Indonesian luthier Ivan Mulia demos 6- and 4-string instruments with meticulously hand-etched metal parts—the bass’ fretless fingerboard.

New bracing and pickups make this mid-priced take on a Gretsch classic a lively and engaging inspiration machine.

Smooth playability on par with much more expensive instruments. Airy, open pickup sounds with lots of clean-to-mean latitude.

Blue finish is pretty but thick in spots. Vintage sticklers might miss some old-school Filter’Tron bite.

$799

Gretsch 5420T
gretschguitars.com

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Though big hollowbodies like the Gretsch 6120 are beautiful and an essential ingredient in countless classic records, they can be a tricky playing experience for the uninitiated. Navigable fretboard space is limited by solidbody standards. Big bodies can feel bulky. They’re sometimes feedback prone in high-volume situations, too. Consequently, I’ve watched many solidbody-oriented chums who rarely play hollowbodies handle a big Gretsch with the baffled look of a spacefarer deciphering an alien tongue.

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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.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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