Eddie Van Halen and his Guitars

Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear

For those unfamiliar with this legend, Eddie Van Halen is best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. Born 1955 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Eddie Van Halen is now one of the world’s best renowned and prominent guitarists in the history of rock music.

Van-Halen is considered to be one of the biggest influentials of past centuries and has introduced incredible aspects to guitar- playing like never before. Although listed as number seventy by Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of top 100 Greatest Guitarists, this legend has prejudiced entirely new wave of guitarists that has followed him and his unique sounds all through 80’s and 90s.

In 1960, Eddie Van Halen purchased his first ever guitar. The story goes, he initially purchased a pair of drums when he first landed in the United States. During this time, he was working as a paper delivery boy around his neighborhood and he managed to save up enough money to purchase a set of drums. However, he later came on to discover that his brother Alex was sneaking into his room to practice and has thus become better drummer than he was.

Eddie Van Halen's Telsco Del Ray WG-4LThis is when Eddie Van Halen decided to switch to an electric guitar. He acquired his first ever model, Teisco Del Ray for $100 from Sears using four pickups. At this time, he did not have enough money to purchase an Ad Amp so he would play his instrument on a table to amplify its sound and thus make it louder as it resonated on the wood. Teisco’s are made from Japan and imported into the United States under various names such as Beltone and Silvertone.

Eddie Van Halen’s particular model was perhaps from 1965 – 66 and it was based on Ibanez 3904 entailing nearly similar frame profile as well as having a parallel pickup design. This is said to be his first ever guitar to purchase from speculations as Eddie Van Halen is not much into giving interviews and revealing his colorful background.

By using this time frame, we can speculate that Van Halen purchased his first guitar at the age of 16 or somewhere within 1971. This would mean that he had approximately three yrs of practice on it before he decided to switch to Frankenstrat – however, no facts have yet been found to support this theory.

Eddie Val Halen Frankenstein GuitarFrankenstein guitar is the world’s best-known gear that Eddie Van Halen built during 1974 and it has since then become a sensational and motivational piece guitar for every aspiring guitarist out there. Van-Halen almost exclusively used this musical instrument for his first years. He has since then picked up some other projects of his such as the Bumblebee Snake and the unchained guitar.

Eddie Van Halen Eruption Guitar Solo

Eddie Van Halen 5150 GuitarEddie Van got his first ever endorsement back 1981 amid Kramer, which then resulted by Kramer 5150 Baretta model being introduced. During 1991 he changed to Ernie Ball/ MusicMan and invented new guitar that is now referred to as Music Man EVH signature model.

 

 

A few years later, Eddie Van Halen later converted to Peavey guitars, and eventually during 2001 became the brand-new owner and founder of his EVH model which was manufactured by Fender guitars

Recently, Eddie mostly is known to play his EVH Wolfgang model guitar – which he named after his son and Fender Custom Shop replica of the original Frankenstein guitar.

 

Eddie Van Halen Playing a Gibson GuitarAfter Telsco Del Ray WG-4L, Eddie Van Halen is rumored to have used Gibson ES- 335. However, there is not much facts to support this theory aside from several quotes from him by which he mentioned that he had an old ES- 335 which he had previously experimented on. Supposedly, rumor has it that he had taken one of the pickups from his guitar and used it on Frankenstrat.
Eddie Van Halen’s particular model was perhaps from 1965 – 66 and it was based on Ibanez 3904 entailing nearly similar frame profile as well as having a parallel pickup design. This is said to be his first ever guitar to purchase from speculations as Eddie Van Halen is not much into giving interviews and revealing his colorful background.

By using this time frame, we can speculate that Van Halen purchased his first guitar at the age of 16 or somewhere within 1971. This would mean that he had approximately three yrs of practice on it before he decided to switch to Frankenstrat – however, no facts have yet been found to support this theory.

 

 The Frankenstein Guitar  

EVH Black and White Striped GuitarAs mentioned earlier, Van-Halen built this model himself back within 1974. It’s said that he had an ingenious thought to make a cross between Fender and Gibson; resulting with Frankenstat. It’s said that he loved the Tremolo and looks of Fender but preferred Gibson sound.Van Halen went to BoogieBodiesGuitars whose parts were used on previous Charvels and purchased a second-hand industrial unit comprising of an unfinished body and neck, paying a total of $130.

This frame for his device that he saw was the first one his eyes laid on lying around the store and he then went on to peruse around for neck that was wide yet comprised of thin profile and big Gibson-style frets. This ingenious being then went on to paint the frame black and used black masking tape to roll around the frame and later went on to paint it white – these black stripes with a white frame soon became his trademark.

 

1970s Ibanez Destroyer 2459 – “The Shark” 

Eddie Van Halen's The Shark GuitarIt’s rumored that Eddie Van Helen purchased this model back in 1977, prior to recording his first album. He painted his entire device white at some point and is said to have referred to it as “Korina” Ibanez – although it was most likely named Sen (Asian wood name identical to “Ash”). This model; after Van had put his black and white trademark on it was therefore nicknamed “The Shark.” Eddie Van Halen is seen using “The Destroyer” on his first album “You really got me” and some other songs that didn’t require tremolo – It’s still unclear whether he used this model again.

 

 

 

1978 Danelectro/ Charvel Star

This is one of his less known models. Van Halen purchased it during mid ’78 but it’s mostly seen during 1980’s invasion tour

1979 Van Halen II Bumblebee Guitar

Eddie Van Halen Bumblebee-GuitarFor his second album, Van Halen made this model – which is quite alike to his first one. He used DiMarzio humbucker and then rewound the whole thing by hand. Later Van dipped the pickup into some paraffin wax and put copper tape around its winding. This model was buried alongside Dimebag Darrell – Pantera guitarist who died tragically in 2004.

 

 

Frankenstein (v2)

In mid-1979, Van-Halen decided to go back to his first musical instrument and entail some modifications. He purchased some bicycle paints and painted its whole exterior red leaving black and white stripes on it. Twelve months later, Eddie Van-Halen installed locking nut and Floyd Rose tremolo to help keep the guitar in tune during live shows. He later added Mighty Mite single-coil in its neck cavity, Heard Eddie said the single coil pickup wasn’t even wired into the guitar electronics in a video. In 2007, Eddie wrote, “This is the shit” on the back of all his guitar’s necks as sort of a joke to distinguish them from EVH/ Fender Custom Shop replicas made to look and sound exactly like Frankenstein.

 

Other Recent Guitars

From here; Van Halen went on to introduce DragonSnake, Rasta/ Unchained Guitar, Kramer 5150 Baretta, Kramer Doubleneck, Stenberger GL – 2T, Music Man Eddie VH Signature, Music Man Eddie VH Doubleneck, Peavey EVH Wolfgang, Charvel EVH Art Series, EVH/Fender Frankenstein Replica, and the latest EVH Wolfgang model produced in 2012.

Conclusion

Eddie Van Halen Guitar’s setup has dominated the guitarist industry through introductions of tons of his world-renowned pieces making a hit throughout the century. The sound Eddie Van Halen was able to create stands out above all other guitarists. When you hear it you know it is Eddie Van Halen playing.

 

Watch this video to learn one of the secrets Eddie Van Halen used to created his unique sound. “Crash testing an Amp by feedback for a month”

 

Watch this video to listen to the difference between the EVH 5150 50w amp vs Marshall DSL 50 amp

 

Learn Eddie Van Halen Guitar Playing style from GuitarTricks.com


 

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