A nice morning here in Blaine. Spirits lifted.

Jacek Kado plays the uplifting Here Comes the Sun… From 2011, when his friend was being treated for a serious disease. Thanks Jacek. For me, this is an important role of music.

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Anna Pietrzak interprets…

…Sicilienne. A beautiful, moody and moving piece composed by Henryk (Harry) Freedman.

I’ve written about Anna on this blog before.

Her website is

Performed on a 2016 guitar I built: “El Negrito”.

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A nice guitar is a available….Third party.

A longtime customer called me this morning, and due to a combination of medical, family, and financial concerns, he is considering selling his Ganz guitar. The guitar has had plek job, and has an internal passive pickup. 640 scale length. Spuce top, Macassar ebony back and sides. Here is a recent recording that the owner, Rich Rorex made recently. Rich has loved this guitar and used it in lots of gigs.

Contact: Rich Rorex, contact information at

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Unwrapping and trimming the purfling

Another silent movie

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Gluing/laminating purfling lines

A few minutes of bliss

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Nico’s Baritone is finished.

All strung up. The top is a satin finish with a golpeador, also low gloss.

Cypress back and sides, spruce top. 700 mm scale. Tuned a fourth below normal.

Nico Audy-Rowland is a composer and musician in the Seattle area.

Here is some stuff you can check out.

Here is a sound sample… Forgive the luthier playing. Note the sustain near the end of the piece.

Maria Luisa Waltz – Sagreras
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A zen approach to stringing the 6 hole tie block

When I started building in 1970, all tie blocks that I ever saw on classical guitars had 1 hole per string. It dawned on me then that there were other other options. For instance, pegs could hold down the strings, like on steel strings (or like many early 19th century guitars). Another idea occurred to me back then (1970, not the early 19th century): there could be more than one hole per string.

Now it’s very common for tie-blocks to have multiple holes (2 or 3) per string. The first guitar I saw with 2 holes was one played by Marc Teicholz I believe in the early 1990s. So many builders have been using the two hole tie block for the last 30 years, I don’t know who gets credit for using it first. But I like how it looks (below).

Or 18 holes!

Perhaps one asks, why not just 6 holes? Well, there can be a downside to the 6 hole bridge. Mainly that the way the string wraps around itself can cause it to lower the angle that the string takes over the saddle (than piece of bone).

Six Holes Revisited

Over the years I have found that there are also problems associated with the 12 and 18 hole tie-block bridges. The problems can be avoided, but sometimes are no fun. Also, more holes to drill means more work. (OK. I’m not lazy, just efficient. 🙂 So nowadays mostly do 6 hole tie-blocks. I think it’s easy to make for me, and easy for players to use. So that is why I made this video. It shows how to securely tie the strings on a 6 hole tie-block.

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Dave Richman plays La Vie en Rose

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.

Dave has a youtube channel where he has posted a few tunes. Pick-on Dave!

Dave lives in Ithaca NY – plays many styles and ‘weekend’ bands –

He says he really enjoys the 640mm scale on the Formal Black Guitar it plays great is well balanced and gorgeous looking and sounding.

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Nico: Some wood sets for consideration

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.

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Kyle Kembunjong plays Toccata (Sandy’s Portrait) composed by Sergio Assad

Kyle is just getting started with his career. I believe he’s 18 now. Beautiful music Kyle! Good luck in the Ex-Aequo Competition 2020.

Guitar: “Maxixe”, 2011 Romanillos style by Steve Ganz

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