Frankie becomes a brand ambassador for Gibson Guitars. Gibson is the brand that has been played by his family for generations. The very first guitar he ever touched was a Gibson. He still has his grandfather’s L7 acoustic from the 1940’s (pictured below). When he was approached by Gibson to team up, he was all in.
Even though Frankie is known for being a piano player, he writes almost all his music on guitars. He’s acquired quite an extensive guitar collection thanks to The Gibson company. He has them all over the house so whenever an idea hits him, he has an instrument ready to go. “I’ve never been the greatest guitar player,” Moreno says, “but I know my way around one to create music. To me, guitars are tools for songwriting. Some people collect guitars for art, some for stage, some to play for fun. Mine are like diaries hanging on my wall, ready for me to write in their pages at any given moment”.
“I’ve been very fortunate to become part of the Gibson family.” Moreno says. “They’ve invited me to play so many of their events and set me up with some amazing instruments. As a songwriter, the more options of sounds and styles I have, the more ideas I can write. Much like an artist using different brushes and colors for their paintings”.
Frankie owns over 60 guitars in his collection. This doesn’t include the several dozen he’s given to schools and music programs for children. He’s also known for handing out guitars to his fans from the stage during his concerts.
Here’s a list of some of his Top-20 personal favorite guitars he owns.
- J200-Blonde “KING” (This is a guitar I’ve always wanted. It’s been played by so many icons. In fact, I love this one so much, I have two of them. I gave one to my dad. I hang this one on the wall right in the center just to remember why I chose this career.)
- J200-Custom White “MOONLIGHT” (This was my 6th J200. It’s a “one-of-a-kind” custom painted, and is just a knockout visual on stage. I use this in my show for the song Moonlight Matinee. It plays so easily and screams rock n’ roll.)
- Pre-War Western Classic-Vintage Sunburst “CANNON” (This one reminds me of something my grandfather would have played. It has a huge sound. Probably bigger than any of my other guitars. There’s so much attention in the detail from the binding to the neck. It’s a guitar I pick up when I wanna feel nostalgic and write something that sounds vintage.)
- J45-Custom Painted “SAZLBURG” (I’ve used this guitar on stage a lot. I love the feel of the J45. Probably one of the most conventional guitars for me. I do most of my live stuff on them. This particular guitar was custom painted for me by Donovan Fitzgerald. An amazing artist I have met who did a scene on it of Mozart’s home town – Salzburg, Austria. It’s an oil painting right on top of the body. It just rings sound and looks beautiful on stage.)
- J45-Black Custom with my name in Abalone. “FM” (I use this custom black J45 in my show. Gibson was kind enough to send me one with my name written in the neck in abalone. This thing is amazing. Holds its tune great, has a beautiful tone, and handles climate changes on the road very well.)
- J45-Gray Cobra Burst “COBRA” (I do a lot of writing on this guitar. Again, I’m quite partial to the J45’s. They just fit me well. This cobra burst I have handy all the time to pick up and write song ideas at home. It’s got a classic acoustic dreadnaught sound and feel.)
- Songwriter Deluxe-Custom Painted “VENICE” (I’m not usually a fan of cutaway guitars. I’m not a lead player, I play rhythm. So, I like as much body coming from the sound as possible. This songwriter however gives me all of that with the cutaway. A great instrument with another beautiful oil painting of Venice, Italy on it by Donovan Fitzgerald. Ironically…I’ve yet to write a song on this Songwriter guitar.)
- Keb Mo-Vintage Sunburst “KENYA” (Oh boy this guitar has some stories. I’ve taken this thing everywhere. Literally all over the world. I’ve probably written more songs on this than any other of my guitars. It has a very small body so it’s easy to travel with. Plays super smooth, and still puts out a big sound. It has a wide neck which is actually very fun to play. Stands up to climate change and holds its tuning amazingly. I’ve had it in the Austrian Alps and the African bush. I think I’ve done a few albums worth of songwriting on this little beast.)
- J15-Natural with Walnut Top “NUTZ” (When I first played this guitar I fell in love with it. It’s so simple with a bright and easy sound. I use it for recording sometimes because the walnut top gives off a very punchy tone. But it’s also one of my go-to’s at the house for a quick song idea.)
- Hummingbird-Red “RED” (In high school, I worked in a music store in Santa Cruz, CA. They had a hummingbird on display and I always said someday I would get one of these. I got turned on to the J45 which has a similar sound and put the hummingbird off for a while. I finally got a few of them. This one in particular has become one of my favorites. Big bold sound and such a classic look.)
- 1947 L7-Sunburst “THE GODFATHER” (This guitar was bought the year it came out by my grandfather “Grandpa Manny”. He gave it to me when I was a teenager. He’s passed away and right now my father has the guitar at his place on display. This is my most prized possession of any instrument I own. It’s the reason I started playing music. My grandfather was one of the closest people to me in my life, so this one has my heart.)
- J-200 Sunburst. “TABBACHY” (This Guitar I play a lot on stage. Great feel and a big body. It’s just a classic tobacco burst, and has my name in the neck in Pearl.)
- Hummingbird-Brown “PANCAKE” (This is a custom hummingbird I had Gibson do special for me. Instead of the traditional red burst, I wanted a brown and burnt caramel look. It’s one-of-a-kind, and a beauty.)
- J-200 (1950) “PEACH” (This is a classic 1950 J-200 in excellent shape. It was given to me by a dear friend of mine. Her father bought it in Georgia when it was brand new. I call her “Peach”. She plays like butter. I recorded the album “BROKE DOWN IN PARADISE” on this guitar and now write with it quite regularly.)
- Les Paul Studio-Wine Finish “CAB” (This is the very first electric guitar I ever bought. Every young guitar player needs a Les Paul. It made me feel like a legit musician. I’ve had it over 25 years and it’s still amazing. Heavy as hell.)
- ES335-Vintage Red “MAYBELLINE” (All the videos of Rock n’ Roll icons playing this instrument – I had to have one. Cherry Red, just like Chuck Berry had. I think as far as electric guitars go, this is a staple. It records perfectly and plays so easily.)
- ES335-Baby Blue “BLUE” (I love flashy guitars on stage. I got this baby blue version of the ES335 for stage but have yet to try it out. It looks so good on my wall I keep it for art. I had it custom made. There’s only one of these. However, when it was shipped to me, it got damaged and the neck broke off so I had to have another made.)
- Trini Lopez-Black “BLACK DIAMOND” (This guitar is sick. Super retro looking, and has a different headstock than all the other Gibsons. The tail piece and the fret markers are all super classic. It plays amazing too. I don’t play electric on stage much at all, but this is one of my first choices when I do.)
- ES330-Tobacco Burst “MEMPHIS” (I don’t think I’ve played a better feeling electric guitar. For me this is as good as it gets. Super light-weight, and just a bright and punchy tone that still can be mellowed out. I love this instrument. This one sits right by my computer in my studio always ready to record. It’s on all of the albums I’ve made in the past few years.)
- J200 Black Snakebite “GATSBY” (This guitar is a looker. It’s a black burst which you don’t see a lot of. The tuning pegs have an art deco feel, and the pearl inlay on the mahogany neck just pop. A great guitar to play but I hardly bring it to shows in fear that I’m gonna bang it up.)