I approach building a guitar from the perspective of an artist and a musician. In my nearly thirty years of guitar playing, the instrument continues to be both challenging and rewarding.
I have a Bachelor of Music in composition and I frequently incorporate the guitar into my own music. I've written music for shows on the Food Network, The Cooking Channel, The Travel Channel, and independent movies. Additionally, I also play solo and ensemble classical guitar professionally at various events.

Lutherie Influences-

In 2003 and 2005 I studied Spanish guitar construction with Jose Romanillos in Siguenza, Spain. It was a great privilege not only to learn from such a master, but also to meet such a truly warm person who also happens to be the world's greatest guitar maker. It is my goal as a luthier to capture the sweet, singing sound of the traditional Spanish guitar. In my opinion, this is the sound of Torres and Romanillos.

My experience studying with Romanillos has not only shaped my ideas about the sound of the classical guitar, but my ideas of visual aesthetics have been greatly influenced as well. To behold an instrument of Romanillos is an incredible experience. From a purely visual standpoint, a Romanillos is a remarkable piece of art. Harmony and balance between wood, marquetry, and form; tasteful decoration that augments the natural beauty of the woods used. These elements are very important to me as a luthier.

I like to use only natural colors for my inlay. Man cannot improve upon the beauty of nature. I believe using only naturally occurring colors gives classical guitars more stately appearance. Also, details such as no end-grain pieces in my rosettes, and all handmade marquetry really make my instruments look like one-of-a-kind pieces. The overall visual statement that a guitar makes is very important.

My philosophy regarding guitar building-

The guitar is an instrument of incredible subtlety. It's dynamic range is small and, compared to orchestral instruments, its volume is slight. However, the guitar is the only melodic instrument (other than the human voice) that is made to speak using only the players body. There is no bow, key, reed, or mallet used to make the instrument sound. There is only the flesh on the string. Therefor, the guitar is the most transparent means to communicate the intrinsically amorphous thing that is music. Only the body and soul of the guitarist interact with the guitar to make sound.

Music is the most intangible of all the arts. Music is a fleeting idea; an energy that emanates from somewhere unknown. We have all heard, at one time or another, amazing and unheard music in our heads. Just as quickly as these wondrous things appear, they will vanish. It is for this reason, to my way of thinking, that every culture on earth has felt the need to create some sort of instrument to allow these sounds to be brought into the physical world to be shared with others.

The generic definition of the word instrument is "a thing with, or by which, something is done." Man has created all sorts of instruments to accomplish various tasks. Surgical instruments allow physicians to heal our bodies. Instruments in the flight deck of an aircraft allow pilots to land without visibility. In the case of music, it is the musical instrument that allows the musician to bring the sounds and energies of the unknown mystery into the the physical world. This is the role of the musical instrument. It is a tool to allow music to manifest itself into the realm that we humans experience.

The musical instrument is a portal; it gives us a fleeting look into infinity. This is why music is so powerful, and this is why the most important instrument that mankind has created is the musical instrument. These reasons are also why the construction of such an instrument requires the utmost care and attention. This is what separates the handmade guitar from the factory made guitar. It's that extra bit of character and personality. It is the spirit of each individual guitar maker. One can feel the difference.