Gibson EB-3

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Gibson EB-3: A blog about the history of Gibson’s best selling bass, the EB-3.

The Gibson EB-3 is one of the most popular electric basses in history with over 30, 000 being made since its introduction in 1961. It was in production for over 20 years and is featured on hundreds of albums by artists as diverse as The Who, Pink Floyd, Boston and Genesis.

The original model featured two P90 pickups, a walnut finish and a 24 fret neck. The first models came out in 1961 with cherry sunburst bodies but were soon replaced with mahogany bodies and walnut finishes.

Many feel that the Gibson EB-3 bass was one of Gibson’s finest moments. The best selling bass in Gibson’s history, it was the bass that most rock and roll and blues bands relied on from the late 60’s through the mid 70’s.

The EB-3 was made by Gibson from 1961 through 1979 and was originally intended as a jazz bass but found its way into every type of music from rock to country to R&B. It has been played by such luminaries as Jack Bruce, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, John Entwistle, Phil Lesh and Sting to name but a few.

The Gibson EB-3 bass guitar is one of the world’s most loved basses. Even after forty years, the classic design still draws people in.

But how did it come to be? And when? And why?

In this blog, I’ll attempt to answer these questions, and many more.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and writing it.


In 1961 Gibson introduced its most popular and successful bass guitar, the EB-3. The EB-3 was a solid mahogany body bass with two P-90 pickups. It had a short 30.5” scale neck, fast action and great tone. The P-90 pickups were more like single coil pickups on a Strat, rather than the warm bassy sound of traditional humbucking bass pickups. They gave the instrument a unique sound that was to become very desirable in the late 60s, as rock music became harder and louder.

The EB-3 was first produced for about four years as a “Les Paul Model”, then later in 1965 it was renamed “SG Bass”. In 1970 Gibson introduced the “L6S” which looked similar but had an all maple body (no mahogany) with a 24 fret neck. Production of these instruments ceased in 1979. There were several variations over the years including different finishes, single pickup models (EB-2), short scale models (EB-0) and even 12 string models (EB-12).

The original EB-3 bass has been played by some of the giants of rock & roll music: Jack Bruce of

The Gibson EB-3 electric bass guitar was one of the most popular bass models ever made by Gibson. It was Gibson’s second most successful bass model, behind only the classic Gibson Thunderbird. The EB-3 was particularly popular with jazz and soul musicians of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Gibson EB-3 was a bass guitar produced by Gibson from 1961 to 1979. It was essentially a Gibson SG with a long scale neck and two P-90 pickups.

The EB-3 was originally introduced in 1961, at the dawn of the electric bass era. Its most notable users are Jack Bruce of Cream, who used it on all of their albums and played it on tour until 1969; and John Entwistle of The Who, who used it on most of their albums through 1972 (including “Won’t Get Fooled Again” where its sound is so distinctive that people often confuse it with a keyboard).

The EB-3 was discontinued after 1979, but returned to the Gibson lineup in 2006.

“The EB-3 is a Gibson bass made from 1961 to 1979. It is a solid body bass with a short-scale (30”) neck. The EB-3 is known as the “Les Paul” bass, and was featured prominently in the hands of Jack Bruce of Cream.

The EB3 has a mahogany body with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. The earlier models have two P-90 single coil pickups that are stacked vertically, but in 1966 Gibson replaced the P-90s with mini humbucker pickups, which were also used on the Les Paul Deluxe and ES-335TD. In 1971 these mini humbuckers were replaced by standard size humbuckers.”

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