Who makes the guitar that Emmylou Harris is playing?
March 6, 2011 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Emmylou Harris ordinarily uses a Gibson acoustic guitar, but on some songs (notably The Pearl) she uses a crazy guitar with its lowest string lifted off the fretboard as a drone. Who makes it? Here is a (mesmerizing) video of her playing The Pearl And here is a photo of her playing it. (The pic shows the luthier's mark on the headstock, but I do not recognize it).
posted by capnsue to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Here's a kind of absurd list of all the guitars she plays - I couldn't find a match with some image searches but it may give you a place to start.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:27 PM on March 6, 2011

I'm almost positive that that is a customized baritone guitar.
posted by cyphill at 12:31 PM on March 6, 2011

Best answer: Julius Borges, it's a custom job they call a "Mini Harp" guitar.
posted by nanojath at 12:36 PM on March 6, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah that's the one! Beautiful.....
posted by capnsue at 12:37 PM on March 6, 2011

What she's doing is the equivalent of capoing 2 on all but the low E string. It still plays in E, but if you fret it like you're playing a D chord, you can play *all* strings instead of just the top four (or five if you don't mind basing on a fifth). What's nice is you can play most other chords (you have to wrap your thumb for E chords).

What this guitar does is similar, but the nut is the capo, and the low E string is down at D when it's open. When it's fretted, as in a G chord or in barre chords, it acts like a normal E sring.
posted by notsnot at 1:50 PM on March 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

When it's fretted, as in a G chord or in barre chords, it acts like a normal E sring.

No. The drone string is an open A, and there are no frets under it. See nanojath's link.
posted by mendel at 4:04 PM on March 6, 2011

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