About Me

A Few of My Personal Instruments
The First Acoustic Guitar That I Made
My 5-String Banjo
My Violin

Hi everyone and welcome to my latest passion in my musical profession – the art of blogging : )

First off, here is a little bit about me and my experience in this fine art we call lutherie and musicianship.

I started my musical career when I was 12 years old and I took up guitar for about 6 months. My father fell on desperate times financially and I had to give up on music for a while. That was a sad time because I loved it. I had no idea why it happened until a few years later.

The passion was lit three years later on my 15th birthday. My dad took me to Montgomery Ward Department store and bought a great “Airline” guitar, which I found out later was made by the old Harmony Music Co. I did like that guitar and it served me for several years. In the meantime I practiced on my lesson materials all summer and zoomed through 2 years of the Mel Bay 7 book series in 6 months. My then music teacher/music store owner asked if I would teach. What a God Send that was. My family was poor and I had no idea how to put myself through college, until now that is.

During this time I got heavily into Classical Guitar and took lessons from Guillermo Fierens, who was an understudy of Andres Segovia. At the same time I was really into the music of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins – odd combination huh?

I remember one time I ripped off a great rendition of Jerry’s Breakdown for Guillermo, thumb pick and all. He got up and gave me a great round of applause – I got tears in my eye’s over that one.

From the time I was 20 to about 32 or 12 more years I did extensive guitar repair and construction. I still have some of the guitars from that period in my life, including the first guitar, and I think the best one that I ever made. That is the one shown in the photo on this page.

Anyway, I gave lessens for 12 more years and stopped after I got married, as a result, most of my music learning came to a screeching halt as my career as a registered architect took over and I started by own architectural firm. My firm was very successful until 9/11 when the building industry took and hard hit and then an even harder hit with the financial breakdown in 2008.

So, I am back to my first love, and they always say your first love is the best don’t they? Yep I’ve taken the plunge to get back into music full-time. I felt I wanted to share my experience with others, because music was always a big part of my life and some of the best times of my life.

What I play:
Electric Guitar
Classical Guitar – yep the long haired stuff too (+classical gas)
Acoustic Guitar – Bluegrass flatpick and Travis fingerstyle
Fiddle
5-String Banjo
Mandolin
Bass

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  • I came across your site while looking for good images of Martin X bracing. My wife bought me a Martin kit.. the dreadnaught. I am impressed with the quality of the woods. I have a D 28 that I got when I was 18. The band broke up and I’d just purchased a Fender Bassman. My family had done business with them for years as I was the youngest and both my older brother and sister played horns. Anyway, a few years ago she bought me a Carvin kit which BYW is also high quality, thinking the acoustic kit would be the same type of project. All I had to do was open the box for her to realize they were not even close. She responded with “Oh my!” You are so right on about using clamps to glue sound board bracing on. Just a few minutes ago I barely avoided disaster when the weight of a Woodfox deep mouth C-clamp over powered my counter weights and the board flipped on the table, braces falling off. Fortunately, I still have my cobra speed and God’s grace and was able to snag it before it hit the floor. This is my 3rd gluing session and I still have one more. I just don’t have $500 or so to buy all the proper tools. What I did find for less than $4.00 are these small Erwin bar clamps that work fine once you get the hang of them.

    I have nightmares about shaping the dovetail on the neck to fit the block. Also dread cutting the channels for the binding. I sincerely doubt that this will be the best acoustic that I ever made unless it is the only one. Great site.
    Thanks,
    Wain

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