National Guitars

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About National Guitars

National guitars are an American brand specializing in resonator guitars. The company produces 'res-o-phonic' guitars with metal bodies and was founded in 1927 in Los Angeles.

Resonator guitars were actually invented by National's founder, John Dopyera. A steel guitar player named George Beauchamp suggested John build a guitar that would be loud enough to play over brass instruments. He did, and the rest is history!

National's resonators are perhaps the most famous of this type of guitar. This is thanks in part to the appearance of one on the iconic Brothers in Arms album cover from Dire Straits.

National guitars hand make guitars with both full aluminium bodies and a mixture of wood and metal. They produce an extremely distinctive sound and are very popular with Country and Bluegrass musicians. Slide technique is big on these guitars, with players often using heavy strings and open tunings.

We love National guitars here at guitarguitar. We have a great selection available to try in-store.

Frequently Asked Questions about National Guitars

Question: How does the Resonator make its sound?
Resonators work by using one or more 'resonator cones' - spin metal cones within the body - to project the sound of the vibrating string. The idea is to make the sound as loud as naturally possible. The resulting metallic tone is an added bonus.
Question: Where are National guitars made?
National instruments are all hand made in California, USA.