Jonny Buckland


Jonny Buckland

Jonathan Mark Buckland (born 11 September 1977), known as Jon or Jonny Buckland, is the lead guitarist of Coldplay.

Jonny Buckland was born in London, England, and lived there until the age of four, when his family moved to Pantymwyn, North Wales. He was encouraged to enter the music scene by his elder brother, who was a big fan of My Bloody Valentine. Buckland started playing the guitar at the age of eleven, after being spurred on by The Stone Roses. Buckland attended Alun School in the Welsh town of Mold; moving on to study astronomy and mathematics at University College London, where he also met his future band mates and formed Coldplay.

Buckland’s musical influences include Ride, George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix. He is noted for his sparse arrangements and use of slide.

He has been compared with U2’s The Edge many times because of his familiar chimming/ringing sound he and The Edge produces (which is evident in Coldplay’s single In My Place)

Buckland has guested on Ian McCulloch’s solo album Slideling and made a cameo appearance with band mate Chris Martin in the film Shaun of the Dead.

Chris Martin will often refer to him as “Jonny Boy” frequently during live concerts, particularly if Buckland is about to do a solo or a long riff. Chris has famously said: “There would be no Coldplay music without Jonny Buckland.” The affection between Chris Martin and Buckland is often evident during live concerts and interviews, always with tongue firmly in cheek.

He lives in London with his wife, jewelry maker Chloe Lee-Evans. Together, they have a daughter, Violet, who was born 3 November 2007.


  • 2 x Fender Hotrod DeVille 212 Combos
  • 1 x Fender Twin Reverb used on ‘Parachutes’


  • Vintage Fender Jazzmaster One of Jon’s older guitars, used on the tracks ‘We Never Change’ and ‘Sparks’. Also used on the tracks ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’, ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’ and ‘Talk’ for the Viva La Vida tour.
  • Reissue Fender Jaguar Used on the tracks ‘Shiver’ and ‘Yellow’ during the Parachutes tour. Used on ‘Shiver’ for the Live 2003 DVD and music video. Jon also owns a Red Fender Jaguar, as seen in the ‘Lovers in Japan’ and ‘Life In Technicolor’ videos.
  • 4 Vintage Fender Thinline Telecasters
  • 1 Sunburst 1974 (Used on the tracks ‘Yellow, ‘Fix You’ and ‘Clocks’.)
  • 1 Black 1977 (Used on many tracks since the start of the X&Y tour, seen today with the VIVA logo painted on it.)
  • 1 Walnut 1974 (Used mainly for sliding work and the tracks ‘Cemeteries Of London’ and ‘Death And All His Friends’.)
  • 1 Natural 1972 (Used on various tracks since the start of the X&Y tour, such as the tracks ‘Low’ and ’42’.)
  • Jerry Donahue Lake Placid Blue Japanese Fender Telecaster (x2) (The Jerry Donahue telecaster is, for some people, one of the best Telecasters ever made. It has a 5-way switch, like on a Stratocaster. Jon used it on the Parachutes tour as his main guitar. Also used on ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Vintage Gibson ES-335 Used on various tracks, such as ‘In My Place’ (video), ‘Shiver’ (Glastonbury 2002), ‘Life Is For Living’ and ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’.
  • Rickenbacker 12 String Used on ‘Daylight’ and ‘One I Love’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Martin Acoustic Used on ‘The Scientist’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Gibson Acoustic Used on the tracks ‘Speed Of Sound’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Green Eyes’, ‘Death Will Never Conquer’ and ‘I’m A Believer’ for the Viva La Vida tour.
  • Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Used only on ‘Violet Hill’. Falsely reported on several sites as being as Les Paul Custom.


The Oracle on Jonny Buckland

February 11, 2014 – submitted by Begum, Turkey

Q. Hello, how is your day? I hope everything is goin well. Here is my question: Who are Jonny Buckland’s guitar idols?

Thank you so much! Greetings from Turkey!

The Oracle replies:

I’ll go one step more and give you a list of his musical heroes / influences from his formative years if you like:

Kevin Shields, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Ian Brown, Aretha Franklin, Shaun Ryder, Nick Cave & bjork.

December 6, 2012 – submitted by Jake, Australia

Q. HEY!!! Coldplay’s first Sydney show was spectacular and absolutely outstanding! Quick question: I noticed that for songs like Paradise, Charlie Brown, In My Place, Major Minus – that Jonny wasn’t using his 2 regular ‘MX graffiti’ guitars, instead he was using a sunburst tele. Do you know why?

Thanks! The whole Coldplay team are amazing!

The Oracle replies:

Thanks to Matt McGinn (Jonny’s guitar tech) for this in depth response:

“Well, that one (which is called ‘Sunny’ – they’ve all got names) is Jonny’s total favourite. He’s had it about ten years and has played it on most of the albums and tours since Rush Of Blood – it’s actually the one he’s holding if you look at the band photo from that album cover. There’s just something about the two of them that seems to click. It sounds amazing, for a start. And he’s really happy when he’s playing it, as you might have noticed.

I can’t remember where he picked it up – maybe Chicago? – but, if you’re interested, it’s a ’72 Thinline from about 1974. It’s half hollow – so, semi-semi acoustic, I guess – and has a lot of really nice gouges in it from being thoroughly thwacked. All still original, as far as I know. I reckon it must’ve cost him about 2000 US dollars but God knows what it’d be worth now. You can get a pretty good Fender copy/reissue these days for a lot less, off the peg, that might turn out lovely after a few years of playing it. That’s the thing, any old guitar can be amazing if you love it enough.

It – or should I say ‘she’, since, like ships, all guitars are girls – was sidelined for awhile and only used on ‘Scientist’ but then we got so soaked, boiled and frozen on the last European stadium run that all the other Tele’s got in a total mess; impossible to tune, playing like old dogs etc. I decided to hand him Sunny out of desperation one night right before Fix You (I forget what town) and when he did the opening riff it was like a light coming on. He just looked round at me and we knew she had to come back for good.

Glad you liked the Sydney gig – so did I!”

August 14, 2012 – submitted by Laura, Argentina

Q. Hi dear Oracle! I hope you’re doing great. The other day I was watching a documentary about different dialects and languages spoken within the UK and I found Welsh absolutely impossible to understand or imitate (I speak for myself here of course) Now, I know Jonny grew up in Wales and I was wondering, can he speak Welsh fluently?

Regards from Buenos Aires


The Oracle replies:

The part of Wales that Jonny is from – Mold – is North Wales and very close to the English border. People from that area don’t tend to have strong Welsh accents at all. As far as I know Jonny’s secondary school wasn’t a Welsh Language school so as he wasn’t born in Wales he will have spoken English at home – and school.

I’m pretty sure he’s not fluent.

May 14, 2012 – submitted by Hanna, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle!

Because I have nothing better to do with my time, I was reading all the wikipedia entries for the MX singles, and it said that Major Minus is one of the only songs to feature leading vocals by Buckland. Is that true, or is just another thing wiki got wrong? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

I may be going blind but I can’t see that “fact” anywhere on either the MX wiki section or the Major Minus page.

Wherever you’re seeing it, Jonny has never taken lead vocals on any Coldplay song.

March 13, 2012 – submitted by John, United Kingdom

Q. This is a bit of a long shot, but I used to teach Jonathan Buckland in his last 2 years of Primary School. He was the goal keeper in our school football team and also – not surprisingly – had a star role in our school Christmas concert! The kids used to call me Mr D. I have two sons from my first marriage – they are both Coldplay fanatics! I am now re-married and have two step-daughters who think they are brill as well. Trouble is, they don’t really believe me when I say I used to teach Jonny. Is there any way he would consider sending me an email to prove I’m not spinning them a yarn? Many thanks, John

The Oracle replies:

Nice little insight into the young Buckland there, thank you. Have you tried asking the school as they must have a photo of their football teams in the archives somewhere? Or even the Christmas concert…

I’m ever so sorry but I’m not sure I want to open the floodgates of validation requests.

March 7, 2012 – submitted by Valentina, Denmark

Q. As a guitarist, I was wondering if Jonny ever did an interview for a specialized guitar magazine, like other famous guitarists do? If he did, can you direct me to it? Also has he ever considered releasing his own signature guitar? 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Yes, he was interviewed for Guitarist magazine back in October, 2001. We ourselves also published an interview with Jonny in January, 2009. I’ve never heard mention of a signature guitar. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had been asked, but there isn’t one out there.

April 20, 2011 – submitted by Blake, United States of America

Q. Dearest Oracle,

I’m a bit of a guitar/tech geek. There’s a picture of Jonny’s pedals on one of the blogs, and it looks like he is using three volume pedals. Why does he use three instead of one?

Thank you!

The Oracle replies:

Luckily for you Blake, Matt McGinn (Jonny’s tech and author of Roadie) was on hand to answer this specific question:

“One’s a volume pedal, the other two are used as expression pedals for altering parameters on two of Jonny’s rack units (TC 2290 & Line 6 Echo Pro). Short answer: THEY MAKE IT MORE ECHOEY!!”

August 10, 2010 – submitted by Allie, United States of America

Q. Did Jonny specifically choose the same black top hat as Sherlock Holmes in the Christmas Message 2006 because of his liking for the book/movie?


The Oracle replies:

The idea behind the hats was initially inspired by The Christmas Carol look so it wasn’t anything to do with Sherlock at all.

February 9, 2010 – submitted by Dan, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

As a guitarist, I’d love to know what kind of microphone Jonny is using to mic his amp.


The Oracle replies:

Indeed, the Small one is a Shure sm57 and the big one is a Neumann TLM 103.

January 29, 2010 – submitted by Florian, Germany

Q. Dear Oracle,

why is Jonny called “Jonny Buckley” in Guitar Hero 5?



The Oracle replies:

That’s a mistake! Not much the company could do once it was out there but they are aware of it.

January 4, 2010 – submitted by Blake, United States of America

Q. Was Jonny kidding when he claimed Bad Santa as one of his favorite Christmas movies?

The Oracle replies:

Ha ha he absolutely wasn’t joking; he loves it!

November 25, 2009 – submitted by sg, United Kingdom

Q. Was Chris Jonny’s best man and if so did he do a funny speech?

The Oracle replies:

Actually it was Will…

May I take this opportunity to say many thanks for all your messages of congratulations by the way.

March 17, 2009 – submitted by Harriet, United Kingdom

Q. Please could you, Mr. Oracle, answer my question!!?

The supporting act at the o2 on the 15th december, (The Domino State) has a guitarist called Tim Buckland. Is there any relation between Jonny and Tim??

Thankyou Mr. Oracle

Indeed they are brothers.

August 15, 2008 – submitted by Kit, United Kingdom

Q. Is Jonny Buckland Welsh? He doesn’t look Welsh. But then I’m not sure who does.

The Oracle replies:

From The Moldy Peaches to Mold. Jonny was born in London but he and his family moved to Mold, North Wales when he was 4.

August 8, 2008 – submitted by angie, United States of America

Q. Why doesn’t Jonny wear tighter pants?

The Oracle replies:

He’s not in Kings Of Leon you know! Have you ever tried to walk in those things?