Greetings from Los Angeles

Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Greetings from Los Angeles

Post by TomBeltran » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:04 pm

I've looked at topics here over the years, but cannot remember if I've registered. In any case, there is a lot of great information, and this forum seems to be one of the busiest I've seen.

I've been building classical guitars since the mid-1970s. Initially, I followed the Romanillos pictorial in the Evans book, Guitars from Renaissance to Rock, and his chapter in Making Musical Instruments, edited by Charles Ford. It was only a few weeks ago that I got Romanillos' "new" book. It was interesting to see that he is using wedges to secure the sides to the neck. When I studied with Richard Schneider in 1983, that was how he attached the sides, but he used spruce wedges and did not glue them in.

I studied with a few different builders early on, in an on and off again fashion. The first consistent assistance I got was with Bob Mattingly, whom I met at the GAL's Estes Park convention in the early 1980s. I've build several guitars using his Rodriquez pattern. In 1983, as I said, I studied with Richard Schneider, and continued to get advice from him until his death in the early 1990s. In the early 1990's, I also studied with Buzz Feiten, I still have the guitar that we worked on.

My building style is pretty much what is has been now for 40+ years, with some changes that I got from Bob and Richard. I build a Hauser style guitar based on Dorothy De Goede's Hausers and Jeff Elliot's plans. She and her husband were amazingly generous with their time and in allowing me full access to her guitars. She had great stories about the guitar world at that time, and how she got her Hausers. She also gave me a full-sized photo of Hauser II in his workshop that I will always cherish. I hope to add a Dorothy De Goede section on my web page and include some letters from her. She was truly interested in anyone serious about the guitar and Hauser guitars. Also, I've had the privilege of examining and working on incredible Ramirez 1a guitars, and I build a Ramirez style guitar based one of Segovia's guitars that I worked on, a 1967 MT. I love that Ramirez golden era sound.

I think what really pushed me to build a guitar that had the playability that would interest a good player was the feed back from a long list of players and builders who lived in or came to Los Angeles. When I met Bob Mattingly at the GAL convention and showed him a guitar, he looked at me and said, would you like me to just say its fine, or do you want me to tell you what I really think. He then carefully went through the issues, mostly action and playability, but also explained to me what I was doing wrong. I've been blessed with a lot of assistance over the years, for which I am very grateful. From what I can tell, there is a lot of great things and builders (and players) on this forum. Forty some years ago, wood was cheap and plentiful, and information hard to come by. Now wood is expensive and hard to get consistently, but we are literally swimming in books, articles and videos on every topic available.

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Erik Zurcher
Posts: 16495
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Greetings from Los Angeles

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:19 pm

Hello Tom and welcome to Delcamp forum! Enjoy yourself and see you around!

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Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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