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The American Luthier: A New Era

The American Luthier: A New Era

by J.R. Beall

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Volume 1 #1, 1973

Guitars of all kinds are currently enjoying an unprecedented popularity in this country and, indeed, throughout the world. People of every sort are playing or enjoying the performance of guitar music and even the ivied halls of American’s most prestigious conservatories are echoing at last with the sounds of the guitar. The upshot of this welcome boom in popularity and attendant dignification of the guitar as a legitimate instrument is that classic guitars of very fine quality are in high demand and very short supply. Although quite good instruments are available at very reasonable prices, really excellent ones are frequently unavailable at any price. Many advanced students, teachers, and budding concert artists would like to own outstanding instruments but are unable to find them. The guitar, unfortunately, does not have the long, rich history of the violin and artists, therefore, are unable to find antique instruments of high quality. As a result, one must conclude at last that the really top quality concert instruments are yet to be made. This, then, brings me to the point of my writing which is that when guitars of outstanding quality are finally made more available, they will come, for the most part, from small shops in the United States.

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