How to navigate on your guitar fretboard: the Tom Bukovac methode

One of the great things that came out of this pandemic is that the fabulous musician that is Tom Bukovac started to make videos on his YouTube channel. Don't worry if you don't know him yet, I personally discovered him on this occasion. All these videos are really interesting. He often starts with an improvisation

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Selecting woods for electric guitars by luthier Avi Shabat

In this new luthier chronicle, the Los Angeles based guitar builder Avi Shabat explains which woods he uses and how he selects them to obtain the results he wants. Guitar building is like cooking, if you want to get good results, you have to use high quality ingredients. Luthier Avi Shabat interview about woods The

Luthier Avi Shabat talks about how he build guitars

In this new luthier chronicle, the Los Angeles based guitar builder Avi Shabat (shabatguitars.com) explains how he started to build guitars and talks about his building methods to achieve the high quality of his electric guitars. Avi Shabat talks about his guitar building methods The Guitar Channel podcast The audio version of the video is available

Avi Shabat luthier interview about exhibiting at NAMM as a boutique builder

Avi Shabat (shabatguitars.com) is an Israël born luthier who now lives and builds high-end electric guitars in the Los Angeles area. In this interview recorded in his workshop, he does a full debrief of the 2020 Winter NAMM where he exhibited. Avi Shabat luthier interview The Guitar Channel podcast The audio version of the video

Michael Greenfield luthier - Presentation of a Greenfield G3 model

In this new Luthier Chronicle, the Canadian luthier Michael Greenfield (www.greenfieldguitars.com) presents in details one of his models, the Greenfield G3. It's quite a feat to have the builder to present his own creation in such details. Michael Greenfield luthier - Presentation of a Greenfield G3 model Until the next interview, keep on playing the guitar!

Michael Greenfield luthier - His stories about The Tree, the famous Mahogany

In this new Luthier Chronicle, the Canadian luthier Michael Greenfield (www.greenfieldguitars.com) tells us the stories about this Mahogany tree which has become so mythical that it is commonly called "The Tree" in the world of luthiers. Here's a (bad) photo of a poster in Michal workshop where you can see four of the instruments with wood

Michael Greenfield luthier - His thoughts about guitar shows

Michael Greenfield is a Canadian luthier based in Montreal who makes acoustic guitars of very high quality. The Guitar Channel has already given you a tour of his wonderful workshop, this year I went back to see him on several topics including the guitar shows. Questions discussed in the interview Why exhibit in a guitar

Instagram gem - Horace Bray jazzy groove transcribed by Kevin Davis

Instagram is a social network full of exceptional musicians. Horace Bray (@horacebray.music) is one of those. This Instagram gem particularly attracted my ear when I watched it because Horace uses an unusual chord progression (at least for me!): Em7 / EbM7 / Dm7 / DbM7. This chromatic descent is fascinating, especially when you see what

Last year while The Guitar Channel was in Canada to cover the Montreal Jazz festival, we did a video interview with the master luthier Michael Greenfield in his wonderful workshop. This year, the idea was to record a series of Luthier Chronicle with Michael to give a full visit of his luthier workshop and to have a better idea of the way he build his wonderful acoustic guitars.

Device to measure the thickness of the finish - Michael Greenfield (luthier) - Guitar finishing

Last year while The Guitar Channel was in Canada to cover the Montreal Jazz festival, we did a video interview with the master luthier Michael Greenfield in his wonderful workshop. This year, the idea was to record a series of Luthier Chronicle with Michael to give a full visit of his luthier workshop and to have a better idea of the way he build his wonderful acoustic guitars.

Nik Huber luthier chronicle - The Guitar Channel

On this new Luthier Chronicle, I asked Nik Huber the shakespearian question: to relic, or not to relic?

Nik Huber luthier chronicle - The Guitar Channel

In this new Luthier Chronicle I asked Nik Huber what was his opinion about the Holy Grail Guitar Show which had its first edition in November 2014 in Berlin and which will happen again at the end of this month.

Website of the Holy Grail Guitar show: www.holygrailguitarshow.com/

The Holy Grail Guitar show is an event organized by the luthiers for the luthiers and it makes all the difference.

Nik Huber luthier chronicle - The Guitar Channel

On this new Luthier Chronicle, I asked Nik Huber a question to know if he is for or against the CNC machine. Of course he went much further than the basic answer (see the details below).

As a reminder or for your information, CNC means Computer Numerical Control (Wikipedia link). Basically in the guitar world it means that parts of an instrument are built by a machine who will carve the element from a piece of wood or metal.

On this new Luthier Chronicle, I asked Nik Huber about varnish, finish and paint.
Subjects discussed

Nitro-cellulose versus 2 component finish
His take on the thickness of the finish
Is-it possible to hear the difference between a nitro and a 2 component finish on a solid body?
The development of new colours
His source of inspiration for new ideas
The story of the new metallic finish presented at the 2015 NAMM show
The aging of the finish oh his first guitars

An example of a Krautster II in Gold Top finish

Until the next chronicle, keep on playing your guitar and check-out your

Nik Huber luthier chronicle - The Guitar Channel

On this second Luthier Chronicle, I asked Nik what's different about being a guitar builder in Germany.

Until the next chronicle, keep on playing your guitar and check-out your local luthier.

Pierre.

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I discovered Antti Paranko through the luthier Juha Ruokangas, also from Finland. In fact Antti is endorsed by Juha and has worked with him to compose some music specifically for his brand. After hearing this music (which you can hear at the beginning of every Luthier Chronicle with Juha) I decided I wanted to hear more.

Nik Huber luthier chronicle - The Guitar Channel

After a series of 9 videos with Juha Ruokangas in the Luthier Chronicle, I am proposing you a new series with another master builder to share his knowledge of the lutherie world with Nik Huber.

On this first installment I asked Nik about his favorite woods to build instrument.

Until the next chronicle, keep on playing your guitar and check-out your local luthier.

Pierre.

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In this new chronicle I asked Juha Ruokangas about the CNC machine : is he for a against it?

In this new chronicle I asked Juha Ruokangas about a hotly debated subject regarding set neck guitars: the size of the tenon, should it be long or short.

In this new chronicle I asked Juha Ruokangas how he tunes the pickups he uses on his guitars.

Enjoy,

Pierre.

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In the Luthier Chronicle #4, the Finish luthier Juha Ruokangas explained how and why he uses thermo treated wood in his instrument.

In this video I asked master builder Juha Ruokangas questions about the different ways to finish a guitars and their impacts on the sound.

Juha Ruokangas is one of the pioneer of using thermo treated wood in instrument building. In this video of the Luthier Chronicle you will learn the whole story of this technique and how Juha uses it in his work. It's a fascinating subject.

In this third video (see extract above) of the Luthier Chronicle with master builder Juha Ruokangas, I asked him what were his favorite woods to build instrument with.

Related pics
Juha selecting a top

Some birch wood
List of chronicles with Juha

Update on the Captain Nemo guitar
Being a luthier in Finland
His favorite woods (this chronicle)
Thermo treated wood
Varnish, nitro-cellulose, etc.
Aging of thermo treated wood guitars
Pickups
Short or long tenon?
For or against CNC machine?

Enjoy,

Pierre.

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In this second video of the Luthier Chronicle with master builder Juha Ruokangas, I asked what's different in being a luthier in a Nordic country like Finland.

Pics of the Ruokangas workshop

 

Until the next Luthier Chronicle, keep on playing your guitar and check-out your local luthier.

Pierre.

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On the first video of the Luthier Chronicle, master luthier Juha Ruokangas gives a full update on the Captain Nemo guitar project he introduced at the 1st Holy Grail Guitar Show.

Pics of the Captain Nemo guitar

Pics of the Valve Bucker

Until the next Luthier Chronicle, keep on playing your guitar and check-out your local luthier.

Pierre.

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The video above is a teaser for a series of nine chronicles recorded with master luthier Juha Ruokangas from Ruokangas Guitars (www.ruokangas.com). After doing an interview with Juha during the first Holy Grail Guitar Show, I wanted to go even deeper into the lutherie world and start the Luthier Chronicle to learn more about the wonderful instrument we all love.

Well, here we are, the American adventure of The Guitar Channel starts in a few hours! The NAMM show means a lot for musicians in general and especially for guitarists as it is a major event that has strong impact, especially on our respective gear fantasies! Indeed it is often during this event dedicated to the music industry in Los Angeles, California in January that are launched instruments, amps, effects, accessories, etc. that will make us dream throughout the year.

Logistics and planing

For me beeing present at the NAMM is the opportunity to meet musicians, luthiers and manufacturers impossible to interview otherwise because they do not come to France. As for the Musikmesse where I go every year, I tried to optimize my time on setting up of a maximum of appointments while keeping some availability for what is difficult to predict: an impromptu interview with star, a cool demo to shoot, the discussions with the countless pros of the music business that will be on site, etc. The airfare and hotel are booked long time. Wanting absolutely to limit the budget, I opted to avoid to rent a car, so I took a relatively hotel near the Convention Center allowing me to go on foot. MapNAMM

The interviews planned

I will not list here the appointments already set because I know how that can change at the last moment. Suffice it to say that there will be big names of the six (and four!) strings, great guitar manufacturers and effects and instrument makers. I also intend to shoot some video chronicle with my "special envoys" on the spot: they are musicians I've interviewed in the past and who are on site. This is an opportunity to have multiple views of the same event. As this is my first NAMM, I'm also going there in observation mode. Indeed although my past experience during several Musikmesse allow me to anticipate in part how it will happen, everyone agrees that the Winter NAMM (as opposed to Summer NAMM being held in Nashville summer) is a whole other planet. We'll see.

How to have the latest news from The Guitar Channel

Depending on the data connection I will have on my iPhone, I'll do a live coverage on Twitter on @theguitarchnnl and on my Instagram account theguitarchnnl. InstagramTheguitarchnnl Every day I will also upload my harvest of images on a photo albums reserved for the Backstage Pass owners on the Google+ private community. I will be your eyes on site! Here's an example with pictures taken in Berlin during the Holy Grail Guitar Show: ExemplesPhotosHGGS

Get the Backstage Pass

A 6-day stay in Los Angeles is a budget of about US$ 2,300. This is a big financial gamble that I took so if you are on the verge of taking a Backstage Pass or supporting the show on the Patreon page, now would be a great time! :-) Don't forget that The Guitar Channel is completely independent, 100% passion and 0% ads with the only revenues coming from the Backstage Pass owners and backers on Patreon. Until I see you among the backstagers, I go back to the final preparations for this week which promises to be exciting. Pierre. PS: if you are onsite ping me on Twitter @theguitarchnnl or on the Facebook page!

Support the show on the Patreon page for the price of a coffee per month.

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NAMM show: D-day minus 1

The next 12 months will be very busy on The Guitar Channel, as were the last 12. More than ever I am determined to produce the best possible content to amplify our shared passion for the guitar.

This means in particular to be present in as many major guitar events as possible.

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As a big fan of Eddie Van Halen, I long caressed the dream to add to my harem of girlfriends (aka my guitars) a Frankenstrat. I've always been fascinated by electric guitars with a single pickup (Les Paul Jr, SG Jr, Esquire, etc.) and the Frankenstrat is a very good specimen of that category. So the Frankenstrat Project is born! Objective of the project: build a replica as faithful as possible of the famous Frankenstrat guitar in its version called VH1 (Van Halen 1) in a reasonable budget (see below). More precisely, I will have the guitar built by pros as I am way too conscious of my limited ability in that area. A photo of the famous original Frankenstrat: FrankenstratVH1 Initial project budget: between 500 and 1000 € (i.e. 680 to 1365 US$) Originally I thought I could start from one of my old guitars, an old japanese Charvel Model 3 from the 90s but after I researched the subject, I learned that the neck pocket of these guitars is not standard Strat. So it would not be possible to put a stock Strat neck with the body. I used the word "initial" for the budget because I thought I would entirely fund the project myself but after talking with my guitar luthier Patrick Querleux (based near where I live in Patis, France) he proposed to sponsor the project. I would only need to pay for parts and supplies. Furthermore Patrick told me good things about EG Solidbody which build necks and bodies. I contacted Denis Souvray from EG Solidbody and he gladly agreed to provide me with a complimentary body, neck, vibrato and tuning machines. A huge thank you in advance to Patrick Querleux and EG Solidbody which allow me to have a revised budget well below € 500 for paints, varnishes and pickup. egsolidbody Some examples of the beautiful guitars built by Patrick Querleux guitaresQuerleux Revised Project Budget: less than 500 € Important note about the project: the most important part for me is the sound of the instrument, aesthetic is certainly important, but not essential. So there won't be probably the famous black stripes on the final guitar. The original wood species are true to the original as much as possible and the vibrato will be a vintage-style one rather than a Floyd Rose used in later versions of the Frankenstrat. Specs:

  • Ash Body
  • Maple neck
  • 22 jumbo frets, radius 12 "(yes the original is 21 but hey, it's MY project right ?)
  • 6 screws vintage tremolo
  • Strat style tuning machine
  • Bronze nut (not 100% sure)
  • Black pickguard with a single location for the bridge pickup
  • 1 humbucker
  • 1 volume
  • Jack Strat-type
Of course, the major interest of this project will be to chronicle the project various stages of the guitar, from the construction of the body to the finish made by luthier. The highlight of the project is of course a complete soundseeing guitar. I swear, you will know everything! Next article: the first pictures of the body. Pierre.

Launch of the Frankenstrat project