The Martin Guitar Blog
Martin Titanium Core strings deliver the ultimate player’s experience with patented technology from Martin!
With Titanium Core strings, you will find the most superior intonation and tuning stability of any string you’ve ever played. And, titanium is naturally more flexible than steel, but just as strong, so the strings are easier to press down thus reducing finger fatigue. Even more amazing, the combination of titanium and pure nickel used in our Titanium Core strings provides natural corrosion resistance, meaning they will last a really, really long time under normal circumstances! Find a dealer stocking Titanium strings here. Or get even more information on Titanium Core strings in our product spotlight here.
You still have this weekend to come visit us at Musikfest!
In the last 34 years, Musikfest has grown to be the largest and most diverse music festival in the nation with 500+ shows on 14 stages over 10 days. It's a bonus that it is right in Martin Guitar's backyard!
Come visit us the day four nights of the festival (10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th) at Lagerplatz to catch performances, play on our jam stage, and possibly win a Martin guitar. We also sponsor Martin Guitar Lyricplatz which features singers and songwriters through out the duration of the festival.
You can learn more about Musikfest here.
Always on the road? We have the perfect companion for you.
The DRSG is a big sounding Dreadnought at an affordable price. The guitar features a Sitka spruce top, siris back and sides, a Richlite fingerboard and bridge, gloss body, hand rubbed neck finish, and Fishman Sonitone electronics. The guitar is strung with medium gauge SP Acoustic Martin Strings. We recommend this guitar for all playing levels. You can learn more about the DRSG here.
A special one-night only event of The Avett Brother's documentary will be released on September 12th.
The documentary from Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio follows the Avett Brothers as they undergo marriage, divorce, parenthood, illness, and challenges of the music business. It follows the Martin Ambassadors over two years and is set against the backdrop of the Avett Brother's album, True Sadness. "May It Last" has already been recognized by the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.
You can watch a trailer for "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" here.Martin Ambassador Seth Avett's Martin guitar of choice is the D-35 Seth Avett. You can purchase the D-35 Seth Avett at an authorized Martin dealer , by finding a certified online Martin dealer , or exploring the buy from factory program .
Looking for a great cutaway guitar to take on the road with you? Meet the GPCRSG!
The cutaway Grand Performance guitar is crafted with a Sitka spruce top and mutenye back and sides. It produces a beautiful even tone with good bass response and clear mids and trebles. The GPCRSG also features a Richlite fingerboard and bridge, high performance taper neck and Fishman® Sonitone electronics to make this guitar ready to go.
You can learn even more about the GPCRSG here.
Martin Ambassador Thomas Rhett has been teasing us for awhile with his new single "Unforgettable" but tomorrow is finally the day we get to hear it!
"Unforgettable" is the second single off the Martin Ambassador's third studio album that is expected to drop in the fall. The song which was written on his tour bus, along with every other song on the upcoming album, and includes the chorus “I can smell your perfume, girl that night was just like you / Unforgettable, From your blue jeans to your shoes girl that night was just like you / Unforgettable.”
Stay tuned to Thomas Rhett's social media outlets to hear "Unforgettable" tomorrow!
Martin is proud to offer this special edition featuring imprinted original artwork by illustrator, luthier, musician and Martin archivist Dick Boak.
In creating the artwork, Dick wanted to reveal and embellish the quintessential scalloped X-bracing of the Martin Dreadnought – the most beautiful and rarely seen internal structure of the company's flagship guitar.
Personally signed and numbered in sequence, the D-BOAK Dreadnought is crafted with a Sitka spruce soundboard, genuine mahogany back and sides, a modified low oval neck, simple dovetail neck joint, bone nut and saddle, and an ebony fingerboard and bridge.
" Tonally, I've always loved the breathy glassine clarity and relative affordability that mahogany lends to an instrument. Lastly, the signed interior label attempts to express my gratitude to the many friends I've made in the music industry. Thanks!"-Dick Boak
Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Dick Boak over the past 40+ years knows the impact that his creativity and love of guitars has made upon the company and the industry. This edition celebrates and shares his long and storied tenure at C. F. Martin & Co.
Illustrator, musician, luthier, author, and employee of 41 years, Dick Boak currently manages Martin's museum and archives. He is set to retire in January of 2018.
You can learn more about the D-BOAK here.
A new volume of Martin | The Journal of Acoustic Guitars has arrived!
The latest volume features a new Word From CEO & Chairman Chris Martin IV focusing on sustainability, more about the #FollowTheFrog campaign and Martin Ambassador James Valentine of Maroon 5's involvement, an in-depth interview with Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell on his new signature edition D-18, and more.
Now put an hour or two aside and completely lose yourself in Martin | The Journal of Acoustic Guitars here.
The Martin Custom Shop is always on point with the NAMM Show Special guitars. And this new guitar is no exception!
The unique 14 Fret Slope shoulder 00L guitar, is limited to a run of 30 guitars with a custom paper label signed by Chairman & CEO C.F. Martin IV. The show special is the same size and shape as the popular CEO-7 model.
The SS-00L Art Deco 2017 features a design motif in collaboration with luthier Bruce Petros in the form of wood purfling that extends around the top, back, and fingerboard. The purfling is laser cut from beautiful flamed maple. The top is Adirondack spruce with an antique toner and the guitar is further complimented with open gear Schaller Grandtune vintage copper tuners.
You can learn even more about the gorgeous SS-00L Art Deco-2017 here.
For many guitarists, including myself, changing strings can seem like a daunting task. While a new set of strings only costs a few dollars and stringing your guitar only takes a few minutes, many of us will avoid changing our strings for weeks, months, or evens years. Then, after we’ve finally decided to subject ourselves to the grueling, pain-staking task of changing our strings, we take one strum and usually say out-loud -- “I should have done this a long time ago.” For a few days you seem to be playing a completely new guitar which stokes the artistic flame of your soul and in turn sparks creativity and rekindles your love for the instrument, but over time we forget how good that first strum sounded and the cycle repeats.
When is the appropriate time to change one’s strings? The answer to that question differs from player to player due to several variables: your sweat’s acidity, humidity, pick gauge (if any), how hard you fret and/or pick, bending frequency, the amount of time you play, type of string, etc. – basically, the amount of abuse you subject your strings to and the type of strings you use.
Luckily, there are few signs that your strings have been through enough and it is time change them. One of these signs would be the need to tune your guitar on a frequent basis. Once a string has been put on a guitar, stretched, and tuned, it should hit a sweet spot where it does not need to be tuned very often. Eventually, after a lot of playing, a string will lose the ability to hold its tuning, and therefore, need to be changed. A second sign would be the loss of treble frequencies/attack. This can be hard to discern for beginners, but over time your ear will develop and you’ll be able to pick-up on this key bit of sonic information. This sign is also subjective because every player prefers a different amount of trebles/attack, but there is a point for all strings where the attack and trebles have degraded to the point that the string sounds dull or “muddy” – time to change those strings. A visual sign to look for is wound string’s wrap wire separating at a fret position(s). Typically, this only occurs if you are a player that frets really hard which is commonly known as “digging in”. Often, this sign is accompanied by a buzzing sound when you play the affected string at the compromised fret position. The most obvious sign that it is time to change your strings would be when a string breaks. Keep in mind that strings can break due to technique, or guitar defects such as a saddle burr, but even the strongest strings will eventually break. The last sign, and probably the most talked about, is string corrosion. Strings can corrode on the inside between the core wire and wrap wire. This is called galvanic corrosion and is nearly impossible to detect. Fortunately, corrosion can also occur on the outside of the string where it is very easy to see due to oxidation. Commonly known as rust, oxidation is a clear sign that it is time to change your strings.
These signs can occur together or at different times depending on the aforementioned situational variables and the type of string. For example, strings made with high tensile strength core wires, like Martin’s SP Acoustic strings, offer much more tuning stability and break resistance than traditional guitar strings, but do not have a corrosive barrier. Therefore, corrosion may appear before the loss of tuning stability or before a string breaks. Whereas treated/coated strings inhibit corrosion, but do not necessarily address the mechanical wear of a guitar string. In that situation, a string could break or not hold its tuning long before corrosion appears. Then of course, there’s the best of both worlds –Martin’s SP Lifespan strings. These strings are made with the high tensile strength SP core wire and are treated for corrosion resistance which addresses both mechanical and corrosive string wear.
All in all, knowing when to change your strings is not an exact science. Just do your best to recognize the signs of string wear and your guitar will thank you.
From: Rory Glass, Sales Representative, Martin String Division
Martin Guitar has expanded the popular 16 series with the addition of the GPC-16E.
Each model in the 16 series is designed with tone wood that best compliments the body size and shape of that particular model. With the new GPC-16E, which is a Grand Performance size with the depth of a 000, Martin selected a solid koa back and sides to enhance the easy, natural resonance of this guitar, making it great for recording.
You can learn even more about the GPC-16E here.
After much speculation, we are so excited to debut the new D-18 Jason Isbell guitar!
Martin Ambassador Jason Isbell worked with the Martin Guitar Custom Shop to design his new Custom Signature Edition D-18 which is closely modeled after Martin’s Golden Era series. The model boasts a pre-aged Vintage Tone System (VTS) Adirondack spruce top; mahogany back and sides; and rear-shifted scalloped bracing which produces more natural volume and a clear powerful tone. It is constructed using hide glue which, unlike newer synthetic reproductions, dissolves into the grain of the wood and creates more resonance throughout the instrument. Isbell chose a thin finish and left off the pick guard - all design details that have one common goal – to make it loud.
You can learn more about the D-18 Jason Isbell here.
I’m about ready to pull the trigger on a custom but I worry about keeping it out and playing it where I live – Florida. It’s so humid here. On my other guitars the tops swell up sometimes, especially in the summer. Then my action gets affected and it becomes very hard to play. I was thinking of getting my custom braced heavier but I don’t want to take away from the sound. Any pointers?
Turd Ferguson in Palm Beach
I hear you! The Martin factory is in eastern Pennsylvania which gets very humid in the summer. I’ve experienced the exact same problems you’re talking about with my guitars. It’s sort of nature of the beast but it’s part of the reason our guitars sound so fantastic. It moves and breathes and we don’t over-brace to compensate for anything.
Before you pull the trigger on your custom consider this – A VTS top. Not only do they sound full and played in but they’re also significantly less affected by climate changes. The cells of the wood do not pick up moisture like a brand new spruce top. VTS tops are way less susceptible to the swelling that can occur in the summer or in an overly humid environment. With that said, they’re also less susceptible to hollowing that can be typical during a Pennsylvania winter with little moisture. The process to make a VTS top is really fascinating. Hear more about it from Fred and Jeff here, they actually brought the VTS tops to fruition at Martin.
As for the guitars you have at home, monitor the tops and de-humidfy or humidify depending on what Florida’s giving you at the time. I do have a winter saddle and summer saddle I use. They are slightly different heights so I can swap them out if need be.
Go see your local Martin dealer and order that custom! Let’s do it!
Emily has worked at Martin Guitar for 10 years. She has been cross-trained in every aspect of guitar building and currently serves as the Martin Guitar Custom Shop Administrator. Dear Emily is an advice column that will appear bi-monthly on the Martin Guitar Blog.
June 21st celebrates not only the summer solstice but national Make Music Day!
As a proud sponsor of Make Music Day, Martin Guitar hosted an all day jam session in the visitor's lobby. Martin Guitar employees performed from 8AM to 5PM. Visitors to the Martin factory were encouraged to join in and the local Nazareth Acoustic Eagles even performed for us. You can catch our Director of Marketing Chris Thomas perform here.
A number of Martin Guitar dealers also participated with free guitar lessons, open mics, and more!
Find a round up of the 2017 Make Music Day here. And don't forget to make your calendar for June 21, 2018 to celebrate the next Make Music Day at Martin Guitar!
The popular 15-Series has two fantastic new additions! Discover the D-15M Streetmaster and 000-15M Streetmaster.
Built to the same specifications as the D-15M and 000-15M models but with a beautifully distressed satin finish. The StreetMaster is perfect for your next gig, whether it be at the historic Ryman Theater or a day of busking in the big city. Enjoy the look and feel of a well-worn instrument with the lifetime warranty and the superb playability of a brand new guitar. The 15 Series StreetMaster models come with a gig bag making them ready to hit the streets!
You can learn more about the new D-15M Streetmaster and 000-15M Streetmaster here.
The gorgeous finish of the GPCPA4 Shaded will make heads turn no matter what venue you decide to play in.
The acoustic-electric guitar is crafted with the finest Sitka Spruce top and Sapele back and sides. The warm shaded top gives a vintage feel while the artist profile neck and Fishman F1 electronics are perfect for the modern performer's plug and play needs. The guitar is strung with SP Lifespan strings that along with the tone woods provide a great response and sound.
You can explore the GPCPA4 Shaded here. Don't forget between now and June 18th you can save up to $200 instantly on PA4 Series guitars during the eXceptional sales event happening at an authorized Martin dealer within the USA.
We'll bring the Martin Dreadnoughts, you bring the jam session!
Martin Guitar will be in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend for CMA Music Festival. You can find us on 2nd and Broadway where we will be jamming all weekend, giving away cool gear, plus the chance to win a Martin guitar! Come visit us between 10AM-6PM Thursday, June 8th through Sunday, June 11th. You can find a full list of festivals Martin Guitar will be attending here.
Also don't forget to catch performances from Martin Ambassadors Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, Brandy Clark, and Hunter Hayes during the weekend. For a full list of 2017 CMA Music Festival performers, click here.
A truly eXceptional event is happening at an authorized Martin dealer near you!
Starting May 28th, 2017 through June 28th, 2017, you can head to an authorized Martin dealer in the USA to save up to $200 instantly on select Martin guitars including the PA4 models, D Jr, models, LX models, and X-Series models.
Dealer participation may affect discount amount.
American Songwriter caught up with Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith and his band Dawes for the C.F. Martin & Co. Presents: Dawes.
The band performed two acoustic tunes off of their latest album, "We're All Gonna Die." The performances of "Roll With The Punches" and "Roll Tide" took place at the Ryman Auditorium before the band's two night stand on April 28th and 29th.
Martin Ambassador Taylor Goldsmith's Martin guitar of choice is the OM-28E Retro. You can purchase the OM-28E Retro by finding your nearest authorized Martin dealer, finding a certified online Martin dealer, or exploring the buy from factory program.
When you want everyone to know that Martin is yours, you can do so by adding some personality of your own to it. Just like a favorite tattoo or the quirky clothes you wear, you can do the same for your guitar.
You may not know this but you can add almost anything you want to personalize your instrument in the Martin Custom Shop. From something as simple as having your name inlaid into the fingerboard, quoting a favorite verse, to full blown artists’ renderings inlaid with gems and gold. If you dream it, we can make it.
How is this all possible? We have to ask the inlay specialists. There are two employees working in the Martin Custom Shop, Sean Brandle and Brent Williams, who specialize in producing the inlay work. Whether creating their own artwork from scratch or recreating works given to them, these guys can do some amazing things when it comes to inlaying guitars.
Sean and Brent have both been working at Martin Guitar for six years. Sean was formerly a graphic designer before he started working with the Martin team. While at Martin, Sean first learned rim assembly operations and then moved into the Custom Shop where he was able to get his creative juices flowing. Sean has designed several art pieces of his own that are being made right now. Brent also learned other operations throughout the facility, including rim assembly and pearl inlay, before transferring into the Custom Shop. One of the reasons these guys love their jobs is because every day is different.
Each guitar they work on is like creating a piece of art. One of our esteemed dealers said, “They are making the museum pieces of the future." I have to agree, some of the work they are doing is really amazing! Sean and Brent said the most rewarding part of their job is when a customer comes to the factory to pick up their guitar. They get to see their vision come to life and witness the extreme gratitude the customer has. It’s not every day you get to meet the artist that created your piece.
Sean and Brent have been working with many new materials to inlay guitars. The most traditional inlay has been mother of pearl. But Brent’s favorite material to work with is wood. He uses many species of wood to create his scenes. He discovered a special sand shading technique that he applies to each piece that really brings his projects to life. Other inlays that are used include reconstituted stone, blue and green paua pearl, rare coins, and even a request for the owners’ ashes to be turned to diamonds. Below is a fingerboard inlaid with many exotic woods to create a desert scene.
Many people have asked Sean and Brent how these amazing pieces are made. They can’t give away all of the secrets, but they said some are done the old way by hand with a coping saw and a pencil grinder, a small type of dremel tool. While some are now using today’s technology with finely tuned CNC equipment to assist in making very intricate cuts. Sean and Brent’s vision for the future is to help design products that will become cherished customs. Some other pieces that they have worked on recently include this:
Custom Eagle Inlay
Ace of Spades Fingerboard Inlay
Custom Lion Head
Custom Ornamental Bridge
Ready to get started on your own piece of art? Contact your local authorized Martin dealer to begin the custom guitar making process.
Steve Hess is a twenty-three year veteran who has had guitars around his entire life. Steve is a third generation employee of Martin Guitar, having his father and grandfather both retire after many years of service. Steve has worked with guitars throughout his life. Steve spent six years at Martin learning the fine art of customer repair work. He then moved into the Quality Assurance department and has held several management roles. Steve is currently the manufacturing manager of the Custom Shop. He enjoys travel, meeting new people, and getting to share the Martin brand with guitar enthusiasts. Steve said one of his favorite things is when a person asks where he works and can proudly say, “Martin Guitar!" People are instantly blown away and jealous.