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Novice Notes

Novice Notes

by Donald Curry

Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter Vol. 4, #3, 1976

After having read my first two issues of the “Quarterly” and the G.A.L. Internal Affairs bulletin no. 2, I feel there is a need for more positive material and less criticism of everything and everybody. It is to this end that I hope this letter will serve.

First I wish to address the problem of materials. In Vol. 4, No. 2 on page 19, Rick Boling has a poem which suggests a tree planting project. I am in full favor of such a proposal and I think all luthiers whether they be amateur or professional, beginner or master should support such a project. Without doubt a luthier depends on wood of high quality unless you are willing to accept a future populated by instruments with fiberglass bodies, aluminum necks, and made on assembly lines. Remember, trees are a renewable resource.

To meet the more immediate needs of some luthiers, I would like to see a materials exchange program sponsored by the Guild. It would seem that there must be numerous professionals who have, over the years, obtained woods which for one reason or another they feel are not up to par for use in the very fine expensive instruments they make and so discard these pieces when these same woods might be perfectly satisfactory for the beginner who is still experimenting and does not want to invest in fine expensive wood. Those who have such discards, rather than letting it go to waste, could offer it for sale at reasonable prices through the Guild whereby they would be helping the beginner at no loss to themselves.

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