A classic Gibson small-body with a cross-continental history.
by Teja Gerken
December 27, 2018
Gibson first introduced the flattop small-body LG-2 in 1942. It was the first guitar in the company’s LG series, which would later include the LG-0, LG-1, and LG-3. The LG differed from earlier Gibson small-bodies with its slightly wider waist and upper bout, giving it an outline similar to a classical guitar. The LG also had a rounded heel and neck profile (instead of the V-shape necks found on earlier Gibson small-bodies such as the L-00). The LG-2 was built with mahogany back and sides and a spruce top, and it has a 24¾-inch scale, 14-fret neck, and sunburst finish. LG-2s and LG-3s are X-braced, while the lower-priced LG-0 and LG-1 have ladder bracing. In 1962, the LG series was replaced by the B series, and the LG-2 became the B-25. Gibson has occasionally revived the LG-2 in recent years, and several versions have been built in the company’s Montana shop.
The 1960 LG-2 in this video has been in my family for more than 40 years. A gift to my father from a friend during a trip to California in the mid-1970s, it traveled across the country in Greyhound buses and hitched rides with us and eventually traveled back to Germany (where we were living) as checked luggage, surviving the trip in a beat-up chipboard case. It was a frequent companion to my own development as a guitarist, and naturally came with the family when we ended up in California for good in the 1980s. The guitar has the throaty, slightly thumpy sound that Gibson small-bodies are known for, but because of its fairly heavy construction, it sounds a bit less dynamic than some earlier, more lightly built LG2s. On the plus side, the guitar has held up remarkably well, especially considering travel, occasional less-than-ideal storage conditions, and three kids strumming away on it over the years. I always look forward to visiting this old friend during visits to my folks’ place, hoping that perhaps once again a new musical idea will be lurking inside.
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