What Kind of Guitar Does Dan Auerbach Play?

Thirty-two-year-old American musician Daniel Quine Auerbach, best known as the guitarist and vocalist for the Akron, Ohio-based blues/rock duo the Black Keys, was first drawn to the blues as a kid listening to his father’s vinyl LPs. If you want to know the kind of Guitar that Dan played… keep reading.

Becoming fully infatuated by the likes of David “Junior” Kimbrough, Robert Johnson, and Robert Lee “R. L” Burnside while in college, Daniel dropped out of school to hone his craft, joining a band called The Barnburners before forming the Black Keys in 2001 with drummer/producer Patrick Carney.

Soon after releasing their debut album, The Big Come Up in early 2002–which spawned two EP singles: the blues standard “Leavin’ Trunk” and the innovative Lennon/McCartney composition “She Said, She Said”–listeners began taking notice of the duo’s old-school, raw garage band sound.  (“I’ll Be Your Man” from their first album would later be used as the theme for the HBO series Hung, while “Breaks” was featured in the 2008 British Guy Ritchie crime film RocknRolla.)

At first compared to The White Stripes, “but with more ‘oomph’ and more of a fleshed-out full-tilt boogie sound,” music reviewers became intrigued by the duo’s ability to shift from blues to funk to soul, with Auerbach’s range of style likened to Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore, Muddy Waters and Mississippi Fred McDowell.  Before long, fans and fellow musicians started paying closer attention to Auerbach and his “triplofonic” guitar.

After recording seven albums with the Black Keys from 2002 to 2008, Auerbach released his debut solo album, Keep It Hid in early 2009 on Nonesuch Records.  Though recruiting six additional musicians for this project, Daniel showcased his talents on not just guitar and vocals, but flexed his remarkable multi-instrumental muscles by playing drums and keyboards with equal fire and excitement.

BBC reviewer Jaime Gill compared the “shuddering, multi-tracked guitars” on “Broken, in Disrepair,” on this album, to Johnny Marr’s famous virtuoso performance on “How Soon Is Now,” and characterized the guitar work on “Mean Monsoon” as “sizzling,” writing: “Keep It Hid proves Auerbach’s extravagant musical abilities and his encyclopedic knowledge of the blues beyond any doubt.”  Of course, blues players from all over the world wanted know how this gifted musician produces his classic sound.

Fender Modern Player Tele Bass, Butterscotch Blonde

Fender Modern Player Tele Bass, Butterscotch Blonde

According to his official website, Auerbach’s growing arsenal of electric guitars includes:

  • · Fender “Jerry Donahue” Telecaster
  • · Harmony Stratotone H47
  • · Harmony H77 with Bigsby
  • · Harmony H78 3-pickup Hollow body
  • · Harmony Heath TG-46
  • · Harmony Rocket
  • · Gibson Firebird VII
  • · 70′s Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
  • · 60′s Gibson SG Junior
  • · 60’s Supro Martinique
  • · Silvertone U1
  • · Rickenbacker 360
  • · Ibanez “lawsuit era” white SG copy
  • · Ibanez Rocket Roll [Flying V copy]
  • · National Map (vintage)
  • · Tiesco Del Rey SS-4L
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One Response to What Kind of Guitar Does Dan Auerbach Play?

  1. It says:

    Bob Cesare was the main drummer and percussionist on “Keep It Hid” and also came up with acoustic guitar parts on Goin’ Home. As far as your”equal fire and excitement”, Auerbach only got behind the drums on “Real Desire”.

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