“Andy is the most inspiring and patient teacher, I found the whole experience of building my first guitar under Andy’s tutelage so much more enjoyable and satisfying than I was expecting…brilliant!!!” David Rivers, 2016
“Andy carefully explained and demonstrated every step of the process. I learned a whole lot more than just how to assemble the parts. Things like choice of timber, sharpening tools and making specialist jigs are all covered. My guitar has a spruce top with yew back and sides with laburnum bindings. The finished guitar is superb. It plays well and sounds fantastic but best of all it is totally unique. My skill level has increased tremendously and I feel confident to try and make another on my own. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Andy to anyone who wants to make his or her own guitar.” Chris Otterwell 2015 – 2016
“After a month of relaxed but focused application of newly found knowledge and skills patiently and expertly given to me by luthier Andrew Davidson, I now find myself filled with a great sense of achievement to be the proud maker and player of a very beautiful and unique guitar. It was such an amazing, inspiring and at times harrowing journey from the initial design, through the many detailed stages of creation and assembly until finally stringing her up.I full heartedly recommend this as an experience for any guitarist who wants to take their relationship to their instrument and music to the next level.One day I would love to revisit the sleepy town of Alozaina, Andalusia (the home of flamenco) and make another beautiful instrument under Andy’s expert guidance”Elahn Keshava, 2016“I am in the process of constructing my first guitar, a steel string. Making a guitar is a long journey and Andy has been both guide and travelling companion in equal measure. As a guide he sets me on course for the various and many stages of making and encourages me to get on with it and find my own way – stepping in if I stray too far or ask for help. As a companion we share good conversation and reflection as we work or pause from our activity. I have a background in woodworking and can say that although this has been useful I have found the technical intricacies and esoterics of instrument making to be a world unto itself. Andy is, I feel, a gentle master in that world.”
Sterling from Colorado, U.S.A. has recently completed a Concert Torres Guitar on a one month intensive course with me. During this time we worked together on his instrument. I like to encourage my student’s creativity so he was able to make his own rosette. decoration and headstock to his own chosen design. To keep us to our deadline of one month we used some components I had already made such as the back, sides and neck. The project had a very organic feel as we worked together for most of it, using the materials which happened to be in the workshop at the time (back and sides are Mexican Cypress I’ve had since my time there 10 years ago.) By the end Stirling had made a very fine sounding Concert Classical Guitar to the design of the master Antonio Torres. The sound is astonishing…clear,powerful, sweet trebles, very responsive and able to be played loud aswell as softly. Well done Sterling!
“For years it had been my dream to build my own guitar. There was something very special about the relationship between the luthier and the finished product. Thanks to Andy Davidson I was able to experience the process firsthand. Now I have a concert quality guitar to call my own -my own Sterling guitar. Sterling Parks, October 2013
Will has just completed his flamenco guitar :“Making this guitar has been a dream of mine for ten years now and finally it has become possible with Andy as he offers tailor made one to one tuition at a very reasonable price. I completed my guitar over a 8 month period as time allowed me to only work evenings. This worked really well and gave me something to look forward to after a day in the office. Andy is patient, relaxed and allows one to pursue their own vision whilst ensuring that the quality of the instrument is not compromised. The process of selecting the wood and preparing the components was pleasurable and didn’t feel pressured as might have been the case if needing to fit into a prescribed course timetable. The friendly environment allows one to settle into the work and focus.The final result is an absolutely beautiful guitar ascetically and acoustically, obviously i’m biased but its my most prized possession and is now transforming my relationship to playing. Thanks for your friendship, support and knowledge and good luck with your future plans”. Will Benzies, January 2014
- U P A N D C O M I N G : Luthiery training course in Andalucia, southern Spain. Courses run in March-April and September-October.
www.andalucia-guitar-experience.com e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ph: +44 7914 805 970
Brad from Queensland, Australia completes his rosewood Torres classical in 6 weeks:
“I signed up to Andy’s guitar making course on the very strong recommendation of some trusted friends. To say I wasn’t disappointed is an understatement. Although I’d worked with wood before I’d never made anything as fine as a guitar. Andy took the time up front to talk me through the process to gauge the level of support required and a reasonable schedule.The process that unfolded was truly remarkable. Andy’s knowledge and experience were constantly on hand. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at any time during the build, and hit our target of 6 weeks a day early. The final product exceeded my expectations in every way. I now own a hand-built classical guitar that is equally the match of many very expensive instruments in terms of tone and playability. Anyone even considering building their own guitar should talk to Andy. Under his laid back, casual front lies a passionate and generous luthier and teacher. It will be a life-changing experience.” Brad Cronk, December 2013
Will Pennell made his yew-bodied classical in 6 months :
“This guitar course is the best thing I have ever done. I’ve really appreciated the relaxed atmosphere of the workshop – Andy has always been patient and encouraging. He shares his extensive knowledge of the techniques used around the world and shows that there is always more than one way to do things. Making my guitar has given me a great sense of achievement and the confidence to explore my creative ability. Thanks Andy.”
Simon Hampshire completed his small Torres guitar part-time :“Building a guitar with Andy Davidson was a fantastic experience. I am ecstatic with the final product and can safely say, there is no other thing I posses in this world, which was so carefully created by hand and as a result quite so precious to me.
Andy’s evening classes meant that after a long day at the office, I could migrate into a completely different world of creativity and craft. I’d learn amazing carpentry skills using traditional methods and tools and we’d listen to music and talk about life. I enjoyed it so much, that I was extremely happy to take my time and prolong this therapeutic activity for as long as possible.
I chose to make a Torres parlor-sized classical guitar. It was definitely a good choice to follow an existing design for my first attempt (as advised by Andy) by one of the great guitar makers of all time. It’s an amazing little instrument, with an enormous sound and presence. I decided to customise a few things on the guitar, such as the headstock, rosette and bindings to add a personal take on the classical design, but the fundamental elements, which give the guitar its incredible sound remain true to the original design.
Andy is a great teacher and extremely open minded to exploring different ways in doing things. He offers guidance, but lets you be in control and gets you on the tools straight away – which is the best way to learn. He is patient and philosophical and extremely practical, adapting his teaching style to the needs of different students.
I’d recommend this course to anyone who would enjoy an informal and relaxed approach to building what are extremely complex instruments”. Simon Hampshire, December 2012Nick finished his yew-bodied cutaway in 6 months:
“I had always wanted to make a guitar and making it with Andy offered me the flexibility of doing so outside of my unpredictable working hours. It was a great experience, I was offered patient guidance and at the same time was encouraged to put in my own creative ideas. Andy gave me so much positive encouragement through the whole process especially when I was doubting myself. Also, I ended up with a beautiful guitar WHICH I MADE, I can still hardly believe it. I thoroughly recommend this course.”