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What Acoustic Guitar Does Ed Sheeran Play



Ed Sheeran, the renowned singer-songwriter from England, has captivated audiences worldwide with his heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies. His music resonates deeply with listeners, and his acoustic guitar playing is an integral part of his signature sound. Many fans are curious about the instrument that accompanies Ed Sheeran on stage and in the studio, wondering what acoustic guitar he plays.

Through his career, Sheeran has developed a strong connection with his acoustic guitar, and it has become a defining element of his musical identity. The instrument he chooses to play is carefully selected to suit his unique style and requirements. In this article, we will explore the factors that have influenced Ed Sheeran’s choice of acoustic guitars and reveal the model that has become synonymous with his name.

From the small venues where he started out to sold-out arenas around the world, Ed Sheeran’s acoustic guitar has been a constant companion, helping him create beautiful music that resonates with millions. So, let’s delve into the journey of Sheeran’s guitar and discover the secrets behind its allure.


The Rise of Ed Sheeran’s Acoustic Guitar

Ed Sheeran’s journey to stardom is a testament to his extraordinary skill as a musician and performer. As he began to gain recognition for his talent, it became increasingly evident that his choice of acoustic guitar played a pivotal role in shaping his unique sound.

Early in his career, Sheeran became known for his intimate and captivating live performances. With just his voice and his trusty guitar, he was able to captivate audiences in a way that few artists could. This simplicity and rawness became synonymous with his style, and his acoustic guitar played a major part in achieving this.

As his popularity grew, Sheeran’s acoustic guitar became an object of fascination among fans and aspiring musicians alike. The instrument he played became a symbol of his success and a coveted item among musicians seeking to emulate his sound.

In addition to his live performances, Sheeran’s acoustic guitar became an essential tool in the creation of his studio albums. It served as the foundation for his music, providing the warmth and intimate tone that became his trademark. His ability to seamlessly transition from gentle fingerpicking to energetic strumming highlighted the versatility of his chosen instrument.

Sheeran’s acoustic guitar became not just a tool but also a muse, inspiring him to create melodies and lyrics that resonated with millions. The deep emotional connection between the artist and his instrument is evident in the soulful performances he delivers on stage and in the recording studio.

As Sheeran’s career skyrocketed, so did the demand for the acoustic guitar he played. Fans sought to identify the exact model he used, hoping to capture a piece of his musical magic. The rise in popularity of his chosen instrument sparked a trend, with many musicians embracing similar acoustic guitars in an attempt to recreate the magic of Sheeran’s sound.

The rise of Ed Sheeran’s acoustic guitar marks a significant moment in the history of the instrument. It showcases the power of a musician’s connection to their chosen instrument and how it can shape their artistic journey. Let us now turn our attention to the factors that influenced Ed Sheeran’s choice of acoustic guitar.


Factors Influencing Ed Sheeran’s Choice

When it comes to choosing an acoustic guitar, musicians consider a multitude of factors that contribute to their unique sound and playing style. Ed Sheeran is no exception, and a combination of elements influenced his decision in selecting the acoustic guitar that has become closely associated with his name. Let’s explore the factors that played a role in Sheeran’s choice.

Sound Quality: As an artist renowned for his heartfelt lyrics and emotional performances, Ed Sheeran sought an acoustic guitar that could deliver a rich and warm sound. The instrument’s tonal qualities and resonance were of paramount importance to him, enabling him to evoke the desired emotions in his music.

Comfort and Playability: Performing for hours on end requires an acoustic guitar that is comfortable to play. Sheeran needed an instrument that allowed him to effortlessly transition between delicate fingerpicking and energetic strumming. The guitar’s neck profile, fretboard radius, and action were all carefully considered to ensure optimum playability.

Size and Portability: As a traveling musician, Ed Sheeran needed an acoustic guitar that could withstand the demands of constant touring. A smaller-sized instrument that was easy to carry and maneuver on stage became a crucial factor in his decision-making process. The guitar needed to be durable and able to withstand the rigors of a busy touring schedule.

Electronics: In the modern music landscape, electronic amplification has become increasingly important for live performances. Ed Sheeran wanted an acoustic guitar with high-quality electronics that could faithfully reproduce his sound for larger venues without compromising the instrument’s natural tone.

Aesthetic Appeal: While the sound and playability were of utmost importance, the visual aesthetic of the guitar also played a role in Sheeran’s decision. He wanted an instrument that reflected his personal style and image, reinforcing the connection between him and his audience.

These factors, among others, influenced Ed Sheeran’s choice of acoustic guitar. Each element served a specific purpose in delivering the sound and experience he was striving to achieve. Now, let’s zoom in on the specific features of the acoustic guitar that has become synonymous with Ed Sheeran’s name – the Little Martin LX1E.


Body Shape: The Little Martin LX1E

One of the defining features of Ed Sheeran’s acoustic guitar is its unique body shape. The instrument he chose is the Little Martin LX1E, a compact and travel-friendly model that delivers impressive sound despite its smaller size.

The Little Martin LX1E features a modified 0-14 fret body shape, which combines elements of the classic Martin guitars with a modern twist. This compact design offers a balanced and focused tone, making it ideal for both studio recordings and live performances.

Thanks to its smaller body, the Little Martin LX1E is incredibly comfortable to hold and play for extended periods. This is particularly important for Sheeran as he often performs for hours on end, pouring his heart and soul into his music.

Despite its smaller size, the Little Martin LX1E does not compromise on sound quality. The guitar is constructed with a solid Sitka spruce top, which lends a bright and articulate tone to the instrument. The top is paired with a body made from high-pressure laminate (HPL) mahogany, adding warmth and depth to the overall sound.

The combination of solid Sitka spruce and HPL mahogany allows the Little Martin LX1E to produce a full and vibrant sound, making it suitable for a wide range of musical styles and genres. Whether Sheeran is strumming energetically or delicately fingerpicking, this guitar delivers a tone that is clear, balanced, and rich in harmonics.

In addition to its impressive sound, the Little Martin LX1E also features built-in electronics, further enhancing its versatility. The Fishman Isys T system ensures that Sheeran’s acoustic sound can be amplified faithfully without sacrificing the instrument’s natural tone.

The body shape of the Little Martin LX1E, combined with the carefully selected tonewoods and electronics, makes it the perfect instrument for Ed Sheeran’s musical style and performance needs. It is a testament to his dedication to creating a sound that is uniquely his own.

Now that we have explored the body shape of Sheeran’s guitar, let’s turn our attention to another crucial aspect – the tonewoods used in its construction.


Tonewoods: The Unique Blend of Tropical Mahogany and Solid Sitka Spruce

When it comes to the tonal qualities of an acoustic guitar, the choice of tonewoods plays a significant role. Ed Sheeran’s choice of tonewoods for his Little Martin LX1E acoustic guitar reflects his desire for a balanced and resonant sound.

The top of the Little Martin LX1E is made from solid Sitka spruce, a popular tonewood known for its excellent projection and dynamic range. Sitka spruce is known for delivering a crisp and articulate tone, making it the perfect choice for an acoustic guitar that needs to cut through the mix.

The body of the LX1E is constructed with high-pressure laminate (HPL) mahogany, a durable and sustainable alternative to solid wood. This HPL mahogany offers warmth and depth to the overall sound of the guitar, providing a rich and resonant tone.

By combining these tonewoods, Ed Sheeran’s guitar achieves a balanced and versatile sound. The solid Sitka spruce top provides clarity and brightness, while the HPL mahogany body adds warmth and depth. This unique blend allows the guitar to deliver a full and well-rounded sound that is well-suited for both strumming and fingerpicking styles.

Additionally, the combination of tropical mahogany and Sitka spruce tonewoods ensures that Sheeran’s guitar matures beautifully over time, developing a more refined and nuanced sound as it ages. This characteristic further enhances the instrument’s ability to deliver a unique and personalized sound for Sheeran’s performances.

The tonewoods used in the construction of the Little Martin LX1E not only contribute to its exceptional sound but also make it a visually appealing instrument. The combination of the light hue of the Sitka spruce top and the rich color of the HPL mahogany body creates a striking contrast that adds to the aesthetic allure of the guitar.

With the blend of tropical mahogany and solid Sitka spruce, Ed Sheeran’s Little Martin LX1E possesses a distinctive tonal character that sets it apart from other acoustic guitars. Now, let’s explore another essential aspect of Sheeran’s guitar – its electronics.


Electronics: The Fishman Isys T

For live performances and studio recordings, having high-quality electronics is essential to capture the true essence of an acoustic guitar. Ed Sheeran’s choice of electronics for his Little Martin LX1E is the Fishman Isys T system, which ensures exceptional sound reproduction and amplification.

The Fishman Isys T system is specifically designed for acoustic instruments, providing a seamless integration of electronics without compromising the natural tone of the guitar. It features a discreet preamp with volume, tone, and phase controls conveniently located near the soundhole for easy access.

The Fishman Isys T system allows Ed Sheeran to effortlessly transition between intimate acoustic performances and larger venues. With its built-in tuner, he can ensure that his guitar is always perfectly in tune, even in the midst of a lively performance.

This system effectively captures the nuances and nuances of the Little Martin LX1E’s sound, faithfully amplifying every strum and fingerpicked note. It retains the instrument’s natural acoustic characteristics, preserving the warmth, clarity, and tonal qualities that are distinct to Sheeran’s signature sound.

Furthermore, the Fishman Isys T system provides excellent feedback rejection, which is vital when performing on stage with high volume levels. This feature allows Sheeran to maintain control over his sound, even in the most demanding live settings.

The inclusion of the Fishman Isys T system in Ed Sheeran’s guitar adds a layer of versatility to his performances. It enables him to achieve a consistent and high-quality sound, whether performing in an intimate café or on the grand stage of a concert hall.

With the Fishman Isys T electronics, Ed Sheeran’s Little Martin LX1E acoustic guitar is equipped to deliver a superb amplified sound while remaining true to the instrument’s natural characteristics. Now let’s explore another crucial aspect – the playability of the instrument.


Playability: Comfortable Neck Profile and Low Action

One of the key factors that contribute to a guitarist’s comfort and ability to perform at their best is the playability of the instrument. Ed Sheeran’s Little Martin LX1E acoustic guitar is designed with playability in mind, featuring a comfortable neck profile and low action.

The neck profile of the LX1E is carefully crafted to provide an ergonomic grip, allowing Sheeran to seamlessly navigate the fretboard. It strikes a balance between being substantial enough for stability during intricate fingerpicking and slim enough for easy chord transitions and fast-paced playing.

With a slim neck, Ed Sheeran can maintain a relaxed and comfortable hand position, reducing fatigue during long performances. This enables him to focus on expressing himself through his music without being hindered by any discomfort in his hands.

Furthermore, the low action on the Little Martin LX1E ensures that the strings are set close to the frets, resulting in effortless fretting and minimal effort required to produce clean, clear notes. This attribute is particularly beneficial for Sheeran’s intricate fingerstyle playing, allowing him to achieve precision and dexterity with ease.

The careful attention to playability in the design of Sheeran’s guitar contributes to his ability to deliver technically challenging passages flawlessly. The combination of a comfortable neck profile and low action allows him to express himself freely and fluidly on the instrument.

Additionally, the playability of the Little Martin LX1E makes it a suitable choice for guitarists of all levels. Whether a beginner or an experienced player, the ease of play offered by the guitar enhances the overall learning and playing experience for musicians.

By incorporating a comfortable neck profile and low action, Ed Sheeran’s Little Martin LX1E acoustic guitar promotes effortless playing and facilitates the translation of musical ideas into captivating performances. Now, let’s move on to discuss another significant aspect – the size and portability of the instrument.


Size and Portability: Perfect for Traveling Musicians

For a musician constantly on the move, having an acoustic guitar that is convenient to travel with is crucial. Ed Sheeran’s choice of the Little Martin LX1E acoustic guitar is a testament to its size and portability, making it the perfect companion for a traveling musician.

The Little Martin LX1E has a compact and portable design, making it easy to carry and maneuver. Its smaller body size and reduced scale length make it more manageable compared to larger and bulkier acoustic guitars. This allows Sheeran to effortlessly transport his instrument from one location to another without any undue hassle.

Moreover, the smaller size of the Little Martin LX1E does not compromise its sound quality. Despite being a travel-sized guitar, it still delivers a robust and well-rounded tone that stands up to the demands of recording sessions and live performances. This ensures that Sheeran can create music of the highest quality while on the road.

The portability of the Little Martin LX1E also makes it ideal for impromptu jam sessions or collaborations. Its compact size allows for easy integration with other instruments, whether it’s around a campfire or in a cramped backstage area. Sheeran can effortlessly join in on musical endeavors without any limitations imposed by a larger guitar.

Additionally, the Little Martin LX1E’s durability is a key advantage for a traveling musician. Its construction and materials are designed to withstand the rigors of constant travel, ensuring that it remains intact and in playable condition throughout Sheeran’s hectic schedule.

The size and portability of the Little Martin LX1E have made it the go-to choice for many traveling musicians, as it strikes the perfect balance between convenience and quality. Ed Sheeran’s decision to select this guitar is a testament to the instrument’s ability to accompany him on his musical journey, no matter where it takes him.

Now that we have explored the various factors that influenced Ed Sheeran’s choice of acoustic guitar and examined the key features of the Little Martin LX1E, we can truly appreciate the instrument that has become synonymous with his name. Its body shape, tonewoods, electronics, playability, and size make it a remarkable companion for Sheeran’s musical endeavors.



Ed Sheeran’s choice of an acoustic guitar is a reflection of his unique style, musical preferences, and performance requirements. The Little Martin LX1E has become synonymous with his name, providing the foundation for his captivating performances and heartfelt songs.

Throughout his career, Sheeran’s acoustic guitar has played a vital role in shaping his signature sound. The factors that influenced his choice include sound quality, comfort, size and portability, electronics, and playability.

The body shape of the Little Martin LX1E, with its compact design, delivers a balanced and focused tone, while the tonewoods of solid Sitka spruce and tropical mahogany contribute to its rich and resonant sound. The Fishman Isys T system ensures exceptional sound reproduction and amplification, while the comfortable neck profile and low action enhance playability.

Furthermore, the LX1E’s compact size and durability make it perfect for traveling musicians like Ed Sheeran, allowing him to create music wherever his journey takes him. Its versatility, both in terms of sound and usage, has made it a sought-after guitar for musicians seeking to emulate Sheeran’s style.

In conclusion, Ed Sheeran’s choice of the Little Martin LX1E as his acoustic guitar showcases the importance of finding an instrument that resonates with an artist’s unique style and requirements. His musical journey and success are intrinsically intertwined with this meticulously chosen guitar, allowing him to bring his songs to life and create a magical experience for his audience.

As fans continue to be captivated by Ed Sheeran’s heartfelt music, they can appreciate the significance of the acoustic guitar that accompanies him on stage. The Little Martin LX1E will forever be a symbol of his talent, passion, and unwavering dedication to his craft.

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