Category: lutherie


The Invention of the Electric Guitar – Great Online…

Electric guitars were first used during the 1930s, today an electric guitar can be found in almost every rock band.

A great online feature about the invention of the electric guitar can be found at the site of the Lemelson Center:

Sometimes, but typically it is a far more complex process. Amplifying the sound of a guitar by means of electricity, for example, involved many inventors and musicians working since the 1920s to develop, design, and popularize a louder instrument.

The electric guitar may be the most important and popular instrument of the last half-century in American music. Certainly its introduction brought a major change to American musical technology and has shaped the sound and direction of modern musical styles.

About the Lemelson Center

The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation.

The Lemelson Center’s mission:

  • To document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation
  • To encourage inventive creativity in young people
  • To foster an appreciation for the central role of invention and innovation in the history of the United States

In the archive of British Pathe you can find movies with some of the first electric guitars in the world. I have previously written about those videos (see below). For this post I have selected a movie about the making of an electric guitar in Great Britain in 1965:


History of the Guitar – Playlist

Additional information

More historical movies about electric guitars on the site of British Pathe:



Bruce Graybill and his Weber Mandolins

I have just bought a new mandolin, a used Weber Yellowstone mandolin. This mandolin sounds great and I cannot stop playing it.

This is a album with some pictures of this instrument:

Bruce Weber was one of the master luthiers at the former Flatiron site after Gibson had bought Flatiron. Gibson built mandolins in Monatana until 19976 when the production was moved to Nashville. Bruce Weber and some other luthiers decided to stay in Montana, and one year later in 1997 Bruce Weber found his Sound to Earth company and started his own line of Weber mandolins.

You can find many details about the history of Sound to Earth on the homepage Sound to Earth in the sections About Us, History and Luthier Bio.

Weber has designed a very interesting line of mandolin instruments – mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins and mandocellos. You can find almost everything from instruments for beginners to master instruments like the Weber Fern mandolin or the very special 10th Anniversary model that sells for a list price of 25000 $. Recently Weber has also added a line of archtop guitars and resonator instruments to its producton.

New instruments can be configured individually with all kinds of variations and upgrades. All the standard models are presented with pictures and specifications on the Sount to Earth homepage.

Bruce Weber has built some very special instruments for Bruce Graybill, a mandolin player from Pleasant Hill, Missouri. I have met Bruce Graybill two years ago during a workshop or mandolin symposium in Trossingen (Germany). Bruce is a great mandolin player who plays bluegrass, jazz and also classical music. For some years he was the presidant of the Classical Mandolin Society of America (CMSA).

Bruce Graybill has presented his Weber instruments in a very interesting set of youtube clips. Bruce shows his instruments and tells about the special features of each instrument. Then he plays the same piece on different instruments to show the differences between those instruments.

This is my playlist with the complete set of youtube clips

Playlist -Bruce Graybill and his Weber Mandolins

Not only Bruce Graybill shows his Weber instruments, many other proud owners of Weber mandolins have made youtube videos playing their instruments.From this video clips you can dicover the great sound of the Weber mandolins and at the same time discover some interesting music. I have mainly collected clips with Weber Fern and Weber Yellowstone mandolins in the following playlist.

Playlist Weber Yellowstone and Weber Fern Mandolin

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5 Minute Time Lapse Movie of Classical Guitar Construction

I have just written about the guitar construction movies by Tiyoto Kanaka which show the construction of a guitar in many detailed steps.

Some time ago I have found the following video which shows the construction of a classical guitar using time laps  in little more than 5 minutes.

The guitar was built within 10 days in a private training course by Rober O’Brian from a kit by LMII.

If you ever wanted to see how a classical guitar is constructed from wood and glue you should watch this movie. This is a good introduction for the detailed movies by Kiyoto Tanaka.

Highlights of a guitar being built in 10 days in a private course with Robert O’Brien –


Kiyoto Tanaka (Kiyond) – Great Movies about the Construction…

I have discovered the facebook profile of  Kiyoto Tanaka, a Japanese luthier who builds romantic guitars and other instruments. Kiyoto Tanaka has documented the construction of his guitars in very detailed videos. It looks like magic how he uses his Japanese woodworking tools to take some wood and make a beautiful guitar out of it.

But first I recommend the following video with a little box-harp and a 19th century guitar:

The lullaby by box-harp and 19th century guitar.

Plays Sor with the guitar of own manufacturing.

The guitar construction videos show many steps of the construction of the guitar mainly using Japanese hand tools in real time.

Playlist Guitar Construction Kiyoto Tanaka

Weitere Informationen

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