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Robzoid

 

Posts: 1
Joined: May 11 2021
 

Luthier's first flamenco guitar vs. ... 

I'm planning ahead to my first quality flamenco guitar purchase. I have a local luthier who's quite skilled at building electric guitars and steel string acoustics. He said he hasn't built a classical or flamenco guitar before but he could make one with a French polish for about $2k.

In terms of getting a quality instrument, not resale value, do you think I'd be better off going to a skilled luthier making his first flamenco guitar or spending the $2k on a production guitar like a higher end Cordoba?

I guess my main concern is him making it too similar to a steel string guitar, which would be too heavily built to respond to nylon strings. Then again, maybe if I can find a blueprint or something like that with all the specs like wood thickness, bracing pattern, etc. it might be a great guitar. I have no idea about guitar building, so this is all pretty speculative on my part.

Any suggestions are much appreciated!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2021 9:28:44
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

I think you would be better off saving up a bit more and buying from a luthier who is experienced in making flamenco guitars.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2021 10:12:21
 
Escribano

Posts: 6253
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

His first nylon and a flamenco is very unlikely to a be a good guitar and he should not be quoting for it. Quite different animals.

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Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2021 10:27:29
 
ernandez R

Posts: 485
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

Interesting subject, I'm on guitars 13-15 right now but haven't actively tried to sell my guitars, I have a few in a gallery here in my small Alaskan village but more as a novelty. I've had two commissions. I've had people buy my guitars because they fell in love with them for various reasons. But...

Before I actively list a guitar here on the Foro or the Delcamp I want to produce a quality product. I'm fairly skilled but on the backside of the age eye hand coordination curve but my instruments are getting better. I'm hoping my next builds, two classical and two flamenco will be the ones.

There is a world of difference between building an electric guitar and a Flamenco. Don't want to pass judgment but it's a reality. Don't get me wrong guys are building stunning examples of quality and creativity that I could never match but building a luthiery strung instrument is something else.

On the other hand having someone local that you can be involved with during the process could be rewarding as long as you understand what it is you are getting into, what it will cost, and the likely outcome.

In the end the perfect guitar is the one you play, the one that doesn't disappear into its case in the back of a closet or under the bed. It's not so pretty you are afraid to touch it or take it out on the porch on a nice evening, hand it to a friend or a trusted youth. She should inspire. To build such a guitar be it a solid body or Flamenco, takes time, neck shape and fretwork take experience, the woods we use are as variable as leaves on a tree and need consideration, even the day or time of day we glue up a top or back become critical to success, sure there is a YouTube video that shows how to do these things but building a fine instrument is not changing the oil on a car or a recipe for sesame chicken.

If I was you I would do it. All you have to loose is $2k

If you feel you can't afford to give a couple AMUs away ( in my aircraft world well $1k a Aviation Monetary Unit ) then let me recommend a couple flamenco builders in the US who post here regularly: Andy Culpepper, and Ethan Deutsch, Stephan Faulk. Andy is on the east cost and Ethan on the west, Stephan is in Japan. There are others but these guys regularly post here on the Foro and share valuable information with our community. They also sell a basic low budget flamenco model.

That's my two cents which one must consider when searching the Internet for advice ;)

Photo is my first guitar.

HR



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2021 14:59:13
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

Buy una Alhambra. https://www.musisol.com/guitarras-flamencas/alhambra-7fc-guitarra-flamenca.html?gclid=CjwKCAjw1uiEBhBzEiwAO9B_HYqKQ8zGFk-9fzRksrTozWehIWO4PnuQiguTkzOvgRZTPUzv1yYmlRoC1WIQAvD_BwE

This is a very good guitar, but Alhambra have even better, but more expensive.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 11 2021 15:31:20
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

Go with a Córdoba or Alhambra. You won’t need to spend $2K, either. I’ve played Cordobas selling for half that that kicked ass. I’ve also played Cordobas selling for quite a bit more that sucked, so just play it first, don’t do an internet order on an inexpensive model or you may be disappointed.

Not to step on any toes, but none of the few makers on here that seem to be the only ones ever recommended when these questions crop up are in your price range.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 2:46:19
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

Go for a Sanchis or for a Stephen Eden hand made entry level guitar.
2000 are not bad money in the 2nd hand market: in December a guy sold on the bay a very good luthier made guitar for that money. I myself in the past years have sold a late Gerundino, a Manzanero a Lopez Bellido for similar money and I assure you they were really good guitars.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 7:08:25
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Morante

quote:



Not to step on any toes, but none of the few makers on here that seem to be the only ones ever recommended when these questions crop up are in your price range.


Maybe not new but second hand it can definitely be done with a bit of patience. I bought a hand made guitar by a well-known luthier for even less than the OPs budget last year.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 8:59:02
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to agujetas

I thought the request for advice was about something fairly specific, in this case the choice between commissioning a local maker, who is without experience in making this type of instrument, or purchasing an instrument made by a well known firm that has a reputation for providing good value for the money. No indication of location. With that in mind, I think advising against commissioning the local maker was the prudent response. The other stuff is just clouding the waters, IMO.

If less than a certain amount of funds are available, advising the purchase of a factory guitar made by an established firm is the probably the most sound recommendation, simply because that is what is most likely to be accessible. It’s also likely to be the easiest instrument to sell off if the purchaser decides to upgrade. The exotic sounding names that were trotted out are all undoubtedly nice guitars, but are quite likely to be virtually impossible for the average poster to find locally. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here asking. Same thing applies to patiently searching for something luthier made on the used market. Of course it can be done, but is it practical for this poster?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 9:37:25
 
agujetas

 

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar. 9 2021
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to RobF

He said he is planning ahead to the purchase so sounds like he has time to find a good deal. He also said getting a quality instrument is his priority, not resale value. In that case, for his budget, a second hand luthier made instrument is absolutely the best option IMO. I paid less for my concert level handmade guitar than a second rate overbuilt factory guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 13:54:12
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to agujetas

Good enough, then. I’ve said my piece and he can do as he pleases. But, I’ve played enough so-called “second rate overbuilt factory guitars” which were able to give more than their fair share of high end luthier guitars serious runs for the money to know that my advice was sound. I’ve no dog in this.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 14:03:58
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

quote:

do you think I'd be better off going to a skilled luthier making his first flamenco guitar or spending the $2k on a production guitar like a higher end Cordoba?


For me 2k would be a lot of money to spend on something where I have no idea at all what the outcome will be. But I also probably wouldn't put 2k in a Cordoba either. I'd use the money to buy a trip to Spain. Or 200 hamsters. Not sure.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 14:19:56
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

It's a gamble. Sometimes we have good reasons to gamble and can afford the risk. Other replies have explored the risks. A good reason to gamble, aside from the possibility of receiving a good instrument, might be to get the inexperienced luthier on a new path. Perhaps you could negotiate a lower price due to the risk. I gave away a few early guitars, or built them for the cost of materials, in order to gain experience. If the luthier is seriously interested in getting into constructing real guitars he might agree.

Thanks for the plug, HR.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 15:51:53
 
RobF

 

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at May 15 2021 10:51:15
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 16:43:45
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Piwin

When I wanted to buy a steel string, I wanted a Martin. Went to Madrid and found 4, all at 4000 euros, all with constructional defects, badly set up and with poor sound. Eventually, I bought an Alhambra for a quarter of the price and superior in every way.

The best advice you will ever get is "Try before you buy".
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 17:02:13
 
Escribano

Posts: 6253
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

I gave away a few early guitars, or built them for the cost of materials, in order to gain experience


Which is what I would expect

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Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 18:35:56
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 175
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

One of the advantages of ordering a guitar from a maker with a good reputation (in the particular field you want) is that you can usually try and then reject the instrument if you don't like it. If the local guy will allow you to order and then refuse the instrument I say go for it. That makes it his gamble mostly. I am assuming that he will do his research and be careful with tension and its effects of the neck and top. Maybe that is a big assumption.

_____________________________

John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 12 2021 20:15:20
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

The guitar maker is really good at steel string guitars and studied the flamenco carefully they would probably be able to make something good. The advice of John and Ethan is good and I concur with both opinions.

I know a few steel string makers who’ve done a flamenco guitar and did a real good job on the first try. But it really just depends on how sensitive and well studied the particular maker is. If it were me I’d want the person to really follow a traditional path in looks and design and not go off thinking they’re going to do their personal interpretation of a flamenco guitar based on what they already build. That would be the important decision point for me. Otherwise good for you trusting a local to make something for you.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 6:57:45
 
RobF

Posts: 1116
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

I don’t think any of the advice that was given here is necessarily bad advice. You’ve provided a reasonable amount of information with your question and have shown you already have given it enough consideration to realize there is a potential downside to going local. But seeing that option has received so much support, can I toss in a couple more suggestions?

The quote you were given is low. Perhaps sit down with the fellow and discuss how the figure was arrived at. Was he already factoring in a discount due to his lack of experience? That would tell me he’s reasonable, but it also tells me he’s going to want to get paid for his efforts. Otherwise he’d likely ask for more, if it’s to be on spec.

The odds lie with the guitar being over built. That’s the honest truth of it. If the luthier is any good and actually does know his stuff, his first foray into making a flamenco guitar should err in that direction, at any rate. It’s not necessarily a problem and a lot of things could be adjusted after the fact. The guitar will live and age. If it’s under built it’ll be OK for a while, then quite likely it won’t. And if he nails it, it’s going to be more due to BS luck than anything else, but then you win. It’s highly unlikely that he will nail it, though, and if he’s worth his salt he’ll tell you this, too, so maybe consider that when you discuss the project with him. If he glosses over the pitfalls, then I’d be concerned.

I would also weigh the costs of a negative impact to your relationship with him if it doesn’t work out. Nothing is free, and nothing will be for either of you if you go down this path. As the song says, how much does a dollar cost?

So, just go in with your eyes open and be willing to shrug it off it it doesn’t pan out. Otherwise, spending some time trying out some shelf guitars and saving yourself a K or so isn’t such a terrible thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 12:09:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12992
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The guitar maker is really good at steel string guitars and studied the flamenco carefully they would probably be able to make something good.


I honestly feel that many luthiers believe that flamenco guitars are easy to build compared to any other guitar, but as a player I really see the opposite. The requirements of flamenco guitar in terms of feel looks and sound seems very constrained by comparison and I am thinking that has to be more challenging. Just talking about the bridge and action set up. I once visited a luthier who had built many classicals and only a few flamencos and had none on hand to try but insisted that he was an aficionado of them and was planning to build a new flamenco with the cypress he had recently acquired which was high quality. I discussed with him the challenge of the set up and reiterated things Estebanana and Anders had said over the years that getting the golidlocks set up of 7mm at the bridge and clean 3-4mm at 12 fret was not easy because as soon as you finish it up and put on strings the whole thing shifts a bit and your numbers can’t be guaranteed. This guy scoffed and said “no, no it is simple math, I can hit exactly any numbers you want”. I asked what his new guitar would be and he said 8mm at bridge and 3mm at 12, guaranteed. 6 month later he invited me to check it out. I played it for two seconds and asked him what happened? He just shrugged his shoulders and said “well, I tried...”. It was like 9+mm at the bridge and buzzy as hell all over the fingerboard.

So I think it is hard until you get experience. But there was one guy who contacted me an never built a guitar before but his wife had passed and she loved flamenco guitar so he spent a year researching and built a flamenco guitar, his first one ever as a memorial. He did not play so he found me on line and wanted me to try it. This thing had like 7mm at the bridge and 3mm at 12...it was super light weight and played like butter and sounded like an old santos Hernandez or esteso. It was shocking frankly.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 12:33:10
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

2K is a lot to pay someone to make an experiment. Plenty of classical guitar makers have found that it isn’t that easy. You could buy a used luthier made proper flamenco guitar for not much more. It wouldn't be new and shiny of course.

I have never bought a guitar, new or old, without trying it first, so the mistakes I have made are entirely my fault. With one exception (68 Ramirez) the keepers have been made by luthiers who mainly, or exclusively make flamenco guitars (including various Conde generations, Manuel Bellido and Manuel Reyes).

Perhaps as Ricardo suggests, making a proper flamenco guitar is harder than making a classical. If so, perhaps making a flamenca negra is even harder. I have never found one that I like. It could be that I just don’t like Negras I suppose.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 13 2021 13:51:20
 
ernandez R

Posts: 485
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

Had an idea for the OP, if you choose to use your local luthier have him get a couple plans from GAL :

https://luth.org/instrument-plans/guitar-plans/flamenco-guitar-plans/

I decided I’m going to build one from one of Tom’s drawing this summer so I purchased both his Arcángel and Reyes, also got the 1951 M. Barbero Drawn by Bruné.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 14 2021 5:43:38
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2252
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

I decided I’m going to build one from one of Tom’s drawing this summer so I purchased both his Arcángel and Reyes, also got the 1951 M. Barbero Drawn by Bruné.


ER,

All three plans are good to build but, as you already know, I like the Reyes plan best. The reason I say this is that Reyes has an edge for sweetness in its treble end and volume, and about the easiest pattern to fine tune.

The Brune plan has a good cutting edge but it took me over a month to get the tuning right.

The Fernandez plan is historically a good build but the weakest of the three plans.

This, of course, is only my opinion.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 14 2021 13:13:50
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

I have tried and inspected 3 Arcangel guitars in life and 2 Manuel Caceres/Arcangel.
Frankly I found the GAL plan not detailed enough to be an useful guide: I would have expected at least a map of the top thickness or a clearer description of the doming.

I like the Reyes plan but my suggestion goes for the Santos plan drafted by David Merrin or for the Barbero plan.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 16 2021 17:56:02
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Robzoid

I recommend:

Plan 9 From Outer Space

It's an excellent kitch sci fi film

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 2:45:30
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

quote:

The guitar maker is really good at steel string guitars and studied the flamenco carefully they would probably be able to make something good.


I honestly feel that many luthiers believe that flamenco guitars are easy to build compared to any other guitar, but as a player I really see the opposite. The requirements of flamenco guitar in terms of feel looks and sound seems very constrained by comparison and I am thinking that has to be more challenging. Just talking about the bridge and action set up. I once visited a luthier wh



This is really true,

Classical guitarists may have particular qualities they are looking for in how a guitar feels and plays, but it's usually based on criteria like the repertoire they are working with on that guitar, and issues like how the guitar projects...lots of things qualify a classical guitar for a player, whether they are an expert or a beginner.

I got a valuable lesson from Marc Teicholz, a fantastic guitarist who teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory. I brought him a guitar to play, it was a cypress Santos style. He played it and said it was strong on some areas and weak in others, but he gave context to why in his situation of recommending guitars to students that these criteria were important. He continued and gave me a lesson in why modern classical guitarists choose the instruments they do. He explained why some repertoire lead guitarists to choose guitars that emphasized chords more like a piano, because it was more suited to working with harmony, and why other guitars with a more romantic ( spanish*) sound were better at other tasks. He contrasted a Jim Redgate with another makers Maple Cedar, more Torres style guitar. The gulf between a Redgate from the mid 2000's and Maple Cedar Torres model is W-i-d-e.

The lesson being, classical guitars can come in many varieties of sound envelope, feel under the hands, size, weight, and finally how it emphasizes the differences between romantic character and 'Bosendorfer piano' harmonic precision. All these qualities can be useful and sought after in what's labeled as a 'classical guitar'. For that reason, classical makers can find a personal sweet spot and stick with it even though that may not be what's hot in the moment. I've been involved in guitars long enough, since seeing Segovia as a teenager, to witness cycles of guitar development and reconsideration. Long scales used to be considered normal, then it trended back to shorter, scales, then even shorter, then it trended back to longer...the market loves to eat up new gimmicks and then reset to a more 'old style' normal.

Flamenco guitars by contrast are different, or the classical guitars are different. Flamenco guitars have evolved in the minds of consumers into a narrower field. And from the point of function they are narrower. Classical guitars and Flamenco guitars used to be more or less the same thing, but the market was manipulated to create a binary Spanish guitar world and the flamenco guitar got left to develop by itself. But the development remained in the service mainly of how the instrument feels under the hands. And the basic design hasn't needed to be developed very much past Torres brace design on order to be effective.

Flamenco makers build for the way the guitar feels ( this is my opinion) more over how the guitar will sound. The way the guitar responds happens because you build it lighter in the right places, or work for a certain geometry and maybe even consider how the golpe sound will work, ( do people still golpe anymore?) and in trying to get to these qualities of playability; will the guitar rip alzapua without effort by the player? - ( read with pauses to contemplate at commas) The attributes the flamenco guitar maker aims for, direct the design to automatically take form as a good flamenco guitar, because the maker is working for how it feels, not how it sounds. If a guitar rips alzapua and doesn't feel like it's going to bottom out or is not too tough on the hands, then it is in the sweet spot. Flamenco guitars built into that sweet zone almost always sound correct and flamenco.

If the guitar feels right when doing rasgueado, it will sound right. That's the thing that classical or steel makers have to come to terms with if they want to make successful flamenco ( Fleming lol) guitars. The guitar making manuals that emphasize how to use technology and sound testing to make a guitar are very good, I own a few of them and have learned a great deal from them, but almost useless when it comes to getting a feeling for how a rasgueado should feel and recover when you drag your thumb and fingers through the strings. If the flamenco guitar rips alzapua, has the right recovery feel, it will work, the sound is a personal thing, you may or may not like it. I worry like 80% on how the guitar will feel, and know that the sound will be there if it feels correct. If the player does not like the sound, well ok, but they should be able to play in a cuadro with the guitar and not get torn up. In a cuadro a good flamenco guitar will keep you from getting tired, it will be a fun satisfying experience, the guitar should not get in your way. Making a guitar that stays out of your way in a cuadro is trickier than it sounds, most classicals would be in your way.

Can beginner players and builders discern all these things yet? Probably not. Let them learn by doing and not just making safe purchases of cheap guitars. Buy a Yamaha flamenco for $500.00, it will last until you can actually play. or have the local guy make you a guitar. It's just a different on ramp to the same highway.


The thing I'd say to someone making a flamenco guitar that has already made steel string guitars, study the bridge of the flamenco guitar and make a few of them. If you can make three or four flamenco bridges and understand that first, I'd say go ahead. If you can't pull off a couple of bridges that any good flamenco maker would say "Yeah, that bridge looks right." Don't attempt a flamenco guitar until you figure that part out. Otherwise you'll build all the other stuff without understanding what it's supposed to connect to. That kind of sounds condescending, but it's the truth.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 3:35:29
 
ernandez R

Posts: 485
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

I recommend:

Plan 9 From Outer Space

It's an excellent kitch sci fi film


And I assume one should use only Ed Wood for such a guitar?

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 8:06:47
 
ernandez R

Posts: 485
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

quote:

quote:

The guitar maker is really good at steel string guitars and studied the flamenco carefully they would probably be able to make something good.


I honestly feel that many luthiers believe that flamenco guitars are easy to build compared to any other guitar, but as a player I really see the opposite. The requirements of flamenco guitar in terms of feel looks and sound seems very constrained by comparison and I am thinking that has to be more challenging. Just talking about the bridge and action set up. I once visited a luthier wh



This is really true,

Classical guitarists may have particular qualities they are looking for in how a guitar feels and plays, but it's usually based on criteria like the repertoire they are working with on that guitar, and issues like how the guitar projects...lots of things qualify a classical guitar for a player, whether they are an expert or a beginner.

I got a valuable lesson from Marc Teicholz, a fantastic guitarist who teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory. I brought him a guitar to play, it was a cypress Santos style. He played it and said it was strong on some areas and weak in others, but he gave context to why in his situation of recommending guitars to students that these criteria were important. He continued and gave me a lesson in why modern classical guitarists choose the instruments they do. He explained why some repertoire lead guitarists to choose guitars that emphasized chords more like a piano, because it was more suited to working with harmony, and why other guitars with a more romantic ( spanish*) sound were better at other tasks. He contrasted a Jim Redgate with another makers Maple Cedar, more Torres style guitar. The gulf between a Redgate from the mid 2000's and Maple Cedar Torres model is W-i-d-e.

The lesson being, classical guitars can come in many varieties of sound envelope, feel under the hands, size, weight, and finally how it emphasizes the differences between romantic character and 'Bosendorfer piano' harmonic precision. All these qualities can be useful and sought after in what's labeled as a 'classical guitar'. For that reason, classical makers can find a personal sweet spot and stick with it even though that may not be what's hot in the moment. I've been involved in guitars long enough, since seeing Segovia as a teenager, to witness cycles of guitar development and reconsideration. Long scales used to be considered normal, then it trended back to shorter, scales, then even shorter, then it trended back to longer...the market loves to eat up new gimmicks and then reset to a more 'old style' normal.

Flamenco guitars by contrast are different, or the classical guitars are different. Flamenco guitars have evolved in the minds of consumers into a narrower field. And from the point of function they are narrower. Classical guitars and Flamenco guitars used to be more or less the same thing, but the market was manipulated to create a binary Spanish guitar world and the flamenco guitar got left to develop by itself. But the development remained in the service mainly of how the instrument feels under the hands. And the basic design hasn't needed to be developed very much past Torres brace design on order to be effective.

Flamenco makers build for the way the guitar feels ( this is my opinion) more over how the guitar will sound. The way the guitar responds happens because you build it lighter in the right places, or work for a certain geometry and maybe even consider how the golpe sound will work, ( do people still golpe anymore?) and in trying to get to these qualities of playability; will the guitar rip alzapua without effort by the player? - ( read with pauses to contemplate at commas) The attributes the flamenco guitar maker aims for, direct the design to automatically take form as a good flamenco guitar, because the maker is working for how it feels, not how it sounds. If a guitar rips alzapua and doesn't feel like it's going to bottom out or is not too tough on the hands, then it is in the sweet spot. Flamenco guitars built into that sweet zone almost always sound correct and flamenco.

If the guitar feels right when doing rasgueado, it will sound right. That's the thing that classical or steel makers have to come to terms with if they want to make successful flamenco ( Fleming lol) guitars. The guitar making manuals that emphasize how to use technology and sound testing to make a guitar are very good, I own a few of them and have learned a great deal from them, but almost useless when it comes to getting a feeling for how a rasgueado should feel and recover when you drag your thumb and fingers through the strings. If the flamenco guitar rips alzapua, has the right recovery feel, it will work, the sound is a personal thing, you may or may not like it. I worry like 80% on how the guitar will feel, and know that the sound will be there if it feels correct. If the player does not like the sound, well ok, but they should be able to play in a cuadro with the guitar and not get torn up. In a cuadro a good flamenco guitar will keep you from getting tired, it will be a fun satisfying experience, the guitar should not get in your way. Making a guitar that stays out of your way in a cuadro is trickier than it sounds, most classicals would be in your way.

Can beginner players and builders discern all these things yet? Probably not. Let them learn by doing and not just making safe purchases of cheap guitars. Buy a Yamaha flamenco for $500.00, it will last until you can actually play. or have the local guy make you a guitar. It's just a different on ramp to the same highway.


The thing I'd say to someone making a flamenco guitar that has already made steel string guitars, study the bridge of the flamenco guitar and make a few of them. If you can make three or four flamenco bridges and understand that first, I'd say go ahead. If you can't pull off a couple of bridges that any good flamenco maker would say "Yeah, that bridge looks right." Don't attempt a flamenco guitar until you figure that part out. Otherwise you'll build all the other stuff without understanding what it's supposed to connect to. That kind of sounds condescending, but it's the truth.



Thanx Stephan for taking the time to write this out. I'll need to keep this handy on my flamenco guitar odyssey.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 8:08:43
 
ernandez R

Posts: 485
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

I have tried and inspected 3 Arcangel guitars in life and 2 Manuel Caceres/Arcangel.
Frankly I found the GAL plan not detailed enough to be an useful guide: I would have expected at least a map of the top thickness or a clearer description of the doming.

I like the Reyes plan but my suggestion goes for the Santos plan drafted by David Merrin or for the Barbero plan.



Echi,

Can you tell me where to get a copy of the Santos drawn by Merrin? And why do you like this one in particular?

And the Barbero plan, do you mean the one I mentioned drawn by Brune from GAL or another?

Thanx,

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 8:12:01
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Luthier's first flamenco guitar ... (in reply to ernandez R

quote:




Thanx Stephan for taking the time to write this out. I'll need to keep this handy on my flamenco guitar odyssey.


I talk too much.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 18 2021 10:48:19
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