Song Birds Guitar Museum. – Chattanooga
Tennessee. – Review.
Whilst on a tour of the Deep South Gear Review
took a slight detour to Chatanooga
to visit the Song Birds Guitar Museum.
Inaugurated in March 2017 at the Historic Site of the Chattanooga
Choo-Choo Train Terminal Station, The Songbirds Guitar
Museum boasts a one of a kind collection,
of rare and vintage guitars, basses, mandolins and other stringed
The Player Jam Experience.
Having spent the night at the adjacent Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Hotel so as we could mellow out from our long drive
from Memphis and plentiful lunch at the Loveless
Cafe, we arrived bright and early at the museum.
We where cheerfully greeted and soon moved into the
back room in which they had a temporary exhibit called
“Six String Queens” in honour of pioneering
female guitar players. This was done with the purpose
of raising awareness for young girls to play guitar
in a mostly male dominated music scene. Quite in sync
to the theme my thirteen year old daughter was with me for the Jam Experience
and Museum Tour.
Onto the experience itself we
had chosen 3 guitars each from the “Tier 1” experience to
try out. These were;
Les Paul Goldtop (Originally a Gretsch
Duo Jet which was not available.)
Gibson Les Paul TV Special
Gibson Firebird III (Non-Reverse),
Fender Telecaster Thinline,
In order to have a better focus and not get too
lost we had also brought along a notebook with a list of songs
we both knew, and we could play together in order to maximise
our time with the instruments.
It was very enjoyable, I must say the guitars were setup very
well and sounded amazing, I was also lucky enough to be plugged
into a Dumble
Special Overdrive a rare amp well coveted by many
guitar players and used by many big names such as Eric Clapton,
Larry Carlton and Robben Ford to name a few.
I especially enjoyed the 56 Les Paul Goldtop
with the P90 pickups, my daughter took a liking to the 73
Fender Telecaster Thinline.
The exbibits are set out in a timeline showcasing the earliest
electric guitar designs and showing their evolution through
time. All the guitars displayed are collector grade condition
and many of the displays have multiple versions of each instrument
show their progress through time.
Our favourite displays in the main exhibit area though were
the custom colour collections, especially the Fender Basses,
The Telecaster Thinlines of which
they must had every colour ever made and also a stunning selection
of Gibson Firebirds for which a wide variety of special
order colours where shown.
The jewels of the collection though are kept in a climate
controlled room appropriately. named “The Vault” which
is available with the “All Access Tour”
The Vault encloses rare instruments
such a 1949 Broadcaster protype, experimental guitars such
as the Fender Marauder which never made production, original
run Flying Vs and Explorers and other custom order or rare
If you are a guitar/bass player or simply enjoy music a visit
to the Song Birds is a must and much recommended.
By Ernest H Slade
information please visit