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Rock stars are inherently rock stars—they have the look, talent, and stage presence that propel them to legendary status. Every star has its distinct image, style, and other characteristics that make it instantly recognizable. In his brief four-year career, Jimi Hendrix became one of the most influential musicians of all time with his pioneering guitar techniques and psychedelic clothing.

Meanwhile, John Mayer infused his nuanced guitar playing, blues phrasing, and distinctive voice into radio-friendly tracks. Without their trusty gear, though, they’d be stripped of the very equipment that helps them record timeless albums and perform electrifying shows at stadiums. 

Let’s check out a few brands that the top rock musicians swear by.


Fender

Fender is the creator of one of the most popular guitars in the world – the Fender Stratocaster. Its versatility and comfortability make it a go-to choice for many musicians, thanks to its smooth neck and wide frequency range. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour was one of the many musicians who catapulted Fender guitars to acclaimed status, using it on iconic albums like Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon. But it’s not just the Strat that Fender is known for – the company has a highly coveted selection of acoustic, classical, and electric guitars, basses, and amplifiers that are as varied as the many different types of slots that exist today.


Shure

Founded in 1925, Shure is a sure bet for recording and performing. Due to their remarkably clear audio transmission, their SM58 and SM57 model microphones are industry standards in studios, broadcasting, and live performances. The best part of the brand is that it constantly innovates to provide musicians with the quality gear they need. Their world-class microphone systems and sound systems are made for significant events, providing the crispness and reliability that rock stars need.


Gibson
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Gibson is high on the list if you’re looking for heritage and a historical legacy. They are responsible for creating the powerful Les Paul and the bluesy SG. These models have been part of rock music for decades, with guitar legends like Slash and Jimmy Page known to wield their signature Gibsons. Gibson’s line of guitars is varied, with distinct necks and body shapes that cater to genres like metal, blues, and everything in between.


Marshall

When it comes to amps, Marshall and Fender often compete with each other for the crown—depending on the preferences of the musicians themselves. While Fender amps provide that clean and dynamic sound, Marshall amps are ideal for aggressive heavy metal high-gain sounds and their ability to translate distortion. However, this doesn’t mean that they limit their audience to metal and punk bands, as their amp selection works with classic rock, alternative, and even blues.


Zildjian

You might have thought Gibson’s over 100-year legacy was impressive, but Zildjian, founded in 1623, surpasses it as one of the oldest companies in the world. They specialize in cymbal manufacturing, creating the perfect cymbals for percussion musicians with one-of-a-kind versatility and quality. There’s a carefully crafted cymbal, whether bright, dark, simple, or complex. Zildjian retains its original techniques from the past and has evolved and refined its craftsmanship to meet the newest standards.


Ernie Ball Music Man

Music Man is most celebrated for the StingRay bass, a uniquely ergonomic bass with big humbucking pickups and flexible EQ controls that allow bassists to customize their sound exactly how they want. It’s particularly suitable for rock, funk, and jazz and is famously endorsed by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Other than their prominent basses, they’re also the creators of the John Petrucci signature guitar – yes, named after and developed with John Petrucci of Dream Theater. With Petrucci’s input and preferences incorporated into it, buyers will find custom DiMarzio pickups, an onboard piezo system, and a variety of select tonewoods to choose from.


Ludwig
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We might’ve mentioned cymbal company Zildjian, but what about all the other parts of the drum kit? For over a century, Ludwig has made a name for themselves as a top manufacturer of percussion instruments. They’ve effectively evolved along with drumming, inventing the first bass drum pedal in the early 1900s. To illustrate their versatile collection, we can look at the variety of musicians that rely on Ludwig drums – Ringo Starr, Questlove, and John Bonham, to name a few. The brand boasts the Supraphonic Snare Drum with its beaded aluminum shell, the punchy Vistalite drums with distinct acrylic shells, and the ever-classic North American maple wood drum kits.


Seymour Duncan

With the existence of guitars comes the need for pickups and guitar accessories, and Seymour Duncan is a standout in that regard. You’ll find top-notch vintage-inspired single-coil pickups, heavy humbuckers, and other valuable pickups meticulously designed for countless rock subgenres. No matter whether a musician is looking to develop their notable sound or wants to balance their output, Seymour Duncan has the accessory they need to capture that. Their collaborations with many rock musicians provide them with insider intel that allows them to develop the gear that professionals are looking for.


D’Addario

Rock stars need to change their strings every two weeks or so – and that’s a demanding number of string packs. D’Addario’s incredible quality and technology are what these musicians rely on for consistent performance. As they employ high-end technologies for every string they release, they ensure their strings last despite the wear and tear of touring, recording, and general playing. Take one look at their selection, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the many gauges, tones, and playing styles they accommodate.

AlexandreG.
Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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