Articles

Osage Orange Tonewood

Milling Osage Orange TonewoodGiven the new restrictions recently placed on the trade of all wood in the Dalbergia genus, I think that the use of Osage Orange tonewood is long overdue. Back when I worked at Gallagher Guitar Co. I was handling set after set of Indian and Brazilian Rosewood. At that time, most of my experience with Osange Orange was in the form of firewood, but the resulting high pitch "ping" that occurred upon my dropping of a log on a concrete floor began my curiosity over its similarities to Brazilian, Cocobolo, Honduran and the other rosewoods we use for building guitars. As far back as 10 years ago I began to see myself introducing this wood into the tonewood market as a luthier and I am just now realizing that dream.

Moving Shop and Home

A Clear Night at Home

These are some pictures that display a hint of the viewshed from the back deck, inlcuding a view of what the stars can look like without light pollution. 

The house is perched on a ridge line that climbs about 800 feet out of a bench from the Cumberland Plateau. It's actually about 25 miles from the main body of the Cumberland Plateau, but the western escarpement includes many outlying plateau islands that gradually descend into Tennessee's highland rim. The house rests on such an island, known locally as Linder Mountain.

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Roland Dyens

Roland Dyens departure from the world of the living leaves a gaping hole in the classical guitar community. One of the best ways that we can give thanks for life is through our work. But we don’t show gratitude by always doing what’s expected and acceptable to everyone.

Roland Dyens showed gratitude for life by continually challenging the status quo and moving what was expected and acceptable a bit further and now that he is gone, what he brought to us will be greatly missed.

Defining Good Tone

What is “good” tone? It seems like a subjective inquiry that will lead to unjustifiable arguments; however,  I believe that today’s classical guitarists can easily come to an agreement on whether a tone is either harsh or pleasant.

The modern classical guitar and its technique are the product of centuries of development. The scale length establishes a particular range that the cavity and plate resonances are intended to amplify in the most efficient way to its audience. Those variables narrow the field of success results.

Classical Guitar Tone Production

For many of us, it’s the sound of the classical guitar that drew us to the instrument. Any of us who have attempted to move passed the role of listening and into that of playing have realized that the very sound that drew us to the instrument doesn’t easily emerge from beginner fingers. In the end, the the sound we achieve is a combination of our conscience and the instrument we play, but I think it’s important to address the mechanics. This means looking into our technique, fingernail shape and our ability at manipulating both while using your ears as a guide.