You might have already seen the articles on here about my forthcoming guitar building course…well, it’s finally (almost) here, and I will be starting tomorrow!
I will post a daily update with some photos on here during the week, and I’ll also be shooting some videos, with the intention of publishing one video for each of the six days of the course. I’m not sure if I will be able to upload (or even edit) these videos during the week, but I will get them up on my YouTube channel as soon as possible.
There will also be links to the articles on my Articles page, so come back and see how it goes!
I bought a new guitar! It’s a stunning PRS Custom 24 Wood Library in Violet Smokeburst. The full story of this guitar and more photos can be found on its dedicated page in the My Gear section, but here’s a quick photo of one of the most gorgeous guitars I’ve ever seen!
I’d like to thank World Guitars, where I bought this beauty, which is the best place to go for high-end PRSs. Long may they stay in business!
Another article and video episode have just gone up on the subject of my son’s cigar box guitar build. In this episode, the main tasks were working on the frets, and sorting out the design and holes for the electronics.
The latest article giving more details is here, and the video is below.
This week’s Spotlight on Luthiers really has to fall upon Crimson Guitars, since I will be going there next week to attend one of their 6-day guitar building courses (which will be fully documented here). Crimson Guitars is based in Dorset, and is the brainchild of master luthier Ben Crowe.
Ben has been making guitars for many years but has only recently built the company into a multi-person and multi-product business. As well as making custom guitars, they produce a nascent series of standard guitars, kits, and a range of luthier’s tools. They also have a range of luthier training courses, ranging from one day to several months, and they run a luthier’s guild for mutual advice and support. Finally, they produce a lot of videos (some freely available on YouTube, and others only for guild members) on various aspects of guitar-building. Most of these videos are presented by Ben himself, but some of the other luthiers also get in on the action (more or less willingly, it appears!).
The best place to look for all of this is on YouTube, on the Crimson Guitars channel, where there are loads of videos. I have watched an unhealthy number of them and so I already feel like a master luthier before I’ve built my first guitar! I bought one of their cigar box guitar kits as a birthday present for my son (you can see the build process on this website too), but he has done most of the work on that since it’s his guitar.
As for the guitars themselves, Crimson Guitars have a small number of their own designs, including a hugely complicated guitar for Robert Fripps. My favourite design is their PAF semi-hollow, and I’m hoping to be able to try one out next week. The “Master Built” series are built by Ben himself, and they are often quite experimental, using materials like copper leaf or different techniques.
The “Raw Series” is also worth a mention. These are guitars build using very striking and unusual woods, often with curious features such as knot holes, insect holes or bark. They are definitely not to everybody’s taste, but they are certainly unique instruments!
I will post more here about Crimson Guitars and my time with them over the next couple of weeks. Exciting times ahead!
Andrew Guyton, a luthier who makes copies of the Red Special for Brian May himself, as well as for other customers, has just released videos of two more unique versions of the guitar that he has made for other (clearly well-heeled) customers.
The videos and a bit of explanatory text are on his blog. He’s also in the process of working on some videos of an overhaul of the original Red Special which will come out in the near future, and should be fascinating for any Brian May fans.
I have a Brian May guitar too, although it’s not red! You can read about it on my gear page for that guitar.
Tonight I went to the Steel Panther concert in Brussels. It’s the first time I’ve seen them live, although I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos so I knew what to expect. They certainly know how to put on a show – there was great music, plenty of laughs and a few girls showing their boobs! Not for the faint-hearted, but great fun and they got a huge reaction from the audience.
The stars of the show are the singer, Michael Starr, and the guitarist, Satchel. Both of them are at the top of the game and can give any of the better known rock singers or guitarists a run for their money. Satchel is a brilliant guitarist, and he did a great solo section in the middle of the show, playing drums and guitar simultaneously for part of it.
As well as this year’s acoustic album, Live from Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage, they are set to release their next album in February 2017.
Here’s a video of one of their best known songs, Community Property. They do tend to be a bit rude, so don’t watch it if you’re likely to be offended. This version is actually slightly cleaned up!
There are now less than twenty days to go before my guitar build at Crimson Guitars! I will start on Monday 31 October, and the whole process will be documented on this website. I will post pictures here, and I will make videos of the build which will go on my YouTube channel and be posted here too.
Everything is ready; I just need to remember to pack everything I need to take! I already have the pickups, bridge + preamp (for the piezo pickup), tuners, strap locks and jack plate, and I will get all of the woods and other components from Crimson Guitars. I have a number of suitable t-shirts to wear for the week, although since I extended the course to six days I still need one more!
I’m not sure if I will be able to edit and upload the videos during the week of the build, due to time and bandwidth constraints, but I will certainly publish articles and photos on here. Stay tuned, and you’ll see everything in time.
All of the articles and videos that I have already published on this topic are linked on the intro page: My Crimson Guitar Build
One of the the YouTube channels that I follow, EytschPi42, has recently published a video that I enjoyed a lot. The channel owner is Henning Pauly, a German guitar nut (although the channel is in English), and he recently received a new guitar by Isaac Berumen which he unboxed in a separate video.
This is a gorgeous guitar, and the attention to detail is fantastic with lovely touches like custom tuner wings and knobs. Henning created an instrumental track with this guitar which I think is the best playing that I’ve seen from him, and so I decided to link it on here.
Henning’s videos are often entertaining although he does ramble on a bit, so they are often a bit long and so I tend not to watch all of them. He certainly knows his stuff, though, and he’s an engaging presenter with a lot of experience and interesting things to say.
I have just published the latest article and video on the cigar box guitar that my son and I are building. The video is below, and you can read the description of what we did in the article – Cigar Box Guitar build episode 5.