Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ergonomic electric guitar

So, Jonathan’s cutaway has been French polished and the last coat of Tru-Oil went on the neck today. The bindings are being glued on to Phil H’s guitar- as I use ebony bindings (opposed to plastic- yuck!) this process takes a number days. So, I thought that I’d crack on with another Phil’s (Phil A) guitar.

It was about this time last year that I completed a 7-string ergonomic electric guitar for Latin Jazz guitarist Stefano Kalonaris. Phil A’s guitar is going to be another ergo; 6 strings this time!

Phil really suffers with back pain and we’re hoping that this guitar will help to allow him to spend more time playing, without too much pain. It will have a “Badass” style bridge- this means that the neck will tilt backwards relative to the body and this should reduce some of left arm stretching that Phil finds uncomfortable. As you can see, I’m going for a neck thru’ construction again and the body is capped with some very nice spalted maple. You’ll notice that one thing that I like to do before gluing the body together is to roughly chop-out the pick-up recesses, this saves on routing later.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Phil Hare Signature Model

Whilst Jonathan’s cutaway is being French polished, the next guitar is well under way: the Phil Hare Signature Model. You may have already noticed the links on the side bar to Phil’s website and if you haven’t had a look- you should! Phil Hare is widely regarded as one of the finest and most distinctive acoustic guitarists working on the current folk music circuit.

Phil approached me with the idea of designing a guitar specifically for him, which we could then produce in limited numbers for other guitarist who wanted a similar instrument. This is a really exciting project; working closely with such a good player as Phil, will undoubtedly enhance the evolution of my guitars. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know that I’m always trying to tweak and improve my instruments by slow-degrees.

After much discussion, the design has been arrived at and I’m underway with the first guitar which, of course is for Phil.

I’ve designed a new shape which has exactly the same overall dimensions as the ever-popular OM but is more curvaceous.

It will have a 650mm scale which will produce the clear, bell-like tone that Phil wants; also the extra string tension will help the quality of the tone when the guitar is tuned down.

We decided on Indian rosewood back and sides; we both like the tone that this wood produces and also it’s one of the few woods that I can get a consistently good supply of (especially as I now have a supplier in India). It’s going to have an Engelmann spruce soundboard which will suit Phil’s finger style of playing. As far as ornamentation is concerned, the highlight will be an abalone rosette with the rest being rather understated.

There are of course going to be constructional details which will help to produce the type of sound that Phil is looking for................but that’s for me to know!

Phil popped over the other afternoon to check on the progress of the guitar and whilst he was here, I couldn’t resist getting him to play the parlour guitar. He really made her sing; cheers Phil!!

Parlour Guitar Demonstration by Phil Hare

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