- Exhibits showcase music history from the 1930s through the 1970s
- Over 300 classic American acoustic and electric instruments manufactured from the 1920’s thru the 1970’s on display at once.
- Over 1,700+ fretted instruments in our constantly growing anthology
- Over 30 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul guitars from 1958 through 1960. Some of the most expensive of their kind. Considered by many to be the Holy Grail of electric guitars!
- Over 300 custom color Fender guitars– a complete rainbow of color. Many of these are one-of-a-kind!
- Over 75 custom color Gibson Firebird guitars– even more scarce than the Fender custom colors.
- Dozens of other Gibson custom color guitars including many ES model thinline guitars and archtop guitars.
- An outstanding collection of both solid body and hollow body Gretsch guitars
- Over 45 classic “Bluegrass” flattops, flathead original five string banjos, mandolins, and the like representing the best of Martin, Gibson and other manufacturers.
The Permanent Collection
Travel through time and experience the evolution of the guitar from the 1920s through the 1970s with our permanent collection of guitars. Let us take you through the origins of rock and roll from gospel to blues to R&B to the sounds of Motown and the invasion of the British. See and hear the impact of surf music and the rural acoustic music of country, bluegrass and folk. Each exhibit features the guitars that made the music as well as the stories and artists that brought them to life.
The Craftsmanship of Pre-War Models
Experience some of the finest craftsmanship from the C.F. Martin & Company. See the top of the line 1941 C.F. Martin D-45 made of Brazilian rosewood on the back and sides with an Adirondack spruce top.
THE GUITAR TAKES THE LEAD: THE STORY OF LEO FENDER
Every musician wanted to have an electric guitar and Leo Fender made it possible. See how Leo Fender became the Henry Ford of music and helped make the electric guitar the true “lead” band instrument.
FENDER GUITARS INTRODUCES THE SOLID-BODY GUITAR
See a virtually complete collection of custom color Stratocasters, Telecasters, Esquires, Jazzmasters, Jaguars and more! The exhibit includes very early prototype Fender guitars, including guitars owned and played by Fender executives. Learn the story behind the Stratocaster’s solid body shape.
LES PAUL AND THE SUNBURST
Enjoy our collection of 1958-1960 Les Paul Models — better known as Sunbursts. Some of these guitars have sold for more than $1,000,000.
THE GIBSON CUSTOM COLORS
Meet an amazing custom color collection of Gibson guitars, including one of the most complete sets of Gibson Firebird guitars.
GRETSCH MAKES ITS MARK
Visit our outstanding collection of both solid body and hollow body Gretsch guitars from the period, including many of the Sparkle Jet series. The original 1962 Gretsch Champagne Sparkle Jet is the highlight of the collection.
We are always changing and updating the exhibits at Songbirds Guitar Museum, so you have a new and unique experience every time you visit.
See how the introduction of reverb helped define the sound of surf era music.
The musical revolution of the 60s comes alive. See how the guitar changed the path for rock and roll.
Featuring an outstanding collection of bluegrass instruments which include some extremely rare banjos and Lloyd Loar Gibson guitars and mandolins.