Tag Archive for: Fingerstyle Guitar

Reno, Nevada-based luthier Ben Wilborn has just embarked on an epic build–coming soon to a Dream near you. This time we’re looking at Ben’s Modified Dreadnought, his WarHorse model, with Brazilian Rosewood carbon dated to the late 19th century and Tunnel 14 Redwood on top. Add to that a cutaway, arm bevel, Curly Koa bindings, 25.4-24.9″ multiscale fretboard, and Visesnut flight case to the mix; if there are any stops left to pull for this build, it’s only a matter of time until Ben finds them. As he does, and the WarHorse approaches, we’ll keep you posted here!

3/27/19 Update from Ben: “the laminated sides are done, and built up into the finished ribs, complete with basswood arm bevel support and Kevin Ryan’s A-5 kerfing. The fingerboard is jet-black Gaboon Ebony, cut in a 25.4 to 24.9 multiscale. Moving right along.”

4/29/19 Update: Ben: “Woodworking is done. Into the booth we go!”

7/1/19: Nearly here! The WarHorse rises up, freshly glossy. It won’t be long before this beauty touches down at our doorstep.

UPDATE: Paul’s personal baritone guitar built by Ken Jones and Mountain Song Guitars has been completed and added to the Dream Guitars website!! Sorry folks, this particular one is not for sale but you can order your own Mountain Song baritone through Dream Guitars! Click here for more info on Paul’s baritone and Mountain Song or click on one of the images below to watch Al and Paul jamming away on this beauty!

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COMPLETED MOUNTAIN SONG BARITONE

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ORIGINAL BLOG DURING THE BUILD

Ken Jones is up to it again – this time this guitar is going right to our own Paul Heumiller. Ken is building Paul a very special IMG_5447-2Baritone featuring Padauk, Carolina Red Spruce and fanned-fret neck. The scale lengths range from 28.5″ on the bass side to 27.25″ on the treble. The body is slightly smaller than Jumbo proportions with a 16.5″ lower bout and 20.5″ body length, and a 4.75″ body depth at the tail, tapering to 4″ at the heel. Ken also offers the same body shape in a full-Jumbo size of 17″ LB and 21″ body length, with a 5″ body depth at the tail and 4.25″ depth at the heel. Top bracing is also Carolina Red Spruce.

“I knew for certain that I wanted the body to be Padauk Wood. The finest baritones I have ever played were made from Padauk. It has an amazing clarity that really helps the bass notes maintain separation when they’re tuned down to A or B. In recent years I have been primarily playing Fanned Fretted instruments and knew that I wanted that element as well. I play in many alternate tunings and it is key for me to have the bass strings longer than the treble strings. It insures that my bass notes will be strong and never floppy, while at the same time the trebles maintain a pleasant tension and sweet tone. Ken had a chance to get some wonderful local Carolina spruce tops from legendary luthier John Arnold so he suggested we use that for the top as it is wonderfully stiff and has incredible tap tone,” says Paul Heumiller.

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Other details include ebony headplate, fingerboard, and bindings, armrest bevel and ribrest bevel and a one-piece, carbon fiber reinforced Honduran Mahogany neck with double-acting truss rod.

Paul first played a Baritone guitar at Martin Simpson’s home in England many years ago. That very first moment he felt a wave of inspiration that has led him to continue to play in alternate tunings and on Baritones ever since. Paul states, “The most wonderful thing about the Baritone guitar is that you play exactly the same piece that you would in standard pitch but everything changes. The low register, rumbling bass and sweet, lucid trebles alter the mood and inspire the soul.”

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“I started to play the guitar for the sole purpose of writing songs. While I can do a lot of things on guitar, I consider myself primarily a  singer-songwriter. So whether an instrumental piece or accompaniment, my Baritone guitar offers me a voice that takes me into another world, another head space and invites me to write something I would likely never find at standard pitch,” says Paul Heumiller.

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Paul continues, “When I decided to invite Ken Jones of Mountain Song guitars to build me a Baritone instrument we had long conversations about the many Baritones that I have been able to play in the shop over the years. I am in the very fortunate position of getting to play the finest guitars ever made every day of my life. I have played many Baritones by Lance McCollum, Bill Tippin, David Berkowitz, Steve Klein, Ralph Bown and so many other of the finest makers in the world. So having the chance to collaborate with Ken was like dropping a three-year-old in the middle of a candy store with a credit card!!”

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“It’s been really enjoyable and informative collaborating with Paul on the various design elements, from the scale-length spread, to tonewoods, to the neck shape/profile. That was particularly interesting, since we were able to look closely at some of Paul’s favorite neck shapes, and come up with a hybrid that perfectly suits his needs. It’s essentially a D-shape with a slight V carved into the bass-side. We decided to keep the adornment to a minimum, with side dots only, and just a small inlay on the fingerboard at the twelfth fret. Being a large-bodied guitar, we agreed that an arm bevel was in order, as well as a super-comfortable ribrest bevel,” says Ken Jones.

IMG_5386-2“Paul has played more of the world’s finest guitars than just about anyone out there, and it’s been a pleasure and honor to learn from his insights what makes a truly great guitar,” Ken continues.

Great news! There are two more Baritones underway from Ken and Mountain Song Guitars – one in Quilted Maple and another in Cuban Mahogany. Ken is shooting to have these completed by the end of this year. These two will have similar features however it is still early enough for customizations.

Call today 828-658-9795 to reserve and customize your own Mountain Song Baritone Guitar!!

Gel nails look very natural, they are clear and just a bit shinier than your normal nail. I typically get nice comments on them when folks notice them and it’s a great conversation starter.

Last night I was sitting in the salon getting my nails done when I realized I should do an article as so many players ask about my nails at the shop. There are many ways to go and it’s a personal decision for each player. But here’s what I do and how I got there.

When I initially started playing Fingerstyle I used my own natural nails. The nails were weak, though especially at the end where they often broke, a serious impediment to progress so I switched to metal finger pics – the kind that many Blues players use. I used these for several years. They were extremely uncomfortable and I never liked the metallic attack on the strings.

Then one day I found myself in New York City attending a workshop with Martin Simpson who was one of the instructors. The first song I heard them play was Rosie Anderson and the tone Martin produced was just amazing. Single notes were fat and clear and the overall tone was just beautiful sounding. After the performance we had a chance to meet and chat and he showed me his acrylic nails. Martin told me he goes to the salon every few weeks. I walked out of the door at Columbia University down the street to the first salon I could find and gave them my right hand!! It was pretty comical actually because they thought I wanted both hands done – I mean it was New York City after all. They didn’t speak much English but as soon as I made the motion of playing air guitar they understood.

This was probably 16 or 17 years ago and back then the acrylic nails were a powder and a resin that were mixed together and applied to the nail. Not a great product as it would dry out the original nail and was prone to chipping more often than it should. However over the past few years, a new acrylic nail gel product came out that is not only healthier for your real nail but much more durable and in fact a bit more flexible and better sounding.

The process is pretty simple, as the name implies – the product, which is a gel, goes on thick and gooey and levels itself. If it is your first time and if you want your nails to be longer  they will first apply some fake nail tips to form a bridge for the new gel nail to go over. You then place your hand under a UV light which hardens and cures the gel in short order (warning this can get hot and burning, pull them out for a few seconds to cool and then reinsert them). There’s a few iterations of sanding your nails and adding coats of gel and drying under the UV. This takes about 30 or 40 minutes, then you are ready to go home and play. Well almost. One of the great benefits of this product is shaping. The standard nail file goes from course to fine so you can experiment with beveling your nail and polishing it to different ranges of smooth for the particular tone that you want for your music. Think about the bevel on your favorite pick and try for that for starters.

The long-term care of these nails is pretty straightforward as well – about every 2 to 4 weeks depending on your own situation, you can go back to the salon for what is called a fill. This is where they simply fill in the portion of your nail that has grown out and add any more gel towards the base of your fingernail, fixing any minor nicks or things that need to be touched up.

Nail salon price varies around the country but anywhere from $20-$30 will get you a set of these nails, and fills usually range from $15-$20. Well worth it – I used to lose my pics all the time and now I simply can’t leave home without them.

PS -Be sure and get a pedicure while you’re at the salon, it’s not just for the ladies and it’s fabulous!

Dream Guitars is proud to bring you some exciting news from Tippin Guitars including a brand new model and incoming DG inventory!!

Bill Tippin’s New Forte Model

First off, Bill Tippin introduced his newest creation, the Tippin Forte, at the recent Healdsburg Guitar Festival in California. This is a new model from him and is one of his most creative projects to date.

The Forte, based on his Crescendo model, was inspired by Tippin’s own personal guitar preferences. He found a way to boost the richness of the Crescendo — he increased the width of lower bout while maintaining the balance — and it’s slightly wider (3/16th”) at its widest.

Our own Paul Heumiller and Al Petteway had the privilege of playing the new Forte while out in Healdsburg. “The new Forte model from Bill Tippin has everything I love about the Crescendo, balance, clarity, power and Bill’s trademark full trebles, but it adds a bit more fullness to the bass for the player that enjoys a bit more thump in the chest. Outstanding!” – Paul H.

The Original Tippin Crescendo Model

The Crescendo, which is considered to be the cornerstone of Tippin’s entire line of guitars, is large yet versatile. Imagine a 14-fret OMT with the rich tone normally found in an 00012-fret size. The Crescendo manages to combine the feel of a 14-fret OMT while preserving the rich tone of a 12-fret body model, replete with incredible tone, balance and projection.

Dream Guitars has a pre-owned 2005 Crescendo in stock featuring Brazilian Rosewood and Carpathian Spruce – contact us if you’re interested in acquiring!

And, by the way, our own Paul Heumiller is anxiously awaiting to take delivery of his personal, custom Crescendo. Paul’s model is made from Brazilian/Moon spruce with a cutaway, MOP sparkle trim. What makes this custom job so unique is that it includes a short-scale, Fan Fret design, which will perform well in Drop-D, DADGAD and standard tunings.

The Tippin Al Petteway Signature Model

Also, Bill has embarked on a new build of the Tippin Al Petteway Signature, also based on the Crescendo model. Check out this video demonstration of the Petteway Signature on our YouTube channel. This instrument is representative of Bill at the top of his game, and when you listen to our studio recording you’ll understand what we mean. Interested in purchasing the incoming Tippin Al Petteway Signature model? Contact us today to learn more about your reservation options.

We do also have a pre-owned Al Petteway Signature in stock as well if you would rather not wait for the incoming guitar. This 2008 Crescendo Al Petteway Signature was actually originally purchased by Al Petteway himself and was the first Signature model ever made! This beauty features brick red Brazilian Rosewood, Moon Harvested European Spruce, an armrest bevel, beveled cutaway, and new heel design. Click here to learn more.

This is exciting stuff, folks. We all know that Grit Laskin is one of the finest luthiers around and is widely considered as a master of inlay work. Today, Dream Guitars announces that he is working on a custom guitar that we have made available for reservation with delivery expected in December.

Our own Paul Heumiller worked with Grit to develop the basic inlay ideas and Laskin took off running. As you can see in these pictures, the design is amazing, intricate and just short of groundbreaking.

Here is some of what Grit himself had to say about this piece:

One of the most beloved and influential guitarists was the legend who passed away just last year, Doc Watson. I began thinking about Doc, and about the natural world and the title from Shakespeare popped into my head: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ which takes place in a forest. The more I read about Doc, the more his life inspired me: His musical beginnings, the events in his life that shaped him and the fact that what gave him the musical bug was the shape-note hymns sung by his mother. My brain locked onto that seminal influence and also latched onto the literal meaning of the word shape — this old-style singing shaped his life, yes, but the notes themselves also provided physical shapes in which I could place scenes and elements from his life. Bingo.

“I’m putting a large portrait of Doc picking a guitar on the headstock in the same realistic I used for John Lennon on the ‘Imagine’ guitar. Flowing down the fret board are the seven basic shapes of shape notes (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti) large enough to place within elements such as Doc’s earliest musical instruments, his early solo album, ‘Southbound,’ which  first brought him to prominence. In fact, the working title of the piece is ‘Southbound.’

Talk about creative thinking.

If you’re jazzed about this guitar and Laskin’s work no one would blame you if you missed our announcement, so here it is again: This guitar is available and you can reserve it now by contacting the Dream Guitars shop near Asheville, NC, right away. If you miss this opportunity, or want to see more of Grit Laskin’s work, check out the gallery on his homepage.

A while back, guitar great Al Petteway sat in front of the camera at our showroom in Weaverville, North Carolina, just outside of Asheville, and gave us all a lesson on how to play his own composition, “Tennessee Mountain Rag,” which is included on the “Dream Guitars, Volume 1, The Golden Age of Luthiers” CD and tablature book.

For the lesson, Al plays a Tippin Al Petteway Signature Model with Brazilian Rosewood and Moon Spruce, built by one of the great luthiers in the United States, Bill Tippin of Tippin Guitars.

“In this style of music, everything is out there to be had,” Al explains when discussing his writing method for this song, which taps into many other tunes and progressions in the genre, and the way he puts it all together to make it his own. This is songwriting, folks.

Al also details his chords as well as a cool “chicken picking” technique that he uses for a neat walk-down. He also details optional rhythm choices, which he points out are reminiscent of the style of Chet Atkins. He also shows you a neat lick he learned from listening to Atkins.

You can watch the video here on our Dream Guitars YouTube channel. The “Dream Guitars, Vol. 1” CD and complete book of tablature is available in our online store. All of this and more is available in the online shopping cart.

You should also visit his website at www.alandamy.com to learn more about Al Petteway, his wife, Amy.

As you may have noticed, bottleneck slide guitar great Steve James spent quite a bit of time at Dream Guitars in our Weaverville, NC, studios back in May, when he came in for a house concert here.

He took time out of his schedule to demo several National Resophonic guitars and perform the classic song, “Guitar Rag,” widely regarded as the first slide guitar song ever recorded (1923).

He also sat down in front of the camera to talk about his life in music; click here to check it out on our YouTube channel. Steve recalls his first records (a collection of Lead Belly 78 RPMs he got the age of 4), his first guitar (a 1963 Gibson J-50) and his early days in New York City studying under such greats as Freddie Lewis and Stan McGee. He also points out the importance of the lessons he learned listening to the unique techniques of Blind Willie Johnson and the alternate tunings of Muddy Waters and Bukka White, some of the unsung heroes of the bottleneck slide blues.

He wraps things up talking about American blues music, calling it “our great export… this is what we offer to the world. People love our music and love to listen to it.”

This video is brought to you by Dream Guitars, proud to be a National Resophonic dealer… and a good friend of Steve James! Contact us today to get your very own National steel! Visit www.stevejames.com for more about Steve!

This is great stuff.

Dream Guitars is a proud dealer of Composite Acoustics guitars, seen by many as superb travel guitars that require little maintenance or worry. They have been described as “virtually indestructible” because of the carbon fiber construction. They can handle heat, cold, life in the closet and will emerge ready to play.

Even more, the sound great, especially in low tunings, like DADGAD or low C, since the action won’t change when the string tension is altered.

We have several coming into the shop now — the GX (an auditorium-sized cutaway), the OX (a 20-fret cutaway with a raw finish) and Cargo (a travel model with or without electronics) — and we are a dealer of the entire Composite Acoustics catalog. If all this isn’t good enough, you’ll get a free $50 Dream Guitars Gift Card when you purchase a Composite Acoustics guitar at our shop here.

Curious yet? We took a ride on one of their classic Vintage Performer D models a few years back and everyone at the shop was blown away. Check out our YouTube link to take a listen before you call us to pick up one of these beauties.

Again, here are the takeaways:

  • Carbon Fiber composition
  • “Virtually indestructible”
  • Awesome in low tunings
  • Great sound
  • Hassle-free
  • Get a $50 Dream Guitars gift card

Take one to the beach or the mountains. Leave it in the trunk or the closet for months, it’ll be fine and sound great. Drop the tuning and have at it.

Our own Paul Heumiller recently sat down in front of the cameras to talk about one of Dream Guitars’ favorite builders, Jordan McConnell of McConnell Guitars (and the Grammy-award winning band, The Duhks) for a video interview.  You see, Paul is not only has a savvy eye when it comes to great luthiers and their instruments, but also sees things from the mindset of a player. In fact, he’s a proud owner of a McConnell and shares his feelings about that fine, custom made instrument with the viewer. Paul makes clear the guitar’s ability to bring out the music and sound he feels inside, a rare trait for any custom instrument.

McConnell builds rich-sounding and versatile instruments in both steel string and classical models at his shop in Winnipeg, Canada, on the fringes of the Canadian Prairies. McConnell became enamored with the construction of guitars at a young age and has studied with famed Spanish luthier, Jose Romanillos, gaining a valuable education in the work, the craftsmanship.

Among his customers: Tim Sparks, an award-winning fingerpicking player, jazz greats Larry Roy and Harley Card, Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers and Irish player John Doyle.

So, Paul sat down in our Weaverville, NC, studio, to talk about this fine luthier, who works with his father on the construction of the guitars. As a builder, Jordan McConnell has become a hot name and his work is in demand. While we do not have currently any in stock, Dream Guitars is accepting orders for his custom builds. Paul will personally work with you to ensure you get what your music deserves. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Considering a McConnell now? You may also want to check out this video of Jordan McConnell at the Dream Guitars headquarters a few years ago, offering an exclusive performance. We also have several other video samples of various McConnell guitars on our YouTube channel as well as the Listening Studio on our home page.

Special thanks to Dan Crapsi and Ginny Temple, who visited our shop and filmed this interview for their blog, thegoodguitar.com.

Singer-songwriter Danny Ellis has had an interesting life to say the least. After growing up in an orphanage in Ireland in the 1950s, Danny found music and it saved his life. He began his professional career as a trombone player with “The Boyne Valley Stompers,” a Dixieland band touring Ireland. From there, Danny expanded his horizons, his singing and playing and started a diverse musical career that has taken him all over the world as a trombonist, keyboardist and guitarist as well as a professional songwriter.

Flash forward to today and Danny is opening for for many musicians, including the great Bonnie Raitt for her recent show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. Bonnie is a great fan of Danny and his music and personally invited him to fill the opening slot.

Danny now maintains a studio in Asheville, NC, just down the road a spell from our Dream Guitars headquarters in Weaverville. We have built a solid professional relationship with Danny and he granted us some of his time to record a lengthy video interview with our own Paul Heumiller to talk about singing, songwriting, musicianship and his latest role as a teacher, which he conducts out of his studio in person as well as on Skype. In fact, Paul himself has spent plenty of time learning from Danny, studying the finer points of singing and songwriting. Paul considers Danny a mentor and a friend as well as a teacher. You can get more information about Danny’s teaching career and how to become a student by visiting his website and checking out his lessons page (www.dannyellismusic.com/musiclessons.cfm).

We have two videos on our YouTube Dream Guitars channel, one the full-length interview (22:28) and a short highlight reel of the same (5:31). Check them both out, then take a trip to Danny’s site, where you can read about his history, his discography, find links to his Facebook and YouTube pages as well as learn more about his teaching methods and how to contact him for lessons.

When Steve James spent time with us at Dream Guitars just before his rocking house concert performance at our Weaverville, NC, offices, not only did he demo several amazing National Resophonic guitars, he also taught us all a lesson in bottleneck slide playing the legendary “Guitar Rag.”

Your moment of musical history for today: Sylvester Weaver’s “Guitar Rag” is recognized as the first recording of slide guitar. That was way back in 1923, though Steve’s classic style is more than simply reminiscent of the period.

Now you can learn a thing or two from James himself right here at our YouTube channel, study the master’s moves and styles. There is an awful lot of information here and you’ll be able to apply what you learn as you progress as a player. Steve takes the time to demonstrate basic hand placement, string contact, touch, pick technique, vibrato, chords and more as he teaches the viewer how to play like a pro.

Steve James is world-renowned as an expert slide guitar master, not only touring and recording his own material and but acting as a sideman for such legends as Bo Diddley, Kinky Friedman, Buddy Guy and John Hammond. For more information and cool stuff, visit Steve’s homepage… after you learn how to play “Guitar Rag” his way — arguably the best way!

Last month, Dream Guitars hosted the great Steve James for the latest house concert at our Weaverville, NC, headquarters… and the house was rockin’.

Steve played Sylvester Weaver’s “Guitar Rag,” widely recognized as the first slide song ever recorded (1923). Throughout the show, Steve played his own National Resophonic instruments, including a Resorocket Wood Body WB, an NRP Black Rust and an RM1 Mandolin. He also toured our showroom and selected a few guitars from the racks to use during the show: a 1964 Gibson Sunburst SJ-200 and a Mervyn Davis SmoothTalker, a wood body instrument that that has a resonator-like quality.

Steve also wowed us with a version of “Stagger Lee,” re-written from the perspective of Stagger Lee and his John B. Stetson hat. Incredible!

Dream Guitars hosts about six house concerts a year and in the past has hosted many amazing artists, including Al Petteway and Amy White, Woody Mann, Martin Simpson, Clive Carroll, Lawrence Juber, Paul Geremia, Robin Bullock and Mary Flower to name a few.

Our next show is set for July 7 with the amazing duo of Loren and Mark. Other upcoming guests include Paul Asbell (August 3) and the return of Clive Caroll (Feb 28).

Check out our Event Calendar for more information on our house concert series.

We host a number of events here at Dream Guitars. Just one of our many ways to give back to the community and share music with others who are passionate about it. We welcome you all to come join us at a House Concert, Guitar Clinic, Setup Saturdays and other events throughout the year. Come visit Dream Guitars and the wonderful Asheville area!

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Loren and Mark in Concert!

Sunday, July 7 @ 7 pm

Pre-Show Pot Luck @ 6 pm

Tickets $20, Reservations required

About Loren and Mark

Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb, both virtuoso players in their own right, ran into each other several times over the years, first meeting in 2005 at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp when working with Tommy Emmanuel. Loren was a seasoned player making his first deep foray into the world of acoustic guitars, while Mark was in the process of finishing his degree in classical guitar at the University of North Carolina. They met again in 2009 at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) convention in Nashville, Tenn., and then they were late additions to the CAAS 2010 Saturday night finale performance lineup based on what the gathering of international guitarists had heard from them during the week. You can see part of that performance here.

Together, Loren and Mark run the gamut of acoustic guitar performances of both original and arranged music. With a background of bluegrass, jazz and Western styles, their thumb-picking technique harkens back to guitar greats such as Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. When performing original compositions, Loren brings amazing vocals along with Mark’s stunning harmonies.

They have already recorded two albums together — the first of which won the 2011 SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Awards) Best Album at the Northeast Music Industry Conference — and have been touring as a duo since 2011. For more on Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb, visit their website http://www.lorenandmark.com.

Reservations required for all events, please email [email protected] or call us at (828) 658-9795.

How it works….

  • Come join us at 3 pm and bring a dish to share and a bottle of your preferred beverage. It’s always a wonderful array of treats!
  • Show starts at 4pm and performers play two sets with an intermission to mingle and meet the artist!
  • Guitar demos available in the shop before and after the show.

Future Concerts/Clinics

Paul Asbell, Mr. Versatility on Guitar, August 3

Clive Caroll, From England! February 28 (7 pm)

 

Here at Dream Guitars, we discovered early on that one element of selling world-class guitars online was missing for our online customers: the sound. We then became perhaps the first online dealer of guitars to offer sound samples by recording every guitar we have in stock, played by any number of our favorite friends. In fact, we made every effort to use snippets of the same song for each guitar to give customers a great point of tonal reference.

If you are a fan and frequent visitor, you are no doubt familiar with, “The Crossing,” written and performed by Al Petteway and included on the “Dream Guitars, Volume 1” compact disc. In effect, it has become our unofficial theme song. In fact, we’ve noticed that many clients come into the showroom outside of Asheville, NC, and play snippets of the very same song they had heard on this site. Kind of cool on the one hand, but very telling on the other.

As a result, we have put together two videos: one with Al performing the piece, the other with a full-blown lesson from Mr. Petteway, complete with detailed instructions on how to play “The Crossing” from the composer himself. The videos are available on our Dream Guitars YouTube channel.

The “Dream Guitars, Vol. 1” CD and complete book of tablature is available in our online store. All of this and more is available in the online shopping cart.

You should also check out the world of Al Petteway at his home website at www.alandamy.com.

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“This is the kind of guitar that makes your heart stop. It is so beautiful and so wonderfully crafted that it is mesmerizing. I simply cannot walk by it without holding it and playing it. Boaz spent countless hours tirelessly creating this museum quality piece, he even cut the Abalone from the shells. The details are too many to mention so be sure to carefully study the photos. The tone is majestic and warm, delightful in every way. This will be a prize in any serious collection.” – Paul Heumiller

Dream Guitars is thrilled to offer this stunning museum quality Baroque style guitar by Israeli luthier extraordinaire, Elkayam Boaz. The amount of detailed workmanship in this instrument is mind-boggling — from the multi-piece back to the eleborate rosette, soundboard inlays, wooden bridge extensions, friction pegs with ivory seats, ivory strings stops, and back of neck inlays. This is a true work of art.

This very guitar was the subject of a wonderful article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine by luthier Rick Turner in November 1997. The Boaz Baroque Guitar’s voice is detailed and articulate, intimate and sweet, and of course, perfect for period music.

 

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Medium
  • Scale: 650 mm (25.6 in.)
  • Nut Width: 53.2 mm (2.1 in)
  • String Spacing: 55 mm (2.15 in)
  • Body Length: 17 3/4 in.
  • Upper Bout: 9 5/8 in.
  • Lower Bout: 12 3/8 in.
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 3 1/8 in.
  • Frets to body: 12
    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: Brazilian Rosewood, Maple
  • Top Wood: German Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Rosette: Abalone & Wood
  • Binding: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Bindings: None
  • Headplate: Ebony
  • Headstock Bindings: None
  • Headstock Inlay: Custom
  • Top Trim: Abalone
  • Back Strip: Custom
  • Fret Markers: Custom
  • Tuners: Friction Pegs
  • Tuner Finish: Ebony

 

 

*Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

“This guitar represents one of the interesting stories in the guitar world. How instruments come to be is as exciting as the music they make. The story of Dave of England is a great one in the guitar world. You can definitely sense the commitment to Tony Zemaitis’ work in this Queen of Hearts guitar designed by artist and author Paul Schmidt and built by Kevin Parsons and Dave Brewis. Very lightweight and energetic, this one is a joy to play and to behold.” – Paul Heumiller

Dave of England "Queen of Hearts"

The guitars of the late great Tony Zemaitis are the stuff of legend! And with good reason too — they were played by some of the biggest names in the history of Rock and Roll. George Harrison, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Eric Clapton amongst them — Rock royalty does not get bigger than that! Sadly, Tony Z passed on in 2002, but before he did, a gentleman named David Brewis contacted him with hopes of commissioning a guitar. Tony explained that he was now retired, and he would no longer be building, but he graciously offered Brewis one of his official jigs in which to build a guitar. Within weeks Brewis was given 10 jigs and patterns, and permission to build guitars with them utilizing the talents of luthier Kevin Parsons. In so doing, Brewis was dubbed “Dave of England” and “Keeper of the Jigs and Keeper of the Patterns”!

Dream Guitars is fortunate to have one of these fine and rare guitars to offer. This is a Queen of Hearts guitar designed by artist and author Paul Schmidt and built by Dave of England guitars. With it’s distinct styling and imaginative lines, this guitar could easily have been built by the hands of the master himself. But it is more than an interesting piece, it is also an extremely toneful one. The neck is on the slender side, and the guitar itself is lightweight. It has a fine fast attack, superb for Townshend-esque strumming — but played softly, it has a sweet remarkable tone that is very responsive to dynamics. In all, it is a wonderful guitar with a distinct look and a truly special voice.

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Jumbo
  • Scale: 25 in. (635 mm)
  • Nut Width: 1 5/8 in. (41.4 mm)
  • String Spacing: 2 1/8 in. (54.1 mm)
  • Body Length: 20 3/8 in.
  • Upper Bout: 12 1/4 in.
  • Lower Bout: 16 3/4 in.
  • Serial #: One of Five
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 3/4 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 4 3/8 in.
  • Frets to body: 14

    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: European Sycamore Maple
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Bridge: Ebony Smiley Face
  • Rosette: Abalone Heart Shaped Rosette
  • Binding: Maple
  • Fingerboard Bindings: Ebony with Paua Perflings
  • Headplate: Rosewood
  • Headstock Bindings: None
  • Headstock Inlay: Metal ‘Queen of Hearts’ Plaque by Danny O’Brien, Metal ‘Art of Music’ Truss Cover
  • Top Trim: Wood Lines
  • Back Strip: None
  • Fret Markers: Paua Hearts at 12th Fret
  • Tuners: Grover Imperials
  • Tuner Finish: Chrome

For more information on this superb guitar, or any of the fine guitars listed on this site, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658-9795.

 

 

 

Frequent visitors to the Dream Guitars website have no doubt noticed our recent fine classical guitar demos, all compliments of one extremely talented guitarist, David Stevenson. David is both a skilled performer and an immensely gifted composer. On May, Arise Stevenson and percussionist River Guerguerian collaborate on a engaging set of music that showcases  instrumental mastery, as well as great emotional depth.

May, Arise by David Stevenson with River Guerguerian

The songs have a transcendent uplifting quality that sound contemporary and immediate, while simultaneously conjuring images or the ancient and arcane; no mean feat indeed! Guerguerian’s skillful performance, featuring a wealth of global percussion, supports and enhances the material wonderfully.

For guitarists, David Stevenson’s playing is an inspiration. Technically brilliant, the sound of his custom Abe Wechter guitar propels May, Arise with skillful execution from the very first track to the CD’s extremely satisfying conclusion. We highly recommend this very fine CD! For more information about David, and to purchase May, Arise please click here.

Check out the following clips:

1) Eastern Anthem

2) 11/8

3) Bulldozing for Zen

4) Resolution

Dream Guitars is extremely pleased to have a player of David’s high caliber to demonstrate our nylon string instruments. Look for more information about David, including video lessons and performance video in weeks to come!

Recently Doug Young dropped by Dream Guitars and taught this great 3 part guitar lesson on arranging Amazing Grace for fingerstyle guitar. To follow along with the tablature, please click here.

From Doug’s website:

Doug Young is a fingerstyle instrumental guitarist based in the San Francisco South Bay area. An active perfomer in the local acoustic guitar scene, Doug hosts a monthly guitar showcase that has featured performers like Dorian Michael, Thomas Leeb, Steve Baughman, Teja Gerken, and many more. So far, Doug has released one CD, Laurel Mill, featuring his solo guitar playing, compositions and arrangements. Mel Bay has published his best-selling instructional book: “Understanding DADGAD: For Fingerstyle Guitar.” He is a Contributing Editor for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and has also been published in Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. In his role at Acoustic Guitar, Doug has written numerous instructional articles, gear reviews, and interviewed many of today’s top guitarists including Tommy Emmanuel, Sergio Assad, Andy McKee, Laurence Juber and Pierre Bensusan.

To learn more about Doug, his gig schedule, and his array of reviews and quality products, click here.

 

 

 

Last week’s our new Paul’s Pick* segment showcased a stellar vintage Martin 000-45 from 1930. We figured that since we’re already discussing  incredible old Martins, we’d be remiss if we failed to mentioned another exceptional classic that is currently in our shop; this gorgeous 1931 OM-28.

This is one of the all time great vintage Martins, a vintage, prewar 1931 Martin OM-28. 1 of 166 made that year and just 487 pre-war OM-28s ever made. Born over 80 years ago, this guitar has an incredible story. It was purchased by crew members of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga for their superior just before the bombing at Pearl Harbor. The Saratoga was moved just days before the bombing and this beautiful Martin survived to delight the seamen throughout their tour of duty.

This wonderful vintage OM-28 has stunning Brazilian back and sides, an Adirondack top, and the purest sweet old Martin sound you’re going to find. Abolutely one of the best sounding guitars to ever grace our walls. This fine early example comes in a period correct case, and has superbly well dressed and crowned bar frets, that feel more like modern frets than the old-timers.

This vintage Martin OM-28 guitar is largely original, but like all these old timers has had some work done as described in the condition statement here. What you can’t see is the amazing voice, so put on your headphones and be sure to listen to this treasure. Playing this fine pre-war vintage 1931 Martin OM-28 is such a pleasure, it is far more than a collectible. This is a guitar that will work its way into your heart and never leave!

To hear audio of this guitar please click here!

“I’ve had the pleasure to play many fine prewar Martins, but this is the best OM-28 I’ve played to date for two reasons. First, the tone is etheral, so sweet, strong and resonant. It weighs nothing and just vibrates in your arms. Second is it’s playability. A superb setup was done with painstaking fret dressing. I guarantee you have never played bar frets that feel this good. Each fret was perfectly crowned and the ends rounded, so your finger slide over them as if they were modern frets. This is the vintage prewar Martin OM-28 we all dream of, now it can be reality. This is the time to buy vintage gems as they are devalued, but we all know they won’t stay that way…” – Paul Heumiller

Here’s a video of the the great Mary Flower playing this fine old Martin!

 

*Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

1930 Martin 000-45

 

 

 

This is a treasure. A well preserved 1930 Martin 000-45, quite simply one of the most collectible Martin Guitars ever made. Martin only made 21 of these in 1930 and only 341 in total. This pre war sweetheart embodies that Holy Grail tone all guitarist long for and all builders hold in esteem. Every note is alive and complete. This one plays like a new guitar and appears to be all original but for a pro refinish and proper replacement bridge. We are honored to offer this rare and special 1930 Martin OOO-45.

Please click here to hear this amazing guitar!

“We all feel very lucky to get to know this guitar if even for a short while. Just a moments play and you realize exactly why Martin Guitars from this era are held in such high regard. Big round bass, clear, present mids and bold and singing trebles make this as complete a guitar as a player could ever hope for. Collector’s will also be delighted by this vintage pre-war Martin 000-45, it is after all a Holy Grail of guitars.” – Paul Heumiller

    Measurements 

  • Body Size: Small
  • Scale: 25 2/5 in. (645.2 mm)
  • Nut Width: 1 7/8 in. (47.6 mm)
  • String Spacing: 2 3/8 in. (60.3 mm)
  • Body Length: 20 1/2 in.
  • Upper Bout: 11 in.
  • Lower Bout: 15 in.
  • Serial #: 41539
  • Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 1/4 in.
  • Body Depth @Tail Block: 4 1/4 in.
  • Frets to body: 12
    Extras 

  • Cutaway: None
  • Pickguard: None
  • Case: OHSC
  • Pickup: None
  • Condition: Excellent, professional refinish, 2 perfectly repaired top cracks, no cleats. Newer belly Bridge. Everything inside is original, includes original case.

 

    Woods & Trim 

  • Back/Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Top Wood: Adirondack Red Spruce
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany, 1 Piece
  • Bridge: Ebony Belly
  • Rosette: 45 Style Abalone
  • Binding: Ivoroid
  • Fingerboard Bindings: Ivoroid
  • Headplate: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Headstock Bindings: Ivoroid
  • Headstock Inlay: Torch
  • Top Trim: Abalone
  • Back Strip: Marquetry
  • Fret Markers: 45 snowflake
  • Tuners: original
  • Tuner Finish: nickel with ivory buttons

 

This guitar is now sold.

Paul’s Pick is a new feature on the Dream Guitars website that highlights exceptional vintage and handbuilt guitars that deserve more attention — guitars with exceptional tone, playability, appearance and provenance. For more information on the featured guitar, or any instrument we offer, please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658 – 9795.

One of our favorite builders is the brilliant Jordan McConnell from Winnipeg, Canada. His guitars are impeccably crafted, and they offer stunning design and rich, articulate tones. Recently, Jordan informed us that he has developed a new model with the following dimensions.

Length: 19.5″
Lower bout: 15″
Upper bout: 11.25″
Standard scale length 25.25″

In Jordan’s words, “I like this shape for it’s versatility. It can be voiced to put the focus more in the midrange and trebles to create a very intimate and clear sounding guitar, but it doesn’t lack power and can still pack a pretty serious punch in the low end if that is desired. It’s a very comfortable size to play and can be more manageable than a jumbo sized body in a stage setting if someone is gigging a lot.”

If you would like to receive more information on this stunning guitar, or on any of Jordan’s other guitars, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you about these very special creations!

 

To see more photos, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The talented Mary Flower stopped by Dream Guitars recently and spent the afternoon playing some of the fine guitars we have in stock. Mary plays a great combination of roots music, including ragtime, acoustic blues and folk. If you like these videos, be sure to check out Mary’s website for upcoming gigs, and information on her albums and instructional DVDs.

Steve James is a well known name among devotees of contemporary acoustic folk and blues; this notoriety based on numerous critically acclaimed recordings, a tireless international tour schedule and a sheaf of published work including articles, instruction books and videos. His instrumental versatility (on guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, guitar-banjo) also makes him a favorite at music camps and workshop programs.

Recently Steve stopped by Dream Guitars and played some of our great vintage and custom-made guitars.

Everyone knows that Al Petteway is an extremely fine guitarist, but what you may not know is that he is also an excellent guitar teacher. In this video Al instructs how to play  his  original tune “Tennessee Mountain Rag”. If you live in the greater Asheville area or just visiting, Al is available for one-on-one lessons that are sure to inspire. Give us a call anytime — we’ll be happy to schedule a lesson or two for you!