Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger met with Brent Mason after a session at Nashville’s celebrated Blackbird Studio. Mason, one of the most recorded guitarists in history, talked guitars, pedals, and amps ... and played his ass off.
Mason has delivered some of the most incredible Tele-whacking, chicken-pickin’, double-stopping, face-melting, mind-blowing solos in country music. For most of these sessions, he used a bastardized 1968 Fender Telecaster that he bought used in the ’80s for a few hundred dollars.
Sporting a car primer finish applied by the previous owner, this Tele has been customized with a Joe Glaser B-Bender and a Gibson mini-humbucker at the neck position. A standard Tele 3-way switch controls the neck humbucker and Tele bridge pickups, while a blend knob brings in a Seymour Duncan Vintage Stack that Mason added as a middle pickup.
The session great’s PRS Brent Mason Signature model is decidedly non-Tele-like. Featuring a bolt-on maple neck, a PRS tremolo, Phase III locking tuners, Narrow 408 humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions, and a 305 single-coil in the middle, this versatile guitar has coil-splitting options that let Mason dial in a huge variety of sounds.
For moody mellow tones, Mason goes to his stock, pre-Fender Gretsch 6120 Duane Eddy model. Mason takes advantage of the 6120’s Filter’Ttron pickups for twang and the stock Bigsby tremolo for vibe.
When he wants go low and rumbly, Mason plugs in his stock PRS SE Mike Mushok Baritone guitar. This mahogany-body beauty is usually tuned down to B.