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Peghead Nation Irish Backup Guitar instructor Flynn Cohen demonstrates his favorite guitar.

by Teja Gerken
June 20, 2019

Peghead Nation instructor Flynn Cohen plays in a lot of different styles, including bluegrass and traditional Irish. For the last several years, his guitar of choice has been a Martin 00-18V built in the early 2000s. Like many flatpickers, Flynn played dreadnoughts for years, but after he developed tendinitis in his right shoulder, he began looking for a smaller guitar. “A guy I used to play with in Boston, Matt Heaton, was playing a Martin 00, and that inspired me to check one out. He gets a big sound out of his, so I figured, ‘let’s try it.’”

Flynn found his 00-18V used on eBay. “It came with the LR Baggs Anthem pickup I was using already installed, so I saved a lot of money that way,” Flynn says. “I also prefer the sound of a guitar that has been played in. It just has more life in it.” Flynn also says that while he initially missed the low end of larger guitars, he found that using medium strings and raising the action, as well as adjusting his playing technique, allowed him to get a full, rich, sound from the small guitar.

The 00-18V’s style-18 construction includes a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, as well as a vintage-style saddle, a V-profile neck, and open-back tuning machines. Although Martin has discontinued this model, the company’s Standard Series 00-18 is very similar.

To hear more of this guitar, check out Flynn’s new Peghead Nation course, Irish Backup Guitar. You can also hear him playing it with Peghead Nation Irish Mandolin instructor Marla Fibish in their duet performance of “The Torn Jacket”/”Toss the Feathers.”


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