|1955 Gibson Byrdland|
the Byrdland guitar.
The Byrdland was the first of Gibson's Thinline series. Many guitarists did not desire the bulk of a traditional archtop guitar such as Gibson's L-5 CES, one of Gibson’s top models. The Byrdland was built with its overall depth of 2¼ inches which,was over one inch shallower the Gibson's L-5 CES model.
Byrd and Garland specified a shorter scale neck.which would help facilitate intricate single-note patterns and unusual stretched chord voicings.
The original instruments were to come with twin Gibson P90 single coil pickups. Although Hank ordered his with a single P90 and a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck position.
|1957 Byrdland Gary's Guitars|
The production models were equipped with Alnico V pickups. One interesting feature of this guitar is the fact that the two pickups are spaced closer together, because of the shorter scale and the 22 fret neck.
This gives the the Byrdland it’s distinctive sound. In later years the Alnicos were replaced with humbucking pickups.
The Byrdland came with a fancy gold-plated trapeze tail piece that was engraved with Byrdland and the rosewood bridge with topped with a Gibson tune-o-matic saddle. The body was bound as were the guitars F holes.
By 1956, Gibson sold 60 units, which was more than the combined sales of L-5’s and Super 400’s. Electric guitarists seemed to appreciate the feel of the narrow body.
|Hank's number 3|
|1956 Gibson ES-350T|
From 1955 to 1960, Gibson made the Byrdland with a Venetian, or rounded, cutaway.
It returned to the Venetian in 1969. The model was in production from 1955 through 1969.
In the late 1960s, guitarist Ted Nugent began using a Byrdland, which was unusual considering Nugent's style of music.However, in an interview Nugent states that he first saw Detroit guitarist Jimmy McCarty playing a Byrdland back in the early 1960's.
|Nugent's Great White Buffalo Model|
|2015 Gibson Custom Byrdland|