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1930 Martin 5-17T
 
Peghead Nation Irish Mandolin instructor Marla Fibish demonstrates her vintage tenor guitar.
August 16, 2021
 

It’s no secret that Peghead Nation Irish Mandolin instructor Marla Fibish is a fan of vintage instruments. Her main instrument is a 1922 Gibson A mandolin, which she has been playing for more than 30 years, and she also frequently plays a 1914 Gibson H-1 mandola. Another part of her collection of working vintage instruments is a Martin 5-17T tenor guitar, which she acquired about a decade ago. 

Originally designed to allow tenor banjo players easy access to guitar sounds without having to learn a new instrument, four-string tenor guitars first appeared in the 1920s. Martin began offering tenor guitars (usually identifiable by the letter “T” after the model number) in 1927, and built more than 1,000 of the instruments during that year. The 5-17T was part of this first batch of models, and the company continued building it until 1949. Other than ukuleles, size 5 is the smallest Martin body size, and style 17 indicates all-mahogany construction (top, back, and sides) with a minimum of appointments. 

In this video, Marla demonstrates the instrument by playing a couple of songs and tunes, and she discusses how she uses it in the context of the Irish-based music she typically plays, including in Noctambule, her duo with husband Bruce Victor (check out her use of the 5-17T in Noctambule’s performance of “If I Could Tell You.”) Marla uses a variety of tunings based on octave mandolin tuning, and she finds that the 5-17T, which she calls “Tender,” is a perfect choice when a musical setting requires more of a guitar sound than a mandolin voice. 

To study mandolin with Marla, enroll in her Irish Mandolin course now!

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com