The history of the ibanez jem electric guitar
Saturday, December 31, 2022
The Ibanez JEM electric guitar has been a staple of the rock and metal scene since its introduction in 1987. Developed by Steve Vai, the Ibanez JEM has become one of the most recognizable guitars in modern music. This post will explore the history of the Ibanez JEM electric guitar and how it came to be such an iconic instrument for rock and metal musicians around the world.
The origins of the Ibanez JEM can be traced back to 1985 when Steve Vai was approached by Hoshino Gakki, the parent company of Ibanez guitars, to design an artist signature model. At that time, Vai had already established himself as a virtuoso guitarist with his work on Frank Zappa's band and his debut solo album “Flex-Able” released in 1984. After working closely with Hoshino Gakki, Vai helped develop what would become the Ibanez JEM 7V, which was launched in 1987.
The Ibanez JEM 7V was originally designed to cater to heavy metal players and was marketed as a high-end performance oriented instrument. It featured a distinct double cutaway body shape that was designed to provide comfort while playing those intricate fast solos. It also featured several innovative features such as an Edge tremolo bridge, an integrated locking nut system, and DiMarzio pickups designed specifically for this model.
The success of the original Ibanez JEM 7V led to numerous other models being released over the years including the JEM 77WDP (the first signature model with a maple fingerboard), the Universe series (which featured reverse headstocks), and more recently, the JEM EVO (which featured active electronics). These various models have been used by many famous guitarists over the years including Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Zakk Wylde and many more.
Today, the Ibanez JEM is still one of the most popular electric guitars on the market and continues to be sought after by both beginner and advanced players alike. It has maintained its popularity with its unique combination of looks and playability as well as its wide range of models catering to different playing styles and preferences. The influence of Steve Vai's design is still evident in every iteration of this iconic guitar and it is sure to remain a mainstay in modern music for years to come.