Mark Knopfler’s 1957 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins

Mark was seen playing this guitar a few times on “Red Staggerwing” live. Also, based on the photos that are floating around the internet, he has at least a few of these guitars in his studio, so it seems that it’s a model that he particularly likes.

Also, in an interview with Vintage Guitar magazine in 2014, he basically confirmed that he enjoys playing the guitar, or at least he did at that time.

It’s usually a toss-up between the ’54 [Stratocaster] and the Gretsch 6120 from ’57. I like those for just playing notes with a pick and holding the whammy bar in my hand and getting the vibrato from my picking motion. Believe it or not, those early Gretsch pickups have a very similar sound.

Mark Knopfler – Straitforward – Vintage Guitar
Mark playing one of his Gretsch 6120 guitars.

Gretsch 6120 model debuted in 1955, and it was the first Gretsch guitar produced as a Chet Atkins “signature” model. It features a maple laminate hollow body, a maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard. The guitar that Mark is playing in the photo above is equipped with two Dynasonic single-coil pickups, and a Bigsby tremolo – although these details vary from model to model.


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