000 Walnut cutaway


"My new guitar is a beautiful and treasured gift.  With each strum I can feel of your dedication and pride in creating such a musical wonder.  Thank you for creating such a magnificent jewel that will be enjoyed for many years to come!  It truly is an honor to own one of your guitars."  Michelle Peterson, Missoula, MT


"The most superb example of musical craftsmanship I have ever held in my arms. With exceeding gratitude", Alex Harvey, Country Hall of Fame songwriter ("Delta Dawn", "Rubin James", etc.) Nashville, TN


"Wow, it's beautiful!!" (D-SP), "I'm getting more and more impressed by the Snail the more I play it.  It's SO beautiful, and I THANK YOU again."  Walkin' Jim Stoltz, folksinger (8 albums), songwriter, long distance back packer (over 27,000 miles in wilderness), photographer, artist, author.  Helena, MT


"I'm very, very impressed with your ability.  You've crossed a barrier for that resonate sound."  Norva Frank,  Thompson Falls, MT


"With my mother of pearl grizzly claws and the small bodied Montana Spruce backing, Rick's custom made guitar allows the essence of 'My Montana' to flow through my fingers creating music each time I play this beautiful piece of art.  The best part is, I have the only one that looks like this!"  Tim Ryan Rouillier, Warner Recording Artist/ Writer/ Producer, St.Ignatius product, Nashville, TN


"I've had one of Rick's guitars for 12 years.  In the beginning I was impressed with the tone and beauty of the guitar and it seems to just get better as the years go by."  Timberly Kelly, Paradise, MT


"Known to me as the Paradise guitar man.........He brought music to me."  Teresa Wagenius, Paradise, MT


"I love my SNAIL! ......easier playability than my Martin."  Bob Super, St. Regis, MT


"The craftsmanship of Rick McCollum's guitars is impeccable; aside from the beauty, the sound is enhanced  year after year."  Rita Knauff, Seattle, WA


"Rick's guitars are a work of art.  His music and his craft are created from a great love in his heart.  I am proud to have one of his guitars."  Mabel Cook, Plains, MT

"Rick! I can't believe this week is almost over already and that I haven't written you yet to tell you how in love I am with the instrument you have created.  It is simply amazing Rick.  I love every little part of it!  It plays so nicely and so easily!  The neck is perfect for my hands to fit around and the body for my arms. It is just perfect!  I can't wait to meet up with you again and play it for you so you can see the look on my face!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Love, Jaymi

ps. the trillium is beyond words beautiful!"  Jaymi White (singer, songwriter, guitarist) Missoula, MT

"Your 000 has the best resonance of any guitar I have ever played, I could feel the resonant vibrations reverberating through my chest as I was playing it and the beauty of the instrument is unmatched.  On behalf of guitar players everywhere, thank you for providing the wings for our passion."
Rob Quist (Montana's Premiere Musician)

I received the Parlor Guitar today.  The guitar is beautiful and plays like a dream.  I am very pleased with it."
Robie, St. Marie, MT

"Hi Rick,  I got my snail today! And I LOVE it!!!!! This is the best purchase I have made in a long time. Thank you so much!"   Chelsea Toone, Logan, Utah

"Hey Rick,  I have finaly been able to sit down with my new guitar and spend some real time getting familiar with it. What a dream.  I simply can't put into words how much I love this guitar.  It is without a doubt the best sounding, most beautiful, playable instrument I have ever owned.  I can't say enough about the sound.  It's hard to believe this is a brand new guitar when you hear how crisp and vibrant the tone is.  The attention to detail is impeccable from the headstock to the endpin.  I love the way the Koa looks (it even smells good), the binding is totally unique, and the small strip of maple between the fretboard and the neck adds a subtle touch of class that I have not seen on other guitars before.  You make such wonderful instruments, I don't know what I'll pick but I'm sure I will be ordering another as soon as I can.  Thank you so much for building me such a wonderful guitar, I love it."   Kenn Besaw,  Thompson Falls, Montana

"Rick, you're doing something right!  Boy these guitars just sing!"   Ken Overcast, radio host for the nationally syndicated program "The Cowboy Show", guitarist, singer/songwriter, poet, author, and.....cowboy;  Chinook, Montana

"This beautiful guitar is very high quality with very nice sound.  I love playing it!"  Gerben (age 8)  "Because of its exquisite craftsmanship, Gerben will get a lifetime of use out of this beautiful instrument and be able to pass it on to his grandchildren."  Kristi (Gerben's mother)  "As Gerben's father, I thought the quality was so superb, we purchased 3 others."  Richard Celata, Dillon, MT

"Dear Rick, I could not be happier with the Snail!  I'm very impressed with the sustain that it produces along with perfect intonation.  Thank you very much and I will treasure this instrument for a long time.  Thanks again, David,  Millington, New Jersey


Mr. Rick I just want to let you know how happy I am with the guitar you built for my son.  Its everything I expected and then some, simply one of a kind.  Out of all the builders out there I believe you still have what made you start doing it in the first place an I think a lot of the others have lost that.  Thank you for being patient and so caring through the whole process.  Thank you for the e-mails, pics and phone calls keeping me updated, making sure it was exactly what I wanted.  I own an have owned several hand built guitars over the years, all I can say is I wish I would have found you sooner.  The sound is AWESOME the quality of the wood and craftsmanship was amazing.  I look forward to you building for me in the future, I can't wait to get one of those snails.  Even though I had it built for my son I can't put it down.  It is hands down the best acoustic I have ever played, better than my master built Yari and that says ALOT!  Once again thank you for everything; as soon as my wife uploads the pics I will send them.  I would recommend your work to anyone.  GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, KEEP BUILDING, YOU HAVE A GIFT FROM GOD!   Shawn Hurley, Montgomery, AL

"Great instrument, there is no finer!  From a man who plays a Martin and a Gibson and a Kay."  Wally Congdon, Dell, MT (Wally is an attorney, teacher, rancher and a member of 'THE LOST COWBOY BAND')

"Just a note to let you know that the Snail arrived today in perfect condition.  It's a beautiful instrument, and the wife is very happy with it!  It sounds great!  Thank you for all of your talents, and we appreciate the great service.  God Bless you, Grover", Pavillion, WY

"First of all, I want to thank you again for allowing me into your home, especially at the last minute on Wednesday on our way out of town.  What a blessing it was for me to be able to spend time with you and play all your wonderful guitars.  Even more so, I consider it such a blessing that I was able to bring home my new guitar.  I've been able to spend some quality time with her the last couple of days and couldn't be happier.  This is the guitar of my life....not only mine but one that I look forward to passing down to my children and grandchildren.  What an instrument....I'm looking forward to many years of playing.  I do have one small request to ask.  Would you be able to provide me with the 'story' of my guitar?  What I am looking for is just a brief little write-up of my guitar from the builder's perspective, the woods chosen (especially the story of the (old growth?) Brazilian Rosewood) and any little insights you may have about the building process of this guitar.  It's something I'd like to have that I can keep with the guitar for when I pass it on to my kids so they can know the story.  Catrina and I were talking about it on the way home, during our visit two years before, you had just received the Brazilian Rosewood and I remember admiring the wood back then.  How amazing that two years later I am able to bring home a guitar made from the same wood!  I never thought that would be possible.  Thanks again Rick.  May the Lord continue to bless you.  I know He's blessed me with a wonderful guitar. Paul, Enumclaw, WA

"I love recording with the snail guitar.  It has lots of choices of cool complimentary tones that make great overdubs.  When the mic is up close to the sound hole, the presence and clarity are similar to my Sobel cittern, except with the directness of a single rather than double-strung sound.  thanks much Rick, David Wilcox "  (guitarist / songwriter extraordinare, 17 records to date, Asheville, NC)

"AMAZING GUITARS!"  Matt Smith  (session guitarist, music producer, National Guitar Workshop instructor, Austin, TX)

"I love playing my new guitar every day.  Listening to the sound and tone is joy every time.  The feel and smell of it is wonderful.  I'm blessed to have such a fine instrument."  Thomas Williams, Phoenix, AZ

"Really excited about the Snail.  It looks great.  I like the feel and sound of it."  Alban Calderon, Brooklyn, NY

"I've been watching your site for new work from a true craftsman.  I love the koa cutaway.  Keep up the good work and thank you for my guitar, its really starting to open up.  It sounds like it has an amp inside of it.  The sound is bold, deep, very clear, its awesome Mr Rick.  God Bless.  Shawn, Alabama

"Rick and the Montana Guitar Shop folks,  My dad bought me a Snail travel guitar and I absolutely love it.  The sound is beautiful, rich and full.  The color/wood selection and appearance is so unique.  Thank you for taking the time and creating this instrument- it truly is brilliant.  I plan to visit my old farm I worked on - Garden City Nursery - in Hamilton, Montana this September so maybe I'll pay a visit to your shop if I can find a way there.  Peace and carrots, Emily Nicholas (from Rochester, NY)

"I am the proud and grateful owner of two guitars from Rick McCollum's Montana Guitar Shop.  The first an early model of the wonderful little 'Snail', the other is one of the 'Montana Paint' guitars, a OOO-SP model, both are beautifully made and have remarkable sound and playability.  They have both given me much pleasure and enjoyment and will continue to do so for years to come."  Cliff Stephens, Paradise, MT

"I stopped by a little pawn shop yesterday that I ran into in Culver City, CA.  While in the shop I looked up at the guitars as I always do and saw something out of the ordinary and quite beautiful I might add.  There was a ticket on it for $175.00 and before I got too excited I asked the owner of the shop if I could see it.  The guy handed me this little hand made jewel, a OOO-SP Montana Guitar Shop custom built by Rick McCollum in 2008!  I had never heard of this guitar company but it was obviously a very special instrument because of the craftsmanship, woods used, and last but not least the fantastic tone!  I immediately gave the man his money and got out of there before he could change his mind!  I looked up Montana Guitar Shop online and called their number from the website.  I was fortunate enough to actually speak to Rick McCollum himself.  When I told him this story of how I acquired the guitar he laughed and told me that my new guitar sold for $3,000.00!  Thanks to Rick, the little pawn shop in Culver City, and my keen eye for great guitars I consider myself one of the lucky ones!"   Shawn Jones  (guitarist, singer, songwriter)  www.shawnjonesmusic.com

"Wow, I'm so thrilled with this guitar.  I finally had the chance to see it a few days ago for the first time.  I love playing it.  Thank you for making such an amazing instrument."  Brenda Harp (singer, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire), Southern California, www.brendaharp.com

"This guitar is a beauty to behold, lovely craftsmanship, and it's built to last.  The sound is big and beefy in the bottom with a bright upper register...it makes you just want to play it...Thanks Rick.  I've been really enjoying this guitar."  Cathy Caballero,  Polson, Montana

"Thanks so much!  The guitar arrived intact late last week.  What a gem!  I love how it sounds and how it plays.  The action is perfect and it has a BIG sound for such a small guitar.  I'm looking forward to making her my full time traveling companion!"   Paul Swanson,  Carnation, Washington

"Dear Rick San,  Thank you very much for everything you shared with us  yesterday.  We could play many music together.  That was a wonderful time for us.  You are the good guitar maker and a good musician.  I have played the guitar you made all day long today.  Your tone is clear and especially the high tone is good.  I will play your guitar until the last time of my life.  I will visit to Montana many times for being eager to play the guitar.  Thank you for the delicious dinner, too.  Please say much thanks to your wife.  I will upload my music playing the guitar that you made on YouTube in the near future.  I will contact you forever.  See you.  Love, Ricky"  (Ricky Honda, Kumamoto, Japan; Ricky purchased a OOO-N nylon string and is a guitarist extraordinaire)

"Rick McCollum's guitars are masterpieces of craftsmanship and sound.  We have greatly appreciated his generous support of the Guitar Foundation.  He has made for us to be auctioned, an OM style cut-away Crown Guitar Foundation acoustic guitar made with old growth straight grain Brazilian Rosewood and Engelmann Spruce.  It is a truly spectacular, one-of-a-kind instrument which has created considerable excitement.  It will be auctioned during our 2013 Workshop and Festival August 25 - September 1, 2013.  Artists participating in our workshop and festival ranging from Joe Bonamassa to David Wilcox have  been impressed with the guitars that Rick has created."   David A. Feffer, Chairman, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation.   www.cocguitarfoundation.org

"I just received the Snail that you made as a gift from my parents and I absolutely love it.  I'd like to give you a call some time to talk about that guitar as well as a possible custom build.  Thanks much,"  David Murphy, Chicago, IL

"Hey Rick!  Sorry I haven't gotten back to you in so long.  Amy and I did a road trip to New Hampshire the last 15 days to see my brother and sister.  The guitar is perfect.  Literally perfect.  From the sound to the way it feels in my arms, this instrument has surpassed all expectations.  I've led worship at my church two times in the midst of other travels.  Everyone loves it!  You were right about the sound when it's plugged in.  We have a large body of musicians and artists, and they have all come up after and wanted to hear about it.  They also become quite frustrated when they realize they can't play it. Crazy righties :)"  Chris Messenger, Kansas City

"Spent some time today playing my guitar made by Rick McCollum.  It's the most amazing instrument I've ever played.  I can't believe it's mine.  So grateful that Catrina Majack bought it for me...."  Paul Majack,  Washington

"Hello Rick,  I want to thank you for your beautiful craftsmanship on my guitar.  Your handcrafted guitars are a work of art; producing a beautiful and distinct sound.  You have a gift from God.  My husband surprised me with one for graduating nursing school, I absolutely love it.  Thank you again.  God Bless"   Danice Thorne, Trout Creek, Montana

"Dear Rick, I'm the proud owner of the Crown guitar 2013.  It's an awesome ax and will be played lovingly for many years to come. The braziian rosewood is sooo resonant it just rings with wonderful overtones; it'll be interesting to hear it when the wood opens up.  I play professionally here in Great Falls and this will not be a bar guitar!  House concerts and special events only........Great guitars, great web site........Hope to get over sometime for the 50 cent tour."  Grant Stebbins, Great Falls, MT

"Hi Rick,  Got the guitar today.  I absolutely love it!  The tone, playability and balance across strings is perfect.  Thanks so much!  Best, Dave"  David Murphy, Chicago, IL

"Rick, thanks again for the tour, and the opportunity to own the Snail, love the full scale, and tone.  The Snail's playability is awesome."  Tim Kasper, Naples, ID

"Rick & Annette,  Just wanted to say thanks for everything this weekend.  Very much enjoyed getting to know you & very, very much am enjoying this beautiful looking & incredible sounding 'Paradise GC'.  Quite properly named.  Absolutely cannot believe the sound that comes out of this Grand Concert body style!  Very full, very balanced, very smooth...  As close to Paradise as I can imagine.  This CD will give you a bit of an idea of the kind of music we play around here.  Still can hardly believe I ended up bringing this sweetheart home.  If I get up in that part of the world I will give you a call.  Would love a tour of the shop!  I know what to start saving for now!  Look forward to putting another one in the 'collection'.  If you get a chance, would you please email me the 'specs' on this one?  Types of wood, action calibration, etc. I'm sure we'll be talking.  Mostly just wanted to tell you thanks.  Best Regards, Kyle Shobe"  Kyle Shobe & the Walk 'Em Boys, Lewistown, MT

"For many years I have wanted to own one of Rick's extraordinary guitars.  When the opportunity came, I was thrilled ... knowing it would be very special.  I am a two-dimensional artist; swans are a favorite subject matter for me ... so my specific request was an inlay of swans up the fret-board.  The result was beyond my expectations ... so unique, so very beautiful.  I'm only a beginner at playing ... but this guitar, with its warm and lovely tone, rewards even my simplest efforts.  I love it!!!"  Carole Carberry, South Carolina

"Hi Rick-  I bought one of your early dreadnaught Paradise Valley guitars in September 1992 at Stringed Instrument Division in Missoula, MT.  I have loved this guitar since the day I saw it hanging in the store at Stringed, with a $900 price tag.  I was drawn to the wood "PV" inlay on the headstock, and the booming sound.  I wasn't shopping for a guitar, just driving through town on the way back home to Santa Cruz.  So I didn't buy it.  But my car needed new tires, so the next day I dropped the car off at the tire shop nearby and walked to Stringed to check out the cool PV guitar again.  There was a pot bellied pig in the store, someones pet.  The price on the PV had been dropped from $900 to $700.  I had to have it, and I picked up the guitar for $680, Martin case included.  This is my best and favorite guitar, leaving my 60's Martins hanging on the wall as mere artwork.  This guitar is a cannon.  Everyone who plays it is floored.  People have asked to buy it.  One of my best friends covets it, and asked that he be included in my will, with the guitar going to him.  I have always wanted to buy another one of your guitars.  I called your house a couple of times (20 years ago), but your son indicated there were no guitars for sale at the time.  I googled your name yesterday, saw your YouTube video, found your website, and now I am typing this email.  Do you have guitars currently for sale?  I like the White Pine / Paradise Butternut guitar.  If you only build custom guitars, I would love to work with you.  Please give me an idea on prices.  I expect they have increased somewhat from $900 :).  I look forward to hearing from you.  Cheers" , Dan Freeman

"Hey Rick,  I am thrilled with how my guitar sounds now, and it is a pleasure to play.  Tim (Tim Ryan) says he is very happy with his as well.  All good from here, and thanks again so much. Rob"  (Rob Quist, founding member of Mission Mountain Wood Band)

"Amazing beautiful guitars.  I purchased my OO-P Parlor Guitar from Rick in the summer of 2012.  Nothing has brought me more pure joy than picking away at this wonderful handmade guitar from Paradise, Montana.  I've never seen a factory made guitar with the intimacy and warmth of a hand crafted instrument like mine.  With all of the claims and assertions made by American guitar companies, the little guitar from Montana sings a sweeter song than all of them."  Nit2RockU

"Rick this is Tim Ryan Rouillier, hope you're well.  I played your guitar (his custom Montana J-2) in Billings the other night, pretty cold temperature, played last night in Sealy Lake probably had about 5,000 people there, the governor was there, all the lieutenants, it got a little nippy, not too bad, but I tell you that guitar never came out of tune, I mean I checked the tuning, I barely had to tweak it.  And both nights it handled great in all the different temperatures.  Sound in Billings was fantastic.  I had probably five people after the show come up and say, even the sound men all said Tim what is that guitar you're playing, man it sounded unbelievable.  So a lot of compliments on the guitar Rick.  It's playing great!  All the way up the neck it's just a, its really been a nice, nice joy to play, so great work and we'll keep you in touch huh....?" (Tim Ryan Rouillier, acclaimed Nashville song writer, performer, and recording artist)

"Hi Rick-  Super-awesome guitar, I love it.  Really nice flame redwood top, and the Monkeypod is perfect for back and sides.  Full sound, great dropped-D bass tone, good projection. The pickups work great- no problem with runaway feedback.  Please save a set of monkeypod for a future guitar for me.  I have ideas already.  Thanks a million.  I'm stoked.  Cheers, Dan" (Santa Cruz, CA)

"Dear bro Rick, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the new paradise GC.  I didn't realize just how much a new instrument could inspire me to reach higher in music.  I know I intend to spend many years of quality time with the instrument you have put so much time and love into.  Thank you so much I truly appreciate the craftsmanship.  And the sound qualities on a scale of 1 to 10 is an 11!  Thank you, Jason Chase"  (owner Chase Machine, Athol, ID)

"Hello there!  Have been having a splendid time playing my new parlor guitar.  It is comfortable in my hands and seems to be improving my playing.  I played so much the first couple days my hands hurt.  The picking circle I'm in gave rave reviews.  I did put a pair of Martin Bronze Medium strings on her which brought a deeper richer tone to her sound.  Really like it!  Thank you for putting all your love into the creation of this beautiful instrument.  Best wishes!  Laurie Criger"  (Missoula, Montana)

"The package arrived today safely.  I have to say you have exceeded my wildest expectations!  It is truly gorgeous!  Thank you so much for creating her for my son and us.....this will be a birthday to remember forever!  Can't wait to hear her voice."  Guy & Arlene Cheyne, Niagara Falls, NY

"Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.  My guitar you made sounds better every time I hear it played."  Caleb Morrison, Anchorage, Alaska

"The guitar arrived today and it is spectacular!  I couldn't be more pleased, you really did a tremendous job.  Thank you so much!"  Dave Murphy, Chicago, IL (1888 Torres guitar)


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