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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid information
I have a number of books on guitar making. Each one of them has some unique perspectives. This book has many unique perspectives and will provide valuable information, even if you have other books on the topic.
Published on April 20 2009 by Michael Carlson

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated but excelent
This book was a huge inspiration when it first came out about 15 years ago. Sadly they haven't updated it, and nobody has published a better book built on this one's foundation. This has probably been fifteen years of the most rapid change in lutherie.
When I finally got around to building guitars, I hardly cracked open this book, there wasn't anything in it of...
Published on Oct. 31 2003


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated but excelent, Oct. 31 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
This book was a huge inspiration when it first came out about 15 years ago. Sadly they haven't updated it, and nobody has published a better book built on this one's foundation. This has probably been fifteen years of the most rapid change in lutherie.
When I finally got around to building guitars, I hardly cracked open this book, there wasn't anything in it of importance to what I would do. The more modern resources were hugely abundant and mostly free.
The book also hops back and forth between classical and steel string guitars. I would not buy this book to build a classical guitar. There just isn't any of the pertinent modern or old school information between these pages. You have to root around to get the modern stuff, and either a measured drawing, or Masterpiece Guitars would be the best way to get started on the classicals.
The kind of thing you really do to build a good guitar is: There is a lot of interest in Tores classicals, and Hauser. For Hauser you get Jeff Elliot's detailed plan and articles from back issues of American Lutherie. If one was interested in Torres, one could get the great book on the man and his guitars by Jose Romanillos. Romanillos and Elliot have also given the key specifics on the exact features of a tores guitar that make them work, particularly with modern strings. It's actually easier to get going as a beginner or an advanced student, from the magazines and the web. Not true of all craft, but it's true here.
The modern steel string is also not represented in this book, there is a ton of interest in Concert planforms, acoustic electric guitars, jigging manufacture (both amateur and pro), different types of guitar for rhythm vs. say fingerstyle, performance bracing, and so forth. Most informed consumers would make these kinds of choices when buying a guitar, but non of them are covered here as points of departure for a builder. It takes some skill (it seems like everyone is doing it) to make a guitar, but it doesn't require any more skill to start making the right guitar. But you won't get that from this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid information, April 20 2009
By 
Michael Carlson (Calgary Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
I have a number of books on guitar making. Each one of them has some unique perspectives. This book has many unique perspectives and will provide valuable information, even if you have other books on the topic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A classic book on guitar making, Dec 12 2012
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Richard Chapman "anonymous" (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
This is a classic text; right up there with Sloane and Simogyi. While it isn't a simple how to book it is an encyclopedic reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Guitarmakers Bible, July 22 2009
By 
B. Clifford "New Builder" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
A first rate manual exploring every detail of building quality guitars. The text is well written, easy to follow & the photos & illustrations will help you visualize each step. Talk to any experienced Luthier & this is the book they will recommend if you are new to the craft or are looking to refine your skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed and concise, Aug. 12 2006
By 
W. Osborne - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
This is an excellent addition to any luthier's library. It is very well laid out, and really does an outstanding job of taking the reader from raw materials, to a finished and playable guitar... how well it plays depends on the reader's patience, attention to detail, and perserverance. With the direction given in this book, it is very possible to construct what I would call a "life guitar". On Cumpiano's website, there is a much simpler method of attaching the steel string neck to the body than the method described in the book. Other than that, happy "luthie-ing"! (Is that a word?)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guitarmaking, June 6 2011
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
Great book! The author prefers hand-tools, but with quality power tools you can speed things up a bit, and the process remains almost the same. Easy to read, easy to understand
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Book to Have, March 20 2011
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
This book truly walks you through the entire guitar building process, offering several different approaches to solving individual problems. A must have for the beginning guitar-maker.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good manual for the new luthier., May 2 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me by a luthier who had built several quitars. I am in the process of building my first guitar and find the book to be missing many critical details and having several dimmension errors and typo's (All are corrected on Cumpiano's web site). There are some diagrams and pictures, but not nearly enough. The pictures that are there are very dark, black and white pics that are hard to see clearly. Some of the techniques are very out of date and I have found much better material on the web. I have found much simpler construction methods from a manual for a guitar kit from an Ohio luthier supply company that I downloaded for free. I would recommend this book only for those interested in the history of guitar making or would like an additional reference. THIS IS NOT A GOOD STEP BY STEP CONSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR CONSTRUCTING A GUITAR.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Dec 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
The book is comprehensive and very well written.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Direct and Informative, Sept. 29 2003
This review is from: Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Paperback)
All woodworkers are perfectionists, but those who make musical instruments live in a special place in hell. For them, each step, no matter how small can have a huge, and unexpected effect on the final result. Even if they follow the same plans and use the same materials, two guitarmakers can have significantly different results.
Developing the techniques that will give the craftsman both consistency and control over the final result can often take a lifetime of experimentation. This excellent book, by Cumpiano and Natelson, helps to bridge the gap between novice and journeyman. It will enable most aspiring luthiers to produce something special.
The writers focus on the practicalities of guitarmaking - the tools and techniques used. The arrangement is functional and step-wise, the explanations clear, with a sufficiency of illustrations and photographs. Little attention is paid to the more exotic equipment that appears in professional workshops. This is a book for the hand-craftsman, not someone intent on starting a business.
I confess that I did not by the book with the intent of making a guitar. Instead, I was on the verge of having one made for me, and I wanted to understand the process enough to talk intelligently with the makers (in my case, the luthier, the tuning machine maker, and the inlayer). As such, this book bridged an important gap.
What is missing from the book is any detailed discussion about material choice and the effect of certain design decisions (materials, bracing, etc.). Since these are the things that can make the difference between an OK instrument and a work of the luthier's art, I would have liked to see much more information. For that, unfortunately, one must seek elsewhere. But for everything else, this volume will do.
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Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology
Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by Jonathan D. Natelson (Paperback - Aug. 1 1994)
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