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Martin OM-28V for Live Performances: Tips for Playing Your Acoustic Guitar on Stage

Pub Time : 2023-05-09 14:01:06

The Martin OM-28V is a versatile acoustic guitar that is popular among musicians for its balanced sound and playability. Martin is a renowned manufacturer of high-quality acoustic guitars and has a long history of producing some of the finest instruments in the world.

The Martin Guitar Company was founded in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin in New York City. Martin's commitment to quality and craftsmanship quickly earned him a reputation as one of the leading guitar makers of his time. In 1839, Martin moved his operations to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where the company remains headquartered to this day.

The OM-28V is part of Martin's Standard Series and is designed for live performances. This guitar is a modern version of the OM-28 model, which was first introduced in 1929. The OM in the model name stands for Orchestra Model, which indicates that this guitar is designed to produce a balanced sound that is suitable for both fingerpicking and strumming.

The Martin OM 28V is known for its versatility, making it a popular choice for guitarists who play different styles of music. Whether you are a fingerstyle player, a flatpicker, or a strummer, the Martin OM-28V is capable of producing a rich and nuanced sound that will impress your audience. In the following sections, we will explore the different aspects of the Martin OM-28V guitar in detail.

Sound and tone of the Martin OM-28V

The Martin OM-28V is renowned for its clear and balanced sound, making it a popular choice among professional musicians for live performances. This model features a top made of solid Adirondack spruce, which is known for its tonal clarity and projection. The back and sides are made of solid East Indian rosewood, which adds warmth and depth to the sound.

Compared to other Martin models, the OM-28V stands out for its focused and articulate sound. The notes are well-defined and clear, allowing for intricate fingerpicking and complex chord progressions. This model also boasts impressive sustain, which is particularly important for live performances where notes need to ring out clearly.

In comparison to other high-end acoustic guitars, the Martin OM-28V holds its own in terms of sound quality. It is often praised for its versatility, as it can handle a range of playing styles and genres with ease. The balanced sound is well-suited for both fingerstyle playing and strumming, making it a go-to choice for many professional musicians.

Overall, the Martin OM 28V is known for its clear, balanced, and versatile sound, making it a top choice for live performances and recording. Its focused sound and impressive sustain set it apart from other Martin models and high-end acoustic guitars.

Playability of the Martin OM-28V

The playability of an acoustic guitar is an important consideration, especially for musicians who play for extended periods of time. The Martin OM-28V is designed with playability in mind, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced guitarists.

The neck of the Martin OM-28V is made from select hardwood, which is comfortable to hold and provides a smooth playing experience. The neck profile is modified V-shaped, which allows for a comfortable grip and improved hand placement. The fingerboard is made of ebony, a dense and durable wood that provides a smooth playing surface.

The action of the Martin OM 28V is set low, making it easier to play and allowing for faster playing styles. The bridge and saddle are made of bone, which helps to improve the guitar's sustain and tone. Additionally, the Martin OM-28V comes equipped with a set of high-quality tuners that keep the guitar in tune, even during extended playing sessions.

Compared to other Martin models and high-end acoustic guitars, the Martin OM-28V has a reputation for excellent playability. It is known for its comfortable neck profile, smooth fingerboard, and low action, which make it easy to play for extended periods of time. However, as with any guitar, playability is a matter of personal preference, and it's important to try out different guitars to find the one that feels right for you.

Materials and construction of the Martin OM-28V

The Martin OM 28V is built with high-quality materials that are designed to produce a rich, balanced sound with excellent projection. The top of the guitar is made from solid Sitka spruce, which is a popular choice for acoustic guitars due to its strength, resilience, and tonal clarity. The back and sides of the guitar are made from solid East Indian rosewood, which is known for its warm, mellow tone and striking appearance.

The neck of the Martin OM-28V is made from select hardwood and features a modified V-shape profile that is comfortable to play and provides excellent support for the fingers. The fingerboard is made from ebony, which is a dense and durable wood that is highly prized for its smooth playing surface and tonal qualities.

One of the standout features of the Martin OM-28V is its vintage-inspired construction, which includes scalloped X-bracing and forward-shifted bracing. These design elements are modeled after vintage Martin guitars from the 1930s and are designed to enhance the guitar's overall tone and projection. The scalloped X-bracing allows the top of the guitar to vibrate more freely, which contributes to the guitar's rich, resonant sound. The forward-shifted bracing moves the position of the X-brace closer to the soundhole, which increases the guitar's overall volume and projection.

In addition to its top-notch materials and vintage-inspired construction, the Martin OM-28V also features high-quality hardware and finishing touches. The guitar comes equipped with a set of Martin's own nickel open-geared tuners, which provide excellent tuning stability and precision. The guitar's bridge is made from solid ebony and features a drop-in saddle for easy adjustments. The guitar is finished with a high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, which provides excellent protection for the guitar's wood and enhances its natural beauty.

Overall, the Martin OM-28V is built with precision and care using top-quality materials, resulting in a guitar that sounds as good as it looks. Its vintage-inspired construction and attention to detail make it a standout instrument in the Martin lineup and a favorite among discerning musicians.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Martin OM-28V

The Martin OM-28V is a highly respected acoustic guitar known for its versatility and craftsmanship. However, like any instrument, it has its advantages and disadvantages.


  1. Versatility: The Martin OM 28V is a versatile guitar that can be used in a wide range of musical styles, including folk, rock, blues, and country. Its balanced and articulate sound makes it ideal for both fingerpicking and strumming.

  2. Craftsmanship: The Martin OM-28V is a top-of-the-line guitar that is handcrafted with the highest quality materials. It is built to last and has a beautiful aesthetic that is sure to turn heads.

  3. Sound: The Martin OM-28V has a balanced and clear sound that makes it ideal for live performances. It projects well and has a strong midrange, which makes it easy to cut through a mix.

  4. Playability: The Martin OM-28V is known for its comfortable neck and fingerboard, which make it easy to play for long periods of time. It is also lightweight, which makes it easy to transport.


  1. Cost: The Martin OM-28V is a high-end guitar and is priced accordingly. It may be out of reach for many musicians, especially those who are just starting out.

  2. Fragility: The Martin OM-28V is a delicate instrument that requires careful handling. It is not as rugged as some other guitars and can be easily damaged if it is not properly cared for.

  3. Tone: While the Martin OM-28V has a balanced and clear sound, some musicians may find that it lacks the warmth and depth of other acoustic guitars. It may not be the best choice for those who prefer a darker, more mellow tone.

  4. Availability: The Martin OM-28V is a high-end guitar that is not as widely available as some other models. It may be difficult to find in some regions, and it may be necessary to travel to a specialty store or order it online.

How to choose the best Martin guitar for your live performance needs

When it comes to choosing the best Martin guitar for live performances, there are several factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice for your needs:

  1. Sound projection: One of the most important factors to consider is the sound projection of the guitar. When playing live, you want a guitar that can cut through the mix and be heard clearly. The Martin OM 28V is known for its balanced and articulate sound, making it a great choice for live performances.

  2. Playability: Another important factor is playability. You want a guitar that feels comfortable in your hands and allows you to play your best. The Martin OM-28V has a comfortable neck profile and fingerboard, making it easy to play complex chords and fingerpicking patterns.

  3. Price: Martin guitars are known for their high-quality craftsmanship, but they can also come with a hefty price tag. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a guitar for live performances.

  4. Personal preference: Ultimately, the best Martin guitar for live performances is the one that feels and sounds best to you. Consider trying out different models to find the one that suits your playing style and needs.

  5. Recommended accessories: In addition to choosing the right guitar, there are also accessories that can enhance your live performance. Consider investing in a high-quality pickup system, a durable guitar case, and a comfortable guitar strap.

When trying out different Martin guitars for live performances, it's a good idea to visit a reputable guitar store or dealer. They can help you find the right guitar for your needs and offer advice on accessories and maintenance.

Tips for playing the Martin OM-28V on stage

Playing the Martin OM-28V on stage can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking if you're not well-prepared. In this section, we'll provide you with some tips on how to get the most out of your Martin OM 28V during live performances.

  1. Practice with a metronome: Keeping a steady tempo is crucial when playing on stage, especially if you're playing with other musicians or a backing track. Practicing with a metronome will help you develop your timing and rhythmic accuracy, and it will also help you build your confidence.

  2. Use a pickup or microphone: To amplify the sound of your Martin OM-28V on stage, you can either use a pickup or a microphone. Pickups are more common in live performances as they provide a clean and direct signal to the sound system. However, some musicians prefer using a microphone to capture the natural sound of the guitar. Whichever option you choose, make sure to test it before the show to ensure you get the best sound possible.

  3. Be aware of feedback: Feedback can occur when the sound from the guitar's pickups or microphone is amplified too much, causing a high-pitched squealing noise. To prevent feedback, make sure to position yourself and the guitar correctly in relation to the speakers and other equipment. You can also use a feedback buster or a noise gate to eliminate unwanted noise.

  4. Adjust your playing style: When playing on stage, it's important to adjust your playing style to the venue and the audience. For example, if you're playing in a small acoustic room, you might want to play softly and avoid aggressive strumming. On the other hand, if you're playing in a large concert hall, you might want to play more dynamically to fill the space.

  5. Stay focused: Playing on stage can be distracting, with lights, sound, and other musicians vying for your attention. To stay focused, try to block out external distractions and concentrate on your playing. Visualize yourself playing flawlessly, and stay in the moment.

  6. Engage with the audience: Playing on stage is not only about showcasing your skills but also about connecting with your audience. Engage with them by making eye contact, smiling, and talking to them between songs. This will help create a rapport and make the audience feel more involved in the performance.

By following these tips, you can enhance your playing experience with the Martin OM-28V and deliver a memorable performance on stage. Remember to practice, test your equipment, and stay focused, and you'll be able to play with confidence and poise.

Care and maintenance of the Martin OM-28V

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to keeping your Martin OM-28V in top condition and ensuring its longevity. Here are some tips to help you take care of your guitar:

  1. Keep it clean: Regularly wiping down your Martin OM 28V with a soft, dry cloth can help remove dirt, sweat, and oils from your hands that can damage the finish over time. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning your guitar, as these can strip the finish and cause irreparable damage.

  2. Keep it humidified: Acoustic guitars, including the Martin OM-28V, are made of wood, which can expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. To prevent damage from dry air, it's important to keep your guitar humidified, especially during dry winter months. You can purchase a guitar humidifier to keep the moisture level in the air around your guitar at a consistent level.

  3. Store it properly: When you're not playing your Martin OM-28V, store it in a case or guitar stand to protect it from bumps, scratches, and other types of damage. Avoid storing your guitar in direct sunlight, as this can cause the finish to fade and dry out the wood.

  4. Check the strings: Regularly checking the condition of your guitar strings and replacing them when necessary can help ensure optimal playability and sound quality. Strings that are worn, dirty, or rusty can affect the intonation and tone of your guitar.

  5. Have it professionally serviced: If you notice any issues with your Martin OM-28V, such as buzzing frets, cracks in the wood, or other types of damage, it's important to have it professionally serviced by a qualified guitar technician. Attempting to fix these types of issues yourself can cause further damage and potentially lower the value of your guitar.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can help keep your Martin OM-28V in top condition and ensure that it continues to deliver the exceptional tone and playability that it's known for.

In the next section, we'll provide some tips on playing the Martin OM-28V on stage.

FAQs on the Martin OM-28V guitar

  1. What makes the Martin OM-28V a good guitar for live performances? The Martin OM-28V is known for its balanced and articulate sound, making it a versatile choice for a variety of musical genres. Its construction also allows for good sound projection, making it an ideal choice for live performances.

  2. What is the price range for a Martin OM-28V? The price of a Martin OM-28V can vary depending on the condition, age, and specific features of the guitar. Generally, a new Martin OM 28V can cost between $3,000 to $4,000 USD, while a used one can range from $2,500 to $3,500 USD.

  3. What type of strings should I use on my Martin OM-28V? It is recommended to use light gauge strings (.012-.053) on a Martin OM-28V, as they will provide a good balance between playability and tonal quality.

  4. What is the nut width on a Martin OM-28V? The nut width on a Martin OM-28V is typically 1.75 inches, providing ample space for fingerstyle playing.

  5. What is the scale length of a Martin OM-28V? The scale length of a Martin OM-28V is 25.4 inches, which is a standard length for many acoustic guitars.

  6. What type of pickguard does the Martin OM-28V have? The Martin OM-28V has a tortoise pickguard, which not only protects the guitar's top from scratches but also adds to its aesthetic appeal.

  7. Can the Martin OM-28V be played with a pick? Yes, the Martin OM-28V can be played with a pick. However, its tonal characteristics are best suited for fingerstyle playing.

  8. Does the Martin OM-28V come with a case? Yes, the Martin OM-28V typically comes with a hardshell case for protection during transportation and storage.

  9. What is the difference between the Martin OM-28V and the OM-28? The main difference between the Martin OM-28V and the OM-28 is the vintage appointments on the OM-28V, such as the herringbone top inlay, vintage-style tuners, and aging toner on the top. The OM-28V also has a forward-shifted scalloped X-bracing pattern, which gives it a slightly different tonal character.

  10. Can I order a custom Martin OM-28V with different specs? Yes, Martin offers custom options for the OM-28V, such as different wood choices and custom inlays. However, these options may come at an additional cost and may take longer to produce. It is best to consult with a Martin dealer or representative for more information.

Martin OM-28V guitar price guide by condition

As with any high-end guitar, the price of a Martin OM-28V can vary depending on several factors, including the condition of the guitar. Here's an overview of typical prices for new and used Martin OM 28V guitars:

New Martin OM 28V guitars generally sell for around $3,500 to $4,500, depending on the retailer and any additional features or customizations.

Used Martin OM-28V guitars can be found at a range of prices depending on the guitar's age, condition, and any customizations or upgrades that may have been made.

  • Excellent condition: Used Martin OM-28V guitars in excellent condition can sell for around $3,000 to $3,500, which is a significant discount from the new price.

  • Very good condition: Used Martin OM-28V guitars in very good condition can sell for around $2,500 to $3,000, which is still a good discount from the new price.

  • Good condition: Used Martin OM-28V guitars in good condition can sell for around $2,000 to $2,500, which is a considerable discount from the new price.

  • Fair condition: Used Martin OM-28V guitars in fair condition can sell for around $1,500 to $2,000, but buyers should be aware of any repairs or restoration work that may be necessary.

  • Poor condition: Used Martin OM 28V guitars in poor condition can sell for less than $1,500, but buyers should be cautious as the cost of repairs or restoration work may exceed the purchase price.

When purchasing a used Martin OM-28V guitar, it's important to carefully inspect the guitar for any damage or wear and tear, and to ask the seller for detailed photos and information about the guitar's history and condition. Additionally, it's always a good idea to have the guitar inspected by a professional luthier before making a purchase.

Overall, the Martin OM 28V is a high-end guitar with a corresponding price point. However, for serious musicians looking for a versatile, high-quality guitar for live performances, the investment may be well worth it.

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