"The vision was to make a guitar that felt good to play" – Gretsch surprise releases limited edition signature Broadkaster Jr with boygenius

Gretsch boygenius Broadkaster Jr
(Image credit: Gretsch)

The surprise release of the Gretsch boygenius Broadkaster Jr recognises the hugely influential indie rock trio of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Davis and Julien Baker with a limited edition available on the band's website now. 

The new model from the Fender-owned brand features Electromatic Filter’Tron pickups, vintage-style Gretsch trapeze tailpiece with custom features including boygenius fingerboard inlays and a nickel head badge with boygenius signatures and logo.

As well as specifying the black finish smaller body shape with no bigsby and full-size Filter'Tron pickups, boygenius wanted an accessible price for the guitar. 

 “I wish this had been my first guitar,” the band said, introducing the guitar.

In the video above demoing the guitar, Julien Baker further explained the band's priorities with the new model. "Something that was really important to me and the band was making something that felt accessible to a player of any skill level. So it's got a thinner neck, it's easier to play, it's a little bit of a shorter scale… if you choose to be acrobatic with the fretboard, it's a little bit easier to navigate. 

It gives you a beautiful playing experience instead of being something you have to wrestle with

Julien Baker

"The pickups compress a lot," adds Baker. "It sounds great out of the box and it's really clean. The vision was to make a guitar that felt good to play – I was reading Let's Go So We Can Get Back Again, The Jeff Tweedy book, and he has this part in it where he's learning to play guitar [and wondering], how many great guitarists were impended by the quality of their instrument. And I related to that so much.

"The first guitar I ever had felt like nail to play," continued Baker. "The action was so high, it didn't stay in tune all the way down the neck and it sounded horrible. It was hard to make it sound beautiful. I enjoy that this is affordable and accessible for kids that want to pick up a guitar and it responds to you – it gives you a beautiful playing experience instead of being something you have to wrestle with."


"We all have a three of cups tattoo," explains Baker of the inlay design. "It's a tarot card that thematically concerns friendship being the highest form of love."  (Image credit: Gretsch)

For its part, Gretsch and the Fender family have had an ongoing working relationship with the members of boygenius and were only too happy to fulfil this vision. 

“At Gretsch, our unwavering commitment is to empower musicians at every level, fostering the expression of their unique voices across genres and among players of all backgrounds. Collaborating with boygenius on designing this guitar was a cool experience, working closely to ensure the specs matched their unique sound," said Jason Barnes, VP Product at Gretsch. 

"Our collaboration with them transcends mere music; it's about kindling inspiration in countless fans, reaching new audiences, and embracing diverse genres. This collaboration stands as a testament to our brand's voice, resonating with the shared passion for artistic expression and the belief that music has the power to inspire and elevate individuals on their creative paths.”

Baker also believes the new model reflects the band dynamic she finds herself in now with boygenius in contrast to her solo career. 

"I was playing guitar by myself for so and I feel like this is a guitar that's suited to a band," she reflects. "It's not necessarily geared towards somebody who wanted to be a standout virtuoso. It's geared towards a kid who wants to pick up an instrument."

Buy the guitar at boygenius.store

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.