My building philosophy was and is “one at a time, one of a kind.” That little tagline was so cheesy, and so obvious that it has been lifted by others through the years, mostly by accident. It’s a philosophy that has proven challenging at times because it left me open to requests for highly customized instruments. I reject building by specs only, choosing instead to see where the wood leads me. Paradoxically, that has led to a consistency that even I didn’t expect.
I want my guitar to be the favorite friend at the end of the day in a quiet room where its voice can be heard and appreciated.
My apprenticeship was with Jon Peterson, a violin maker at the World of Strings in Long Beach, California. Unfortunately, we have lost both the person and store, but now I can brag about how great I was as an apprentice, and Jon can’t say it wasn’t so. Jon is missed by many.
My apprenticeship with Jon taught me a few things about respecting and evaluating wood. He taught me a few of what my friend Michael Bashkin would call “the little levers” that you can move to affect tone. Jon gave me more than a few tricks about managing tensions in the instrument —those that are inherent in the wood and the body and have a hidden effect on the feel and tone of the instrument. Endless repetition of dressing fingerboards, never ever to Jon’s satisfaction, has made me confident that any guitar that leaves my shop will be easily adjusted by anyone to suit their personal tastes. If not… send it to me.
Located: www.wingertguitars.com, California USA
Professionally Selling: 25 Years
Professional Organizations: Guild of American Luthiers , NAMM
Dealers: Guitar Gallery - Robin
Studied With: Jon Peterson , Ervin Somogyi Workshop
Shows: Healdsburg Guitar Festival , Newport Guitar Festival , Holy Grail in Germany , Montreal Guitar Show , Memphis Acoustic Guitar Show , Santa Barbara Acoustic Guitar Show , Miami (Newport in Miami) , The Harp Guitar Gathering , Artisan Guitar Show
Artists: Stephen Bennett , Doug Young , Fran Guidry
Instrument Types: Steel String Acoustic , Harp Guitar