The Penguinita by Banning Guitars is a Limited Edition Tele-style guitar and made-to-order. This player's guitar is available In both solid body and semi-hollow body construction and comes stock loaded with TV Jones or Porter pickups. This beauty sports a double-bound body and dot or finger nail inlays on the fretboard.
The Betty Mae model is available in both traditional finishes and the “Betty Mae” finish. The “Betty Mae” finish is a 100% Nitrocellulose lacquer finish. The organic look was inspired by the pansies gardens that Betty once grew. Banning Guitars can install just about any pickup and hardware configuration on these made to order guitars.
The NEW Heartbreaker Player Series from Banning Guitars is here!! This player's guitar has the same body shape and chambering as the standard Heartbreaker model. This one is constructed of alder and finished in satin nitrocellulose lacquer. Available in either White, Black or Sunburst finish.
A Conversation with Jason Banning, founder of Banning Guitars
Q: How did you get into playing music?
A: My dad played guitar since he was 12, and he tried pushing me to play when I was in the fourth grade. Back in high school, I played bass in my punk band called The Green Beans. We played the classics like the Sex Pistols. It was a rad punk rock scene in the Bay area at that time. When I moved to Lodi, CA, I starter playing guitar. I was self-taught, and played in different bands in the mid to late ‘90s – some EMO bands. We were semiprofessional and played some good gigs.
Q: How did you get into the boutique guitar business?
A: I started building because I played. Once I started having kids, my priorities shifted and I spent much less time gigging. But I was always into recording and capturing sound. I started building guitars as a hobby, at first with a Strat kit that my father-in-law bought for me for my birthday in 2004. I was working as a machine foreman, and as my job slowed down, I began to build as a way to support myself, initially selling my guitars on eBay. I prayed for some growth in my business and I went for it … the orders started piling up, and I’ve never looked back!
Q: Who are some of your influences, as a builder?
A: I’ve always loved Robert Benedetto’s archtops. I read his book, which had a tremendous impact on my approach to building guitars. I also like the vibe of Harmony, Silvertone and classic Gretch.
Q: What is your approach to building?
A: I like to incorporate a classic look with a modern design … I twist it up a bit, retro, yet modern.
Q: Which guitarists influenced you as a player?
A: Johnny Marr of the Smiths, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and absolutely Jimmy Page. But I listen to all types of music.
Q: How did you come up with the idea to write a Bible scripture in each guitar’s pickup cavity?
A: I don’t even remember how I came up with the idea. I always felt that God blessed me in giving me this talent to build, so I wanted to glorify God through verse. I pray over each guitar as I build it, and then I write a Bible scripture in the pickup cavity. My religion is a huge part of my building. My business is my ministry.
Q: How about when you’re not building?
A: I have two sons and enjoy sunny California with them!