There is not one bluegrass fan out there that wouldn’t agree that the guitar of choice for any bluegrass band is a Martin Guitar. Whether a D-18 or D-28, (my choice) the Martin is synonymous with the music stretching back to the infancy of Bluegrass.
If you are ever traveling through the state of Pennsylvania, I would strongly suggest you make a detour and visit the Martin Guitar Factory. We have made the pilgrimage a few times over the past few years and never grow tired of the experience. You can feel the history and tradition as soon as you walk down the giant guitar walkway from the parking lot. A very friendly receptionist is there to greet and direct you to the facility for tours and shopping. They give you the opportunity to not only visit the amazing museum they have set up to chronicle the history of the company but to play a number of instruments in a “special” room for your enjoyment.
My wife and I arrived very early in the day for a tour of the factory and were lucky to be coupled with a group of 3rd graders on a school field trip (my kind of field trip!). These kids were mesmerized because you are taken on a guided tour of the actual factory, not a simulated tour like Hershey with plastic kisses and a candy bar at the end as they drop you into the chocolate filled gift shop. Each visitor is given a set of headphones to assure you can hear every word your guide is saying. You will walk past Martin craftsmen working and doing what they do best…make a great guitar. The automation is minimal. There is much “hands-on” work to be done on each and every instrument. The folks are very friendly and will answer most questions. The entire tour takes a good part of an hour and is free of charge.
Our last visit was in 2009 and we were given an actual spruce sound hole for a factory guitar stamped with the Martin logo and year of the tour…a great souvenir. To top off the day I was able to meet Chris Martin who was out in the lobby. He was nothing but cordial and signed a couple of catalogs for me as well. We had a very nice conversation. He asked which Martin I owned and answered any question I had.
All in all a great day! This is a must for a music enthusiast as well as any American who wants to experience the American Dream in action. With summer just around the corner make it a point to visit the piece of Americana. You can learn more about Martin and the tour at http://www.martinguitar.com/ Enjoy your visit!
Originally posted 2013-02-25 10:54:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter