Vintage Vault: 1959 Gibson ES-225 TDN
This economical 1959 Gibson ES-225 TDN sits against a 16-watt 1961 GA-20T Ranger.

A look at the most budget-conscious of Gibson’s 1950s thinline hollowbodies.

In 1955 Gibson developed a line of thin-bodied electric guitars to appeal to players wanting a smaller, more comfortable instrument, but without the weight of a solidbody guitar. This line consisted of three guitars: the upscale Byrdland, the mid-priced ES-350T, and the economy ES-225T.

The ES-225 TDN looked much like a plainer ES-175, but measured only 1 3/4" deep (compared to the ES-175’s 3 3/8" depth). When it debuted in the summer of 1955, it had only a single pickup midway between the neck and the bridge. By the summer of 1956, successful sales drove Gibson to introduce a natural finish option and a two-pickup version.

The ES-225 TDN looked much like a plainer ES-175, but measured only 1 3/4" deep.

The 1959 Gibson catalog states: “The ES-225T series of thin-bodied, cutaway guitars offer outstanding professional instruments in the popular priced field. Combining the rigidity and tone features of a solid body guitar with the light weight, easy-to-hold shape of conventional styling, these instruments are available in single or double pickup models.”

The 1959 ES-225 TDN pictured has all the features typical of that model: 24 3/4" scale, maple-laminate construction (top, back, and sides), single-ply binding (top, back, and neck), mahogany neck, 20-fret rosewood fretboard, and two P-90 single-coils. The strings are held in place by an original Les Paul-style combination bridge/tailpiece.

The ES-225 debuted in 1955 with only a single pickup between the neck and the bridge. Gibson introduced a natural finish and a two-pickup version in 1956.

The March 1959 list price was $244.50. The current value for one in excellent, all-original condition is $3,500.

The amp behind the guitar is 1961 GA-20T Ranger. The tweed-covered amp has a power rating of 16 watts and is equipped with tremolo and a Jensen 12-inch speaker. The 1961 list price was $207.50. The current value for the amp is $1,000.

The strings of this thin-bodied cutaway are held in place by an original Les Paul-style combination bridge/tailpiece.

Sources for this article include: Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years by A.R. Duchossoir, and Gibson Amplifiers 1933-2008: 75 Years of the Gold Tone by Wallace Marx, Jr.

Original price: 1959 ES-225 TDN, 244.50; 1961 GA-20T Ranger, $207.50

Current estimated market value: 1959 ES-225 TDN, $3,500; 1961 GA-20T Ranger, $1,000

The Big 5 Kurt Ballou

Plus, how the song order on his original cassette version changed his view of the rock legends.

Read More Show less

Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

{u'media': u'[rebelmouse-document-pdf 13574 site_id=20368559 original_filename="7Shred-Jan22.pdf"]', u'file_original_url': u'', u'type': u'pdf', u'id': 13574, u'media_html': u'7Shred-Jan22.pdf'}
Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
Read More Show less