Useful links for luthiers and
The author is widening his horizon What could be hiding out there? other interested people




A lot of these websites fit into more than one of my categories
but I will not bother to list them more than once. Also, some of the sites are in Norwegian only.


Links

Contents
Guitar factories
Guitarmakers
Important places
Institutions
Instrument stores
Instruments
Magazines
Miscellaneous
Music
Music genres
Musicians
Organisations
Parts
Tools/machinery
Woods
Guitar factories
Fender is beside Gibson one of the really big American guitar factories. The founder, Leo Fender, was the inventor of some electric guitar models that are still there! If you have a pre-CBS Fender, it could be worth a lot!
Gibson. Another big American guitar factory with some legendary models, the best known is perhaps the Les Paul, but its tradition goes way back to 1902, when it was founded by the original Orville Gibson.
Guild. Yet another producer of good American guitars. At some point it was bought by Fender. The "globalization" phenomena does not leave guitar factories untuched, either, you never know who is owned by or competes with who.
Martin. Because of the unsurpassed quality and clean work this was the best guitar you could get until far out in the 70's, nowadays the competition is a bit sharper. Old Martins are collector's items that bring very high prices.
Santa Cruz Guitars. They make a lot of fine guitars, but if you'd like to see a really horrible home page, check this out!
Taylor Guitars. One of the "new" guitar factories that have grown big since the start in 1974.
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Guitarmakers
Benedetto, Robert. Known as a very talented and successful maker of arch-top guitars, and author of a book of the subject "Making an Arch-top Guitar". Here the secret of an eventual success as a guitarmaker is revealed, at least the author of these lines saw it quite clearly! But read the book for yourself, it is good.
Carlson, Fred is a guitarmaker who is very innovative and original. He is the man behind several unusual and also good-sounding creations like the "Sympitar", a guitar with sympathetic strings, like the Hardanger fiddle.
Monteleone, John is a well-known maker of mandolins and arch-top guitars.
Sloane, Irving is not only known as a guitarmaker, but he wrote some of the early books about guitarmaking from which I drew my first knowledge of the art! Later he became known as a designer of tools and tuning gears, among other things. He died in 1998.
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Important places
Cannery Row . Street in Monterey, California, and the place where the author got hold of Leo Kottke's very first, "Oblivion", record at a bargain price of $1.00. Apart from this, the place is known from several novels by John Steinbeck.
McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California is the place where the author attended a John Fahey concert in march 1973, this event forming the culmination of the author's pilgrimage to the US. McCabes interesting web-site also brings a list of all artists who have performed there, it is very long and impressive. Look for yourself!
The Mississippi delta is the cradle of the Blues, is a flat, hot and moist area in Southern USA. Here is a schematic map of the area, containing the names of important towns.
The Mississippi delta. Here is a road-map of the same area.
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Institutions
Arendal library is the place where the author works a three-day week, learns new things about life, and grows as a human being every day. (But will this proud institution end up like the famous football-player Diego Maradona, collapsing under the burden of itself?)
Kanalselskapet for Arendals bymiljø Like Venice, Italy, the center of Arendal used to have canals but over the time they were filled in. This is a lobby group who works for digging up some of them again.
Institute of Metallurgy, NTNU, Trondheim. This is the Institute where after all I got my academic education, although afterwards I tried my luck as a researcher with much less success!
The Student's Society of Trondhjem is the place where the author spent much of the weekends, learned many things about life, got formed as a human being, and was exposed to various cultural and political impulses.
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Instrument stores
Elderly instruments is a firm that among other things sell used instruments. Round 1980 the author bought some neck blanks and tops hailing from the Harmony factory, and they have been used in many of the authors instruments.
Guitar Workshop is situated in Oslo, Norway, and here you should be able to get a guitar, if you want!
Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the largest dealers of used instruments in the US.
Hornaas musikk in Oslo, Norway is the place if you want to go and get a bowed instrument.
Mandolin Brothers in New York is in the same branch as Gruhn Guitars.
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Instruments
Banjo. Here is a history, full of links to other banjo-sites.
Cheap instruments. If you are full of music, but has no money and nothing to play on, in this website you can learn how to build a whole lot of cheap instruments!
Dobro (Dopyera Brothers) is a guitar-shaped instrument with an aluminium resonator making the characteristic, nasal sound. In Norway there is just about one dobro, that can be heard on every record produced in the country. By the way, this website is dedicated to all kinds of slide guitar.
Violin. This is a link-site with lots of stuff about violin, Hardanger fiddle and other related instruments.
Guitar. A big link-site here with many links to other guitar-sites, some quite unconventional. You have stuff here to keep you busy for a long time.
Classical guitar. This site comprises nearly a book about the instrument, composers and artists through the times. Read it, remember it, and be wise!
Langeleik. A Norwegian, dulcimer-like folk instrument, the tradition of which has survived to this day in the valley of Valdres. Here, Sverre Jensen has a website about the langeleik, and by clicking a bit further, you can read about many more or less known historical instruments from Scandinavia.
Lap-steel guitar. Yes, there is a website dedicated to this instrument, too.
Pedal steel guitar is probably the instrument responsible for the dislike of country music by those-who-wear-black-clothes, but we know better, and skilfully played, it really makes your hair stand up!
Ukulele. Kawika (David C. Hurd) has a fine ukulele-site. He lives in Hawaii, and makes them, and he's got a technical education, so he writes meaningful articles about guitar acoustics as well.
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Magazines
Acoustic Guitar. Magazine for ... well, the title tells you all, doesn't it?.
Fine Woodworking. This magazine is great if you want to keep informed of the latest in tools and machinery for anyone involved in working wood on a hobby or small business basis. The articles are mostly about furniture making.
Guitar Player. Here is their web edition, with goodies from the last issue, playing tips and courses, and links.
Vintage Guitar Magazine is, as the title says so clearly, the magazine for collectors and others of used and old instruments.
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Miscellaneous
Are you feeling quite well? I don't think so, and after trying this, I am sure you agree!
Great Country Gifts. A big net-store with country effects. You'll never run out of Christmas gifts if you are a customer here.
Poa pratensis or Bluegrass of Kentucky. For some time I had been of the opinion that this grass was confined to certain regions of the Appalachian Mountains, but then it turned out it is in fact the main sort in some 40 million lawns in USA and Canada!
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Music
Akers Mic Online is a Norwegian net-record-shop.
Boxman is a net-record-shop as well.
"Killing me Softly". Song by Roberta Flack, played on American radio stations spring 1973. Read the text here!
Musikkweb If you are in Norway and you want to buy or sell an instrument, you can check out the ads in the magazine "Musikk praksis" here. This website is also good if you don't want to be an old-fashioned ignorant, of course you want to keep up with the latest trends in electronics for the music market. (Or if you'd like to check into a real expensive web-hotel!)
"The Last Time". This Stones tune was a great success round 1964, and here is the text:
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Music genres
Bluegrass. A music genre that emerged in Kentucky, USA; apparently it got its name after a blueish grass species growing on Bill Monroes farm. Bluegrass music is characterized by harmonius singing in the upper registers, vigorously accompanied, and with solos by instruments like banjo, mandolin and guitar.
Blues. Here is a handy , little blues history, aimed to enlighten the American youth, I guess. On the next link, you will find
Blues- links enough to last you for weeks!
Country. The Ryman auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, is where the Grand Old Opry held house for many years, and many people believe this is the cradle of Country music. On this web-site you'll find links to many of the great artists. But not everybody was let into the warmth of the Opry, e.g. the so called Outlaw Country artists (see link)
Country blues. Music form from the Southern states of the USA. Contrary to the later and more electrified Chicago blues it is characterized by simple, acoustic instruments and single performers, but often showing off refined and complicated playing techniques. Many performers were through the 60s and 70s objects of "discovery" and resurrection by young, white enthusiasts like Stefan Grossman and others, and so this music form has been spread to nearly every corner of the world.
Outlaw-country. The "Grand Old Opry" concept was not a very inclusive one! Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash to mention some, took up "controversial" issues in their songs, grew unsuitable haircuts, etc., and thus became "Outlaws" (undoubtedly this in itself was also a very marketable concept!) Roughstock's History of Country Music has a chapter about these boys, and if you want, you may read the whole story of Country music here.
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Musicians
Alterhaug, Bjørn. An example of a serious performer of jazz with his roots in North Norway. This ethnic group was strongly present on the jazz scene in Trondheim in the 70's.
Augland, Tord. Guitarist, born in Trondheim, where he among other things played in the band "Tordenskjolds soldater". In his web-site he has made a Christmas calendar, and he gives us his view on the concept of leadership.
Basho, Robbie. Obscure American guitarist, he first recorded on John Fahey's Takoma label, later on Windham Hill and others. Known for his orientally inspired compositions, giving an impression of wild force unique to the artist. This is music for the enthusiast, especially where he sings! Alas, Basho died a few years ago.
Bull, Sandy. American guitarist, known, at least in the sixties, for recordings with long solos on Fender Stratocaster on the Vanguard label, but it appears he's still going strong.
Fahey, John. Myth-ridden guitarist from Takoma Park, Washington DC. Main responsible for the authors pilgrimage to the US in 1973. Ever since his first recordings in the late 50's Fahey has given us advanced satires of American folk music while at the same time showing his obvious love for the music. With his innovative playing style he has been an inspirator for the author and for countless other fingerstyle guitar-enthusiasts all over the world. Also, he has contributed to the revival of bluesmen like Skip James and Bukka White.
Flack, Roberta. The songwriter/singer of the popular tune "Killing me Softly" that topped the charts in 1973. Here is a discography.
Grossman, Stefan. Guitarist from New York, known for his own blues/ragtime- inspired guitarplaying, and for bringing into light musicians like Mississippi John Hurt and Rev. Gary Davis. Later also for bringing his and others playing techniques out to the masses on cassette tapes and videos.
Kottke, Leo. American guitarist, famous especially for his neck-braking fingerstyle projects on 12-string guitar. He started on Takoma and Symposion records (not counting the Oblivion one, mentioned elsewhere), later on he has reached a larger audience.
Monroe, Bill. American mandolin player and singer. With his band "The Bluegrass Boys" he laid the corner stone to the music genre that has later been called Bluegrass music. He died in 1996.
Rolling Stones. British pop group that since their formation in the early 60's did a lot to introduce black music to a white audience. Now they are old men, but still doing their thing. This link is just one of the countless websites dedicated to this group.
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Organisations
Guild of American Luthiers. Non-profit organisation for all who make stringed instruments. It has its own periodical: "American Lutherie". Nearly 3000 members, 4 from Norway (5 if I would just remember to pay!).
Musicians and Instrument Makers Forum. Discussion forum for luthiers. A little more commercial. They've got a big link collection.
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Parts
Gefle MusikFabrik. This firm claims to be Scandinavias largest in guitar parts.
Internet Music Supply is a large net-store with parts, mainly for electric guitars.
Luthier's Mercantile International has a nice and very readable catalog of woods, tools and instrument parts. It is a textbook in itself.
Stewart MacDonald's Guitar Shop Supply har just about everything for building and repairing guitars. They are professional and polite, they answer your questions, and they supply you with a fresh catalog four times a year!
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Tools and machinery
Better Built Corp. sells a small mobile sawmill with a bandsaw driven by your (powerful) chainsaw. It is so light you can carry it around. A must for you who want to use local woods that are not commercially available, which here in Norway means a lot of species!
Biltema. Not just car parts here! On this site is a map where you can see where the Norwegian shops are.
Clas Ohlson is a big mail-order firm who carries a lot of hard-to-get items.
Craft Supplies. An English supplier of tools and woods, mainly for turning, but also for lutherie and other kinds of woodworking activities.
Haddon Tools produces an attachment to your (still powerful) chainsaw so that you may produce nice planks after cutting a tree. Definitely an advantage over the wood-wasting "freehand" alternative!, and cheaper than a bandsaw mill.
Microplane makes tools for drills, etc., that produces small chips of wood instead of dust . To people annoyed by wood dust, their sounds worth the investment.
Sløjd-Detaljer is a big mail-order firm with materials and equipment for almost any hobby or activity.
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Woods
Exotic Woods co. Supplier of woods and Mother-of-pearl products. Prices are cheaper than many others, but then you should also have realistic expectations about what you get.
The Music Trader has a list of suppliers of instrument woods in the US and Europe.
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LUTHIER Audun Hofseth
Fjellveien 27, N-4838 Arendal
Tel. +47 37 02 31 74
E-mail: audun(at)hofseth.com

Copyright Audun Hofseth, 1999 - www.hofseth.com