Gear Rundown: Phoebe Bridgers

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Gear Rundown: Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers feature
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Phoebe Bridgers is an established artist in her own right, as well as one third of supergroup Boygenius, along with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker.

Phoebe Bridgers guitars

Primarily a guitar player, Phoebe Bridgers’ guitar collection cover a broad spectrum of instruments to structure her songs and shape her unique sound, her instantly recognisable voice sitting comfortably on top of the arrangements.

Read up on all the latest interviews, features and columns here.

When I say she uses a broad spectrum of instruments, I mean it! Live, she’s often seen with a few acoustic guitars, usually vintage-style parlour shapes or arch tops, or B.C. Rich electrics, and not much in between those two ends of the spectrum. Let’s start with the extreme end, shall we?

B.C. Rich Warlock – Bronze Series

Phoebe has played a double humbucker’d B.C. Rich for a while now, including a Bronze Series Warlock. The Bronze Series was a reasonably affordable option from B.C. Rich, and can still be found on the used market. The Bronze Series Warlock features dual humbuckers, as well as a hardtail bridge.

B.C. Rich Extreme Warbeast with Floyd Rose

Phoebe’s other main B.C. Rich is a bit more extreme, being an Extreme Warbeast, complete with Floyd Rose tremolo bridge. The Extreme Warbeast has a pointier, symmetrical, three-a-side headstock, deviating from the six-in-line style of the Warlock.

Phoebe Bridgers BC Rich

The Extreme Warbeast has some more bells and whistles than the Warlock, featuring binding, Fishman® Fluence Modern Humbuckers, an ebony fretboard and flat, modern, 14” radius fretboard.

From time to time, Bridgers has played a red crackle Warlock, much like Eddie Munson played in Stranger Things.

Danelectro ’56 Baritone

Shifting gears a little, Bridgers is often seen with this baritone Danelectro strung across her shoulder. The ‘56 Baritone, Phoebe’s with a three-a-side headstock that differs from the currently available six-in-line headstock. The ‘56 Baritone features Danelectro’s famous lipstick-style pickups for a rounded tone, balancing the extended low frequency from the baritone’s strings.

Baritone guitars are traditionally tuned to B Standard!

Waterloo WL-14 in black

Bridgers performs with this one a lot live, and it has surely made its way onto countless recordings. The WL-14 is Jet Black, Bridgers describing it as “murdered-out”.

“Conor Oberst [Bright Eyes] got me a totally murdered-out Waterloo guitar a couple of years ago for my birthday and that’s my prized possession now. Even the tuning pegs are black, the pickguard is black. Collings makes them and I feel like Collings are my favorite new guitars, by far.” 

The WL-14 is Waterloo’s flagship model, featuring a solid spruce top and solid mahogany sides. The fingerboard is Indian rosewood, coupled with an Ebony bridge.

Silvertone Vintage 658 1960’s Hollowbody Archtop

This has been an increasingly popular addition to Phoebe’s live arsenal of guitars. The archtop body provides a warm resonance, not quite as bright as a more traditional acoustic, yet more rounded than a solid body electric.

Phoebe Bridgers Silvertone

Bridgers’ Silvertone has been modified with a gold-foil pickup of some kind, offering a vintage-style electric tone. Silvertone are well known, having been a range of musical products created by and sold in Sears stores in the USA from the early 20th century. They began with phonographs and radios before deviating to guitars in the 60s. 

Suzuki QC-1 QChord

Phoebe Bridgers’ guitar collection is bolstered by the addition of a unique synth. The Suzuki Q Chord is described as a hybrid between electric guitar, synth and keyboard into one, Millennium Falcon-esque package. Bridgers uses this live and in the studio, describing its sound as “like doing karaoke with your own music.”

The QC-1 has sounds, presets, effects and rhythms available, with an inbuilt speaker as well as an output. Strap buttons can have it strung across your shoulder and looking as cool as a … nevermind.

Keep up with Phoebe here.