Some people love them. Some people hate them. Some think they are great performers and musicians. Others say they are terrible. Yes, One Direction is full of controversy as is often the case with boy bands.

But let us take a moment and set aside the fact that they are a boy band and that the music is a matter of taste. What about the instruments they play. Are there any guitars involved? Actually yes there are.

One of the members, Niall Horan does play guitar and has done so on recent tours. The guitars that he uses are actually quite nice and of good quality to say the least.


First of, acoustically, he plays a Taylor. Taylor guitars are top of the line and very popular indeed. He plays a semi acoustic Taylor (Which means it can be used with an amplifier.) The guitar is a cut-away, so he can climp higher up he neck for solos if he so desires.He has also been spotted with a Takamine acoustic guitar. Like the Taylor, this is also semi acoustic and has a cut away build. Takamine may not be as exclusive as Taylor guitars, but they certainly have some great models available.

Electrically has has at least three guitars that he seems to be using when performing in live settings. The first one is a black fender 60’s Stratocaster with rosewood fingerboard. He has a white Statocaster as well which has the same features as his black one. He also has a Fender Telecaster that also features a rosewood fingerboard. It resemblances the Stratocasters that he uses, only in Telecaster style and “Tele” pickups of course.

Why would he do this? Well, certain songs may require a specific tone and feel. It is very normal to have some variation in your guitars. It also looks good. It would be false to claim that One Direction (or their management/label) does not employ sleek marketing tactics and use image and looks to promote themselves. Playing cool looking guitars definitely help put an extra sparkle and touch on the image.


Horan also uses a very cool Gibson Les Paul. He tends to favor the Les Paul Standard. Actually, he has been known to play two Les Paul guitars. While they are both Les Paul Standards, one is a tobacco burst and the other is cherry burst. The Les Paul Standard is hugely popular and a lot of people find them very comfortable to play. They are also very versatile which would be a good reason as to why Horan chooses to use this type of Les Paul.

All of the guitars that he uses are quality instruments. Whether you are a fan of their music or not, you have to respect the fact that at least Neil has a good taste when in comes to guitars. Granted, some of them are given to him through endorsement deals. But that does not change the fact that these guitars are awesome and do the trick for the bands music and perhaps equally as important, their look and brand and stage appearance.

One Response

  1. Hoyt B

    This is somewhat biased. He also uses the SG, including a 61 custom in white. The Les Paul pictured above is a Studio edition. Not completely accurate


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