Published by Sterling Publishing, NY USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 132
Makers of musical instruments face a unique challenge - their finished products must not only satisfy structural and aesthetic criteria, they must also satisfy musical criteria. No matter how good an instrument looks, it is virtually useless if it does not play well. Achieving the necessary balance between appearance, durability and performance is not easy.
As John Bogdanovich explains in the first chapter of this book: The single thing that makes guitar making more of an art than a science is that no part of the instrument is mutually exclusive - there are no isolated components. Everything is connected to everything else, and a small change in any one spot can have immeasurable effects elsewhere by virtue of the mere fact that the guitar is a coupled system... Therefore, most of what has been learned about what makes a good-sounding instrument has been acquired by trial and error.
This statement makes a compelling argument for the student of guitar making to learn from the experience of others. It also means that the student should be even more careful than usual to ensure that the sources of information used are not only comprehensive and well presented, but are also provided by people of with the required qualifications and experience.
John Bogdanovich clearly has a rare combination of skills that allows him to speak with confidence on every aspect of the guitar from basic design though construction to tuning and playing.
Bogdanovich first played the guitar at age 12, majored in music at College while studying the classical guitar privately with New York's foremost teacher, the late Julio Prol. He then taught and performed music for three years while apprenticed to a cabinetmaking workshop, later returning to College to receive a degree in Electrical Engineering. He undertook research and development with AT&T Bell Laboratories, gained a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, then started a business designing and building furniture before studying for two years at James Krenov's College of the Redwoods.
J.S. Bogdanovich Guitars was established in 1996 and many of the world’s finest and most famous guitarists now use his guitars.
Classical Guitar Making draws together the author's knowledge and experience in all of the fields in which he has worked - music, cabinetmaking, research and engineering. It contains plans, drawings and more than 500 photos which illustrate a carefully written, step-by-step description of the construction of a classical guitar. It offers, says the author, an opportunity for building skills and the ultimate reward of hearing music played on a guitar that you created.
About the Author: John S. Bogdanovich is a luthier/guitarist who builds mostly concert classical guitars. Bogdanovich brings a unique combination of skills to his craft having been a performer, a furniture maker and a hardware design engineer. He has lectured in the United States and holds guitar-making classes in his shop three times a year. Bogdanovich guitars are used by performers and players around the world. Typically there is a waiting list of a year and a half for one of his instruments. Bogdanovich lives in Asheville, NC USA.
Units of Measurement: Imperial
Part One - Preparation
1 - The Guitar
2 - The Wood
3 - The Shop
4 - Templater and Molds
5 - Layout and Planning
Part Two - Construction
6 - The Neck
7 - The Sides
8 - The Details
9 - The Top
10 - The Back
11 - Assembling the Body
12 - The Fingerboard
Part Three - Final Touches
13 - Finishing
14 - The Bridge
15 - The Setup