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Orville Johnson demonstrates his unusual Gibson L-50.

by Teja Gerken
May 21, 2015

This 1930s Gibson L-50 guitar is owned by Peghead Nation Blues Guitar instructor Orville Johnson. Originally designed as a budget model, the L-50 has a carved spruce top and birch back and sides. This particular instrument is interesting because it has a single round soundhole rather than f-holes, which were more commonly used on L-50s. Despite its flattop-like appearance, the guitar is braced with two parallel tone bars, has a floating bridge, and the strings are anchored with a trapeze tailpiece. “It’s an interesting sound,” says Johnson. “It has almost no low-end, it’s midrangey, and kind of punchy, but not very loud. But, the sound that it does have is a good sound, so I’ve enjoyed playing it.”

To study guitar with Orville Johnson, enroll in Peghead Nation’s Blues Guitar course today. Get your first month free when you enter the promo code "Orville" at checkout!

Category: Instruments & Gear

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Jul 19, 2019
Chris Martin and others talk about the creation of the X-braced guitar and the structural and tonal benefits of the historic bracing pattern.

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