Vintage Guitar Magazine: History, Features, and Why You Should Read It 

 February 28, 2022

By  Cynthia Swearingen

Vintage Guitar Magazine is a paradigm of excellence in the guitar magazine industry. Everyone read it, from celebrity musicians to casual guitarists. Moreover, it has one of the broadest demographics of any magazine. Written and compiled by experts in the field of vintage guitars and related gear, the magazine covers a diverse range of topics. This goes from price guides to interviews with icons of the guitar world.

In addition to a monthly periodical, Vintage Guitar Magazine also publishes an annual guitar price guide. They have also published books on topics such as the history of guitars and their makers, known professionally as luthiers.

The Story of Vintage Guitar Magazine

It was first published in 1986, by Alan Greenwood, as a collection of ads under the name Music Trader. Back then, the magazine filled a much-needed niche. It wasn’t long before articles were added to the ads. In 1990, the name changed to Vintage Guitar Magazine, because most of the ads were for vintage guitars.

A series of events fell into place that pushed the guitar magazine’s success. Japan’s economy was strong in the late 1980’s and the Japanese became avid vintage guitar collectors. In the early 1990’s, nostalgic Baby Boomers, who had a fair amount of expendable income, had interest in buying vintage guitars. Vintage Guitar Magazine was a reliable source for fair and accurate information, especially the guitar price guide.

In 1995, the magazine began its online presence with a store, online articles, and current industry news. Currently, Vintage Guitar magazine publishes approximately 35,000 hard copies each month. Digital subscriptions are also available.

Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Features

  • Feature Articles: This section of the magazine contains in-depth interviews with musicians from all music genres. It also has detailed articles on the history and making of various guitars, and information on vintage guitar related topics. Contributors are freelance writers who are well known in the industry and highly respected writers in the field. Two of them are George Gruhn and Seymour W. Duncan.
  • First Fret: Letters from readers, a Q and A with Zac Childs, bits of industry news, and musician profiles and interviews are just some of the items from this section.
  • Departments: Under this heading are the Vintage Guitar Price Guide, Vintage Guitar Ads, event notifications, Builder’s Showcase, Dealer’s Showcase, and Reader’s Gallery. It’s also the place of information about contests or giveaways.
  • Columns: Monthly columns on such topics as repairs and touch-ups, musicians and luthiers, historically significant guitars, and much more. Authors include Peter Stuart Kohman, owner of Retrofret Vintage Guitars in Brooklyn; R. E. Brune, luthier and former flamenco guitarist; and Dan Erlewine, owner of Dan Erlewine’s Guitar Shop and author of several books on playing and repairing guitars.
  • Reviews: The reviews cover musicians and albums from all genres, a subsection called VG Approved Gear, and reviews of new equipment.

Why You Should Read Vintage Guitar Magazine

When looking for a guitar player magazine of quality, certain requirements should be met. Vintage Guitar Magazine not only fulfills those requirements, it far exceeds them.

5 Things You Will Find Here

  1. It appeals to a wide audience, not just guitar players: Vintage Guitar Magazine readers are overwhelmingly guitar players. However, it also contains information and products valuable to luthiers, collectors, and dealers. Most notably is The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide which is published annually.
  2. It is not genre specific: It doesn’t matter if a person’s favorite music is flamenco, blues, or punk rock; there is something for everyone. Sheryl Crowe, Billy Gibbons, and the members of Cheap Trick are all notorious fans of the Vintage Guitar Magazine.
  3. Exclusive and authoritative content: In addition to the annual price guide, Vintage Guitar Magazine also has a Hall of Fame honoring the contributions and inspiration of legendary musicians and instruments. On occasion, the magazine features guitar collections of everyday people and famous musicians. In 2015, Vintage Guitar Magazine highlighted singer/songwriter Steve Earle’s collection. This includes an 1870 Martin-08. Steven Seagal’s collection of guitars, formerly owned by distinguished blues musicians, has also been featured in the past.
  4. Beautiful photography: Fabulous content can be enough for some topics, but not vintage guitars. No other magazine does photographic justice to these incredible instruments the way Vintage Guitars Magazine does.
  5. Information for owners or those who want to purchase a guitar: Being an informed consumer takes time and effort. Vintage Guitar Magazine makes that task easier. In addition to the free classified ads, each issue is full of pertinent information about the history, repair and maintenance of vintage guitars written by experts in the industry. The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide can help owners, future owners, or those looking to sell, make sure they are getting, or paying, a fair price. This information is also useful for insurance purposes.

vintage guitar magazine logo

Where to Find Vintage Guitar Magazine

Based in Bismarck, North Dakota, Vintage Guitar Magazine is published monthly. You can purchase individual issues from bookstores, music stores, or from online retailers. Subscriptions are available in print and digital form. Also, the digital subscription is available worldwide. Furthermore, you can read the magazine on most Apple and Android mobile devices. Vintage Guitar Magazine has a digital issue available for free on their website.

So, according to the Vintage Guitar Magazine website, current pricing is as follows:

  • Single print issue: $8.95;
  • Back Issues: $8.95 to $11.95;
  • Print Subscription*, 1 Year (12 issues): $24.95;
  • Print Subscription*, 2 Years (24 issues): $46.95;
  • Digital Subscription, 1 Year (12 issues): $9.95;
  • Digital Subscription, 2 years (24 issues): $18.95.

Summing Up

Vintage Guitar Magazine is not just another guitar player magazine; it is the gold standard. In publication for over thirty years, it is recognized worldwide, and across several professions, as the authority on all things related to vintage guitars.

So you may be a musician, a craftsman, a collector, or just a weekend picker. Still, Vintage Guitar Magazine has information and resources valuable to you and anyone interested in guitars.

Image 1.

Cynthia Swearingen

Your Signature

related posts:

The 7 Best Electric Ukuleles to Add to Your Collection

Top 7 Best Guitars For Beginners

Acoustic vs Electric Guitar Comparison: Anatomy of Guitars

Leave a Reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch