We had the luxury of having Indian guitarist Konarak Reddy visit the shop recently, perform and also record a video lesson all available here.
How long have you been playing Fingerstyle?
I have been playing fingerstyle off and on for about 40 years. But I started concentrating solely on fingerstyle about 15 years ago when I performed at Peter Finger’s “Open Strings Festival” in Osnabruck, Germany. Around the age of 13, I first began playing the guitar and it was an acoustic steel string guitar (nylon string guitars were not available in India back then) and I started out by studying western classical guitar from the “Carcassi Classical Guitar Method” book.
What styles are you blending together? Is it Indian classical music or folk music?
I blend styles that range from western classical, jazz, rock, Brazilian, North and South Indian classical and from my experiences of life.
As a child growing up here in India in the 50’s I lived with plurality and multi-culturalism. Every morning I heard the Muslim Mulla’s call echoing from the neighborhood mosque as well as the traditional Subrabhatham, a Sankrit chant sung by the famous M.S.Subbalakshmi playing on temple speakers. We had the Andrew sisters on Radio Ceylon and the western classical music of Beethoven, Chopin, Bach and Tchaikovsky on 33 and 78rpm records at home. We had the churches and the choirs. We had concerts of the great South and North Indian musicians of our time and we also listened to Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Ten Years After, Miles Davis whose LP’s we would exchange amongst us friends.
Where did you learn western music skills?
Well, I studied western classical guitar in India and took exams from Trinity and Royal College of Music, London which are held in India annually. After that, I toured India extensively with my rock band. In ’76, I went to Berklee to study jazz and in ’89 to Musicians Institute, Hollywood. I lived in Los Angeles for 6 years, teaching and playing. Finally, I returned to India in 1993 to focus on my music.
Lalgudi Jayram, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bismillah Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Carl Jung, Jimi Hendrix, Andre Segovia, Flute Mahalingam, The TibetanBook of the Dead, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin…
What else would you like our readership to know about you?
I am very fortunate to be born in India a few years after Indian Independence and that too to parents from a mixed marriage, both of whom were artists. The whole world was open to me. I was not confined by tradition, language or thought.
The Freedom Movement was initially led by minds who were fluent in English, aware of world affairs and not afraid to break with tradition. Later, Mahatma Gandhi took this movement to the masses.
So today, when foreign artists and musicians come to India with folded hands, taking their shoes off, dressed in Indian clothes and try to learn from our traditional systems, they do what most hesitant guests do in a new country. They get mesmerized by the brilliance of the traditional systems. The logic, the mathematics, the return to the sum (one), the Raga system, konakol etc. Fusing, trying to mix and match western harmony and Indian melody and rhythm.
But for people like me who grew up in an Indian environment speaking English and equally comfortable with Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shanker from an early age, well versed with all the influences of post colonial India, mixing styles and genres was a natural process of assimilation. We own it and can practice it with easy irreverence.
I would love readers to contact me on Facebook, share their comments and also to view my music links:
Bookmark this page for frequent updates.
(Please scroll down for additional guitars.)
Indian Rosewood and Spruce
Avalon D300A 2014
Mahogany and Spruce
Kirk Sand Nylon String Electric 2006
Cocobolo Rosewood and Spruce
Martin Custom Shop D-28 2012
Madagascar Rosewood and Bearclaw Adirondack Spruce
Martin D-28 1957
Brazilian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
McKnight SD 2009
Brazilian Rosewood and Carpathian Spruce
Petros Tunnel 13 Grand Concert 2010
Claro Walnut and T13 Redwood
Klein M-43 2000
Indian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
A.J. Lucas Pavilion Sweep 2011
Yew and Bearclaw Spruce
Ovation 1187-247 2006
Replica of Charlie Kaman’s personal favorite
Olson SJ 2008-2009
Flamed Koa and Sitka Spruce
Petros Applecreek Grand Concert 2004
Indian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
McCollum Grand Auditorium 2000
Claro Walnut and Redwood
Gramann “The James” 2009
Indian Rosewood and Engelmann Spruce
Froggy Bottom P12 2012
Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce
Woolson OM Double Top 2010
Flamed Maple and Spruce
Bourgeois Jumbo OM 1996
Mahogany and Cedar
Taylor GS8 2006
Indian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
Guild F-47R CA 2010
Indian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce (D-Tar Wavelength Pickup)
Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion 1998
Goodall RJC 2007
Indian Rosewood and Master Sitka Spruce
Indian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce
Avalon L25C 2014
Indian Rosewood and Cedar
Stonebridge CR24CR-C 2014
Indian Rosewood and Cedar
Avalon L320B 2014
Indian Rosewood and Spruce
Schneider Kasha 1992
Redwood Top and Back, Brazilian Rosewood Sides
Franklin OM 1979
Indian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
Mendel Octave Mandolin 2013
Southeast Asian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce
Mendel Octave Mandolin 2013
Figured Tzalam and Sitka Spruce
Forster Bouzouki 2010
Cocobolo Rosewood and Redwood
McGill Low Shoulder Concert 2002
Cocobolo Rosewood and Spruce
1931 Martin 0-28 SOLD
Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce
Blanchard Tamarack 2008
Panama Rosewood and European Spruce
Ramirez 1A La de Camara 1985
Indian Rosewood and Cedar
Huss & Dalton TOM-R Custom 2008
Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce
Merrill C-18 Reliced 2013 – SOLD
Mahogany and Adirondack Spruce
Tags : 12 string guitar, 8 string guitar, abalone, acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar music, acoustic guitars, Allan Beardsell, Ameritage, Anthony R. Klassen, ARK, Asheville, baritone acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, Beardsell Guitars, Beneteau Guitars, Blanchard Guitars, Blue Ridge Mountains, Bourgeois Guitars, Brazilian Rosewood, Bristlecone, Bruce Petros, Bryan Galloup, Cervantes, Cervantes Guitars, Char Guitars, Cheryl Wheeler, Claro walnut guitar, classical guitar, Cocobolo, Conde Hermanos, Contreras Guitars, crossover guitar, DADGAD, Dana Bourgeoise, DermotMcIlroy, Dominelli, Eichelbaum Guitars, Euphonon, flamenco guitar, Florentine cutaway, Galloup Guitars, George Lowden, Gibson, Gibson acoustic guitar, Gibson Advanced Jumbo, Gibson AJ, Gibson Guitars, Gibson J-200, harp guitar, Henderson D-42, Henderson Guitars, holl, Hollowbody electric guitar, Indian Hill Guitars, Italian Spruce, J-200, James Olson, James Taylor, Jason Simpson, Jazz guitar, Jim Olson, Joe Veillette, Jr., kauri, Keller Guitars, Kerry Char, Kevin Ryan, Kolb tuners, L-00 guitar, Leo Kottke, LOwden Guitars, luthier, Luthiery, Manuel Contreras, Manuel Rodriguez, Mark Blanchard, Martin 00-18, Martin Guitars, Martin HD-28, Martin Simpson, Matt Petros, McCurdy Archtop, McCurdy Guitars, McIlroy Guitars, Mermer Guitars, Michael Keller, Mike Kennedy, Moonstone, Moonstone Guitars, Mother of Pearl, National 0-14, National resonator, New Era Guitars, Nick Lucas guitar, nylon string crossover, Nylon String Guitar, Olson Guitars, Paul Geremia, Paul Reed Smith, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Pete Townshend, Petros Guitars, Phil Keaggy, Piezo, PRS, PRS guitars, rhythm guitar, Ribbecke Guitar Co., Ribbecke Guitars, Ribbecke Halfling, Ribbecke Thinline, Ric McCurdy, Rich Mermer, Rodriguez Guitars, Ryan Guitars, Ryan Mission Grand, Simpson Guitars, SJ, Sobell Guitars, Sobell Model O, Steve Helgeson, Steven Dembroski, Sting, Thinling guitar, Tom Ribbecke, Veillette Gryphon, Veillette Guitars, Velazquez, Velazquez Guitars, vintage guitar, Wayne Henderson
A cross over is a common name for a nylon string guitar with dimensions and features closer to a steel string guitar. For hundreds of years the classical guitar has remained almost unchanged – no cutaway and a wide neck. But as nylon string guitars become more popular with a wider variety of players in varying styles of music, they are demanding change. A cutaway allows access to the higher frets. A slimmer nut width and neck girth makes left-hand play easier and wide stretches less daunting.
Many players are simply ready for an instrument that’s easier to play and allows them to create their music with less of a fight. Many modern builders are responding to this call. Here at Dream Guitars we offer instruments from Alejandro Cervantes, John Buscarino, Steve Fischer, Brian Applegate, Daniel Stark, Paul McGill and others who are embracing and welcoming this change.
The primary features that identify a crossover are very obvious. Typically the nut width is around 48 mm or 1 7/8 inches. “We see nylon crossover Guitars with as narrow a nut as 1 3/4″ up to perhaps 1 15/16″ nut. 1 7/8ths (48mm) seems to be the most popular. Given that nylon strings are physically wider, a nut width greater than 1 3/4″ seems to help players play more cleanly and be able to fit the fingers into complex chord shapes. Also nylon strings do vibrate in a much wider arc so the string spacing all the way up the fingerboard must allow for that. All of these dimensions work so depending on the player’s needs we can find them the appropriate feel.” – Paul Heumiller, Dream Guitars
The other key feature is the cutaway. A cutaway allows a player to more easily reach up to the 15th fret and beyond for pieces that go into the higher register. Paul adds, “I think the classical guitar world has resisted using the cutaway in an attempt to get all of the possible volume out of the instrument. Making a nylon string instrument loud and strong is quite a challenge since there is very little string energy to begin with. But in our experience, a cutaway has a very minor effect on the sound of an instrument. If you think about it, the upper portion of a guitar’s top toward the neck joint does not move very much. You have the entire neck heel inside that area and it is glued directly to the top and back. In addition the fingerboard is glued down to the face and there is a big popsicle brace inside above the sound hole. All of that severely restricts the soundboard in the upper area of the body. We think players are simply no longer wanting to sacrifice playability for whatever minor tonal difference there might be.”
Pickup systems are also common on crossover guitars. Modern pickups are so natural sounding that players are much more excepting of amplifying in that way. This gives players the ability to use nylon string on stage much more easily and just enjoy amplification at home where you can add a little bit of reverb to create a wonderful spacious ambience.
As for voicing, crossover guitars are often exactly the same as classical guitars. Traditional fan bracing is employed by many builders so that the voice is indeed a classical guitar. Other builders are employing new design ideas such as double tops and lattice bracing. But that is true also of classical guitars today so it is not truly a difference any longer.
Click the Image Above to Watch Al Petteway Play a New Cervantes Crossover
Paul Heumiller adds, “what we are seeing is that the nylon string instrument has become extremely popular with Fingerstyle players in the styles of Jazz, Brazilian, Samba, Folk and other steel string players who are aging or simply prefer the easier play of a nylon string guitar. Another big segment are steel string players who simply want another voice for certain pieces. Players like Eric Clapton have shown that nylon string guitar is not just for classical anymore. It’s a very exciting development – one that I think will continue to grow in popularity. It is so much fun to play nylon string and explore the Tonal pallet that you can create.”
Each of the Guitars mentioned here has a video performance on our website, click the links above to hear what crossover Guitars might offer you’re playing. Call us today to add one to your arsenal.
We have a long list of clients looking for certain guitars on our Dream Catcher Watchlist. If you have one of the guitars below we may be able to facilitate a quick sale for you. Call us today or email email@example.com.
Steel String Guitars
Wayne Henderson Guitars
TJ Thompson Guitars
Vintage Gibson J-45s
Petros Dream Series
Baritone Guitars, McCollum, Doolan
Dyer Harp Guitars including style 7 or 8
Kim Walker Acoustics
Vintage Martins, particularly prewar 0, 00, 000, OMs and Dreads but also 1950′s all models
Vintage Gibson, 1930s-1950s, L-00, J-30, J-35, J-45, J-50, AJ
Circa Guitars by John Slobod, all models
Collings OM, Dread, other models
Long Scale 00
Classical, Flamenco & Crossover Guitars
Robert Ruck Guitars
McGill Super Ace
Quality Nylon String Crossovers, cutaway, narrow nut
Tom Anderson Strats and Teles
Detemple Strats, Teles
Vintage Fender Strats & Teles
Vintage Low Wattage Tube Amps, Princeton Reverb, Champ, Magnatone, Citation, Gibson GA
Vintage Kay Semi Hollow and Solid body
Vintage Gibson L-4 and L-5
Gretsch White Falcon
Tags : Dream Guitars, Franklin Guitars, Gibson Bob Marley Les Paul, Guitars wanted, instruments wanted, Laskin Guitars, sell your guitar, Somogyi, Vintage Martin Guitars, we buy guitars. guitars for sale
We host a number of events here at Dream Guitars. Just one of our many ways to give back to the community and share music with others who are passionate about it. We welcome you all to come join us at a House Concert, Guitar Clinic, Setup Saturdays and other events throughout the year. Come visit Dream Guitars and the wonderful Asheville area!
Al Petteway & Amy White in Concert!
Saturday, March 29 @ 7 pm
Pre-Show Pot Luck @ 6 pm
Tickets $20, Reservations Required
About Al & Amy
Award-winning, critically acclaimed, passionate and playful, Al & Amy offer an intoxicating blend of musical styles. Their repertoire includes original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music with occasional nods to rock and jazz. Their performances feature acoustic guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp, piano, banjo, lap dulcimer, world percussion, and a touch of vocals.
Before moving from the Washington, DC area to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Al & Amy won 50 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In addition, they were awarded 5 separate grants from the Maryland State Arts Council for both music composition and instrumental performance. They won an INDIE from The Association for Independent Music, and Al won a GRAMMY from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Al was voted one of the Top 50 Guitarists of all time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and in 2008 he won Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine’s “Players’ Choice Awards.”
Al & Amy’s music was featured throughout the soundtrack of the 2009 Ken Burns EMMY-winning documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. And in 2010, their album, Caledon Wood, (which includes the main theme of the National Parks documentary) was counted among the essential albums of the past 20 years in the Acoustic Guitar Magazine 20th anniversary issue.
Al & Amy enjoy living in their mountain aerie at 4300 feet elevation, with stunning long-range views and wildlife as constant inspiration. This mountain-top setting has greatly influenced their recent musical works, and has also spurred their return to photography. Both Al & Amy’s photographs are represented by The National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Al worked as an image editor for 18 years. In addition to concerts and workshops, Al & Amy now also offer winter-themed and 4-season multi-media shows which feature live music performed against a backdrop of nature photography.
Among many other pursuits, Al continues to teach private lessons and record video lessons for Homespun Videos. He also coordinates “Guitar Week” for the world famous music camp, The Swannanoa Gathering. And in early 2010, Amy launched Cat Angel Press which released its first full-color gift-book, Cat Angels: The Secret Lives of Cats. There are more angels and books to come.
“High in the Blue Ridge,” Al & Amy’s recording of Appalachian- and Celtic-inspired melodies, was released in early 2011. And they each released solo CDs in 2012. Al’s is a solo acoustic project featuring Fingerstyle Blues titled “It’s Only the Blues” and Amy’s features her original songs and is titled “Home, Sweet Home.”
For more information, please visit their website.
Reservations required for all events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (828) 658-9795.
How it works….
- Come join us at 6 pm and bring a dish to share and a bottle of your preferred beverage. It’s always a wonderful array of treats!
- Show starts at 7pm and performers play two sets with an intermission to mingle and meet the artist!
- Guitar demos available in the shop before and after the show.
Tentative – Steve James! May 10 (7 pm)
Skip Kelley & Ed Dodson, with the Kingfishers! May 24 (7pm)
Robin Bullock and Steve Baughman! August 2 (7pm)
At Dream Guitars we are often asked for our thoughts on good ways to learn how to play guitar. We are so lucky to live in this modern age where knowledge is all around us and easy to find.
Here are a few thoughts on the best ways to learn guitar.
If you are completely new to the instrument, there’s no substitute for a good teacher, as initially learning the correct hand positions and physical posture are crucial early on in the process. This will help prevent bad habits or even worse, injury in the future.
Most often we are asked about learning a particular style of play such as Fingerstyle guitar. Many players are brought up on electric guitar, learning to play with a pic and strumming. Hence, the switch to Fingerstyle can seem daunting.
For Fingerstyle, there are some amazing resources that we can highly recommend.
Dream Guitars itself is proud to be producing more and more in the way of free lessons for our viewers. Please be sure to check our website and our Youtube channel often for the latest lessons from some of the top Fingerstyle players in the world.
Dream Guitars also offers a CD and tab combination that is a wonderful learning tool for Fingerstyle: Dream Guitars Volume One: The Golden age of Lutherie DVD by Al Petteway featuring some of the finest guitars in the world and a companion tab book making it easy to learn your favorite Dream Guitars songs that you’ve heard on our website.
Homespun is another company that has long offered some of the best tutelage in the business. Their myriad of DVDs, featuring some of the best players in the world, are a great way to learn Fingerstyle guitar. Dream Guitars owner Paul Heumiller says “I grew up playing electric guitar and blues. When I switched to Fingerstyle I was lucky to find the Stefan Grossman tapes that taught the early blues material with alternate thumb finger picking. This was a great start for me as getting some independence from the thumb and the other fingers on the right hand is key to Fingerstyle. Then I moved into slide material and later found the homespun tapes from Martin Simpson, Al Petteway and many more of my heroes.
Another great resource is CandyRat Records – they have some of the best Canadian artists on their label and offer educational material as well. Look for Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, and Craig D’Andrea.
But don’t forget about private lessons and camps as you begin to improve with Fingerstyle guitar. Some of our clients will book a private lesson with Al Petteway when they come to visit the shop. Spending an hour or two with the Grammy-winning guitarist can shed light on your strengths and weaknesses and give you a fresh look going forward.
There also amazing workshops all over the country, most in the summertime, in the form of week-long camps where you can study with a half dozen or more teachers and jam with many like-minded guitar loving nuts. Here in Asheville we have the Swannanoa Gathering every summer where Al Petteway hires many of the top players in the world to come and teach for a week at Warren Wilson College. You choose classes each day from a variety of instructors and styles. It’s simply magical. You’ll go away with enough material for a year or more of practice.
We highly recommend the Swannanoa Gathering and if you plan to attend, come swing by Dream Guitars as well while you’re in the area. We’d love to have you.
For more information on any of the resources above or to pick our brains further on the topic, please feel free to call the shop 828-658-9795.
The last few years I have developed a deep meditation practice. I won’t go into all of the benefits of meditation here because there are wonderful narratives on that subject. But suffice it to say that I find meditation a true key to happiness and contentment. Therefore I prioritize it in my day above all else. But sometimes that comes into conflict with my music and guitar playing. There are only so many hours in the day and I’m sure we all can relate to having to slice up 16 waking hours into slots of time for family, work, exercise, music, meditation and fun. And one day it hit me that music and meditation could be done at the same time. I actually did this when I was a teenager when I would play a piece of music until it became a trance-like repetition that I played just for pure enjoyment. Now that I have actual meditation skills and experience I find the two go beautifully hand-in-hand.
Here’s how I approach it…
Clearly the piece of music has to be somewhat simple and repetitive. For me it’s usually just a few chords or a riff with some drone strings that I can play over and over. This is actually great fun and gives you all the benefits of building strength and endurance for your hands and fingers while also working on tone production and getting to the place where you can play without thinking. In meditation, there is no thinking – the whole idea is to forgo thoughts and focus on just one thing. Often this is the breath or image, but it can also be a sound, the sound of the music.
Start by playing something very simple even just a few open strings in DADGAD for instance, then begin to focus on hearing the music and nothing else. Put all your intensity into just hearing and letting the music come into your being. If your mind begins to wander and you find yourself thinking about playing the music better, work you should be doing, the kids in the other room, then gently, like you’re talking to an old friend, tell your mind that there’s no time for thoughts right now and bring yourself back to intense focus on just hearing the music.
Do this without any judgment or any feeling of failure. It’s a very hard thing to control the mind. It controls us every moment of every day and it doesn’t necessarily like it when we try to take control back. So thoughts will come, but every time gently bring yourself back. Even a few seconds of calm are extremely valuable and slowly those seconds will grow into tens of seconds and maybe half a minute and then a full minute and so on.
Studies show that meditation and calming from within is extremely healing and beneficial to the brain. But to me it’s something even more, it’s healing for my soul. I invite you to join me and try meditation, or if you already meditate try it with music and your guitar. Anything we can do to have the guitar in our hands more, put music into the universe, and work on controlling our mind is time will spent.
What’s up with the crooked frets? Yes the slanted frets on my guitars are awesome conversation starters. But that’s not what it’s all about.
According to Wikipedia, Ralph Novak, guitar builder and designer, patented the Fanned Fret at the end of the 80’s. While the patent has expired, he still holds the trademark of the term “Fanned-Fret”. Fanned Frets create a different shape to the guitar. The slanted frets lengthen the bass strings and shorten the treble strings. This is further achieved by positioning the bridge at an angle opposite to the nut.*
Fanned Fret guitars are multi-scale instruments designed with a real purpose.
To understand the concept, we need only look at non-fretted stringed instruments. Consider the piano and the harp dulcimer and you immediately notice the bass strings are always longer than the treble strings. The reason for this is to create proper tension with a longer, thicker string to produce full low notes. Conversely the treble strings need to be shorter so they can be tightened to produce the higher pitch. There is a beautiful resonance you get from a longer bass string. When you tune down to D or C or even further, a longer bass string makes all the difference in the quality of the bass notes. The treble string remains normal length or slightly shorter depending on what you need and can offer a great feel that allows for easy playing high notes, bending strings, etc. The combined string lengths or scales, can provide the perfect amount of bass, sweet trebles and playability that you want for your personal style.
Another benefit is slightly improved intonation. You can understand this if you look at a True Temper Fretted guitar like the Bamburg JSB currently on our website, a Micro-Fret guitar, or a Sitar. You will see that accurate placement for every note on every string would require many tiny frets. The Fanned Fret and its longer length bass strings help intonation across the entire fingerboard.
One other powerful benefit is simply the tension of each string in relation to one another. On a standard guitar as you play from the bass strings down to the treble strings, the treble strings are often more tense and noticeably tighter feeling. Fanned Fret guitars help even out the tactile feel and to me are smoother feeling when playing across the strings.
“There is also something about the splay of the fret that feels extremely comfortable, it seems to suit my hand beautifully, more naturally than straight frets.” Paul Heumiller
One other note I’d like to make is that there is very little difference in the overall feel of playing a fanned Fret guitar. I have handed them to many players in our shop without them knowing I was handing them a fanned Fret guitar and often they don’t even notice until they take a hard look at the fingerboard. On a technical note, you can choose where to place the one perpendicular fret and that decision will effect the feel at the first position and elsewhere. Common choices are the 7th, 9th or 12th frets. After owning several fanned fret guitars I’ve settled on the 7th fret for my playing. It keeps the first position very easy to play. “We once had a Jeff Traugott guitar where all the frets were slanted backward toward the headstock 10 degrees. This one purely ergonomic and can be comfortable to some players as well. Though you don’t get the multi-scale benefits.” – Paul Heumiller
Now let’s look at some common Fanned Fret scale combinations and the uses for each. Let me start by saying there are no hard and fast rules. I encourage experimentation and fearlessness in this regard. The least amount of fan that we typically see is a half an inch combining the two common Martin scales 24.9 inches on the treble to 25.4 inches on the bass. This is a great design for someone playing in standard and drop D and even DADGAD but not really going to lower tunings. You’ll feel very little difference at all but you will get improved intonation and clarity and the short trebles are a joy to bend. Other scales we often use for DADGAD players is 25 inch treble scale and 26 inch bass scale, Paul’s Somogyi employed this combination. This works great for DADGAD and even some C tunings. The one inch fan is still very manageable and very versatile. Both of these scales above can be used with standard gauge strings – light gauge works fine as well.
For my personal McConnell guitar we elected to use 25.5 inches on the treble side and 26.25 on the bass side. Jordan McConnell and I decided on this scale combination as I primarily play this guitar in low tunings C9, Gsus4, and DADGAD down a whole step to C. Paul says “I left the trebles long because we wanted them to bite. But I can also put it in standard pitch and it works great. I use 12.5 to 55 gauge strings – just personal preference here.” On the longer side of Fanned Fret would be 25.6 on this treble side to 27 inches or so on the bass side. This big of a spread you’ll feel a bit more but it can go very low – all the way down to A or B, crossing into baritone territory. “I once owned a Traugott with this spread and it was killer!. Bill Tippin is currently building me a short Fanned Fret guitar, this one will be 24.75 – 25.5, I plan to play it mostly in Drop D and Standard and wanted really bendy trebles!” – Paul Heumiller
There’s really no limit to what you can do with the Fanned Fret to accommodate your music and your style of play. At Dream Guitars we are Champions of the Fanned Fret concept and almost always have one or two in stock. We work with many builders who offer Fanned Fret options and owner Paul Heumiller is currently working on a new Fanned Fret Baritone design with Ken Jones that will be available in Spring of 2014.
Give us a call to discuss your needs and see if a Fanned Fret guitar is right for you. We would love to help you design your perfect Fanned Fret guitar.
“We all know that 12 fret guitars tend to have a different tonal profile than 14 fret guitars. Often they are often a little more complex and seem to just breath a little easier in the low end. This is largely due to the bridge position being shift down to a more central position in the lower bout. With a fanned fret guitar, the bass end of the bridge is in a ’12 fret’ position and the treble end is is in a ’14 fret’ position. This makes it easier for the bass strings to move the top and produce a nice full bass response. Meanwhile, at the other end of the bridge, the treble strings are still in a 14 fret position. The top is ‘tighter’ there and better able to produce good strong trebles. So… it seems to me that a fanned fret guitar, by virtue of the angled bridge, gives us the tonal best of both the 12 fret and 14 fret design.” – Mark Blanchard – Blanchard Guitars
The beginning of 2014 brings to us an amazing 2013 Mountain Song Odalisque Claro Walnut/Carpathian Acoustic Guitar, built by our very own Ken Jones. Ken is our primary luthier here at Dream Guitars for repair work. Ken, a proud member of the Guild of American Luthiers, also builds stringed instruments including custom, hand-built acoustic guitars and mandolins under the name Mountain Song Guitars nearby in Candler NC. Recently we invited him to start building his amazing Mountain Song Guitars for us as well and this one certainly does not disappoint!!
The Odalisque is Ken’s original body shape and makes for a perfect midsize guitar that is about controlled power. For this guitar, Ken selected some beautiful highly figured Flamed Walnut and Carpathian Spruce. This guitar also features a Venetian Cutaway, a Custom Interlocking Ebony and Ziricote rosette, and comes with an Ameritage Hardshell case. “This is the best sounding Walnut guitar I’ve ever played . The bass projects perfectly, with a bit of OM style snap, the midrange is warm and lush and the trebles are sweet and blossom beautifully. Ken added wonderful touches including Armrest and Ribrest Bevel, Red Perfling lines around the entire guitar and an elegant Ziricote Fingerboard , Rosette and Bridge. Welcome Ken Jones to Dream Guitars!” – Paul Heumiller
“Ken Jones’ Mountain Song Guitars Odalisque is one of the best fingerstyle guitars I’ve ever played. It has beautiful woods and a perfect neck shape and size. The tone is balanced and clear with lots of sweetness in the high end and a nice controlled bass. I would buy it right now if I could. I love it.” – Al Petteway
Another note on Ken – He also offers individualized guitar building instruction ranging from one day workshops targeting specific aspects of the construction process, to long term courses covering the entire guitar-building process from wood selection all the way through to final setup.
“For me the best compliment I can give Ken Jones is that I have one of his Baritone Fan Fret guitars on order for 2014. I’ve been so impressed with the originality of his designs and most importantly the satisfying tone of his instruments that I just had to have one. Inspiration and passion are how I judge guitars and Mountain Song guitars have both in spades!” – Paul Heumiller
This 2003 Martin Limited Edition D-50 is number 2 of only 50 made and is as much an art object as an instrument. Not withstanding its amazing appointments, this baby sounds amazing. Lush, tight basses are easily coaxed from this beauty, along with well defined mids and trebles with just the right chime and sparkle.
The extensive use of abalone, outlined in mother-of-pearl, represents the pinnacle of fine craftsmanship by the team at Pearl Works, under the watchful eye of legendary inlay artist, Larry Seifel, before his untimely passing.
This extremely rare find comes with a letter of authentication and custom leather-bound case with built-in analog hygrometer.
“There’ so much to love about this highly collectible Martin D-50, I hardly know where to start! Of course, the fingerboard inlay is incredible, but one of my favorite details is the abalone herringbone purflings. They just add a great, subtle glow to the perimeter of the body. Not to be outdone by the shellwork, the woods used are lovely and unusual. The pale Brazilian Rosewood is paired beautifully with the heavily bearclawed Sitka Spruce top. Of course, this bad boy has all that legendary dreadnought tone — big fat bass notes and chimey trebles seem to sustain for days, and will have all the banjo pickers at the Feed n Seed running for cover! This is a terrific opportunity to acquire the cornerstone to a museum-worthy guitar collection.” – Paul Heumiller
“I had the chance to play one of these before and it’s quite a thrill to hold a guitar like this one. You might want to put this in a nice display case because the inlay done by Pearl Works is amazing and incredibly detailed. By the way, it’s fun to play as well.” – Al Petteway