Buying a Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Semi-hollow guitars like the Gibson ES-335 and the Epiphone Dot are closer to solid-body guitars than are hollow-body archtops. Unamplified, you could hear yourself playing, but would barely be heard across the room. Characteristics include:

  • A solid block of wood that runs the length and depth of the body.
  • Not as thick (between the guitar’s top and the guitar’s back) as archtops.
  • The center block reduces feedback at high volumes.

B.B. King plays, “The Thrill is Gone” on Lucille, his custom, Gibson ES-335.

The Semi-Hollow: A Highly Versatile Electric Guitar

A semi-hollow guitar is highly versatile and can be heard in virtually all styles of music including jazz, blues, country and pop. The Gibson ES-355 was prominent in rock ‘n’ roll history as Chuck Berry’s guitar of choice. While Gibson’s ES-355 is a pricey guitar, Epiphone’s version of the ES-355, the Epiphone Dot, is an affordable semi-hollow guitar.

Other affordable semi-hollow guitars include:

  • Epiphone Sheraton II
  • Hagstrom Viking IIP
  • Hofner CT Club
semi-hollow guitar player

Larry Carlton

ES-355/Semi-Hollow Guitar Players:

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