Recommended Reading

Guitar Collecting

Here are some of the most astoundingly useful reference books on the subject of musical instruments. Many are out of print, but may be available used or through your local library. Following the vendor links will usually provide more information about content.
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Musical Instrument Auction Price Guide: 2002 (Serial)

Primarily concerned with orchestral instruments, especially violin family, but also includes some guitars and other instruments sold at auction.

  • Paperback: 250 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.55 x 9.00 x 6.04 
  • String Letter Publishing; ISBN: 189049058X; (March 2002) 
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American Guitars: An Illustrated History
by Tom Wheeler

  • Paperback: 384 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 10.93 x 8.47
  • HarperCollins (paper); Revised and Updated edition (June 1992) ISBN: 0062731548
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Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars : An Identification Guide for American Fretted Instruments. Updated and Revised Third Edition

  • Paperback: 500 pages;
  • Backbeat Books; 3rd revised edition April 2010); ISBN: 087930944X
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Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments: A Photographic History
by George Gruhn, Walter Carter (Contributor)

  • Paperback: 320 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 11.51 x 8.84
  • Backbeat Books; (November 1997); ISBN: 0879304936
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Guitar Identification: A Reference Guide to Serial Numbers for Dating the Guitars Made by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, C.F. Martin & Co
by A. R. Duchossoir, Andre Duchossior

  • Paperback: 56 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.22 x 11.97 x 9.10
  • Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation; 3rd Revision edition (May 1999);  ISBN: 063400672X
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The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide: Electric and Acoustic Guitars -  Amps - Basses - Effects - Lapsteels - Steels - Ukuleles - Mandolins
by Alan Greenwood, Gil Hembree

  • Paperback
  • Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation; (October 2009); ISBN: 1884883214
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Blue Book of Electric Guitars
by S. P. Fjestad (Editor), Gurney Brown

  • Paperback
  • Blue Book Pubns; 12th edition (Aug 2009); ISBN: 1886768935
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Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars
by S. P. Fjestad (Editor), Gurney Brown

  • Paperback
  • Blue Book Pubns; 12th edition (Aug 2009); ISBN: 1886768943
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Guitarmaking : Tradition and Technology: A Complete Reference for the Design & Construction of the Steel-String Folk Guitar & the Classical Guitar
by William R. Cumpiano

  • Paperback: 388 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 10.73 x 8.28
  • Music Sales Corp; ISBN: 0811806405; (March 1994) 
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Martin Guitars: An Illustrated Celebration of America's Premier Guitarmaker
by Jim Washburn, Richard Johnston, Stephen Stills 

  • Paperback: 264 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.62 x 10.90 x 8.36
  • Readers Digest; (January 6, 2003); ISBN: 0762104279
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The Martin Book - A Complete History Of Martin Guitars
by Walter Carter. 

  • Hardcover: 108 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.59 x 9.81 x 7.65
  • Backbeat Books; (April 1995); ISBN: 0879303549
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Martin & Co. Est. 1833: A History
by Mike Longworth

Discusses the evolution of each model. An essential resource for the Martin collector.

  • Hardcover
  • C F Martin & Co; (December 1988) Out of print.
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Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon
by Walter Carter 

  • Paperback: Dimensions (in inches): 0.50 x 11.75 x 9.00
  • Gibsons Pub; (May 2003); ISBN: 0972751009
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50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul: Half a Century of the Greatest Electric Guitars
by Tony Bacon 

  • Paperback: 144 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.52 x 11.04 x 8.56
  • Backbeat Books; (April 26, 2002); ISBN: 0879307110
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Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years: An Illustrated History from the Mid-'30s to the Mid-'60s
by A. R. Duchossoir

Since the inception of the first "electrical" guitars in the 1920s, no other manufacturer has produced a greater variety of professional quality models than Gibson. This book presents a documented account of the instruments released during a highly creative period from the 1930s up to the mid-60s, which saw the coming of age of the electric guitar. It describes all the models that have made history and contributed to establishing the reputation of Gibson. This edition features over 500 illustrations, including 100 in color, and previously unpublished material.


50 Years of Fender: Half a Century of the Greatest Electric Guitars
by Tony Bacon, Paul Day 

  • Paperback: 128 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.54 x 11.03 x 8.56
  • Backbeat Books; (September 30, 2000); ISBN: 0879306211
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The Fender Book: A Complete History of Fender Electric Guitars (2nd Ed)
by Tony Bacon, Paul Day

  • Hardcover: 120 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.57 x 9.75 x 7.66
  • Backbeat Books; Revised edition (1999); ISBN: 0879305541
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Fender Stratocaster
by A. R. Duchossoir, A. R. Duchoissoir, Eric Clapton

  • Paperback: 72 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.23 x 12.06 x 8.92
  • Hal Leonard Pub. Corp.; Revised edition (March 1994); ISBN: 0793547350
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Fender Telecaster: The Detailed Story of America's Senior Solid Body Electric Guitar
by A. R. Duchossoir, A. R. Duchoissoir, James Burton, Albert Lee

  • Paperback: 80 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.23 x 12.02 x 8.96
  • Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation; (February 1992);  ISBN: 0793508606
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Created on: February 15, 2003
Last updated: November 07, 2021