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1949 Gibson L-5N
 
Peghead Nation instructor Matt Munisteri demonstrates the guitar he uses in his new Western Swing Guitar course.
June 28, 2023
 

Peghead Nation instructor Matt Munisteri owns several great vintage Gibson archtops, including a 1930 L-5 and a 1930 Master Model L-5. So, he wasn’t in the market for another when he walked into New York’s TR Crandall Guitars earlier this year. But once he picked up a natural-finish 1949 Gibson L-5N that had arrived shortly before he did, he knew that he’d be taking it home. Instantly bonding with the guitar, Matt took it to San Francisco for a gig with Catherine Russell, followed by the first video session for his new Western Swing Guitar course in the Peghead Nation studio. In this video, Matt discusses the guitar, which he’d owned for all of five days at the time, and uses it to play a version of Cindy Walker’s “It’s All Your Fault.” 

As is typical for a late 1940s version of the model, the guitar has a 17-inch lower bout, rather than the 16-inch width of the earlier L-5s Matt usually plays. The guitar’s most unusual feature is that it has a top that is about ¹/₁₆ of an inch thinner than a typical L-5 of the era, which Matt says was a custom-order option at the time. “This was something they did to try to approximate the sound of the early, 16-inch L-5s,” he says. The pronounced birdseye pattern in the maple back and sides is enhanced by the instrument’s natural finish, and the guitar also has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge instead of ebony. The older “Gibson” script logo adorns the peghead.

“This is not as loud a guitar as my best 16-inch L-5,” Matt says, “But it has that ‘woof’ that’s really nice, and it has a super even thing. To my ear, all the way down at the bottom up to the top, it has an even sound and a round, focused quality.”

To study guitar with Matt, see his Roots of Jazz Guitar, Swing Guitar Soloing, The Song According to Matt Munisteri, and Western Swing Guitar courses on Peghead Nation!

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    ● 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