Anna Pietrzak and Carl Petersson in recital – 17 December 2020

This recital was actually recorded in October 2020, but premiered on YT a couple of days ago. I’ve written about Anna and Carl in this blog before. Both immensely talented, which means they had a good start in music and worked hard! They make a good ensemble. This recital has a nice variety of solo and ensemble offerings. If you go to the youtube page (available only until January 16, 2021) You can pick where to start the video if you go here:

Let me start at the guitar solo section. Anna plays Sérgio Assad’s Seis Brevidades on a Ganz (Romanillos Homage) that I built a few years ago. I particularly like the Ginga.

…from Youtube – until January 16, 2021

Carl plays a couple of piano pieces that might be familiar to some readers/listeners: Fryderyk Chopin: Grande Valse brillante in E-flat major, Op. 18 and Isaac Albéniz: Iberia, book 1, with an amazing rendition of the Corpus Christi en Sevilla

The duos are amazing. Luigi Boccherini: Introduction and Fandango arr. Julian Bream; Marek Pasieczny: Eight Miniatures for Piano and Guitar based on and inspired by Polish Folk Music (2018); and Ren Guang: Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon (arr. Burdeti Duo)

So many amazing guitar/piano pieces. I think the Pasieczny Nocturne is my favorite rendition at the moment. I like moody stuff. However the articulation in Folk Song on ‘5’ is pretty amazing.

What a pleasure to hear this artistry from Carl and Anna.

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Cedar and Padauk – a good guitar combo –

Padauk is an interesting wood for guitars. The first time I tried to bend it for sides, it cracked, and those had to be discarded. 🙁

But it is used for bridges by some luthiers. It has a good resonating quality, and is a good weight – not too heavy or light. I found out that my first experience with bending was a bit of a fluke. It bends beautifully and works well! I’ll get a sound sample together to post on the blog soon.

The wood is remarkable for it’s color… reddish/orange. Over time (years) it will change color to a brown color especially if exposed to unfiltered light.

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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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