Me and my guitar: Frank Turner

The songwriter on his 1957 Gibson Country Western

Me and my guitar Frank Turner
(Image: © George Fairbairn/Future)

He's got his Gibson Hummingbirds for the road, but Frank Turner couldn't resist this 1957 Country Western for the recording, home and special occasions.

Country Western

"I was quite surprised that I ended up with a Country Western of all the Gibson range. I was looking at maybe getting an old Dove, or one of the original Hummingbirds - that seemed like it would be more up my street. But there was something about this guitar when I started playing it that leaped out and grabbed me.

"It has a really nice full-bodied tone to it. I've been learning a lot of bluegrass flatpicking lately as well, and it really seems to fit in with that. It's got a lovely sparkle in the top end."

Home guitar

It's mainly for recording and for me to have at home and to just enjoy a really nice old guitar

"It's a relatively new acquisition for me, I decided to treat myself to a guitar to have at home. When I tour I have a pair of Gibson Hummingbirds, which are great and they take a battering and all the rest of it, but this is a step above I'd say."

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G36TeTesQwc

Original parts

"It's basically an all-original 1957 guitar. The tuning pegs, the bridge pins, the saddle, the glue… everything, it's completely original. I think it was owned by someone who put it in a cupboard for quite a long time."

Setup

"The action is fantastic and the setup really couldn't be any better. It really hasn't been fiddled with since it was made. Those Gibson guys really knew what they were doing back in the day."

Fishman pickup

"I've had one thing done to it and that's having a Fishman pickup fitted, which goes out through the endpin. So that's been drilled through for me. That's the only alteration I've made.

"That's because I want to be able to use it for radio sessions and the occasional live show. But it's mainly for recording and for me to have at home and to just enjoy a really nice old guitar sounding how really nice old guitars should sound."


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