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Making Master Guitars Hardcover – Oct 29 1993
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About the Author
Roy Courtnall is a largely self-taught producer of lutes and guitars and also runs several Adult Education classes in guitar and lute making.
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Top Customer Reviews
- This is not a steel string guitar building book. One can build steel string guitars using many of the methods in this book, but they would also have to be modified in many ways. There are better books for makers of steel string guitars.
- The build methods are old fashioned Spanish. On the positive, this is how all the great guitars were built, and how many of the serious makers continue in Spain and elsewhere. On the negative it is not how americans tend to build guitars. There are advantages for small shops, since the Spanish method (workboards few jigs) is versatile, great for prototypes, and small shop friendly. But if you build this way you will be well outside the norm in the US. Also, there is a technical style that is catching on everywhere, that includes stuff like cored composites. That is way outside the treatment here.
- All the current trends and info appear on the internet well before they make it to books. You could completely ignore books and be little hampered.
- Not all the masterpiece guitars seem all that important to me. I am not the expert on this, but I think some of the plans are for lessor instruments of the great builders.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, one should consider:
The building instructions are 1) European in orientation, few jigs, open assembly and so forth, actually the best place for any guitarmaker to start, but not how most here do; 2) Weak in places, because the writer is not an expert guitar builder himself, though overall very helpful, and a useful reference.
The flip side of a great book on classic designs is that it isn't a good book on current designs. Guitar making theory has advanced somewhat (though one doubts the new instruments are better, they are nonetheless preferred by many anyway). Tone vs. durability or volume for instance. There has been a huge amount of new detail added to modern classicals, for instance work on intonation, volume, wolf notes, fingerboard playability, longevity, and so forth. this stuff isn't here, but on the other hand, it's plastered over the internet.
If you have seen the violin book, this one isn't the same. The violin book was partnered with a greatish builder. Deals a lot with modern practice (though being violins, that isn't that different anyway), and the violin book doesn't have lots of useful measured drawings (any in fact), because you can get patterns of the ouline parts for strads etc...
With whatever reservations, this is the greatest book on the classical guitar, and very reasonably priced, it used to sell for 100.
I want to try making a violin next, and I will certainly be buying The Art of Violin Making, by the same author.
Dr. George Watson
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