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Review: The Fine Guitar by José Oribe

Review: The Fine Guitar by José Oribe

Reviewed by C.F. Casey

Originally published in American Lutherie #9, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

The Fine Guitar
José Oribe
Mel Bay
Music stores or, $19.95

First off, let it be said that this is not a “how-to” book; it gives very little specific information on Oribe’s building procedures. To be fair, this was not the book’s intent; as Aaron Shearer says in his foreword, the book deals with “What to think about relative to creating an exceptionally fine guitar” (emphasis Shearer’s). Oribe talks about his years of experience as a luthier, and dwells on the attitudes, theories, and various generalizations that this experience has led him to. Under the headings of materials, soundboard, scale, adhesives, finish, setup, and strings, he conveys a lot of isn’t quite the right word; perhaps attitudes.

Oribe has a clear, lucid style, all the more surprising when you consider that a lot of what he’s discussing is intangible.

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