- 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
GUITARMAKING (Guitar Reference) Paperback – August 1, 1994
Featured world language titles
Sponsored by McGraw-Hill Learn more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I have found that, for myself, some of the cautions and warnings in carrying out some of the operations in the book were a little overstated - but better safe than sorry. However, there is an IMMENSE amount of detail presented in each procedure and it MUST be read and re-read very carefully (especially the section on neck construction). Also, pay attention to size of the material ordered from places like LMI (Luthiers Mercantile Incorporated). The neck blank comes thicker than needed and you need to thin it down. I found myself thinking information was left out of several sections, but discovered that I had overlooked it in my haste.
Several parts used in the process are hard to find, such as the truss-rod nut. You need to be resourceful in locating things (at times, it feels like I'm on a scavenger hunt driving around town for stuff).
Finally, I recommend also purchasing Irving Sloane's book on steel-string construction. It will help you clarify some aspects of building by approaching things from a slightly different angle. It is not as detailed, but it gives a slightly better overview of the process than the subject book. It shows how to make some tools - fun!
Developing the techniques that will give the craftsman both consistency and control over the final result can often take a lifetime of experimentation. This excellent book, by Cumpiano and Natelson, helps to bridge the gap between novice and journeyman. It will enable most aspiring luthiers to produce something special.
The writers focus on the practicalities of guitarmaking - the tools and techniques used. The arrangement is functional and step-wise, the explanations clear, with a sufficiency of illustrations and photographs. Little attention is paid to the more exotic equipment that appears in professional workshops. This is a book for the hand-craftsman, not someone intent on starting a business.
I confess that I did not by the book with the intent of making a guitar. Instead, I was on the verge of having one made for me, and I wanted to understand the process enough to talk intelligently with the makers (in my case, the luthier, the tuning machine maker, and the inlayer). As such, this book bridged an important gap.
What is missing from the book is any detailed discussion about material choice and the effect of certain design decisions (materials, bracing, etc.). Since these are the things that can make the difference between an OK instrument and a work of the luthier's art, I would have liked to see much more information. For that, unfortunately, one must seek elsewhere. But for everything else, this volume will do.
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.