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National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Tips Hat to Chet Atkins

National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Tips Hat to Chet Atkins

National Fingerstyle Guitar Champ John Standefer Tips His Hat to Chet Atkins with His Gretsch G6120T-55

Standefer has been playing and teaching guitar professionally for over 50 years and claims what sparked his passion was hearing Chet Atkins play. “Chet was head and shoulders above mere mortal guitarists all his life,” states Standefer. “But especially in the 50s and 60s when I was buying his records. I tried to learn everything I could from him by ear, wearing out records and needles galore along the way. I loved his Gretsch guitar sound, especially from the mid-50s, Fingerstyle Guitar being the LP that defined my idea of the quintessential Chet tone.” By the age of 17, John was finally able to acquire a Country Gentleman. A few years later he acquired a 6120 Nashville and then a Silver-Jet.

Standefer goes on to say, “Back then Gretsch didn’t make that wire vibrato arm Chet used on his Bigsby so I had a machinist make me one from album cover photos. I copied Chet almost exclusively for a couple of years before adding other influences and developing my own tunes and arrangements. That was a long time ago, of course, but Chet’s playing and philosophies have stuck with me all my life. These days I primarily do my own arrangements and play acoustic guitar but I still really enjoy pulling out my G6120T-55 for that authentic old school sound and doing some serious thumbpicking. Having owned a lot of guitars and having 40 years’ experience now as a guitar tech/luthier, I need to mention that these newer Gretsch guitars are way better in every way to the ones I had from the 60a–more precise, better playing, better looking–the works. They thought of every little detail on the guitar I have now, right down to pinning the platform bridge (something I commonly do for folks as a custom feature). I am so proud of Fred Gretsch for resurrecting the Gretsch name and for making so many great models to choose from!”

See John Standefer perform LIVE at the 2018 Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention (CAAS) and help celebrate the Gretsch 135th Anniversary.

Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention
July 11-14, 2018
Music City Sheraton
777 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

July 15, 2018 Update:  Enjoy these photos and videos from the 2018 Convention!