Fender Competition Mustang bass, Gibson Melody Maker, Epiphone Granada
Fender Competition Mustang bassGibson Melody MakerEpiphone Granada3
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search     









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?
Vintage guitar parts for sale

Vintage guitars for sale

Gibson Byrdland

Thin line semi-acoustic guitar

1958 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogueFrom the 1958 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

This cutaway electric Spanish guitar, with its thin body and extra-narrow, short-scale neck, is easier and less tiring to hold and permits playing chords previously beyond reach

1960 Gibson full line catalogueFrom the 1960 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

At the top among guitars! Designed by famed guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland

1962 Gibson full line catalogueFrom the 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

The first Gibson catalogue to show the Byrdland with it's new Florentine cutaway; prior to this it had the more rounded Venetian cutaway body style

1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogueFrom the 1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

The Byrdland is outstanding tor performance and beauty—the result of premium materials and superb Gibson craftsmanship. Tone and response are stunning

Gibson 1966 Full Line catalogueFrom the 1966 Gibson full line catalogue

...the Gibson Byrdland continues to be the choice of artists who demand oustanding performance in a guitar with slim comfort, feather touch action and exceptional tonal response

1970 Gibson thinline catalogueFrom the 1970 Gibson thinline catalogue

A supreme acheivement in a thin electric acoustic. The Byrdland is designed for the artist who demands perfection in appearance and performance. The extra narrow, short scale neck makes diffcult chord positions easy to reach

1972 Byrdland ShowcaseGibson 1972 Byrdland showcase, part of the guitar of the month series

...the playing artistry of Billy Byrd and Hank Garland brought about a guitar that has been admired for years by thousands of discriminating guitarists, the Gibson "Byrdland"

1978 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1978 Gibson catalogue

Custom carved spruce top. Curly maple back and rims. Graceful Venetian cutaway

1983 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1983 Gibson catalogue

The Byrdland stands alone amongst modern archtops. Owing to the particular vision of Nashville pickers Hank Garland and Billy Byrd. Thinner than most Gibson custom carved instruments, the Byrdland is a joy to play - even more of a joy to hear

Gibson Byrdland
Gibson Byrdland

Top: mid sixties Byrdland, with Florentine cutaway. Below: 1970 Byrdland with Venetian cutaway

Jazz strings suitable for this guitar

D'Addario EXL115 (D'Addario Electric Blues/Jazz Rock)

Thomastik-Infeld JS110 (flatwound extra light jazz swing electric guitar strings)

D'Addario EJ20 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Extra-Light)

D'Addario EXL115W (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Blues/Jazz Rock Wound 3rd)

D'Addario XLS600 (D'Addario Stainless Steel Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

D'Addario EJ22 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

The Byrdland is a particularly fine Gibson jazz archtop guitar, designed by, and taking its name from, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland - two influential jazz guitarists of the 1950s. As the 1972 Gibson Showcase brochure states, "craftsmanship, playability and tonal performance have been the 'key elements' in the design" of the Byrdland. It debuted in 1955 and has been on Gibson price lists ever since.

It was one of the earliest 'thin' electric acoustic guitars, based on the L-5CES, but conceived in the days before the advent of the Gibson ES thinline series. As described in early advertising (see the 1957 advertisement featuring messrs Garland and Byrd, left): "it's thin body... it's narrow, short scale length... gives it unusually fast and brilliant tonal response, combining the characteristics of the solid body and conventional guitars."

Initially it had a rounded Venetian cutaway; the same body shape and size as the L-5 CES, ES-5 Switchmaster and ES-350, although it , and the ES-350 were shorter scale than the L-5CES and ES-5 (23 1/2" compared to 25 1/2") - specifically for easy jazz chording and soloing

ModelGibson Byrdland
Available1955-date
PickupsTwo single coil P90s (1955-59) changing to humbuckers from 1959/60
Scale23 1/2"
BodyCarved spruce top, curly maple rims and back. Two body styles available with Venetian (1955-early 1961, 1968-1985) or Florentine (1961-1968) cutaway. Currently both cutaway styles are available from the Gibson Custom shop.
NeckThree piece (changing to five-piece in around 1965) curly maple short scale neck. Ebony fingerboard, pearl block inlays. Joins body at the 14th fret
Frets22
Hardware2 volume, 2 tone, gold hardware throughout
FinishesNatural, Sunburst, Wine Red (1977-79), Ebony (1977-79), Vintage Cherry Sunburst (1983-85)

Initially four prototypes were produced; one each for Byrd nd Garland, and two for Gibson's promotional purposes. Although it was first demonstrated at the 1955 NAMM show, it was not actually available to buyers until 1956.

The Gibson New for '61 flyer heralds the change to a "deeper Florentine cutaway body... for easier, more comfortable playing in the upper register, and to permit the playing of many chords and intervals previously beyond reach"

From 1962 the Byrdland was advertised in price lists as custom order only.

The following description is taken from the 1970 Gibson catalogue

BYRDLAND-N
A supreme achievement in a thin electric acoustic, the Byrdland is designed for the artist who demands perfection in appearance and performance. The extra narrow, short scale neck makes difficult chord positions easy to reach.

FEATURES: Carved spruce top with select curly maple rims and back. Extra narrow five-piece curly maple short scale neck joins body at the 14th fret. Adjustable truss rod. Ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays. Adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge. Powerful twin Humbucking pickups with separate tone and volume controls. Three position toggle switch to activate either or both pickups. 17" wide, 21" long, 2 ¼" thin; 23 ½" scale, 22 frets.

Byrdland - Sunburst finish
Byrdland N - Natural finish

603 - Faultless plush-lined case
ZC-3 - Deluxe zipper case cover


Similar models
Gibson ES-350TD
Gibson L-5 CES
Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

1957 Gibson Byrdland, Natural (#GAT0362)

Current price: $12900.00
buy it now
Time left: 24d 12h 8m
Gibson Byrdland Custom Shop Master-Built Model Guitar! grlc1540

Current price: $10495.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 13h 47m
2013 Gibson Byrdland Crimson Custom Shop Archtop Natural Flame Lefty Left Handed

Current price: $8995.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 8h 1m
Used Gibson Custom Shop Byrdland Florentine Natural 2013

Current price: $7995.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 8h 5m
1974 Gibson Byrdland (GAT0348)

Current price: $7595.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 11h 2m
1973 Gibson Byrdland (#GAT0367)

Current price: $7595.00
buy it now
Time left: 11d 10h 6m
1991 Gibson Custom Shop Masterbuilt Byrdland Jim Triggs natural blond

Current price: $7500.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 17h 7m
2013 GIBSON CUSTOM BYRDLAND CARVED JAZZ ARCHTOP VSB THIN BODY SHORT SCALE*374

Current price: $7479.00
buy it now
Time left: 15d 11h 31m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

1959 Orig PAF Gibson Les Paul Standard Or Custom ES 335, Byrdland 1 Neck Pickup

Current price: £1825.58
buy it now
Time left: 2d 6h 32m
Vintage 1960 Gibson GOLD Patent Number PAF Pickup L-5CES Super 400 Byrdland 1961

Current price: £1277.90
buy it now
Time left: 11d 4h 52m
Vintage 1959 Gibson Kluson Sealfast Tuners L-5CES Super 400 Byrdland L-5 L5CES !

Current price: £637.35
buy it now
Time left: 2d 2h 43m
Vintage 1959 Gibson Kluson Sealfast Tuners L-5CES Super 400 Byrdland L-5 L5CES

Current price: £637.35
buy it now
Time left: 11d 4h 53m
Vintage Gibson 1950's Byrdland CALI GIRL Case - 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960

Current price: £480.42
buy it now
Time left: 10d 13h 24m
Vintage 1958 GIBSON BYRDLAND Pickguard Archtop Jazz Guitar 1957 1956 1955 p-90

Current price: £381.13
buy it now
Time left: 28d 3h 7m
Vintage Gibson Byrdland Tailpiece 1959 1960 1961 1950's 1960's Original Bridge

Current price: £381.13
buy it now
Time left: 28d 3h 15m
Circa 1959 Gibson ES350T Byrdland PAF narrow cover rare vintage guitar part

Current price: £253.02
buy it now
Time left: 17d 10h 25m
See more results on eBay here

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - to catch web robots

How many legs does a spider have?