Most Martin guitars made are “flat top” models. That is, they have a round sound hole in approximately the center of the flat top of the guitar, with a “pin” style bridge. Martin also made some vintage instruments like archtop models during the 1930s. These can have a round sound hole, or two “f” style sound holes (one on each side of the top of the body), and have an arched top, with a “trapeze” style bridge. Martin also made ukuleles. If a guitar only has four strings (and is not a ukulele), this is known as a Tenor guitar. Uke size instruments with ten string are Tiples. Uke size instruments with eight strings are Taropatches. Martin also made mandolins, which have eight strings. To summarize:


  • 4 Strings: a ukulele or tenor guitar.
  • 10 Strings: Tiple.
  • Uke size with 8 strings: Taropatch
  • 8 strings (not a Uke): Mandolin.
  • Archtop: an arched top to the guitar with either a round soundhole, or two “f” holes on either side of the body. Trapeze style bridge. Made only during the 1930s.
  • Flattop: a flat top to the guitar, and a single round sound hole under the strings. Pin style bridge.



1947 Martin 0-17T Tenor guitar

Body Size

Martin flat top guitars were made in various sizes. The bigger the vintage instrument body, the better and more collectible the guitar. This is why guitar body size is so important to identify on a Martin flat top guitar. Starting in October 1930, Martin stamped the guitar body size right above the serial number inside the guitar. This makes identifying body size on October 1930 and later guitar very easy. Body sizes, pretty much from smallest to biggest, include O, OO, OOO, OM, D.

Martin Vintage Instruments – Styles

Nearly all Martin instruments come in different styles. The higher the style number, the more fancy (and collectible) the instrument. Again starting in October 1930, Martin stamped all flat top guitars with the style number, directly after the body size (and above the serial number). Style numbers can range from 15 to 45. A letter can follow the style number too, giving some additional info about the instrument. For example, a “T” after the style number indicates a Tenor guitar.

Determine the Originality

Originality of an instrument is very important. Modifications (any modifications), are a bad thing in the eyes of a collector. This will greatly influence value. Modifications can often be determined by looking at the model specs for a particular year guitar in this web page, and compare to your instrument. On flat top martins, the most common modifications are a replaced bridge, replaced tuners, or replaced frets.


Music Matters – Here’s Why

by admin on September 13, 2012

Everything you should know about the benefits of music.

Do you like tribute bands? Are you looking for a live band to sing a range of different favourites are you most interested in a particular genre? Rock, pop, hip hop, heavy metal, country, contemporary, classical, rap, reggae, wedding music, 80s, 90s, blues, jazz? What would be your ideal choice?
Do you have the space for a small DJ or a band to really get your party going? What would fit in with your theme and what would you and your guests really want to hear? Also, what sort of budget are you looking at?
You may want to set the mood and theme around your band or try and find a band to fit an existing theme. Either way, there are a lot of different factors to consider. Fortunately, at least one part has been made easier for you – there are music management websites that will cater for all your needs in finding that perfect band, taking into account genre, religion, occasion and many other factors.

There is nothing better than listening to your favourite music. After a hard day at the office, listening to your favourite band on the way home seems to ease any tension that has built up throughout the day. It’s also hard to beat that feeling you get after purchasing the tickets for a concert and beginning the countdown to the event. Music is even being used in therapy now as a way to reduce stress by slowing your breathing and relaxing your muscles, lifting your mood. Music can stimulate your body, causing it to produce serotonin, known as the happy hormone, and it can alter your brain waves even after you have finished listening. Also, everyone knows that it can motivate you – that’s why the gyms of today are filled with people with personal stereos. Music reminds you of particular times and places – happy memories.

It’s not just adults who can benefits from listening to music. Children who listen to music from a young age often learn how to read quicker than normal and are shown to do better in school because they can concentrate for long periods of time. These benefits will help to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Another good idea is to get your child into learning an instrument which can help with discipline, teamwork and will also show the benefits of practice. You never know, one day someone could be booking your son or daughter’s band for their wedding.
Tina O’Carroll is a music-lover writing on behalf of Live Music Management

Martin Flat Top Body Sizes

by admin on January 7, 2011

Martin Flat Top Body Sizes

“Size” is the body size designation that Martin uses, as stamped inside the guitar on the neck block starting in October 1930. All measurements are in inches. “Frets” represents the frets clear of the body. “Introduced” was the year of introduction. All sizes are in inches.

Size   Frets   Width     Depth    Body Len   Tot Len   Year Introduced
----   -----   -----     -----    -------    ------    --------------
1/4    12      6 3/16    2 7/8    12                   (early version)
1/4    12      8 15/16   3 9/16   12 1/16              (later version)
1/2    12      10 1/8    3 3/8    15 1/16
7      12      13 11/16  4 3/8    17 1/2
5      12      11 1/4    3 7/8    16
4      12      11 1/2    3 3/4    16
3 1/2  12      10 11/16  3 7/8    16 7/8
3      12      11 1/4    3 13/16  17 3/8
2 1/2  12      11 5/8    3 7/8    17 7/8
2      12      12        4        18 1/4
1      12      12 3/4    4 3/16   18 7/8
O      12      13 1/2    4 3/16   19 1/8               1852
O      14      13 1/2    4 1/4    18 3/8     38 3/8    1932
OO     12      14 1/8    4 1/16   19 5/8               1877
OO     14      14 5/16   4 1/8    18 7/8     38 5/8    1934
OOO    12      15        4 1/16   20 7/16              1902
OOO    14      15        4 1/8    19 3/8     39 3/8    1934
OM     14      15        4 1/8    19 3/8               1929
D      12      15 5/8    4 3/4    20 15/16             1931
D      14      15 5/8    4 7/8    20         40 1/4    1934

Standard       6 3/8     2 5/16   9 7/16     21
Concert        7 3/4     2 3/4    11         23 1/2
Tenor          8 15/16   2 15/16  12 1/16    26 1/4
Baritone       10        3 3/8    14         30 11/16

    Certainly the most desirable of the Martin body size is the 000, 0M, and D sizes. Many consider the 000 (and OM, which is essentially a 000) to be the ultimate guitar size, where others feel the “D” size is the best. It’s personal preference. There are some interesting facts though about the 000 and OM sizes. (In Martin’s 1934 catalogue, any flattop guitar that had a 14-fret neck was named an “Orchestra Model”, while the older 12-fret design was named a “Standard Model”.)The OM Body Size.

Martin Orchestra Model OM

    Martin’s OM, or “Orchestra Model”, available from 1929 to 1933, has a rare combination of features. The joining of a long-scale (25.4″) neck with a small body makes it an extremely responsive and playable guitar. In many ways the OM models were the first truly modern flattop guitars. They were the first Martins to have necks with 14 frets clear of the body. The OM has a wide neck (1 3/4″ as opposed to the dreadnought’s 1 11/16″) which appeals to fingerstyle players. The string spacing is slightly greater at the bridge than on other models too, although not as wide as a classical guitars. The neck shape of old OMs is a bit unique too, although this is variable since each neck was handmade. OMs have a wide but thin backshaped V-shape which is very comfortable. Finally, the OM’s smaller body size makes the guitar easy to hold, especially in the seated position. Compared this to the D dreadnought which is larger both in body depth and width (dreadnought players seem to use straps and stand up so the guitar’s size is less of a factor).The OM model came about due to Perry Bechtel, who was a virtuoso plectrum banjo player. Perry came to see the Martin family in the early summer of 1929. He wanted Martin to make him a guitar which he could easily adapt his banjo style (remember by the late 1920s guitar was the hot instrument, replacing the banjo). He requested 15 frets clear of the body and a 27″ scale in Martin’s largest standard body size (which at that time was the 000, with 12 frets clear of the neck). The 27″ scale would retain the fret spacing of the plectrum banjo, and 15 frets clear of the body would closely resemble the length of a banjo neck.

    Martin began with a 000-size guitar, which had 12 frets clear of the body. They rejected the 27″ scale idea, as this would have been impractical since the high string tension on a guitar would have made the instrument hard to play. Instead they used a 25.4″ scale length. To accommodate Bechtel’s request for 15 frets clear of the body, they squared the body’s shoulders to add 1 5/16″ to the clear part of the fingerboard. This allowed 14 frets clear of the body. Since they felt aesthetically the bridge should remain halfway between the center of the soundhole and the endblock, there really was no way to make the guitar have 15 frets clear. The bottom bout was reshaped slightly to match the new shape of the upper bout (note when the 000 went to 14 frets in 1934 it retained this initial OM body shape).

    To make the OM more suitable for banjo players, the neck was made narrower and less V-shaped than previous Martins. The fingerboard was narrowed from the then-standard 1 7/8″ to 1 3/4″ at the nut. In addition to make the OM more banjo-like and to give it a distinctive look, banjo style tuning pegs were used. To do these, the headstock had to be made solid, instead of slotted. Previously Martin headstocks had all been slotted with tuners attached to the side mounted on a single plate for three tuners. No single-unit guitar tuners were available, so banjo pegs were a natural.

    In late 1929, Martin built a prototype batch of six OM guitars. The very first of these had pyramid bridges and no pickguard. Martin soon realized that with the vigorous strumming required in a band setting, a pickguard would be required. Hence all OMs after the prototype batch had a small teardrop-shaped pickguard. The new OMs were not highly sucessful. They sold, but not as well as Martin had hoped. In 1933 the OM designation was dropped and was now called the “000″ model. But infact the 1933 “000″ models were the same as the 1933 “OM” models, retaining the OM body style and 14 fret neck. Then in 1934 the standard 000 models were modified to the shorter 24.9″ scale (for unknown reasons, as the 12 fret 000 body had a 25.6″ scale length its inception in 1902 to its demise in 1931). Yet the OM’s longer scale was a major factor in the OM’s tone. The strings on an OM must be tuned to a higher tension to get concert pitch. This extra tension translates into more drive on the top, hence providing more volume and tone. The OM’s scalloped braces and a small maple bridgeplate give the OM a great sound. Although these features were common to other Martin models of the time, the OM’s top brace under the fingerboard was missing. This design is unique to OMs making the top very lightly braced. This does lead to some problems with cracks in the upper bout along the side of the fingerboard, but it also contributes to the great sound of the OM models.



Style 40 flat top – Martin Guitar, Vintage

Collectibility Rating: B (would be higher but most models were made in Hawaiian style).

    • German silver tuners with pearl buttons.
    • Ivory bound fingerboard and peghead.
    • Ivory bridge

    • Ivoroid bound top and back.
    • Snowflake inlays beginning at 5th fret.
    • Unbound fingerboard and peghead.

    • Style 40 discontinued.

    • Style 40 reintroduced.
    • Ebony bridge.
    • Most often seen as the Martin 00-40H (hawaiian) with 12 frets clear of the body and a sloted peghead. The 00-40H maintained this configuration until 1941 when it was discontinued.

    • Style 40 discontinued. Reintroduced in 1985 with slightly different specs.
  • Rosewood back and sides, abalone (pearl) inlay around top edge and soundhole (but not on top around the fingerboard like a style 41,42,45 would have), inlaid bridge pins. Fancy backstripe of horizontal lines between two rows of diagonal lines (like style 45). Most style 40 models made were hawaiian style with flat fingerboard radius, flat flush frets, high string action, and no bridge saddle compensation. Most popular was the OO-40H (though they did made 2-40, 0-40, 000-40 and 000-40H models prior to WW2). Sometimes these are converted to regular “spanish” style guitar (fingerboard radiused, refretted, neck reset, bridge saddle angled). Made from the 1860s to 1917, then 1928 to 1941, then 1985 to present. 1860s Style 40 Introduction specs:

    1909 Style 40 specs:

    1917 Style 40 specs:

    1928 Style 40 reintroduction specs:

    1941 Style 40 specs:


How To Self Learn Play Guitar

by admin on March 28, 2010

Learn to Play Guitar by Yourself

When you decide to begin a learn self guitar program whether its through reading books on the subject or taking a program that you learn all by yourself, it can be somewhat hard. However, it isn’t that hard. It’s like learning Spanish or any language.

It takes years to get good at and even more years to be able to fluently speak in the language. Music is a language that is very beneficial to have. You can express yourself without even talking.

Learning the guitar takes nothing more than dedication, passion, and an instrument. There are so many melodies and songs out there that many people try to learn. The problem is that people try to learn these songs in an inefficient way. Nevertheless, learning those songs in a good manner is not hard and can be very satisfying. Following the right guidelines one can teach self guitar and reap many noticeable improvements fast.

Great Self Taught Guitar Book Here

How To Self Learn Play Guitar | Practicing

Practicing the guitar will make you better. Not practicing will leave you where you left off last. Practice will get your fingers stronger so you can play better songs. When you first start out your fingers may hurt from the metal or nylon strings, however, still continue to practice as the fingers will adjust to this and get stronger. If you practice every day for a month then by the end of that month you’ll not only be a much better musician but will probably enjoy it even more.

The guitar is a very exciting and beneficial hobby that anybody can do and anybody can use to reap the rewards it has. Not only does playing provide satisfaction for the guitarist but it can be used to give others enjoyment as well. Play for old folks at the retirement center, play for charities, play for free. Record a song and give it out for others to listen to. Music is a great thing to have and can benefit everyone.

Great Self Taught Guitar Book


K.I.S.S Guitar Book

March 28, 2010

K.I.S.S Guitar Book What Made the KISS Guitar Book Popular Every hard rock fan knows the rock band legend KISS. This is the most popular rock band that shocked the music scene when they first started in the seventies. They had the trademark of wearing leather suits and face paint in their radical performances. Aside […]

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Martin Guitars – History and Overview

December 27, 2009

C.F. Martin & Company is one of the oldest, if not the oldest guitar company in the United States. Christian Frederick Martin founded the company in 1833. After years of developing their guitars and setting a standard for excellence, it is easy to say that Martin is one of the most popular acoustic guitar companies […]

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Martin D-35 Dreadnought

November 21, 2009

I think the heart of every guitarist falls in love instantly upon seeing a Martin 1833 logo decal upon an acoustic guitar’s headstock, no matter how it looks there’s something that makes it irresistible to play and hear how it sounds. Although the factory may not put as much time and effort into every guitar […]

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Percussion Instruments | Vintage Gretsch History

September 29, 2009

Percussion Instruments | Vintage Gretsch Drums | History of Gretsch Drums That’s the sound, the anthem that began when Friedrich Gretsch, an immigrant from Mannheim Germany, founded a small shop in Brooklyn in 1883. He was to create a dynasty lasting to this day. Yet Friedrich Gretsch died unexpectedly in 1895 before he could see […]

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Martin Arch Top C-2

September 22, 2009

The size of the Martin Arch Top C-2 body is equal to the 000 size of the flat top type and it is 15” wide. The top is carved but the back is arched. The sides and the back are made of rosewood. The vintage Martin guitar has a trapeze styled tail piece and all […]

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Martin Flat Top Style 28

September 15, 2009

The Style 28 Martin guitar includes the D-28, 000-28, OM-18, 0-28, 00-28 models which have a spruce top and a rosewood body. This theme has been the most popular line of vintage Martin guitars since the late 1800s. It has an awesome sound which is the main reason why these guitars have been the favorite […]

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Buy Vintage Instruments Appraisal: Vintage Instrument Appraisal: Gibson Archtop Guitar from 1936

September 13, 2009
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Martin Guitars | Purchasing Vintage Martin Guitars

September 9, 2009

Purchasing a Vintage Martin Guitar If like millions others, you too are a fan of the vintage Martin guitars and are planning to buy one for yourself, then you need to take care of some important points before making the deal. Observing the Manufacturing Year: It is very easy to determine the year of making […]

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Martin Made other brands

August 17, 2009

Martin Guitar’s Other Brands Since 1900, Martin did make guitars, mandolins and ukes for other brands and guitar studios. No, this was not “common”. Just because your guitar looks like a Martin, doesn’t mean it is. Even if your instrument is one of the brands listed below, that does NOT mean it was necessarily made […]

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Martin Mandolin Serial Numbers | Date your Martin Mandolin

August 16, 2009

Martin Mandolin Serial Numbers | Date your Martin Mandolin Year Last Serial No. 1895 23 1896 112 1897 153 1898 359 1899 577 1900 800 1901 881 1902 1171 1903 1348 1904 1507 1905 1669 1906 2026 1907 2357 1908 2510 1909 2786 1910 3098 1911 3431 1912 3847 1913 4162 1914 4462 1915 4767 […]

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1932 Martin C-1 Archtop – Vintage Martin Guitar

July 29, 2009

A 1932 Martin C-1 Archtop with round sound hole. Style C-1 arch top. Collectibility Rating: D– Arch top body size is equivalent to the flat top 000 body size, 15″ wide across the top, carved spruce top, back is not carved but is arched by bracing, mahogany back and sides, style 18 flat top trim, […]

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Banjo History – Some important dates

July 26, 2009

SOME IMPORTANT DATES 1620- Explorer Richard Jobson mentions “gourd with neck and strings”in Africa 1678- “Banza” noted in Martinique as played by blacks 1769- white banjo players performed in blackface 1813-1860 Joel Walker Sweeney 1843-first documented minstrel show by Dan Emmett & Virginia Minstrels 1840s-1850s Minstrel Craze; Banjo becomes urban instrument 1830s to 1850s Boucher […]

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History of the Banjo – Part 3 – THE FIFTH STRING

July 24, 2009

History of the Banjo – Part 3 – THE FIFTH STRING from Joel Walker Sweeney of The Sweeney Minstrels, born 1810, was often credited with the invention of the short fifth string. Scholars know that this is not the case. A painting entitled The Old Plantation painted between 1777 and 1800 shows a black […]

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History of the Banjo – Part 2 – Minstrel Era

July 11, 2009

From White men began using blackface as a comic gimmick before the American Revolution. The banjo became a prop for these entertainers, either individually or in groups. By the early part of the 19th century, minstrelsy became a very popular form of entertainment. Joel Walker Sweeney and his Sweeney Minstrels were already popular by […]

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History of the Banjo – Part 1 – Early stages

June 23, 2009

EARLY STAGES – by William Reese Banjos belong to a family of instruments that are very old. Drums with strings stretched over them can be traced throughout the Far East, the Middle East and Africa almost from the beginning. They can be played like the banjo, bowed or plucked like a harp depending on their […]

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1942 Martin C-2 Archtop

June 19, 2009

A 1942 Martin C-2 Archtop. Style C-2 arch top. Arch top body size is equivalent to the flat top 000 body size, 15″ wide across the top, carved sruce top, back is not carved but is arched by bracing, rosewood back and sides, unbound elevated tortoise pickguard, style 28 type multiple bound top and back […]

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Vintage Martin Guitars – High Action and Neck Sets

June 13, 2009

The only right way to make a “high string action” Martin guitar play correctly is to do a “neck set”. This repair involves removing the neck on the guitar, and refitting the neck at a slightly increased angle, which lowers the string action. If done correctly, this does not affect the value of the guitar […]

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Play the guitar in one weekend – Learn to play guitar

June 7, 2009

CLICK HERE to Learn to play guitar in ONE WEEKEND! Easily Start Playing and Singing Your Favorite Songs on the Guitar, Learn Songs Faster and More Efficiently, and Improve Your Guitar Skills 150% in Just One Weekend! Finally, the never before released methods are now available to show you how to Unlock The Guitar, learn […]

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Martin Guitars: Introduction

June 7, 2009

Martin has been making some of the best flat top acoustic guitars since the mid 1800′s. Martin’s other lines of instruments (electrics, archtops, mandolins) is not nearly as desirable or collectible as their flat top models. Because of this, any models other than flat tops (such as Martin’s archtops and electrics) are not very collectible. […]

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Martin Guitar Serial Numbers, Find the Year – Lookup Martin Serial

June 7, 2009

Martin Guitar Serial Numbers: Find the Year – Lookup Martin Serial All Martin guitars since 1898 (except solidbody electrics from the 1970s, basses, and tiples) are numbered in consecutive order. Ukuleles do not have serial numbers. Mandolins use a different serial number system than guitars. Martin guitar serial numbers start at 8000 in 1898 because […]

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1957 Gibson A5L Mandolin

May 19, 2009

There are very many styles of mandolins made by many manufacturers. But, typically referred to in the USA are those made by the Gibson Co.. Prior to about 1900, a typical mandolin was the Neapolitan style. The oldest instrument was made by the Vinaccia family of Naples, Italy around the mid-1700′s. This type of mandolin […]

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Vintage Marimba

May 19, 2009

The origin of Marimba isn’t known, but it seems it started off as wooden bars laid over a hole on the ground which was struck with some sort of stick. In the myth of Zulus (of South Africa), there is a story about a goddess called “Marimba” who made an instrument by hanging gourds below […]

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1962 Fender Jazz Bass

May 18, 2009

First introduced in 1960 as the “Deluxe Model”, the Fender Jazz Bass was marketed as a stablemate to the Jazzmaster guitar which was also marketed as a “Deluxe Model” in its own right; however, it was renamed the Fender Jazz Bass as Fender felt that its redesigned neck – narrower and more rounded than that […]

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1956 Martin D-21

May 16, 2009

First made in 1955, the D-21 is a rosewood dreadnought that’s just the same as a D-28 except for a few cosmetic elements. Where a D-28 has ebony fingerboard and bridge, the D-21 has rosewood. The D-21 has plainer soundhole rings, and black or tortoise colored binding instead of the white or ivoroid featured on […]

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