Dear Fellow Luthier,
I just returned from a 5 week trip in Brazil. While there I was invited to do some lecturing at the Universidade Federal de Paraná in Curitiba. They have a wonderful group of students enrolled in their college level lutherie course. The first day I did a 4 hour Q&A session with the students. The desire to learn was incredible! On day two I talked about and showed pics of the tools and jigs that I use in my shop.
I also participated in a guitar building course in Araguari, Minas Gerias with Brazilian Luthier Luciano Borges. In seven days we built a steel string guitar from a box of lumber to a playable condition but without a finish. We also built and voiced a classical guitar soundboard as well as offered courses in French polish and two part urethane. Twenty students from all over Brazil participated in the course. One student even rode a 150cc motorcycle from his city. It took him 16 hours to arrive at the course! Talk about desire to learn! I once had a student decide to not take my course in Colorado because he lived "too far" away, it was only an hour and 15 minute drive from my shop!!
Luciano had full time cooks available throughout the course and we were treated to typical Mineiro cuisine for the entire course! We all ate very well and I for one already miss the food!
During the course one day a toucan bird even dropped by to check our progress.
The course was such a success that there is already talk of having me come back for another course next year! For more pics of my teaching in Brazil check out my blog
Also while in Brazil I visited with the renowned Brazilian guitarist and composer Paulo Bellinati. We filmed a conversation together where he discussed guitar amplification and how to best amplify the classical guitar while on stage and still remain true to the original sound of the instrument. I also videoed an interview with Brazilian luthier Antonio Tessarin. He is the luthier that taught me how to build guitars years ago while I was living in Brazil.
One of the highlights of my trip was being able to record Brazilian guitarist Euclides Marques as he played one of my 7 string classical guitars during a recording session. He is one of the best players I have ever met and having him perform on an O'Brien guitar was a real treat. Here
is an unedited portion of the recording session that will give you a quick taste of his playing abilities.
As time permits I will be editing and making available all of the video footage from the Euclides recording session as well as my conversation with Bellinati and Tessarin.
Now that I am back in my own shop I have a private student showing up tomorrow morning to build a flamenco guitar with me over the next 8 days. After that it is on to the Healdsburg Guitar Festival
in California where I will be showing my latest creations including a beautiful rosewood classical guitar with an arm bevel. If you are in the Healdsburg California area the 9th, 10th or 11th of August then please stop by my table at the show. I also will be doing some product demo work at the LMI headquarters
on Sunday the 11th from 8:30 to 10:30. It is a great time to drop by and talk shop as well as receive some discounts on lutherie supplies.
Just before leaving for my trip to Brazil Kent Everett and I released a DVD that shows his method of executing the arm bevel you see in the picture. He lays it all out in a step by step process that makes it easy enough for anyone to learn how to put this popular accessory on your guitar. The DVD is available here
As you can see it has been a very busy year so far at O'Brien Guitars.
If you are interested in learning to build guitars or just want to see how I build my guitars then schedule a class with me.
Classes are full through mid November and I will announce my 2014 teaching schedule in December.
If you are in need of a concert quality classical or steel string guitar then let me know as I would love to build a guitar for you.