One very important aspect of acoustic guitar making that is rarely discussed is Voicing, or controlling the tonal outcome of the build process to suit a specific player’s concept of the sound he wishes to have his hand-built instrument possess.  What follows is an extended discussion with specific examples which will help both fellow builders and the players we all serve understand some of the important decisions that need to be made in designing a guitar and how these choices impact the end result tonally.


First and foremost, there are no absolutes in guitar making.  It is a very intuitive, experience based art/craft. Hard data is almost impossible to determine since the materials we use vary with each and every unit, even within the same species and/or sequential plates from the same plank.  The only choice the educated builder has is to treat all individual elements of the guitar as essentially unique and apply whatever testing method is available, however subjective, to divine the structural and tonal secrets.  This is the real “art” of guitar making.


If you would like a more detailed analysis of virtually every part of a guitar and how it relates to tone, you can download my full set of notes here:   In the outline you will find in-depth information about the following and much more.


  Voicing the Guitar


  Choosing a Top

  Testing the top

  Top Bracing

  Body Woods

  Neck design

  Dovetail vs/ bolt on

  Size Matters

  Fit and Finish


In addition. there is a  PDF download for the following:

  Martin Myths and other Nonsense