Brian May Guitar – Which Guitar Does He Use?

If you are a fan of pop music and rock and roll, Brain May is a name that you have definitely heard of. Playing alongside eminent artists like Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, the band Queen has left a mark in the history of rock and roll culture and his songs are still some of the classic favorites of the young and the old alike. 

Brain May is nothing less than an idol to a number of aspiring guitarists. His riffs and style is nothing less than legendary. As a legendary artist, all the equipment like Brian May Guitar that he has used over the years has also left a mark in history and some of the guitars used by him as well as other eminent and talented artists are the main subject of our discussion today. “The Red Special” is probably what comes to mind when we think of Brian May but he has also played a lot of different guitars at some point or the other.  In this article, we are going to look at the best guitars that the legend has used in his breathtaking career and are also available for you to purchase.

Brian May Guitar List

Queen Brian May Autographed BMG Signature Electric Guitar Antique

Queen Brian May Autographed BMG Signature Electric Guitar Antique Cherry

This is the perfect guitar for you if you are looking for a guitar from the legend himself. This guitar is a brand new guitar with amazing specifications when it comes to performance but we think you would not want to play it much and instead keep it safe and untouched as a collectible mostly. The most unique feature of this guitar that gives it an edge over most of the other guitars on our list is that the guitar is signed by Brian May himself. The assurance of authenticity is provided by the seller itself and it has a guarantee of lifetime authenticity. 

You will also not be disappointed if you are looking for performance. The guitar has a state of the art performance and definitely has something for all guitarists. In terms of looks, the guitar is also one of the best and most iconic guitars out there. 

The only downside to this guitar is that the guitar is pretty expensive and thus not fit for all players. We do not recommend this guitar if you need something for solely having a guitar to play. The best use of this guitar is to be a great collectible if collecting guitars is something that you love.

Pros

  • Signed by Brian May.
  • Guaranteed lifetime authenticity.
  • Amazing performance 
  • Amazing looks. 
  • Great option for a collectible item.

Cons

  • Very expensive. 
  • Not best for playing only.

Fender Classic Series 72 Telecaster Custom Electric Guitar, Maple Fingerboard

Fender Classic Series 72 Telecaster Custom Electric Guitar, Maple Fingerboard - Black

All Queen fans and Brian May fans are familiar with the Fender Telecaster and its legacy. Different models of the guitar were used by both Brian May himself and Freddie Mercury at the legendary Live Aid. Although Brian May used it for a while only and then moved on to his Red Special but the model has made its name and is very famous and for good reasons. Apart from the historical value, the guitar offers great sound and performance and is a favorite of many professional guitarists.    

The guitar is a good option looking for something affordable yet amazing when it comes to sound quality. A lot of guitarists have had a good experience with the guitar. The guitar has been designed to give you a certain rock n roll feel. One of the drawbacks of the guitar however, is that the guitar right out of the box might not be in the best paying condition. You might have to manually fine-tune some settings and make some adjustments to get the guitar in top shape. This isn’t an issue with amateurs and professionals but if you are planning on buying this guitar as a beginner, we would recommend that you get your guitar settings adjusted by someone who has a better idea of how the guitar should sound.

As far as the looks go, the guitar has an amazing custom built body with a maple fingerboard for amazing looks. This guitar is a good option for beginners and professionals alike due to its amazing sound quality and affordable price range.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Great sound.
  • Decent looks.
  • Durable build.
  • Great rock and roll effect.

Cons

  • Might need some initial fine tuning. 
  • Not best for beginners. 

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar – Maple Fingerboard

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - 3 Color Sunburst

If you are a fan of the previous Telecaster on our list, maybe you will also love this model of the Telecaster that we have for you here. The two guitars share a lot of features. The guitar comes with a hardtail bridge and a single coil pickup. The Player series is one of the newest additions in the prestigious Telecaster series of Fender guitars. Unlike its predecessors, this guitar is loaded with amazing modern features and designs.

Although the guitar hasn’t been played by many recognizable artists so far, the model still retains the best features of the guitars from previous generations. One of the best features of the guitar is probably the price which is affordable and thus one of the best available guitars for beginners and amateurs. Even with the lower price point, the guitar has not lost the amazing sound quality and durability of earlier versions.

Some might argue that the new additions have somehow changed the sound and performance of the guitar a little bit, but we will leave it up to you to make the judgement. We recommend this guitar to beginners who wish to own some state of the art instruments but are on a budget. The playability and durability of the guitar should also be taken into account.

Pros

  • Great design and build.
  • Retains features of  previous versions of the Telecaster.
  • Affordable.
  •  Recommended for beginners. 
  • Great pickup and playability.

Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • Version with better performance available.

Fender Vintera ’50s Stratocaster – Maple Fingerboard

This guitar is an absolute delight for the fans of vintage instruments. Used by a lot of famous artists including Brian May, this guitar has retained most of the features of the golden age of Fender guitars. 

An absolute cult favorite, this guitar is one of the few guitars that professional artists use but can also be used by amateur or beginner guitarists. This is due to the affordable price point as well as great playability of the guitar as a whole. This guitar features a classic alder body with much of the hardware from the old days itself. This guitar would be a great option if you are looking for something that sounds both old and rustic and has that vintage guitar feeling. 

Other than that, this guitar would also be an excellent guitar as a collectible and the best part is that even beginner collectors can try to get this guitar for themselves as the price to performance ratio is really commendable.

Pros

  • Vintage style and features.
  • Excellent alder body.
  • Perfect for professionals and beginners alike.
  • Great for a collectible.
  • Vintage-style six-point synchronized tremolo

Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • Might require some initial fine tuning.

Ovation Standard Balladeer 2771AX Acoustic-Electric Guitar

If you are looking for a great acoustic guitar on a budget, this guitar is definitely one of the most exciting options available in the market. The guitar features a well designed solid spruce top for excellent sound. This guitar is really great if you are looking for that light and sweet sound. The guitar isn’t that loud when compared to other guitars around the same price range but the guitar surely makes up for it in terms of sound quality. 

The Balladeer is one of the most famous acoustic guitars out there and has been used by a host of famous guitarists, including Brian May. The guitar acts as an excellent instrument both in terms of performance and looks. As far as the performance is concerned, this guitar is undoubtedly one of the most playable guitars in the price range. Customers have reporter great experiences in terms of durability and sound as well.

The guitar also goes very well with a electric    setup so you can use it on stage too without a lot of hassle. For beginners, the guitar can also prove to be a great collectible.

Pros

  • Great build and design.
  • Rustic and soft sound.
  • Easy to play.
  • Great as a collectible.
  • Spruce body.

Cons

  • Moderately expensive.
  • Not the best when it comes to semi acoustic guitars. 

Gibson Limited Run Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar

Gibson Limited Run Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar Gold Top

We cannot talk about vintage guitars without talking about the Gibson Les Pauls guitars. Ever since the 50s, predecessors of this guitar have found its place with popular artists and guitarists. The Deluxe series however, was developed a little later around the end of the 60s. One of the key features in the Deluxe series was the mini-humbucker. The guitar has been modified greatly ever since and is a total cult favorite. 

The guitar has been seen with artists ranging from Eric Clapton to Jimmy Page amongst others. One of the key features of the guitar is the Gold Top edition although multi color variants were produced, this particular guitar has always had a higher value. 

We recommend this guitar to amateur and professional players and collectors. The guitar,due to its amazing legacy and build quality has a rather high price point and thus not suitable for beginner guitarists. However, we think that if you are looking for performance solely, you may find a few better models now. But we definitely recommend this if you want an instrument that is an important part of history.

Pros

  • Amazing build.
  • Stunning Gold Top design.
  • Mahogany and maple blend.
  • Recommended for collectors and amateurs. 
  • One of the most famous guitars ever.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Not recommended for beginners.

Guild F-512E 12-String

Guild F-512E 12-String - Natural

If you are looking for premium acoustic experience, this guitar is undoubtedly the best choice for you. This 12-string acoustic guitar, first designed in the 1960s, has not only gathered great reviews from professional and amatuer guitarists but aso famous artists like Brian May and John Denver have been seen playing this guitar. One of the best features that makes the guitar stand out, is the playability and the smoothness of the sound it produces. Ignoring the price point, which although is very high, this guitar could be a great option for beginners as well as professionals due to the easy setup and playability. 

The price however, is a bit too high for beginners and we would recommend beginners to look for cheaper alternatives. This guitar is one of the best when it comes to 12 string acoustic guitars however and if you have the money to spare, we would definitely not be a bad investment. 

Apart from the performance, the guitar is also a complete winner when it comes to looks. Different parts of the guitar are made of different materials that give the guitar an edge over a lot of other guitars around the same price range. The body consists of mahogany, rosewood and ebony. The different woods, apart from making a huge difference when it comes to looks, also impacts the overall performance of the guitar as a whole making this guitar a complete bundle of quality and performance. 

Pros

  • Widely acclaimed and popular guitar.
  • Premium quality build and sound. 
  • Features LR Baggs Anthem electronics for premium acoustic sound.
  • Great design.
  • Perfect choice for high performance 12-string guitar.  

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Not fit for beginners.

Martin D-28 (2017) Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-28 (2017) Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (SN:2122753)

Another great acoustic guitar greatly loved by professional guitarists and artists alike, this guitar is the best option for you if you are looking for something with close resemblance to the previous guitar on our list. This however, is a 6-string guitar and is best in performance in the class. 

Martin guitars have been around for decades now and have been used by a lot of famous artists. The guitar has an ebony fretboard and bridge and features a hardwood neck. One of the key features of the guitar, like many other guitars on your list, is that the guitar is very durable and powerful. It will last you decades if used properly and this guitar is definitely an investment to make. 

The guitar has a lot of historic importance and thus if you are looking for guitar to add to your collection, this one definitely deserves to be on the list.   

Pros

  • Amazing body and design.
  • Affordable.
  • Recommended for beginners. 
  • One of the best acoustic guitars in the price range.
  • Works well for onstage performances. 

Cons

  • Moderately expensive. 
  • Not the best playability.

Brian May Amplifiers

If you are looking for a great experience with an electric guitar, along with the guitar itself, the amplifier used with the guitar also plays an important role. We have here a recommendation for you if you are looking for buying an amplifier with your guitar. This amplifier has been widely praised and used by renowned artists so we definitely encourage you to have a look.  

Vox AC30S1 30-Watt 1×12 Inches Tube Combo

Vox AC30S1 30-Watt 1x12 Inches Tube Combo

Amplifiers are often used for connecting multiple instruments and thus need multiple channels. But if you are  a guitarist looking for amazing sound quality, amplifiers designed specifically for guitars is what you need. This amplifier has been widely used by a lot of famous artists and you might have heard the sound from it in a lot of recordings at one point or the other.    

The amplifier has been specially designed to give you a rock and roll feel that you can common;y associate with your favorite artists. The amplifier features state of the art amplification circuitry that gives the amplifier a very unique and classic sound that is not normally found elsewhere. If you are an amateur guitar player or a professional, this amplifier is a great option for you. 

However, we do not recommend this amplifier for beginners due to a few reasons. Firstly, we do not say that the amplifier is very expensive, it’s fairly priced if we see the target market which is mostly amateurs and professional guitar players. Secondly, beginner musicians may be on a budget and might need a multi channel amplifier for connecting multiple instruments.

Pros

  • Great sound quality.
  • Unique and trademarked “chime” effect.
  • Has been used by a lot of professional players.
  • Great for amateur guitarists.
  • Affordable and fairly priced.

Cons

  • Not the best option for beginners. 
  • Mono channel.   

Affordable Alternative Guitars

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Thinline Electric Guitar – Maple

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70's Telecaster Thinline Electric Guitar - Maple - Natural

If you are a fan of the Telecaster but maybe you do not have enough funds to get yourself one, which is totally understandable because the Telecasters due to their history and build have a pretty high price anyway, you can try this guitar, also by Fender, that aims to replicate the best features of the Telecasters from the 70s.

This guitar is one of the best options for beginners and aspiring musicians as it has a lot of customizable features aimed to meet the requirements of players who are still discovering theri style. The guitar features a wide range of humbucking pickups that let you find the sound that best suits your style and help you build on the same style. The guitar also has been reviewed by a lot of users and has won many hearts. 

The design of the guitar, apart from the build and sound quality, is also extraordinary. The guitar has a glossy maple body and a stylish flamed finish. One of the minor challenges with this guitar is that it will require you to manually fine tune the features according to your performance. Chances are that the guitar won’t sound as d right out of the box. You can definitely consult a professional if you are confused. Overall, this guitar is an excellent option when it comes to affordable electric guitars that has been following the style and build of more expensive guitars. 

Pros

  • Based on the Fender Telecaster. 
  • Amazing sound quality.
  • Stunning looks. 
  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Wide range of humbucking pickups.

Cons

  • Definitely not the best guitar in the line. 
  • Might require manual adjustments. 

Donner DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Donner DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Guitar Full Size, 41" Cutaway Guitar Bundle with Gig Bag Tuner Capo Picks Strap String

We have discussed a great electric guitar for you if you are looking for affordable options for amazing guitars. But what if what you are looking for is acoustic? Don’t worry, we have you covered. This guitar is one of the best solutions, if what you are looking for is an amazing acoustic guitar guitar on a budget.

The guitar is a 41” dreadnought that gives you anazming and loud, fulfilling sound. Although definitely not the best acoustic guitar on our list today, this guitar is definitely worth the money. One of the most exciting features of this product is that it comes with a lot of accessories like a capo and picks and a guitar bag, which works great for beginner guitarists. 

With a great sound quality, the guitar is also a total winner when it comes to design and build. The guitar is a total pleasure to the eye and has an excellent finish considering the affordable price point. The guitar is perfect for beginners because the guitar features proper fret position marks for amazing accessibility. Another great feature of the guitar is that the guitar also features an amazing 30 day money back guarantee in case you don’t like what you receive.

Pros

  • Amazing sound and build.
  • Good for beginners.
  • Comes with additional items.
  • 30 day money back guarantee.
  • Fret position markings for beginners. 

Cons

  • Not the best sound.
  • Not recommended for professional players.

Affordable Alternative Amps

Vox Bass Amplifier Head

 Vox Bass Amplifier Head, Black (AC4C1-12)

One of the most popular amplifiers from Vox, this amplifier is a favorite of a lot of artists due to it’s simple and hassle free design. The sound quality closely resembles that of the more expensive Vox amplifiers but it certainly lags a bit behind. 

The amplifier gets the amazing quality from the modern build that it has. Unlike older models, this model has a 12-inch speaker that gives you louder and clearer sounds. This speaker also has a great look overall and fits the description of a quality amplifier easily. Although we would not recommend this amplifier for extremely professional setups as there are definitely some better options to choose from. However, this is definitely one of the best amplifiers for beginners to use.

The amplifier, just like other Vox amplifiers, has a very unique tone that has been widely appreciated by artists and beginners alike. Users have given positive reviews on both the looks and sound quality and we can certainly say that this would be a great investment if you are looking for something for recording or stage performances. Although, if you have some more money to spare, you can surely look at other Vox products that are a bit more expensive but definitely provide a great sound. 

Pros

  • Great sound quality.
  • Closely replicates more expensive models in terms of quality.
  • Easy to use and hassle free.
  • Best for beginner musicians.
  • Works well in different settings.

Cons

  • Not the best quality.
  • Better models available at higher price points.

Vox Pathfinder Combo

Vox Pathfinder Combo, 10W (V9106)

The last amplifier on our list is a perfect option for guitarists who are looking for a cheap alternative to expensive models that provide amazing sound. We know that Vox is known for making quality amplifiers that are widely used by everyone ranging from professional artists to amatuer layers to beginners. Each of the products have their unique sound and the brand like PRS is quite famous amongst the young and the old alike. 

Keeping up with the tradition of amazing circuitry and sound, this speaker is the perfect fit for people who do not require a lot of power and are looking for a small box with amazing sound. This 10W amplifier houses a 6.5 inch speaker that brings you the amazing sound quality of the expensive models at a budget. 

This amplifier however, may not be powerful enough in some cases and you may have to rely on a bigger speaker. However, if you are looking for something to maybe quietly practice and brush up your skills, his amplifier will provide you with the necessary features and amazing sound required for amazing practice sessions. 

Pros

  • 10W 6.5inch speaker.
  • Closely replicates more expensive models in terms of quality.
  • Easy to use and hassle free.
  • Best for beginner musicians.
  • Best for silent areas.

Cons

  • Not the best quality.
  • Better models available at higher price points.

FAQs

What size of guitar does Brian May play?

The legend has been seen using different sizes of guitar in his career that include both full scale and ¾ scale guitars.

What are the best songs of Brain May?

With all the amazing hits to choose from, it is really hard to pick the best ones but still some of the most popular ones are “Brighton Rock”, “Tear It Up”, “The Show Must Go On”, etc.

Does Brain May prefer cheap guitars?

In his career, the legend has been seen using many guitars including his Red Special, which is a personal, one of a kind guitar. Along with that he has also used guitars like the Fender Stratocastor and Telecaster etc.  

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed some of the most famous guitars used by the legend Brian May in his career. We hope this article helped you learn a bit more about the gear used by the artist and maybe also helped you find something for yourself.