Dating your martin guitar

All Martin guitars since 1898 (except solidbody electrics from the 1970s, basses, and tiples) are numbered in consecutive order. Mandolins use a different serial number system than guitars. For example, "OO-28" stamped above the serial number tells use the body is "OO" size (14 5/16" wide for a 14 fret model, 14 1/8" wide for a 12 fret model), and the ornamention style is "28" (rosewood body, ice cream cone style neck).Martin guitar serial numbers start at 8000 in 1898 because Martin estimated they made 8000 instruments before 1898. Left: The model and serial numbers, as seen through the sound hole on the neck block of this 1950 D-28.Since serial numbers weren't introduced until 1898, approximate dating of the earlier guitars can be accomplished by knowing when Martin made changes to their labels or to the brand, which can be found stamped into the back of the head, the upper part of the back, and just inside the soundhole on the long strut which reinforces the back joint. Ukuleles didn't have serial numbers, but Craig Thompson wrote, "I recently talked to the ukulele expert, Mike, at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.The very earliest Martins, around 1833, had a paper label "Martin & Coupa". One good way of dating old Martin ukuleles is the headstock.This confuses a lot of people who think their style 18 guitar is a style 28. On round hole martin guitars, the serial and model numbers are stamped on the neck block inside the instrument.The number can be seen by looking inside the sound hole. All f-hole Martin archtops have their serial and model numbers stamped on the inside center of the backstripe, roughly under the shadow of the bridge (and best seen from the bass side "f" hole).Other times, they're gazing longingly into the distance, as if searching for some redemption in this hollow existence. These are sensitive, poetic young men, expressing their anguish through the power of music.Sure, they're relying on other people's poetry and other people's music, but, like, songwriting is really, really hard, you guys.

Starting in October 1930, Martin also stamped the model number just above the serial number. Notice the "1" in the "18" does somewhat look like a "2".

You know, the one where Nicholas Cage plays an angel who falls in love with Meg Ryan. Ignore the fact that the lyrics sound like something detectives would find scrawled in a serial killer's notebook.

In the tradition of “Every Breath You Take,” this stalker anthem's combo of gentle chords and sensitive crooning has fooled some listeners into assuming it's actually a beautiful love song.

These are the songs they learn so that they can share their beautiful vision with the world and also maybe convince that cute girl from psych class to go on a date with them.

The soundtrack to too many teenage heartbreaks to count, Dashboard Confessional's breakout hit sent a generation scrambling to learn guitar, eager to take the stage at the local open mic night and prove to the girls in the audience that they had, like, “feelings and sh*t.”This is the tune so epic in its raw emotion that it convinced all of us to take the movie “City Of Angels” seriously.