A lot of luthiers make sacrifices to pull off their craft but David Murray has taken it to a whole nother level. Murray will talk about the journey he’s taken since 2010 with the creation of the Dehradun Guitar Company in India. Through guitar making, Murray and his wife have given a second chance to individuals who were living on the fringes of society, many of whom assumed they had no salable skills. It would be a riveting, inspirational story even if the guitars weren’t beautiful, but they certainly are.
Guitarist Grant Gordy and Peghead mandolin instructor Joe K. Walsh frequently play as a duet. In their duo arranging they draw inspiration from classic guitar and mandolin duets, as well as classic jazz duet partners. In this session they'll dissect their approach to finding arrangements that serve the song and complement their styles.
Learn some of the harmonic concepts and chordal shapes and sounds that define solo jazz guitar played fingerstyle, and learn how to combine them with jazz and pop melodies and improvisation. Taught by one of the most respected touring and recording guitarists around.
You've met guitar and pedal builders, have you ever met a string maker? Gabriel Tenorio, longtime business and product manager/designer at Guadalupe Custom Strings, just launched his new company, the Gabriel Tenorio String Co. It's a small, artisanal operation focusing solely on round core handmade products for acoustic and electric instruments. He will be sharing insights on just how strings are actually made, why round core matters and more.
Join Black Volt Amplification's Giovanni Loria as he walks us through the fundamentals of electric guitar amplification. This electrified session will cover all of the most crucial information you need to know when it comes to attaining great amplified tone. Some topics to be covered will include transformers, tubes, biasing, components, speakers, vintage vs. new, acoustic amplification and more. Questions encouraged!
Learn a simple method for playing melody-based solos on bluegrass songs, applicable for most levels of players who have started to pick out melodies on the guitar. Starting with a song’s basic melody, you’ll learn how to flesh it out with lead-in runs, crosspicking, place-holder licks and strums, melodic variations, improvised lines, and more.
Every time we talk to Maine’s Dana Bourgeois we learn something new about guitar construction and tonewoods. For this year's Summit, Dana is revisiting his ultra-packed session from last year. Ever wanted to voice your own top? Here's your chance. During this session, he walks us through voicing basics.
Note: On Saturday from 1-3 pm, there's a two-hour demo outside on the Aragon lawn where the fingerplanes come out and you can try your hand at shaving some braces for a few minutes.
Forget everything you think you know about Taylor guitars today: Master luthier Tim Luranc has known Taylor founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug for four decades and has seen everything. During this talk, Luranc will walk us through Taylor’s unique history and describe how a trio of guitar makers ended up creating a global brand.
For nearly a year, the Fretboard Journal has been following up-and-coming luthier T. Drew Heinonen as he builds us a custom OM-style acoustic guitar. On numerous podcast episodes, Drew has walked us through his build process, explained what he learned from fellow luthiers such as Jim Olson and Dana Bourgeois, helped us decide on tone woods and more. Well, the wait is over… during this session, we’ll get to finally see the finished product and pass it around.
Peghead Nation’s Celtic Guitar instructor shows some of the key concepts and techniques that underlie Celtic guitar music. He’ll explore the differences in rhythm between jigs, reels, and other Irish and Scottish forms; tonality of Celtic music, including which modes are used and why; and picking-hand triplets, trills, grace notes, and other ornamentation that is commonly heard in Irish and Scottish music.
Yoga for guitarists? Yep, you read that right. Dream Guitars' Paul Heumiller, himself a certified yoga instructor, will guide us through some yoga movements to compliment the needs of the fretted instrumentalist with a focus on back, neck, shoulders, wrist and fingers.
No experience necessary, just show up and have fun.
Lyon & Healy was a leading innovator and producer of stringed instruments for many years. Fretboard Journal contributors Peter Howorth and Mark Demaray explore the fascinating history of the early days of this company. They will also show many examples of their instruments. Invited musicians will have a chance to play in a guitar orchestra comprising instruments over 100 years old.
Paul Bigsby began creating musical instruments in 1943, when he built his own aluminum lap steel guitar. He showed this first instrument to Joaquin Murphey, steel guitarist for Spade Cooley, who ordered one and kickstarted Bigsby’s building career. Bigsby went on to pioneer the solidbody electric guitar and invent the vibrato system that bears his name, but the whereabouts of that first instrument have always been a mystery. After a 75-year odyssey involving a teenaged Beatles fan, a Cadillac and the Freemasons, the First Bigsby unexpectedly resurfaced this year. Join us for a special session where we’ll unveil the guitar to the public for the first time, hear the story of its rediscovery from owner Gary Hustwit and experience it played live.
Mark Stutman, Folkway Music founder and restoration specialist, will share some of his observations from 20 years of repairing and restoring guitars, old and new. A guitar’s tone is affected by hundreds of variables - many of which most players rarely give much thought to. From the height and fit of a guitar’s saddle to the mass of the tuning machines, every little detail makes a difference - and these can add up to affect your instrument’s tone in a significant way. Getting that last 5% of tone out of your guitar is just a few steps away. This discussion will arm you with some solid insight into how to make sure your guitar is sounding its best.
The Della Mae guitarist is one of the hottest young flatpickers around, but she’s also an inventive accompanist, songwriter, and singer. In this workshop, Courtney talks about creating interesting solo accompaniment parts for your songs, as well as how to flesh out simple (and not so simple) melodies with a flatpick.
Letting a robot dress the frets of your guitar? You bet. We’ll have an entire panel on the PLEK. We’ll talk to a handful of PLEK fans (including some of the biggest guitar makers alive today), along with a skeptic or two. Led by Nashville’s Joe Glaser, PLEK expert and one of the country’s great guitar repairmen.
The post-Civil War till the turn of the century was a period of innovation leading to the banjo we know today. The five Dobson brothers were at the vanguard of these innovations. The Music Emporium founder Stu Cohen walks us through their history and that of their commercial rival, S. S. Stewart.
Bryan Galloup will lead an interactive demonstration using his Galloup Wood Management and Instrument Making System. The goal of this demonstration is to create a dialog about tonewoods used in the instrument making process and the effects they have on the final instrument. This hands-on seminar invites participants to “tone tap” tonewoods and analyze them with this easy to use, real-time software. In addition, participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments to analyze as to create a better understanding of the properties of acoustic instruments to encourage a conversation about tone.
Bay area lutherie veteran Howard Klepper addresses the age old question: Just what constitutes a “handmade” guitar? He’ll review some of what has been said by others about the physical differences between hand- and factory-made guitars, but he’ll also distinguish hand craft from production work in general and why people may value handcraft apart from whether or not it creates a better product. Klepper will apply those distinctions to some of the changing guitar building methods now used by individuals and boutique factories, including his own shop. Discussion among those attending is welcome.
Fingerstyle guitarist Eric Skye is known for, among other things, his reimagining of Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blue for solo guitar (an album he'll be performing in its entirety this weekend). In this workshop he shares his ideas and techniques for using a jazz approach to improvising on blues, Americana, and contemporary styles as a solo guitarist.
Preston Thompson started off guitar making in the ‘80s with his interest in pre-war guitars being heightened by his friendship with Charles Sawtelle and his vintage collection. When Preston acquired his 1892 Martin Parlor it was an inspiration to craft something modern day from the best of the past because of the how the little guitar packed a “big wallop.”
C. F. Martin & Co is proud to present “Guitarmania to Beatlemania: The Evolution of the Acoustic Guitar,” featuring renowned Grammy Award-winning, guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber. Dick Boak, archivist for Martin Guitar, will present an interactive history of the 183-year-old guitar company, showcase an array of historically significant guitars that trace the instrument's evolution, and highlight the succession of famed guitarists that have contributed to American musical culture. In addition to performing on period instruments, Juber will discuss his work composing, recording and serving as the lead guitarist with Paul McCartney's band Wings, as well as his prolific work as a solo instrumentalist.
Celtic guitarists use a variety of alternate tunings, from simple dropped-D tuning to more obscure tunings like DAAEAE, a tuning Tony McManus uses to emulate the bagpipes. Tony demonstrates some of his favorite tunings and talks about why he chooses one over another for creating different sounds in Irish and Scottish music.
Author and FJ contributor John Thomas and luthier Dale Fairbanks talk about the replication of the only “Banner” Gibson every reinspected by its WWII-era inspector. Flatpicker extraordinaire Bob Minner will demonstrate the original and the replica, signed by one of the original Gals and bearing bits of wood that somehow escaped the Gibson factory during WWII, before passing the guitars to the audience.
Film director, guitar collector and design aficionado Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) interviews Saul Koll, Creston Lea and TK Smith about the aesthetic choices that go behind each instrument they make, what motivates them and where they’re headed. A deep dive into the world of design with some of the best.
Danelectro smartypants Jim Washburn shares decades of Danelectro tales and tips on how to eke the most from your Dano, plus some dreadful mods. FJ contributor Washburn co-authored (with Richard Johnston) Martin Guitars: An Illustrated History of America's Premier Guitarmaker and (with Dick Boak) the upcoming The Martin Archives. He has covered music and popular culture for the LA Times, the OC Register and a host of guitar mags, commencing with a 1983 Guitar World article that remains the primary source of information on Danelectros.
An inventive soloist and sensitive accompanist, Anthony Wilson has provided texture and authority both on stage and in recording sessions for jazz legends such as Mose Allison, Bobby Hutcherson, Madeleine Peyroux, Bennie Wallace, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, Harold Land, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Since the late 1980s he has been a member of his father’s jazz orchestra, assuming the leadership of the ensemble since the maestro’s passing in 2014.
While his footing is firmly in the jazz idiom, Wilson pivots with ease into other genres. Over the last decade, he’s been part of sessions and performances with a diverse roster of artists, including Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Aaron Neville and Barbra Streisand. The Fretboard Journal shot a memorable session with Anthony's Seasons Quartet in 2014 and we adore his new record, Frogtown.
A Summit Premiere: Drawn & Recorded is a short animated series that examines the stories that fell between the floorboards of American music history. Narrated by the legendary T-Bone Burnett and animated by Fretboard Journal contributor Drew Christie. Christie will be on-hand to debut some of these films for the very first time, field questions and describe the process of making this wonderful films.