Johnny Cash is regarded as one of the greatest musicians to ever walk the surface of the earth, and he isn’t regarded as a one hit wonder as his discography would show you so many hits he had during his days. Johnny Cash played the guitar very well which made him the perfect example of what any rock and roll artist should be, but what guitar did Johnny Cash play specifically? This is one question so many people have been scrambling for answers for.
Taking a look at Johnny Cash’s time, it is very difficult to not recognize his unique and distinctive voice. He was regarded as one of the top selling musicians in his time, and this is because he made a record sales of about ninety million records all over the world. Surprisingly, Johnny Cash specialized in the gospel aspect of music, while other genres of music he focused on include country, rock and roll, blues, and folk music.
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The type of guitar Johnny Cash played is one question you are likely to find on the lips of so many people whether they are his fan or not, and below is a list of the type of guitars played by Johnny Cash;
- Martin D-28
- Fender Telecaster
- Gibson J-200
- Martin Johnny Cash D-35 Custom
- Martin D-42JC
- Martin D-35
- Fender Malibu Acoustic
- Martin D-355
- Guild D60 CSBE
From the detailed list we just showed you, it is easy to tell that Johnny Cash made use of a lot of Martin guitars, and the strings he made use of the most was the Martin Lifespan 2.0 Medium strings. What makes this string unique is its anti corrosion treatment which offers the strings protection against damaging its action or tone. People who do not know Johnny Cash often asked if he was a very good artists that lived up to the reputation he has today.
The answer to the question is YES, Johnny Cash was a very talented, loved, and well known musician in his time. However, one of the things that comes to mind when talking about Johnny Cash isn’t really the way he sings or the technique he applies when singing. What comes to mind about Johnny Cash is the type of guitar he used when playing or making music.
Johnny Cash today is regarded as one of the best guitarist every to walk the surface of the earth, and he is regarded as one of the most proficient guitarist every but not that great. What made Johnny Cash exceptional when playing the guitar was the fact that he had an iconic style of playing, and the fact that he was always around exceptional guitar players for several years also helped in improved by the day.
Bearing this piece of information in mind, it is safe to say that Johnny Cash might not make the list of the greatest guitarists of all times. You might be wondering the reason for this, but the truth is playing the guitar wasn’t exactly Johnny’s focus when making music. His signature vocals and iconic looks are what makes him standout, while his deep bass baritone commanded a lot of respect whenever his song came on.
He boasts of having an incredible singing style which set him apart from all other musicians in his time. He was loved by everyone.
What Guitar Did Johnny Cash Play
One of the guitars that Johnny Cash used in recording several classics is the Martin D-35 guitar, so let is talk to you some more about this guitar.
Martin D-35 Guitar
Johnny Cash played a lot of Martin Guitars during his time whether it was recording a song in the studio, or giving a performance on stage. All of his performances and songs were all iconic, and he made use of the Martin D-35 guitar in making some of this songs or during a performance on stage. This guitar had a polished black finish, and this black finish helped in completing Johnny Cash’s image.
The Martin D-35 guitar is one that Johnny Cash played for as long as twenty years, and the Martin company made an instrument and named it the D-35 Johnny Cash Commemorative in honor of this iconic musician. Providing Johnny Cash with the best in sound quality is what this guitar is designed to do, while its bracing and construction also ensured this guitar stood out.
This guitar boasts of having an excellent shape and construction that made it one of the most durable guitars of all time, and this guitar is one of the ultimate instruments Johnny Cash played all through his career. Johnny Cash considered this guitar as one of the most reliable instruments he ever played, and it was this same guitar he had in his possession when stopped being part of Columbia Music. He basically stopped being a part of any label.
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Brief History About Johnny Cash
At the age of twelve, Johnny Cash had already started learning how to play the guitar. He learnt how to play this beautiful instrument from his mother and his friend, but he didn’t get his first guitar till he joined the Airforce and was serving in Germany. His first guitar cost about five dollars at that time, and he also played in a band of servicemen during his time. He wrote Folsom Prison Blues while playing with his band in the Airforce.
An outstanding attribute of Johnny Cash in his time was the fact that he never made use of any effect pedals, and the reason for this was because he always played an acoustic guitar. Furthermore, this iconic musician preferred to make use of heavy pickup in his time, and this pickup was designed by Jim Dunlop with a black color. The carter picking style was his favorite, and this style involves playing alternate bass notes using the thumb.
This style of play also means that picking would be done using the first two fingers.
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Wrapping It Up
Boasting of the combination of a unique style of play and a standout voice made it difficult to not recognize his voice on a song, and this combination also made replicating his style extremely challenging and difficult as well. He had a deep and rich voice, but what we will like you to take home from all of this is it is not impossible to learn how to play the guitar or sing like Johnny Cash. It only requires a lot of effort and dedication.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.