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Guitar in the 1930s

Updated on August 25, 2020
Jon Green profile image

Vintage guitars from the 1930s are very, very highly regarded. I have an Epiphone from 1938 and it sounds terrific. So much good music!

Guitar from yesteryear

Hark! The golden melodies of yesteryear are enchanting us still. As you may know, Youtube is a treasury of forgotten musical gems, and here are two of them. I had heard of Nick Lucas, because Gibson made a special guitar named after him, but never saw this film before. I think he was a great singer and guitar player, and I'm learning both these songs for performance. Warning: at the end of Tiptoe Through the Tulips, you get a glimpse of knees. If you are easily offended, look away now. The guitar is more than likely the Nick Lucas model.

Nick Lucas

Nick Lucas

James Taylor

James Taylor has a terrific version of this song, where he has changed and improved the chords. Try playing it in the key of A, but with a capo in fret 2, which means it is in the key of B. James Taylor is equally good at interpreting songs as writing original songs, and this is reminiscent of his earlier version of Oh Susannah.

Django Reinhardt

Another great player active in the 1930s and 1940s, I have written a short hub about Django here on hubpages. There seems to be a strong connection here, and Django definitely influenced Les Paul and the whole genre of Western Swing, which is well worth checking out. At times it seems like the further we get away from the present day, the better the music gets!

Django is probably the most influential player of all time, and continues to inspire players to this day. The gypsy jazz style which he founded is going strong all around the world, inspiring great guitarists like Bireli Lagrene and John Jorgenson.

A good introduction to Django's great recorded legacy is Nuages, also Manoir De Mes Reves.

Nick Lucas Guitar

This guitar was made specially for Nick Lucas, who specified a wider neck, small body and a black finish to minimise reflections. This was in 1926 as far as I know. Gibson did a reissue of the guitar around 2005, though this didn't have the black finish. Bob Dylan has played a Nick Lucas model.

If you ever see one, it's probably worth a lot of money!


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