acoustic

Robi Johns has played a role in Gibson’s acoustic operation since 1990, when he left teaching and running a music store to become the location’s in-house musician.

The Gibson acoustic division’s head dreamer studied with Christopher Parkening, toured, played, taught, and has collaborated with many artists on signature models in his three-decade career.

Bozeman is known as the Sweet Pea City, a reference to the prolific flower that put this colorful Montana burgh on the map in the early 1900s. But most of us know it as the home of the Gibson Acoustic Craftory, where the brand makes guitars ranging from historic models like the L-00, J-45, Hummingbird, Dove, and J-200 to signature guitars for Jerry Cantrell, Orianthi, and Keb’ Mo’ to the company’s budget-priced Generation Collection, which offers updates on Gibson’s slope-, broad-shouldered, and cutaway models, all with sound ports. Turns out the region’s stable, dry climate is good for building guitars as well as raising blossoms.

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A pop idol’s signature edition shines a light on an underrated and intriguing Martin body style.

Easy playability. Great harmonic balance between high and low strings. High-quality build. Crafted from sustainable woods.

Electronics don’t entirely capture guitar’s balance.

$799

Martin 000JR-10E Shawn Mendes
martinguitar.com

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There’s not a lot of reason for Martin to mess with new body styles. Just about every standard shape in their line—from the 0, 00, 000, up through their dreadnoughts—are inarguably stone-cold classics and foundational works from which much of the rest of the acoustic-guitar industry takes their inspiration and cues.

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DIY: How to String a Classical Guitar

Tips and tools you need to change strings on a classical guitar.

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