Not too long ago, a guitar I built in 2002 came up for sale in a shop: Gruhn Guitars, in Nashville. This cat, Dave Richman picked it up, bought it, and started picking it. A transcription by Chet Atkins.
Wood for the back and sides. It has to be long enough for the increased length of the body. The sides have to a little longer as well. The pics below can be enlarged by clicking…
First, I’ve had this set for a few years. Tamarind, with spalting. It’s interesting and engaging. It’s not lightweight though, and I think that was something mentioned as important.
The next wood to consider is Spanish Cypress. This is probably the wood that your nylon string guitar was made with. It is sort of yellowish/wheat colored, without much grain feature. It would be a good choice for a baritone. I have many sets of this wood, so here are just a couple of samples.
Next is another blonde wood, Movingui. Lively and interesting grain and figure. Here are two different grain figures.
More options: Below left: Palo Escrito. Right: Birdseye maple
There are more options. We could explore the Brazilian Rosewood options. There is an necessary upcharge, and the options are limited.
When Jean-Hervé contacted me (2002 or so) about a guitar it was we began to chat about what he wanted: 7 strings, the best wood, (my best work) special design and he specified that I have creative license. OK! As we spoke more, we upgraded the back and sides to African Blackwood. The tuning machines would be a custom (Very!) set of Gilberts.
Jean-Hervé got excited and so did I. In order to execute this design, I needed an extra long roller on one of the machines. So, I made the modification, using “Luthier Know-how” (I’ll try anything that makes sense. And some things that don’t.) So the following gallery has some pics of adapting the machines.
So the tuners came out great. The modification is not quite invisible, but it’s darn close.
2003 is a while ago. I don’t seem to have good pictures of the instrument when it was completed! I included, in my previous post, a few pics that Jean-Hervé took recently before his passing. Thank you Jean-Hervé Paul. Thank you for sharing your music, and encouraging others to share theirs.
A friend gave me the difficult news that Jean-Herve was killed in his home in Haiti in March of this year. He was 54 years young. I won’t go into the grisly details, preferring to recall a little about Jean-Hervé.
I met Jean-Hervé on the phone about 18 years ago when he said he wanted to order a guitar with 7 strings. We had many amiable conversations about the prospective instrument. He wanted the best wood, spruce and African Blackwood. He was a musician who played many instruments. He was a friend of another customer Huayna Jiminez. At the time they were both in Florida.
Here is a recording of him providing backround music to the reading of the Haitian constitution. The words are somewhat inspiring.
She also makes music solo, and in ensembles with other instrumentalists and vocalists.
Anna used a guitar I built to record a beautiful piece, Reflection by Jason Nett. This piece appears at the end of a video she put together in homage of a festival, Guitaromania 2019. Reflection is the soundtrack at beginning at the 16 minute mark of the video. At the end of the video is a memory of Łukasz .
I am pleased, and touched, that Anna used my guitar to play and record Reflection. You can hear the entire piece here. I hope you enjoy it.
I met this amazing guitarist, Anna Pietrzak, at a picnic in Vancouver BC in 2018, or was it 2017… has it been that long ago? She’s from Poland, and her husband Carl Petersson is from Sweden. I immediately took a shine to both and had a nice conversation where Carl mentioned that they anticipated moving to Vancouver… That happened in that fall of 2019 (for sure) and since then I’ve been welcomed into their downtown Vancouver apartment multiple times. In addition to being an excellent guitarist, Anna is a good cook, and Carl makes a good salad. They also make music together. I’m so thankful and want to share them!
I’ll write more about them in the future, but for this entry, I’ll just include a very interesting piece that they performed together.
In closing, I’ll just note that today is March 30 2020, and the state of Washington is under a “Stay Home” order. The border between BC and Washington is closed to all but commercial traffic. I’m afraid that means I won’t be getting together with Anna and Carl real soon, but I can write about them!
Sort of… Here is a cutaway guitar. 640mm scale length. Channel top. Double sides. Ultra cutaway. Clear golpeadores. Same model as one I made for Pedro Cortes who is currently touring with that guitar. Contact me for more information