Acoustic guitars are some of the most popular instruments in the world, and there’s a reason for that! It’s because they’re incredibly versatile. In this video, we’ll be looking at eight acoustic guitar builders who have revolutionized the way these instruments sound.
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Now, I want to be clear about something: we’re not talking about Martin or Gibson copies. You know what these guitars look and sound like.
Instead, we’re talking about modern acoustic guitars. And to kick things off, there’s no better place to start than with Ervin Somogyi. From there, we’ll explore seven more luthiers who are changing the game when it comes to making some of the finest, high-quality guitars.
A big thank you is due to Heartbreaker Guitars for providing the Acoustic Guitar newscast today, and special thanks to Jon Gomm for being an incredible human being.
As always, you can catch Acoustic Tuesday at 10 am every Tuesday in these four places:
- Acoustic Life YouTube channel
- TAC Guitar Instagram Page
- Listen to audio-only below or in iTunes
- Michael Watts playing the Diospyros Somogyi Guitar:
- Beauregard Guitars:
- Matsuda Guitars:
- Kostal Guitars
- Tom Sands Guitars:
- Greenfield Guitars
- Halland Guitars
- Dion Guitars
You are truly and educator my skills level have gone through the roof
Check out Boucher guitars–Quebec Canada
Nigel Forster, Gold Coast, Australia
Hi Tony. My local luthier (and friend) is Mark Bailey who lives in Ayrshire Scotland. Mark runs guitar making courses both on-line and pre-COVID in person in his workshop. Mark and his partner Carol Davies also run Acoustic Bliss open mic show in the ‘Twa Dugs’ pub in Ayr on a Thursday night (also COVID permitting.
Mark repairs and makes guitars for Preston Reed who lives not far away. Check out Preston’s interview with Dream guitars to see his Preston Reed signature model!
I made an acoustic guitar at Marks workshop and love playing it (alongside 2 others that Mark made for me!).
Thanks for a great show every week. 👍
I ordered a guitar kit, this will be my first guitar build. It is solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. Looking forward to it.
Really pretty and toneful guitars, oh one can dream. Thank you Tony.
Good point on Neil Young, but the Ducks really liked it.
Tony, great show as always. Great tips on groundbreaking Luthiers. Especially related to your mental health input. I have worked in the mental health field as an outreach worker and have also done Community Outreach safety on the streets of Edmonton, Alberta. Instilling hope, where there is so little, is the one tool that can change lives. I was also very fortunate to do recreation and music therapy for seven years and witnessed first hand the power that music has to help alleviate the sorrows in life. Having started playing guitar in 1964 and started teaching in 1971, I am a lost guitar geek and searching for new music and people like yourself that inspire it is very rewarding for me. Thank you
Hea Tony, my thoughts on the having a bad practice week is what my father use to always say when something that would have sent me right to the bar, he would say (well if thats the wourst thing thats going to happen today i guess i will be ok). I always think of that and i am ok. Guess we will be seeing the Hawks one more time on the 27th. 1 for 7 this year, good luck. Your friend Guy B. in Champa Bay FL.
Those were All sensational. Wow. From visual works of art to sonic works of art. Another that just wowed me was Casimi guitars from South Africa. For tone that rivals some of those but that’s affordable…well…I’m a Furch convert. I have 3 and I have to say, despite all of the exotic tone woods and styles out there, solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back on my intro level Furch Violet continues to astonish me every day.
I just built a OOO by hand and the luthier who taught me was a local legend in southern NH who taught classic steel string style builds. John Whiteside. Sadly he just passed away. Mine doesn’t quite rival any that you just featured but is pretty sweet.
Joel Sahlstrom at Sahlstrom guitars in Minnesota. Frighteningly good. Clear/articulate/inspiring. Every instrument he build is a work of art. Check it out
Tony – I loved hearing and seeing the innovative luthiers and their guitars , I am always trying to expand my knowledge on the luthiers no matter the country. If you do cover small builder “traditional “ style luthiers have a look at House Guitars out of Goderich, Ontario. Josh studied with Sergei De Jonge and sells his guitars out of Paramount Guitars in Watertown Wisconsin. (He also builds Gazouki guitars) You can see and hear them demoed on their website. Josh also builds and sells custom to musicians and collectors. He recently built me a custom 000 Katalox/Adirondack spruce guitar with curly maple binding and green purpling. It has a rich warm tone and is absolutely beautiful to see.
Josh House has a website and YouTube/Facebook and Instagram channel as well. Lots of videos about his guitar building with detailed techniques.
I discovered Steve Showalter outside Linville, VA, (https://showalterguitars.square.site/) back in 2016 pretty much by accident. His guitars range from the “standard” dreads & OMs to ultra-modern designs – every one of them sounds marvelous. Steve uses lots of local woods and achieves tones that amaze – and stunning good looks, too.
#Small Win – in 2016 I bought #43 (see my guitarsenal on AT 30), and have been waiting for the day I could get Steve to build me a custom OM… which is now under construction! Osage orange back, sides & neck with sycamore top.
Steve definitely deserves a place on your list 🙂
I’d love to see Hawaiian slack string featured on a future AT. A great (the best in my opinion) starting place is Keola Beamer’s Real Old Style album.
I just wanted to say thanks for choosing me to interview regarding my Tac experience and guitar routine at the guitar party onApril 7. I actually spent some time writing down some things that I wanted to relate about TAC, and how I have benefitted from the TAC experience. Of course, once you asked the question: how has TAC helped with my guitar journey success? I ignored everything I had prepared. So I’m writing this email to say some of the things I wanted to say but didn’t.
When I started TAC I couldn’t play anything. I really needed direction. I purchased the warm up package first, and after a while I decided to go all in. So, how has TAC helped?
1. It’s given me structure: moreover, I have specific exercises to practice covering a wide spectrum of techniques. In the beginning, they were really difficult, but in time they became easier to learn and play.
2. Which leads to new skills, practicing things that force me out of my comfort zone. I have had some tremendous growth as a , dare I say, musician. Let’s not forget the Guitar Wizard course: Really helpful with some basic music theory.
3. Which leads to confidence. I believe that I can learn to play anything with practice.
4. Which leads to FUN. I really look forward to picking up my guitar, and when I’m not playing, I’m thinking of playing. Now I can play a song, and the family can sing along. Pretty cool.
This is what I wanted to focus on, I just kind of got caught up in the moment. It was fun, and I really enjoyed the new format. Thanks for choosing me to help kick off this new chapter in TAC.
I have a Woodtone guitar which is a handmade guitar.made in Hamilton,Victoria,Australia.Not only is it a stunningly good looking guitar,it has the most beautiful rich tone I have ever heard.It also has more volume than most guitars and ways considerably less than most guitars.It has mahogany back,sides and neck a Californian redwood top,sheoak fretboard and a bush myrtle headstock.
When I went looking at guitars I was looking for a guitar with Martin and Gibson sound and quality.I truly thought I would probably buy Martin or Gibson,however I played all models in the shop besides those two brands,including Taylor,Larivee,Dyson and other makes.To my ears and hands,none came close to the Woodtone,so it came home with me.I have never regretted my decision.
I use to get the show on Tuesday and the Monday Letter delivered to my email but, this week and last week; have not. I emailed and got a reply the did not help much. Interesting show and links and such.
I have been introduced to Michael Bashkin in Fort Collins Colorado. A beautiful guitar maker. He also has a program called Luthier on Luthiers, which is an in-depth look at different luthiers.