My Story

For Me, it all started back in the 70's when things were simpler and louder. I would take apart electric guitars, change things, and play them. I designed and completed my first electric guitar at age 20 (a double neck 12 string and 6 string combo). In the years following, I have built several more electric guitars, basses and slide guitars.

I have always enjoyed working with wood and the idea of creating a piece of art that could also make music, has always appealed to me. After 20 years of playing and building electric guitars,I decided in 1994 to build my first acoustic guitar. I purchased the book, "GUITARMAKING: Tradition and Technology" by William R. Cumpiano and Jonathan D. Natelson which is a fantastic guide for the aspiring guitar builder. I can safely say that I had learned an acoustic guitar is a complex instrument and a challenge to build correctly.

After using Cumpiano and Natelson's book as a guide to build six acoustic flattop guitars, I found out William Cumpiano's Shop is in Northampton Massachusetts. I decided to call him and we arranged a first visit. The results of that visit is posted Here.

I am currently building guitars for display and sale. If you see an instrument that looks interesting, do not hesitate to drop me a line. I do tend to gravitate to unusual designs that combine the past with my own imagination. However, I am also aware of the importance of instrument building traditions and innovations and I have learned to apply them to a wide variety of acoustic and electric instruments.

The bottom line for me is playability. If it isn't fun to play AND doesn't sound great, than it isn't a successful instrument. As a musician, I would consider myself fairly picky when it comes to choosing an instrument for myself. This is why I have always made my own.

It's my personal mission to create instruments that are so fun to play that they will help to inspire music creation for other musicians as well as myself.

For those interested, the next few pages are the ramblings of various insights, experiments and happy accidents I have had in my adventures of building acoustic instruments.

See the "Mandolele" build.

An Mp3 recording of the Mandolele.

New Designs! The Zorzi Guitar

Building a Guitar with William Cumpiano

Skip to the finished Guitars Page.

E-mail Wade