- Series: Guitar Reference
- Paperback: 388 pages
- Publisher: CHRONICAL BOOKS; Edition Unstated edition (August 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0811806405
- ISBN-13: 978-0811806404
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 147 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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GUITARMAKING (Guitar Reference) Paperback – August 1, 1994
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About the Author
Jonathan D. Natelson builds and repairs classical guitars and is a national supplier of tone woods for constructing stringed instruments. He lives in Philadephia.
William R. Cumpiano is a master guitarmaker and teacher of instrument building and repair in Amherst, Massachusetts, serving professional musicians across the country.
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Top customer reviews
Not necessarily for the newcomer to a wood shop, but definitely recommended for anyone serious about building an acoustic guitar. In a field where every detail affects the eventual outcome, this book will keep you on the path to your artful best.
One could go into the shop with this book in hand and a perseverant attitude, follow it explicitly, and exit the shop with a very nice guitar. It is detailed, step-by-step, with lots of photographs and illustrations. I would characterize it as having a prescriptive do A - then B - then C approach.
By way of contrast, Siminoff [The Luthier's Handbook...], and Forbes [Acoustic Guitar Making...] as well, are NOT prescriptive, do-it-this-way now-you-have-a-guitar books on how to build a specific guitar. If you want to build a guitar, THIS is a great book. To build a GREAT guitar, you may need the latter two books, and others, as well, as a great deal more detail of "why" a specific approach might be appropriate can be very useful.
Please note that this is not intended as a criticism of Natelson's book, which is excellent for the audience described.
Nowhere have I found information on building guitars as complete as in this fine publication.
Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology is very well written and what was true then still holds true to this day!
Other books (and I have them all) come nowhere near the level of instruction that you will find in this book.
Some will show you how to do a particular task but the Cumpiano and Natelson book tells you why!
Please know that one can spend a small fortune on unnecessary tools and books setting up a shop.
Most tools for acoustic guitar building have remained the same in all these years so endless updates is unnecessary.
William Cumpiano has updates at his website for those who are interested.
When one of my students ask me what should be the first book to buy? I tell them they
can't do any better in the fundemental knowledge gained from Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology
But if you have successfully completed some other projects and want to get into your very own guitar, this book is very complete. I found answers to all the questions I had. And detailed instructions for steps that I wouldn't have thought were as complicated or critical to final performance. And by detailed I mean that the complicated steps were very well explained.
I had checked this out from the public library twice before I bought it; I will be referring to it frequently on my first build this summer, and hopefully many more.