Ever since 1960, the Gibson Hummingbird’s addictive sound and stellar feel have compelled guitar players to send their fingers flying up and down the fretboard. Originally a high-end model second only to the J-200 in prestige and bling, the Hummingbird quickly became a popular favorite after six-string luminaries like Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Gram Parsons, and John McLaughlin adopted it as their acoustic of choice. Its warm, deep bass response has formed the backbone of countless rhythm tracks on hit records, while its rich, mellifluous voice has helped many a soloist stand out.
More importantly, though, the Hummingbird has a mysterious ability to draw additional creativity out of players and get them to try things they normally wouldn’t. For instance, did you know that the distorted guitar sound on Rolling Stones classics like “Street Fighting Man” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” actually comes from Keith Richards’s Hummingbird? He overdrove the preamp of a portable cassette player to get a saturated, dirty sound, but it’s still an acoustic guitar! The fact that Keef thought to do such a thing is a testament to the mysterious, inspiring qualities of the Hummingbird. Gibson’s modern iteration of the Hummingbird is brimming with inspirational sounds that will no doubt inspire you to reach new heights of creativity in your playing, too! Let’s take a closer look and see what makes the modern Hummingbird such a powerful creative tool.