UPDATED 04/21/02

[Keith Guitar Player '92]

"Five strings, two fingers, one asshole..."

[52 Tele]

Micawber is the name of Keith's main Fender Telecaster. It is an early 50's butterscotch color model with a black pickguard & a stock 3 way switch. The sixth string is removed, it's always tuned to open G (G,D,G,B,D) low to high with no capo. Gauges .011,.015,.018,.030,.042. It has replacement tuners & a brass replacement bridge with individual saddles, and the nut is cut to accomodate 5 strings-they aren't evenly spaced across the fingerboard, but the first string is moved a bit to keep it from going over the edge. It has a Gibson PAF humbucker in neck position, original Tele pickup in the bridge position. It is warm & thick sounding & can be heard on such live tracks as "Before They Make Me Run", "Brown Sugar", "Mixed Emotions", and "Honky Tonk Women".

[guitar pick]

Keith's second Tele is also from the 50's. It has a black pickguard,five strings, natural finish so that you can see the grain in the body. The pickups & mods are the same as Micawber & this Tele stays capoed at the 4th fret. Keith uses Shubb capoes. Tuned in B: B, F#,B, D#,F#. This Tele is a little louder and somewhat brighter than Micawber and can be heard onstage for Tumbling Dice, Happy, Jumping jack Flash.

[Fender logo/link}

This guitar is also a 5 string. It is sunburst, with a maple neck,& low frets. The PAF's cover is removed exposing the bobbins. This Tele has a brass unit, while the other 2 Teles have chrome or nickel plated bridges with individual saddles. Capoed at the first fret it can be seen onstage for You Can't Always Get What You Want.

[Keith autograph]


[Music Man Silhouette link]

This is the guitar that Keith used in 89-90, 94-95 & on his Winos tour as his main standard tuning guitar. I bought a Music Man Silhouette like Keith's in 1994 because he said this "The Music Man Silhouette is an amazing guitar. I have about 2 or 3 of those and I'm always surprised they don't push the things more, though in a way I admore them 'cause it's going to make it's reputation for what it is, and it can stand on that. Keith says it's the first new guitar in years that has the quality of Fenders & Gibsons of the 50's. It has an aura of classic about it.It will sound pretty much how you want it. You can change the pick-up configuration pretty easily-it takes 10 minutes, humbucker, single coil, whatever. It's got a beautiful neck, lovely balance, and once you find your way around it has such an amazing range for such a simple design. So it's got all the attributes of a Telecaster, it's a solid piece of work." Keith uses the Music Man's for standard tuning & has a black & a white one. Both are non-tremolo with through body stringing, the white one has Schaller pickups, the black one DiMarzios, both in humbucker/single coil arrangement. Keith says the Silhouettes have the best truss rod in the world as far as ease of use & function.Keith used this guitar on previous tours for songs like Bitch, Sad Sad Sad, Sympathy, Satisfaction, etc. In fact Ronnie Wood used one as well in 94-95. This guitar is light, the headstock is small & the access to the fingerboard it great and this is another reason it was the perfect guitar for me (Blue Lena) to buy. I love it.

[Ernie Ball Tag]

Keith's main Strat is an early '58 known as the Mary Kay. It was previously owned by Ron Wood. You can see him play it in the Chuck Berry film Hail Hail Rock N' Roll. It has an all maple neck & fingerboard with a one piece ash body, see through blond finish & all gold hardware. The pickups are stock, but a 3 way selector switch has been changed to a 5 way.

[Gibson USA]
Keith used to be seen with a black maple necked Custom, but he doesn't seem to use that anymore. He also used a bound black single pickup custom built L5S that was featured on one of the Winos videos. Most recently he has used a Gibson ES-335 on the Bridges to Babylon tour. In the summer of 1999 I purchased a Ronnie Wood Signature J-200 acoustic, limited edition of 100 made in natural & sunburst finishes.The guitar features hand carved flamed pick guards & Ronnie's artwork inlaid on the headstock. Ronnie also signed the guitar inside. I own the sunburst but a photo of the natural finish can be seen below.

In the studio Keith likes to experiment with amps & mikes-Fenders, Marshalls, Vox. He always has a Fender Twin.This amp is a 1957 model originally tweed, but recovered in early 60's style brown Tolex. It has 4 6L6 tubes. Other road amps include a Marshall head & a Fender 4x10 Bassman from 1956. Fenders are used for clean sounds, Marshalls for dirty sounds. Keith almost always plays through 2 amps at once.

Keith uses a modified, impendence balanced Sony wireless unit.

OPEN G: D,G,D,G,B,D low to high. Known as Russian Tuning. Since root chords tend to appear at the 5th string in open G, remove the 6th string, it just gets in the way. Songs such as Honky Tonk Women (their first hit recorded in open G), Start Me Up,Tumbling Dice, Happy, Brown Sugar, You Can't Always Get What You Want, and solo songs such as How I Wish are all played in open G.

OPEN D: D,A,D,F#,A,D low to high. Used on Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash & Child Of The Moon.

NASHVILLE TUNING: Makes your guitar sound like a 12 string (ie. Mick Taylor's guitar on Wild Horses was in Nashville tuning). The first 2 strings are strung normally and the lower strings, replaced with smaller gauges, are strung an octave higher than normal. It gives it a nice ring like a 12 string.

[Gibson ES-335]


Keith is on the road during the Bridges To Babylon Tour with 80 guitars. Most of them are Fender Teles, built in the 50's, with a removed 6th string, tuned in open G. He also has some sunburst Teles, built in the late 60's (with 6 strings), and a blonde strat from 1958. Some songs he plays with a Gibson Les Paul Junior, and for the real rock 'n roll stuff come some Gibson ES 335 semi-acoustics on stage. The Amps Keith uses are 3 Fender Twin Combos, built in the late 50's through Mesa Boogie 4x 12" cabinets. On acoustic parts he plays a 1949 Martin D-18 and a 1954 Martin D-18. Keith plays only Ernie Ball Strings in special sample. Keith does not use many effects except a bit of delays and parametric equalizing. "He makes his effects by his style of playing", says his Backliner Pierre de Beauport. This info courtesy of Manfred Mletzko, who was kind enough to translate the article for me.

The information below is courtesy of Marcus Hierl May 2001

More on B2B set-up by Marcus Hierl May 2001


Micawber: Butterscotch Blonde, Gibson PAF Humbucker, I Know This Is Used During Honky Tonk Women....

Malcolm: Butterscotch Blonde,Very Apparent Grain Pattern, Capoed At The 4th Fret, Used During Let's Spend The Night Together, Jumping Jack Flash

Tele#3: A 1967 3 Tone Sunburst With 5-String Only, Capoed At The 4th Fret & Used During You Can't Always Get What You Want, Like A Rolling Stone And Tumbling Dice

Tele#4: 1950's Or 1960's Vintage Blonde Telecaster, Rosewood Fingerboard With A White Pickguard& Seemingly Stock Fender Pickups Meaning No Humbuckers, Used During Satisfaction, Flip The Switch, Saint Of Me, You Don't Have To Mean It And Sympathy For The Devil

Tele #5: Now Here Lena Is Where I Am Not Sure...I Know That Keith Uses A Few Butterscotch Blonde 52' Telecasters With Stock Pickups Meaning No Humbuckers And Minor Adjustments, He Uses This Guitar During Wanna Hold You, Start Me Up And Brown Sugar...

Mary Kaye Stratocaster: Keith's 1958 Mary Kaye Stratocaster Which He Bought From Ronnie. The Only Change He Did Is Take Off The Wang Bar From The Bridge. This Guitar Has Been Used During Miss You


Gibson ES-355: Keith Uses A Cherry Red & Ebony ES-355, Which Closely Resembles The ES-335. The Differences Are That On Keith's His Has The Custom Les Paul Crown, Not The Small Crown On The Headstock Like The 335. Also The Inlays On A 355 Like Keith's Are Block Inlay's Not Dot Inlays Like A 335. Keith Has Gold Hardware On Both With Bigsby Bars. This Is Used During Gimme Shelter, Waiting On A Friend, It's Only Rock N' Roll And Thief In The Night

Gibson Les Paul Junior: Keith Uses A 1959 Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway. It Is TV Yellow And Nicknamed Dice Due To The Sticker He Put On The Guitar. It Is Capoed At The 7th Fret And Used During Midnight Rambler And Out of Control

Keith Has Used Other Guitars Prominently 1.A Solid Rosewood Telecaster With Stock Pickups Which He Used For Let's Spend The Night Together On The 1981/1982 Tours

2.A 1972 Fender Telecaster Custom, All Black With A Fender Humbucker In The Neck Position, It Has A Schecter Bridge And A Shaller Tuners, This Was Keith's Main Guitar For Many Years Especially During The 1975/1976 Tour Of The America's And The 1981/1982 Tour. He Used This During Little T&A, Under My Thumb And Most Standard Tuning Songs.

3. A Gibson Les Paul Junior: A Single Cutaway, A Single P90 Pickup Which Was Used During IORR On The Voodoo Lounge Tour

Other Guitars Keith Has Been Known To Use:

  • Dan Armstrong Plexiglass guitar (see through), was apparently stolen from Keith

  • A solid body, double cutaway with bird's eye maple body & fingerboard, one piece maple neck, gold in color made by Doug Young/Doby Guitars

  • A second Doby, solid body, single cutaway of curly maple, ebony fingerboard, was a gift to Keith & Patti from Doug Young-it features Keith's & Patti's names inlaid on the headstock with small diamond chips below each name. It has a mother-of-pearl skull & crossbones inlaid on the non-cutaway shoulder & a dagger on the other side. This guitar has been seen widely in photographs of Keith from the early 1980's.

  • A few Les Paul Juniors

  • It's been said that Keith owns SO many guitars he probably doesn't even realize all the ones he has! There are many that he plays for his own enjoyment, but not on stage.


  • Keith uses primarily Ernie Ball regular Slinkys with a .010 for the treble E


  • Stones Guitar Tabs
  • Guitar Tricks
  • Top 100 Tab Sites

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    [To The Shrine]