Wanting to be heard?
“A luthier is someone who makes or repairs lutes and other string instruments”.
I am currently living in Argentina, a beautiful country with great meat and amazing red wine, and lately I have found that Luthiers are very popular and well known too. There is plenty of string lovers building their own instruments and of course selling them. It’s so popular that a luthier not only builds necked and stringed instruments, but also percussion instruments and amplifiers and you would be surprised just how good they are.
A good friend of mine, who is the guitarists of a band I play with is starting to build guitars and I have spent a few nights talking with him about luthiers – what is good, what is bad, what is known and what is not. We basically came to the conclusion that if you’re a guitarist who would like to be known for your unique sound and own something you imagined into creation you need to check out for your local luthiers.
Why? See it this way, what is your favorite guitar brand? Ibanez, Washburn, Gibson, Fender, you name it… Will they listen to you and build your dream guitar? Of course not, unless you are Jimmy page, Satriani or Petrucci… your local luthier hears you. Your local luthier is not a huge factory where, if you are lucky or good enough you get the chance to have a chat with “the guy”; your local luthier probably has a small workshop at home where he builds the guitars using only his hands and of course you can go there, have a coffee or a beer and chat about what you are looking for, test, test and test some more of his guitars and see what you think. If a luthier is good, an amazing guitar can be built just for you.
I have seen and heard amazing guitars from well known brands and I have also heard guitars built by luthiers here, and believe me, they all have something to offer the discerning guitarist. In fact, just as much, if not more than a well known brand. A plus with luthier guitars is that each one is unique and perhaps you will be the only one playing it. The sole owner of a very special guitar with the sound you like. It is very simple but complex at the same time.
Building a guitar, as you might imagine is a hard job, so a luthier guitar can also be as expensive as a well known branded guitar, but that is how artcraft is anyway, it is expensive because it is unique.
So this blog post, more than being a review on an instrument is more a “heads up” about guitar luthiers. I am pretty sure there is one near you, look out for them and see if you can meet them and of course take their beauties for a drive!
I am aware that Argentina, besides being known for its wine, meat and Messi, is also well known for its luthiers and here is a list of some of them from the Argentine Association of Musical Instrument Makers web site.
Most luthiers on the site have either a web site, a facebook, a blog or a Myspace page.
Check the site out for more information, the site has the English language option, it is well worth having a look. You will find things like this: Pablo Massa guitars.
Check out how Pablo Massa guitars sound like:
Do you know a luthier near you? Post a comment with a link to their site, if they have one. I would love to see some of their work.
Learn more about Luis Tovar on his Google profile.