What is a guitar? PDF Print E-mail

Consider the lillies

Stringed instruments have been around for thousands of years and have evolved in many ways.  Lutes evolved into our present day form of guitar most notably by Antonio de Torres of Spain and C.F. Martin who established the Martin guitar company in 1833.  We seem to be in the golden age of guitars at present, musicians have pretty well settled in on this 6-string traveling instrument and luthiers are tweaking, inventing, improving and beautifying the guitar more all the time.  Truly a guitar can be an extension of one’s personality and an expression that can’t be put into words.  Andres Segovia, the great classical performer, lost his mother at a young age and some conjecture that his guitar took her place.    

One of the most earthy and quaint aspects of especially acoustic guitars is wood.  With so many varieties, so many colors and grain patterns, and different tone properties the modern day luthier has truly become an artist with his palette of wood and tools and creates not only beauty to behold, but to hear.  For me this creative process is truly satisfying and so rewarding to know that the finished product is one that continues to create.      

One of my objectives in building guitars is to create an instrument that is stress free, no inner tensions pulling against each other so the woods are free to ring out.  The environment here in Paradise is sort of the same and that is good because guitar making is something that can’t be rushed and requires lots of thoughtful consideration.  The outcome is a guitar that is a pleasure to listen to even if only one simple chord.     I am thankful to live here in western Montana.  I know the real roots of this state being a fourth generation Montanan and appreciate how it has lended itself to being a craftsperson, to being honest and not cutting corners.  I like to build guitars as if I were building each one for myself and many times I hate to let them go.  I would like to build a guitar for you and you have my promise  I’ll do my very best. 


Rick McCollum



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