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The Gretsch 6120 is a hollow body electric guitar with f-holes, manufactured by Gretsch and first appearing in the mid-1950s with the endorsement of Chet Atkins. It was quickly adopted by rockabilly artists Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, and later by Eric Clapton, Brian Setzer, Reverend Horton Heat, and many others. Pete Townshend received one as a gift from Joe Walsh in 1970, which he would later use on recordings for Who's Next and Quadrophenia. Poison Ivy Rorschach of The Cramps notably played a 1958 Gretsch 6120, which she bought in 1985. She said it was her favourite guitar to play. Emulating Brian Setzer, Chie Horiguchi plays a 6120 and pays tribute to the model with her tune "6120," which she recorded with her band the Wolf Baits. After George Harrison played Gretsch Country Gentleman and Tennessean models (which, like the 6120, were developed with and endorsed by Chet Atkins), Gretsch found that they could scarcely keep up with demand.

1955 Gretsch 6120 G- Brand
Body typeHollow
Neck jointSet
BodyMaple laminate
BridgeTune-O-Matic bridge with rosewood base or Bigsby cast aluminum bridge
Pickup(s)two Dynasonics (single coils) or Filtertrons (humbuckers)
Antique Natural, Vintage Sunburst, Wine Red, Tangerine, Lime Gold, Purple, Black, Emerald

Production historyEdit

Due to changes in musical tastes and changes in Gretsch company ownership in the late 1960s resulting in deteriorating quality, production of the 6120 ceased in the late 1970s. Values of the existing instruments soared when rockabilly artist Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats was seen playing an old 6120 in his early 1980s music videos. Gretsch subsequently went back into the guitar business and new 6120 guitars are widely available.

Today, a wide range of 6120 models are available, including an assortment of Brian Setzer signature models and faithful reissues of 1950s classics. Like most Gretsch guitars, production is now based in Japan at the Terada factory, although custom-shop American-made 6120s are also available.


Note that in the mid-1960s, the proper name of the 6120 changed from "6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body" to "6120 Nashville", but the original name is again in use, although a Brian Setzer signature model is called the "Brian Setzer Nashville" (another 6120 is called the Brian Setzer Hot Rod).

Brian Setzer CollectionEdit

  • Brian Setzer Nashville
  • G6120SH - Brian Setzer Hot Rod (using "Hot Rod" FilterTron or TV Jones pickups)

Chet Atkins CollectionEdit

  • Chet Atkins Hollow Body (including several reissue models and "DynaSonic" pickups on others).

Signature modelsEdit

External linksEdit