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A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had started making a classical guitar with slightly smaller dimensions than usual. I hadn’t got anything radical or particularly innovative in mind but I hoped that, by reducing the diameter of the lower bout, decreasing the depth of the ribs and using a scale length of 640mm, the instrument would be easier and more comfortable for a smaller person to play. The fingerboard and string spacing were also to be narrower by a few millimeters to suit someone with small hands, and the guitar was to be as light as reasonably possible.

The instrument is now finished. The top is cedar with lattice bracing. The ribs and back are of English walnut with an unusual ‘watermark’ figure and the rosette and headstock were made using spalted beech that Mark Bennett, who runs a funiture making business called the Woodlark, sold me a while ago. The fingerboard and bridge are of Rio rosewood and the tuning machines were made by Keith Robson. The final weight, with strings and tuning machines in place, was just over 1400 grammes, which is significantly lighter than the weight of most of my instruments.

It has only been strung up for a day or two and it has yet to be played by a proper guitarist but my first impressions of the sound are good and the volume doesn’t seem to be perceptibly less than that of larger instruments. I’ll try to add a recording sometime but, in the meantime, here are a few photographs of the completed guitar.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this nice site. I enjoyed looking through it very much. The pictures are wonderful. I will be coming back often. All the best to you.

  2. truly inspiring website. Thank you.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By V-joints for guitar headstock « Finely Strung on 11 Jun 2009 at 8:52 am

    […] in musical instruments Following on from my recent experiment with a small guitar, I’ve been thinking about going a stage further and making a copy of a 19th century guitar of […]

  2. […] fingerboard and closer string spacing as an experiment. You can see photographs of the instrument here. It has been played by lots of guitarists both professional and amateur, both men and women. Most […]

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