Time for a shout out to the Guild of American Luthiers, of which I seem to perpetually find myself a member. Believe it or not, I have never built a guitar – nor do I repair my own instruments – I only do the simplest of tweaks for setup or easy repairs. Yet I have subscribed to their American Lutherie magazine for ages, as there is ALWAYS something interesting or useful to learn about stringed instruments and/or their makers, both modern and historical.
Case in point: the brand new issue, with a special article “Delving into the Vagaries and Mysteries of Early Gibson Guitar Strings (By Way of the Harp Guitar).” Yes, this is my first article for the publication, an honor indeed. This little project was meant to be a quick blog for Harpguitars.net, but kept growing. All the while I was realizing that I was missing way too many explanations and answers to go public with it (and still am, but am hoping this will help beat the bushes for me). Ultimately, it became SO detailed and nerdy that it was even too much for MY web site. And so Tim Olsen and GAL (“We know LOTS of guitar geeks!”) came to my rescue.
So, here’s a great excuse to try out a membership to AL for yourself and fry your brain with (among their usual excellent fare) my 11-1/2 page fully illustrated article that’s essential reading for:
- Vintage harp guitar buffs
- Early Gibson guitar fanatics
- Orville and Co. researchers
- American plucked string historians
- Performers of 1900s BMG music
- Bored househusbands
- Gluttons for punishment
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the G.A.L. has to say about it:
“Ready for an Americana-infused, vintage-lutherie, history-detective-style nerdfest? Yes, that old joker Orville Gibson is still full of surprises, even now, a century after his death. We have a lot to learn about string material, tension, intention, and nomenclature. Not to mention marketing and musical snobbery.”