See all 12 unique instruments featured as Gear of the Month in 2012.

March: 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom Reissue Black Beauty Fretless Wonder
"The 1969 Custom models switched to a three-piece mahogany body with a maple cap and a three-piece mahogany neck. The rest of the features on this seminal reissue are a direct nod to the 1957 Customяexcept the reissue had gold Grovers while the original у57 had Deluxe Kluson tuners, the headstock pitch is 14 degrees instead of 17, and it has amp-style volume and tone knobs. According to 1968 Gibson shipping ledgers from Kalamazoo, this model was one of the first у68 Les Paul Customs made available to the public following their introduction at the June 1968 NAMM Show in Chicago. Gibson only built 433 of these particular instruments. The Black Beauty and Fretless Wonder were nicknames given to this instrument because of its rich, contrasting body color and low, nearly undetectable frets. Its original price tag was $325яa whopping $100 more than the Les Paul. "

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Develop a sense of how to substitute open strings for fretted notes.
  • Create a cascading effect by playing as legato as possible.
  • Understand how open strings fit into many different keys.
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Most guitarists learn the basic scales, patterns, and lines up and down the neck when starting to visualize the fretboard. Working open strings into the mix made my head spin and forced me think of note selection differently. It taught me how to manipulate lines that I’d played for years and breathed new life into those lines simply by adding one key element.
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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

Gibson partners with the Everly Brothers family for a limited-edition acoustic guitar equipped with AA flame maple and capped with dual pickguards.

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