My Philosophy
 
 
 
 
 
My technical philosophy of building can be boiled down to the management of decaying energy in an ergonomic system.
 
When a string on a guitar is plucked it creates kinetic energy, which travels through the instrument. We instantly lose a large portion of this energy simply to various things like space, 2nd and 3rd order distortions, wave cancellations and the immediate dampening created by the guitar itself. The instrument’s tone is really a product of managing the decay of whatever energy we have left. This is what we end up hearing.
 
 
Beyond this, there are five basic tenets that I focus on when building an instrument:
 
 
Playability
This is the most important, in my opinion. If you have a gorgeous instrument with a beautiful tone but it lacks playability it is like driving a Ferrari with the wrong gear ratios. You will never be able to truly assess and enjoy the instrument at its fullest potential. Everybody has his or her own idea of what a great set up is and that’s ok. Playability is not a standard set of numbers applied to all instruments and players. Playability means that the instrument doesn’t fight you. It is in line with its own design, which lets the instrument reach its tonal potential while being comfortable and effortless to play. These are the instruments you don’t want to put down.
 
 
Stability
Stability in tone means that the instrument has an authoritative quality, which doesn’t waver, feedback or sound thin and transparent. I believe that if you have tonal stability and great playability you have a nice instrument. A luthier needs stability as a foundation to build on.
 
 
Balance
To take a nice instrument and make it great you need to have balance. That means all the characteristics you build into your tone should be present equally across and up and down the fret board.
 
 
Dynamics
Great music is dynamic music. It’s full of drama, suspense, ups, downs, forcefulness and softness. Your instrument should be able to keep up with dynamic music. It should be responsive and quick with delicate playing and it should be solid and strong when it’s driven.
 
 
Character
Lastly is character. This is the most unscientific of the five tenets but I think it’s important. Many colorful and appealing adjectives are thrown around to describe character. But I don’t think there is a right or wrong here. It just means that every instrument should have its own pleasant and musical voice. It should stand alone but play well with others.
 
 
 
 
 
This is simply my personal approach. It is an imperfect science and I am always learning. I have been very blessed with the friends I’ve made in this craft who have been willing to teach me and talk to me at length about these subjects. And while my skills and techniques are always evolving I believe this philosophy has been, and will continue to remain, a constant beacon that I hope defines my work
 
 
 
 
 
 
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