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Updated 5/18/04

Music Store

Gryphon Stringed Instruments (Big surprise, yes?)

Luthier Associations

Association of String Instrument Artisans (ASIA)
Guild of American Luthiers (GAL)

Northern California Association of Luthiers
Southern California Association of Luthiers
Sacramento Valley Luthiers Guild
Arizona League of Lutherie
Luthiers Interactive of North Texas
Ukulele Guild of Hawaii
American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers
International Luthiers Web Portal (Italy)

Luthier Instruction

Online Apprentice - a fine illustrated step-by-step Classical Guitar Building Course by David Schramm. He takes you from the beginning and through the entire process with intimate detail and really good photos! And, It's FREE

Ask Dresdner - Michael Dresdner knows more about wood finishing than anybody I know, and he's a real expert on guitar finishing, too!

Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery Phoenix, AZ.
The accredited trade school for guitar making. Check out my Field Trip article and photos of this school.

William R. Cumpiano, guitarmakers East Hampton, MA.
Offering a very limited number of intensive, two-week, hands-on individual
tutorials in a renown guitar maker's own studio. E-mail:

Bryan Galloup's Guitar Hospital, Big Rapids, MI
If you want an intensive course of study from a terrific teacher and craftsman, check out these programs for guitar building and repair!

Leeds Guitarmakers' School, Northampton, MA
Instructors include Ivon Schmukler, Brad Nickerson, Ed Diehl, Steve Warsaw, Alan Chapman.

"How-To" Sites

Steve's Guide to Kit Guitars - Steve Dikkers has a fine series of photos and tips on the assembly of Martin guitar kits. He's a high school teacher, which may explain the clear instructional style. . .

Shel's Guitar Making Gallery - Shel Sax has some good photos and descriptions of classical guitar building here.

Martin Guitar Kit Construction - J. Kumorek takes you step by step through his process of building a mahogany dreadnought from a Martin kit.

Building Bluegrass Banjos - Ritchie Dotson's banjo building pages

Luthier Reference

Musical Instrument Makers Forum - Well-respected interactive forum for builders, repairers and designers of all types of musical instruments.

Luthier E-mail List
Information exchange straight to your inbox. The list is free, and is for professional and amateur musical instrument makers.

Doug Sparling's Lutherie Pages Doug has some cool stuff here. Check out his ONLINE FRET SPACING CALCULATOR

Samuel Carliles wrote a Java Fret Scale Calculator and has the source code posted along with a coherent explanation of the physics involved in calculating fret distances. Not for the "mathematically challenged."

Arto's String Calculator This is one great reference site! It's an online application, a calculator to derive the tension, length and tuning of instrument strings.

Kawika Ukuleles David Hurd makes fine ukuleles and he offers a lot of good ukulele information on this web site.

Brairwood Brian Goode has some free, downloadable instrument makers' programs with which you can calculate fret spacing, body air resonance and string tension.

Journal of Guitar Acoustics this is a page advertising the book compilation of all seven issues of the Journal published between 1979 and 1982.

Die Hamburger Gitarrenseite - Christian Moritz's comprehensive guitar site (German) - Roy Courtnall Summerfield sells guitar plans!

CNC Lathe Cutting Tools - A source for high tech tool, sharpening service.

Luthier Services, Supplies,Tools

FRETS.COM Sources List

Allen Guitars, Colfax, CA
Randy Allen makes instruments and offers some special supplies and services for other makers.

Bjorn Industries, Hide glue, various grades at favorable prices!

Borson's Precision Resaw Service, David Borson is the man to cut precious wood for maximum quality and yield!

DePaule Supply, Andy DePaule offers pearl inlay supplies and precut inlays at favorable prices with no minimum order.

Jim Dunlop All kinds of fret wire!

Fat Frog Emporium - Figured hardwoods for instrument builders.

First Quality Musical Supplies - Bill Sullivan and his crew have the best selection of banjo supplies and parts, and other things too!

Fossil Ivory Bridge Pins by John Mickelson, Seldovia, Alaska
John makes these fine products himself and has quite a variety of styles and materials including ivory, bone and ebony.

Goodman Wipers - Ken Goodman supplies wiping cloths and papers for everything from guitars to trucks!

L.M.I. (Luthier's Mercantile) Healdsburg, CA
Wood, tools, materials. Their catalog is the best deal in the business!

Guy Lautard.Com - Yo! Metalsmiths! - A cool source for machinist, metalworking, clockmaking plans, videos and workshop accessories

Peterson Tuners Virtual and real strobe tuners - the best!

Rivolta If you want the best European tone woods, give these folks a try. Italian spruce is the stuff violin makers really go for! Tell Marta I sent you. . .

Karin Rost A German supplier and manufacturer of rosettes, inlay marquetry, purflings, etc. He'll make special inlays or purfling in relatively small quantities!

Stewart/MacDonald's Guitar Shop Supply, Athens, OH
Nobody beats their service: if it's in the catalog it's almost always in stock.

Ukulele Supply of Hawaii - Parts, woods, kits - Norman Takeya can fix you up.

Woodfinishing Supplies - A great selection of finishing products, advice,etc.

Milligan & Higgins - The hide glue factory. Get the 50 lb. sack, put it away, and never worry about finding hide glue again!

FretsPages Sources Some of my favorite suppliers.

Historical & Vintage Instrument Sites (Informative, not dealer sites!)

Clifford Essex Banjos Kipper Tranter's site featuring the Banjos of London's premier maker, Clifford Essex.|

Mugwumps Online Magazine
Michael Holmes presents a potpourri of historical instrument information (mostly banjo) along with a few items for sale, and buy/sell ads from private parties.

The Sterner Capo Museum
Exactly what it sounds like, the Capo Museum is your source of information about great and stupid capos of the past, and present.

Selmer Guitars - Paul Hostetter has some fine pages on the famous Maccaferri/Selmer guitars associated with Django Reinhardt style jazz playing.

Ukelin - Bob's Ukelin Home has everything about Ukelins! Don't know what a Ukelin is? Go there and find out!

Miner Museum - visit Gregg Miner's site to see a fine collection of vintage acoustic instruments he's used in his various recordings

Internet Discussion Lists & Forums:

A.S.I.A. Luthier Forum - The official forum of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans

Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum
Just what it sounds like, a place to discuss anything Martin.

Unofficial Taylor Guitar Forum
The place for Taylor guitar aficianados to hang out and chat about their favorite guitars

Musical Instrument Makers Forum
- Well-respected interactive forum for builders, repairers and designers of all types of musical instruments.

Banjo Builder Forum
- Hosted by the Banjo Hangout - a forum for banjo builders and repairers

The 13th Fret A very active and highly recommended acoustic guitar discussion site hosted by Dave Skowron. All kinds of info and communication about guitars and lutherie.

Luthier E-mail List
Information exchange straight to your inbox. The list is free, and is for professional and amateur musical instrument makers.

Forum Lutherie - a French luthier discussin group, with an international base, covering all instruments from violin to oud.

BANJO-L The "mailing " list for banjo players - check their web site!

FLATPICK-L Good disscussions of instruments, picking, and more

COMANDO All kinds of mandolin players gather here - this link is to Mandolin Cafe, where you can subscribe to CoMando.

Sites with More Links

Guitar Notes Jason Nieh's site has a HUGE number of good links to all kinds of guitar related sites! - Formerly "1000 Guitar Links"

Guitar Gearheads - Just what you'd expect - lots of links and info about guitars.

Virtual Guitar Gallery - A showcase for individual builders, and good general resource

Andrew's Music World

International Sites

Folk,sk - Writen in slovak language - all about and for slovak folk music. A large and impressive site!

Special Inspirational Links

Kathy Matsushita's "Notes from an Amateur Luthier"
Here's a swell website with a good view of Kathy's work and style. She's very organized and thorough as she lets us into her creative process!

Martin's Guitar Building Pages A fine surprise! You should check it out.

Howard Coleman's Acoustic Guitar Notes - Great stuff. A mixed bag of music and instrument info.

Mike Nelson has a whole bunch of good ideas. Check out his info on mandolin making, resonator guitar setup, etc. He has a complete manual on how to make Northumbrian Small Pipes!!

Steve's "Building a Mandolin" , "Building an Archtop Guitar" Steve Smith has some excellent photos and descriptions of his F-5 style mandolin and Benedetto style archtop guitar construction process.

Country Joe's Place, Country Joe McDonald has a cool site. A Vietnam memorial page, music, news, and stuff for sale from sentimental to downright rude!

Alan Horvath A professional acoustic rock guitarist, singer and composer, Alan has a very attractive site with lots of good resources.

"You Gotta See This"

Ragtime West - A company in Ceres, CA that makes automatic instruments - you know, player pianos, calliopes, fairground organs - that kind of thing. You should see the automatic bluegrass machine that actually plays banjo, guitar, bass, etc. Check out the MPEG move of it playing Earl's Breakdown!

Individual Luthiers

Randy Allen Custom guitars, mandolins
Mark Blanchard Guitars
Marc Beneteau Steel String Guitars
Gary Brawer Guitar repair
Fred Carlson Custom guitars and VERY unusual instruments!
Bill Chapin Custom electric guitars
Charis Guitars Bill Wise makes these personally: acoustic steel string and classical
Michael Collins - Acoustic steel string and classical guitars
Randy Crosby Makes 5-string electric violins - interesting
David Dart Mandolins and many other instruments
Ray Dearstone - Mandolins
Anthony Dixon - Classical and steel string guitars - Nottingham, England
Carlo Doria Acoustic guitar builder in Genoa, Italy
Dave Dubois - Steel string acoustic guitars
Lynn Dudenbostel Steel string guitars, mandolins
Alan Dunwell - Steel string guitars for flatpickers
Rolfe Gerhardt - Phoenix Mandolins
Rob Girdis - Steel string guitars
Bob Gleason - Pegasus Guitars and Ukuleles Steel string & classical guitars, ukuleles, lap steels
Brian Goode Custom steel string and electric guitars
William Finlayson Steel string guitars, classical guitars, mandolins - Glasgow, Scotland
Jan C. Jones A classical guitar builder in Wichita, KS
Bill Hardin Bear Creek Guitars: Hawaiian guitars, ukes
Alec Henderson Innovative Steel String Guitars
Paul Hostetter Paul restores, designs, builds and writes about a variety of acoustic instruments
Charlie Hoffman
Custom steel string guitars
David Hurd "Kawika" ukuleles
Bill Kelday Glasgow, Scotland - steel string and classical guitar;bouzouki
John Kingslight - Steel String Acoustic Guitars
Marty Lanham - Nashville Guitar Co. Custom guitars & Martin replicas
Harvey Leach Steel string and arch top guitars - custom inlay and design
Don MacRostie - Red Diamond Mandolins
Jeff Mallia of Sydney, Australia makes custom electric basses
Linda Manzer
Custom guitars
Mike Marler Acoustic steel string and classical guitars
Hank Mauel Steel string guitars
Jerry Mercer - Classical guitars
David Neely Custom guitars repairs, restoration
Doug O'Dell - "Old Town Mandolins"
Johnathan Payne Custom acoustic flat top and arch top jazz guitars
Bill Petersen Bill makes a fine selection of Irish bouzoukis and mandolas
Jeff Robertson Seel string acoustic guitars
Larry Robinson the maestro of custom inlay!
Brad Russell - "Wings" brand acoustic and electric guitars
Kevin Ryan Steel string acoustic guitars
Taku Sakashta
Taku is a fine guitar builder and an artist with a fresh approach
Charles Shifflet
Chuck makes a wide variety of fretted instruments
David Schramm Classical and flamenco guitars
Ian Schneller"Specimen Products" - unusual electric guitars, basses, etc.
Bruce Sexauer
Steel string and arch top guitars
Flip Scipio
Custom guitars, repairs
A. Lawrence Smart Steel string guitars, mandolins, mandolas, etc.
Ervin Somogyi
(Steel String and Classical Guitars, Artwork)
D.F.Stallings (aka Spirit) Solid body electric "Dragonslayer" guitars, basses
Ross Teigen - Ross makes some very interesting assymmetrical guitars!
Doug Thomas Steel string guitars
Judy Threet Custom guitars, repairs
Julyan Walllis The Guitar Doctor is In! - Repairs, Accessories, Lessons in Cornwall, England
Yuris Zeltins - His Blue Guitar Workshop is a San Diego institution.

Distinctive Factory Sites

Collings Guitars Goodall Guitars Kawika Ukuleles
Hill Guitar Co. Mid-Missouri Mandolins Nechville Banjos
Santa Cruz Guitar Co Rick Turner Guitars Moon Guitars, Scotland
Vogel Guitars, Ecuador    

Music Instruction

Dansm's Acoustic Guitar Page Dan Smith is a grad student at Harvard, and I suspect he's almost as crazy as I am. He's put together a very large site! It's a great resource for anyone learning guitar. LOTS of free guitar lessons here, with sound, too!

Access Rock - A large interactive site featuring, you guessed it, instruction in rock guitar. Lots of good interactive stuff here, including "ask the experts." It rocks. - Brian Ramsay gives free bluegrass banjo instruction online!

G.A.C. - Guitar Activity Center By all means, especially if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Tim Roberts' fine site. This is a local guitar teaching facility with an emphasis on performance. Classes and individual instruction for electric guitar styles at all levels!

Guitar Instruction by Charlotte Adams - Instructional videos

The Jazz Guitar Web Ring - lots of sites featuring jazz guitar.

Music Staff A large searchable database of music instructors. . .

InterChart Guitar charts, scales, chord diagrams, great stuff!

Olav Torvund's Guitar Pages - All kind of good tips, info, technique and theory. Lots of audio files, too!

TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for guitar and other fretted, stringed instruments.

Free Transposer - Simple as it sounds, this is a transposing calculator from Bob Houlston that you just print and assemble!

Musician Reference

Paul Adams offers a discussion of points to consider when selecting your first guitar.

Singer Song Just what you'd expect, a large site dedicated to singer/songwriters.

StringReviews - An interesting project. Unbiased "user reviews" of various string brands and types.


TENORGUITAR.COM Yep, an entire Web site devoted to that instrument. Cool.
Guitar Man Acoustic Guitar Tips - lots of interesting acoustic guitar stuff, links, etc. (as of 12/5/99) Sven has just started a German guitar site. Should be good stuff here before long.
Albert & Mueller A group of German Luthiers (4) with an entertaning site featuring mandolins, guitars and fun stuff. Be sure to check out the A&M Cafe.


David Grisman
Mandolin Cafe
(Formerly Mando Mark's Mondo Mando Page)
Mandozine The online mandolin magazine!


Bill Palmer has a fine description of banjo setup. Everything you need to know about adjusting your banjo for best performance.

Richie Dotson's Banjo Building Pages website is a growing source of Bluegrass banjo information.

The Banjo Hangout is just that - the place to find archives of banjo material of all kinds, with an emphasis on instruction.

The Irish Banjo - Frank Norberg's site is all about just that.


Hekili Collection - Check out Ken Bailey's vintage ukuleles!

The Ukulele Occasional It's a real magazine that's about to debut on newsstands (Summer, 2002). The Web site has a good page of links for uke stuff.

Ukulele Guild of Hawaii - The name says it.


Transplanted Dobro Players Anonymous The ultimate Dobro site!


The Autoharp Page Simple as that, its about about Autoharps,


Geomungo - Korean Stringed Instrument web site

Band Instrument Repair

Bill's ABC Music, San Bruno, CA

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