About 15 years ago I became interested in Guitar Making, at the time I went and did a Guitar Construction Course and in my quest for further information I came upon a number of books, one that stood out was a boo by William Cumpiano and Jonathon Natelson called Guitarmaking. It is so thorough I would have to say it has set the benchmark for all others that follow.
As guitar players, whether we build, repair or just play guitar, it is worth getting an understanding on what makes a good guitar. Playing scales, learning tunes, recording, giging is all very well but looking under the bonnet is a very healthy thing to do, the instruments you play can make a massive difference to how you play. Getting a bit of an education in Guitar Construction is highly advisable, especially for when you buy a guitar, regardless of price range, being informed is good, you may very well be playing the wrong or looking for the wrong guitar to suit your needs.
For quite some years now Linda Manzer has been making some of the most beautiful guitars on the planet. A week or so back I wrote a short article about McGowan Guitars and also Olson Guitars. Canada has some brilliant guitar makers such as Laskin and Larivee.
Linda Manzer has made guitars for Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana and Bruce Cockburn to name a few. To check out her gorgeous guitars go to her site Manzer Guitars
I’ve stated a number of times in this guitar blog site that what I’m trying to do is raise the standard of guitar playing by making available resources, inspirational videos of great players, guitar tips, tabs and music notation and whatever else I can to expand the beautiful artform of acoustic guitars. Some weeks back at my other site someone at my other guitar blog site the Guitarplayer directed me to a Guitar Maker in Virginia. I often get people asking me to promote their sites, their products, their music; in most cases I say no because the agenda is often very different to what I’m trying to achieve and I don’t wish to turn my site into a supermarket full of guitar track. So when you are not running a website as a business but are more interested in having a resource to help acoustic guitar players, it’s easy to maintain quality because what I like, I publish and what I don’t I bypass. I’m always happy to see the development of all areas of guitar, so I followed through and checked out some of the instruments by brian at McGowan Guitars and was more than pleasantly surprised . I’ve always loved the idea of experimenting to get the perfect sound out of a guitar. I particularly like the use of a mix of tonewoods on the soundboard e.g. the usage of both Cedar and Spruce to get warmth and clarity. that’s the beauty of the non production line guitars, the guys (and ladies, I’m thinking Linda Manzer) have the ability to experiment with the end goal being beautiful instruments. Brian is currently building three different body styles. – Grand Concert, Grand Auditorium, and Dreadnought . Standard nut width is 1 3/4”. The scale length on all models is 25 11/32”.
A few days back I wrote a short article mentioning a great guitar maker called Jim Olson. In that article I said I thought it was a good idea to introduce a lot of players that ae only used to mainstream guitars (of all qualities) to some other guitar makers. Some years ago, Acoustic Guitar Magazine did a article about guitar makers, in the article it mentioned the luthier from Santa Cruz, Jeff Traugott. Arpart from the overall beauty of the guitars, I really liked the shape of the headstocks, OK that sounds silly but a good simple headstock is nice to have at the top end of a gorgeous instrument. Here is a link into the Jeff Traugott Guitar site. His instruments speak for themselves.
A good instrument will make you want to play more because you don’t need to try and squeeze sound out of it, it will just automatically sing naturally for you.
I’ll continue to bring attention to some of the brilliant guitar makers throughout the world because they are the ones that help musicians to raise the standard of their playing. Sooner or later, most guitar players get themselves a beautiful instrument, and why not.
Note: This is not advertisement, this is about awareness of things that you may not know exist.