play no rockabilly at all. For fairness sakes I like rockabilly and chicken pickin and all that but it isn't what I play. I even 'Gilmour' out on my Gretsch.
    I have mine into a fender amp with a Big Muff, Delay, and a touch of the verb. I like it because I am most comfortable holding it.
    I remember as a kid thinking Telecasters were only for country. Lol. Well it was thick and great in a big Marshall for rock and stuff.
    It also of course got the twangy country thing.
    To summarize. Some dude told me back in the day that your amp and pedals will get your sound. Your guitar gets the feel you like. So you can play anything on anything and use the amp and pedals to adjust to taste.
    So find a guitar you like playing. It's so simple to adjust how it sounds.
    Stefan87 and Electrosynthesis like this.
  2. Electrosynthesis

    Electrosynthesis Gretschie

    May 11, 2011
    São Paulo
    Same here
  3. JT19

    JT19 Gretschie

    Nov 28, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Just to clarify... I'm not asking if you can play blues on a Gretsch. I already do.

    Many of the responses seem to be answering that question, rather than the two I'm actually trying to ask (which probably means I didn't state those questions clearly enough).

    So let me try again:

    1) Why aren't Gretsch guitars more popular among blues guitarists? (I think it's safe to say it's not because they won't work for blues.)


    2) Who else here uses their Gretsch primarily for blues... or at least as their primary guitar when they play blues?
  4. r0de0

    r0de0 Synchromatic

    Jul 7, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Yep. Blues Boxes:

    Blue Boxes.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
    rake_ether likes this.
  5. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Do it all the time. At the risk of being a bit preachy defining the Blues isn’t easy anyhow and what guitar you play is pretty much irrelevant. The Blues aren’t in the guitar you play, they’re in your head, heart and ultimately your hands. I’ve participated twice at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and I’ll promise you they struggle with defining Blues themselves. Play what you love and have a good time, your Gretsch will sound fabulous.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    new6659 and Floo like this.
  6. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Time to wheel this clip out again, pretty convincing to me.
    Electrosynthesis and new6659 like this.
  7. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015

    Those are some heavy blues cats.
    dougmon, Electrosynthesis and new6659 like this.
  8. Clyde Billt

    Clyde Billt Electromatic

    Nov 30, 2015
    Alvin Youngblood Hart playing some damn fine country blues on an Electromatic.

    Electrosynthesis likes this.
  9. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    1) I guess Gretsch has a reputation as Country- and Rockabilly guitars. Chet Atkins, Brian Setzer, you get the idea. Maybe Cactus- and Steer-inlays don't really help creating a low-down Blues-feeling.

    2) I do. 5420 and 2622 through a Fender Vibroverb. Simply put, I believe in playing whatever instrument you like.
    Scott and Robbie like this.
  10. Electrosynthesis

    Electrosynthesis Gretschie

    May 11, 2011
    São Paulo
    2) I actually don't have a primary guitar. I have one guitar, a MIJ 6196 Country Club. I love it to death, and paired with my THD Univalve it does the blues like nobody's business. To my ears that is...

    1) As for gretsch guitars being popular for blues, that's the million–dollar question. If we consider popularity by how many gretsch owners use their gretsches to play the blues, then gretsch guitars are hugely popular among blues players.

    However, should we take a look at a bigger picture, as to how many blues players worldwide use Gretsch guitars, then we have to consider the guitar market and stuff like this: https://industrystatsreport.com/consumer-goods/guitar-market/Summary. Should Gretsch's popularity in the blues genre be measured taking into account its market share?

    We should also consider how long the Gretsch brand was not taken care of properly or absent from the market, before its resurgence and business deal with Fender.

    Who was it marketed at? When I bought my first Gretsch (2008 I think) most of the gretsch image was geared towards rockabilly and psychobilly — which I thought was pretty cool — not the blues.

    Before the introduction of the electromatics gretsch guitars tended to be on the expensive side also.

    I mean, there are so many reasons for a brand succeding or failing in a given market, so the answer for 1) would have to be "I don't know"...

    What I do know is that every single guitar player who picked up my guitar and played it has regretted having to put it down.
    new6659 and JT19 like this.
  11. Jimmy Mongo

    Jimmy Mongo Electromatic

    Dec 24, 2019
    I was so happy to discover Otis Rush in the last couple years. Great guitarist and great singer.
    That version " I can't quit you babe" Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellll!!!
    Mr. Lumbergh likes this.
  12. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Great track, I think that was my gateway drug to Otis Rush.
  13. Gretschman2

    Gretschman2 Country Gent

    Apr 8, 2013
    Enetai, WA
    I use mine for everything I do, including blues.
  14. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013

    Funny.....me too. When I came up, everybody was SRV and Strats etc. I loved that too, but wanted to be my own man. So I turned to the Telecaster. Thank God that I did, cause that guitar showed me allllll of the music.
  15. MotorCentaur

    MotorCentaur Synchromatic

    May 11, 2016
    It can't be done.
    You must stop now and rescind these heretical thoughts...


    hint: it doesn't matter the thing you are playing as long as it is getting you to where you are going.
  16. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    I had to go on before Kid Ramos (Fabulous Thunderbirds Fame) at the Eddie Cochran Festival, with him watching me play as well as Eddie Cochran's bassist Connie Guybo.. Thought I'd die!! Anyway Kid came up and gave this gretsch a proper blues strangling even though it was stock and through the brightest damn amps I've ever had to play through.

    JC higgy, wildeman and Axis39 like this.
  17. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Synchromatic

    1 Because since the 50's popular music tradition gave to Gretsch a legendary "status" on a different field: rockabilly and then rockabilly revival... guitarists are conservatives. I add that the typical Gretsch sound is a full hollowbody sound, while more the blues became "modern", more blues guitarists adopted solidbody guitars (strats) or semi hollow (think about Bbking who closed Lucille's f-holes). So, it could depend also by technical preferences, for example you can bend easily without tuning issues if you don't have a Bigsby bridge and you can play really overdrive without feedback issues if you don't play a hollowbody. Not sure that Bigsby or hollowbody construction give that kind of issues, but it's possible, so many guitarists don't choose Gretsch.
    2 I play in a Chicago blues band, 50's and 60's stuff. I love the sound of my G5422 for blues, I've always felt Blacktops Pu's really "bluesy" but I usually prefer my Tele, just for the “feedback" reason...
    JT19 likes this.
  18. Axis39

    Axis39 Country Gent

    Jun 2, 2008
    Beaumont, CA
    1) Gretsches always seemed inordinately expensive when I was younger (and before I discovered Electromatics and my 5127). There was a certain aura about them. Plus, they weren't in any of the local Mom and Pop shops where we all got our first Strat or Les Paul copies.

    Traditionally, we Blues guys aren't lawyers or doctors. We are janitors, laborers, farm workers, etc. Hence the cheap electrics so many of our heroes played, Tedescos, Epiphones, Squiers..... The idea of spending so much money on a real Les Paul, or about any Gretsch seemed a dream beyond my reach for many decades.
    new6659 and JT19 like this.
  19. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Works pretty good here:rolleyes:
    Mark 6120, Scott and JC higgy like this.
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