Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Apprentice's guitars

Before you all shout "You're fired!", let us consider the facts at our disposal.

It can't be easy trying to design an original shape for a guitar. Let's face it, most shapes have been tried and tested countless times. Anything totally original usually ends up being off-the-wall in looks and style.

Which is why I love seeing self-built guitars, and I'm not talking about the guys who slavishly copy classic designs such as the Telecaster and Stratocaster. I'm talking about those who want to do their own thing.

The guitar pictured above was built by an apprentice woodworker, and whilst - obviously - the body shape is to his own unique design, the measurements and layout are based on the Gibson Les Paul. The body shape is not to my personal taste, but I applaud the guy for his originality. The one criticism I would level at this guitar is that the solid mahogany body does look quite large, and although it is apparently hollow so as to reduce weight, it looks cumbersome and the shape probably wouldn't allow for the best access to the higher frets.

The same guy has also built this Tele-style guitar (hedging his bets, perhaps) and again it has a hollow body built from Mahogany and utilises a Les Paul scale. It's difficult to tell from a photograph, but to my eyes this reduced scale results in a slightly diminutive Tele, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The guy's obviously got some good woodworking skills going on, and this looks to be very nicely executed.

G L Wilson

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