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Fingerstyle guitarist Paul Asbell demonstrates his vintage-style OM.

by Teja Gerken
June 08, 2015

Paul Asbell is one of the most versatile fingerstyle guitarists around, with solid roots in the blues. Growing up in Chicago, he was fortunate to play with icons like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and many others. In the 1970s, Asbell moved to Vermont, where he still lives. As a member of the jazz group Kilimanjaro, he has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals, and as a solo artist, he has been a mainstay at guitar festivals. 

Paul regularly plays a variety of guitars, including archtops, electrics, and resonators, but when a gig or recording session calls for a flattop acoustic, his instrument of choice tends to be a vintage-style OM built by New England luthier Julius Borges. Built with an Adirondack spruce top and Brazilian rosewood back and sides, the guitar is a close replica of an original 1930s Martin OM-28, though it has modern features such as an adjustable truss rod and standard frets rather than bar frets. The guitar has a pyramid bridge and Waverly tuning machines, and Asbell has installed a K&K pickup system, as well as a John Pearse armrest. In this video, Paul talks about the guitar and performs his original tune, “Bound for Adamant.”

To see Paul teach his version of the jazz classic “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” and discuss his approach to arranging standards, enroll in Peghead Nation’s Advanced Fingerstyle Workshop today. paulasbell.com

Category: Instruments & Gear

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Aug 14, 2020
Fingerstyle jazz guitarist Charlie Rauh performs an improvisation with Peghead Nation instructor Mark Goldenberg.

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