I grew up in England, attending school in Gloucester and then reading Classics at Peterhouse, Cambridge University. After working in London for three years, I moved to Belgium in 1993 where I have lived ever since.
I played the piano as a child and also started playing the guitar, but never took it seriously until 2012, thanks to Rocksmith. I've also done a lot of singing, including over 30 amateur shows.
Since 2012 I have been avidly accumulating guitar-related information as well as guitars and related gear, and I decided to create this site to share some of my knowledge, experiences and opinions with anybody who might be interested.
I’ve been working on another new build recently, which is the first one I’m making under an arrangement whereby the customer pays for the materials and I build the guitar for free. I’ll make a few guitars like that until such time as the quality of my guitars is worth charging for.
This guitar features a Telecaster-style body with Les Paul-style features. It will have a flame maple top and a natural ebony fretboard, with a special inlay. The new page on the Hybrid Tele part 1 includes pictures of the early stages of the build, and more will follow later on.
A while ago, I watched a YouTube video from HiTone guitars (no, I don’t know them either). The video showed a very interesting idea for fretboards, and it has been in the back of my mind ever since. This week, I decided to have a go, and I picked a pair of fretboards that I thought would look good together (purpleheart and wenge).
The pictures below tell the story so far. I haven’t yet glued them together bceause I still need to sand the joins in order to get a good, close fit. I’m considering some options such as putting another stripe of something between them, possibly either a maple pinstripe or a thin inlay of metal powder. I’ll post an update when I’ve finished them.
I don’t yet have specific guitars in mind for these fretboards, but they will be interesting options for future builds and I’m sure that I’ll use one of them at some point this year.
My next guitar build is the first one that I’m making for someone else. We talked about the options and picked some woods from my stock, and I think we’ve designed something that will look great.
At present, I’m part way through the build but I have some nice photos that I’ve put on a page. I will post another page with more photos when the guitar is finished – in the meantime, you should be able to see roughly where this is going!
I’ve been working on a guitar build that hasn’t been seen on here yet, and it’s nearly finished so I thought I’d post some pictures of the build. I will update the page when it’s finished. Here is a sneak preview – there are lots more pictures in the article: The Padauk Strat
Today I have posted a new article on buying wood for building guitars. This is based on my experience of trying to find nice wood, and discovering that it’s not particularly easy to find. The article describes my progress so far, and includes some tips on where to look for wood.
I’ve managed to acquire a small stock of attractive woods, enough for about half a dozen guitars, which should keep me busy for a year or two!
Today I have decided to disable subscriber registration on this site, and I have deleted all existing subscribers. I believe that the vast majority of the nearly 2,000 subscribers were robots, and there has been no meaningful interaction on the site (e.g. genuine comments on articles), so I don’t see any need to allow subscription.
I apologise to any genuine subscribers. The site will continue, primarily with documentation of my future guitar builds, so come back and check from time to time, or take a look at my YouTube channel.
A few weeks ago in May, my son and I went to Crimson Guitars to build a guitar each, which is documented here in my Crimson Guitars 2017 Build pages.
I took quite a few photos during the week and gave copies to Crimson, and their media team has made a video montage as an example of a couple of student builds. Many thanks to Shaun for creating the video, and to Master Luthier Christopher for guiding us through this process!
The forum jam on the Rob Chapman Forum is now quite a long-standing tradition. Every quarter a backing track is chosen, of around 45-60 seconds, and anybody who wants to take part can record a solo piece over the backing track. Some poor soul (often me, though not this time) then has to laboriously glue them all together and produce a video which is published on YouTube.
The 2017 Summer Jam video has just been published. I took the opportunity to give my new Crimson build guitar its first real public outing and my jam is the first one in the video (not my choice!).
I hope you enjoy it, and maybe one or two of you will join us for the next one!