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What acoustic did Chris Cornell play?

Chris Cornell was a legendary musician, singer, and songwriter, known for his wide vocal range and powerful, emotional performances. Cornell was a founding member of the bands Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, and he also had a successful solo career.

As an accomplished guitarist as well as a vocalist, Cornell was known for his powerful, yet nuanced acoustic guitar playing. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the acoustic guitars that Chris Cornell played throughout his career, including his beloved Martin D-28 Marquis.

The Martin D-28 Marquis

The Martin D-28 Marquis was Chris Cornell’s go-to acoustic guitar, and it was the instrument that he used to write and perform some of his most iconic songs. This guitar was a special edition of the classic Martin D-28, with a few key differences that set it apart from the standard model.

The most noticeable difference between the Martin D-28 Marquis and the standard D-28 is the wider neck. This makes the guitar more suited for fingerpicking, which was one of Cornell’s specialties. The Marquis also features a special herringbone binding and diamond volute on the back of the neck, as well as a gold “C.F. Martin” logo on the headstock.

Cornell was first introduced to the Martin D-28 Marquis by his longtime guitar technician, Jeff Fura, who had worked with Cornell since the early days of Soundgarden. Fura had discovered the guitar while visiting the Martin factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and he immediately knew that it would be a perfect fit for Cornell’s playing style.

After Fura brought the guitar to Cornell’s attention, the singer was instantly hooked. The Martin D-28 Marquis became his primary acoustic guitar, and he used it extensively on his solo albums, as well as on Soundgarden and Audioslave recordings.

Other Guitars Cornell Played

While the Martin D-28 Marquis was Cornell’s favorite acoustic guitar, he also played a variety of other instruments throughout his career. For example, he occasionally played a Gibson J-200, which is a large-bodied acoustic guitar with a distinctive sound.

Cornell also experimented with different tunings and techniques, often using open tunings to create unique chord progressions and add extra depth to his songs. This innovative approach to guitar playing was one of the key factors that set him apart from other musicians of his generation.

Cornell’s Legacy

Unfortunately, Chris Cornell passed away in 2017 at the age of 52, leaving behind a rich musical legacy that continues to inspire generations of fans and fellow musicians. His distinctive voice, powerful guitar playing, and emotionally charged lyrics will always be remembered as some of the greatest contributions to modern rock music.

Even though Cornell is no longer with us, his music lives on, and his influence can still be felt in the work of countless artists across a variety of genres. And while we may never know exactly why he chose the Martin D-28 Marquis as his go-to acoustic guitar, it is clear that this instrument was a key part of his signature sound and played an important role in his musical journey.


Chris Cornell was a remarkable musician and songwriter who left an indelible mark on the world of music. His unique style of playing and his use of the Martin D-28 Marquis helped to define his sound and create some of the most memorable songs of his career. While he is no longer with us, his music will continue to inspire and entertain generations of fans for years to come.


What guitars were used on the Super Unknown album?

The making of Soundgarden’s legendary album, “Superunknown,” is not only known for its groundbreaking music but also for the incredible guitar sounds that were produced. To achieve that sound, the band used various guitars during the recording process, but according to “Superunknown” album producer Michael Beinhorn, the band used only three guitars for most of the album.

The first guitar that Chris Cornell used was a Gretsch Duo Jet. It’s a classic solid body electric guitar with a hollow chambered body that produces warm and rich tonality. The Gretsch Duo Jet guitar was featured in the recording of the song Black Hole Sun, which is one of the most popular songs on the album. Chris used the Gretsch Duo Jet to record most of the rhythm tracks on “Superunknown.”

The second guitar that Cornell used was a double-cutaway Gretsch Silver Jet. This guitar is similar to the Gretsch Duo Jet, but the silver jet has two cutaways on its upper bout body, which makes it easier to reach the highest frets. The Silver Jet has a more trebly and cutting sound, which was perfect for the more aggressive sounds that were produced in the recordings of the songs The Day I Tried to Live and Let Me Drown.

Finally, this Fender Jazzmaster guitar was used quite a bit by Cornell during the recording of “Superunknown.” Its unique pickups produced a warmer and brighter sound that was ideal for capturing the tone of the song “Spoonman.” This iconic song is widely regarded as one of the greatest singles to come out of the ’90s alternative rock scene. Cornell’s inventive use of the Jazzmaster’s tremolo bar further accentuated the song’s unconventional rhythms.

While Soundgarden might have used various guitars in their music, the three guitars used for the recording of “Superunknown” played a critical role in the success of the album. Their unique sounds added incredible depth and texture to the band’s music, making it one of the defining albums of the ’90s grunge scene.

Did Chris Cornell play a Gretsch?

Chris Cornell was a legendary musician known for his powerful vocals and captivating performances. Throughout his career, he played a variety of guitars, including the Gibson SG and the Fender Telecaster. However, many fans have questioned whether he ever played a Gretsch guitar.

The answer is yes, Chris Cornell did play a Gretsch guitar. In fact, he used a Gretsch 1989 Jet Silver Sparkle model exclusively while recording the iconic song “Black Hole Sun” with his band Soundgarden. It is interesting to note that while he is seen playing a Gold Sparkle model in the track’s accompanying music video, it was actually the 1989 Jet Silver Sparkle model that was used in the studio.

The Gretsch Jet model was first introduced in the 1950s and has been a favorite of rock guitarists ever since. With its sleek design and powerful sound, it is no wonder why Cornell chose this guitar to play one of Soundgarden’s most popular songs. He also used the Gretsch on occasion during his solo career, further demonstrating his appreciation for the instrument.

While Chris Cornell may have been known for playing other guitars, it is clear that he did have a fondness for Gretsch guitars as well. The fact that he used the 1989 Jet Silver Sparkle model during the recording of “Black Hole Sun” only adds to the instrument’s legacy and further cements Chris Cornell’s importance in the world of rock music.