How to start?
Am I a trained classical guitarist? Well, I took lessons, but the lessons didn't take. I do play, and I play in an active guitar ensemble, The Rosewood Guild, but the truth is, I'm a player of limited ability. That's not to say that I don't love playing, I do, and I practice every day. Well........almost every day!
Have I been building guitars for 20 years? Well, again, no, but I have been educating myself on the process for longer than that. When I started playing back in 1979, I became highly interested in guitar construction. I even bought some books, tools and parts for making guitars, but I had children and family responsibilities that demanded my time, so I never got around to actually building a guitar. I did study it extensively, and maintained my interest over the years. Suddenly, I found myself in 2006, and the children were gone and happily married, parents gone, but an interest still, very much, alive. I continued my studies of construction techniques, on my own. I joined several builders forums, and bought a library of books on the subject. Finally in 2007, I started my first build. It took a year, but turned out to be a guitar that I was very proud of. Still am, and play it often. (See pictures, left)
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that I seem to have a knack for this process. Somehow, my ear hears what I need it to hear, in the wood, and allows me to find the right combinations of bracing and thickness. That's not to say that I don't have a lot to learn. Each guitar is a learning experience. But, I have also learned that every hand made guitar is going to have it's own personality.
What style of instruments am I building? At present, I'm building Spruce topped instruments inspired by my studies of Jose Romanillos' style, and use a bracing pattern similar to his 1973 guitar that was played, for years, by Julian Bream. It produces a guitar with exceptional response and excellent projection. I find it to have a very appealing voice, with lots of reserve and breadth of tonality. Some players ask if it is a bright sound. I think that depends on your perspective. I believe it is perceived to be bright because of the incredible treble response and sustain. The trebles are bright, and have complex overtones. However, it is still a very balanced instrument with strong mids and outstanding bass with reserves to spare. Of course, I'm making them, and it's my opinion, but you can decide for yourself when you play one.
Pick up the phone and give me a call, or drop over to my contact page and send me an email. I'm always eager to talk about guitars and guitar building.