Over 30 year ago, I started building guitars as an apprentice "Zupfinstrumentmacher" in Germany (Idstein - Lenzhahn) with Master luthier Reinolt Seiffert. After a few years I passed my exams for the official "Gesellenpruefung" and returned to the Netherlands where I started my career as a guitar builder (luthier).
The passion for guitar building is like an incurable virus infection that never cures. Each time again it's a fascinating process to work with the guitarist or lute player and select the basic materials and build that particular musical instrument which the
a tight and pure sound as well as a more “round”, more melodic sound.
In any case, it remains a matter of playing, hearing ... and finding the click with just that instrument.
When building an instrument, it starts with listening to the raw wood and during the process of building, listening to how the parts of the instrument react to one another and sound together.
Finding that particular instrument, is a matter of trying out numerous instruments, as for example those described on this site. Regrettably, the universal guitar or lute that incorporates all types of sound does not exist.
Each instrument has its own specific character and it is for the player to find just that instrument that fits most to his style and taste. So, in order to meet the demand and taste of the musician, of most of my instruments, I build a number of different models.
For example, my top model D30, is available with
The luthier prepares a soundboard
player will use with great pleasure.
Regardless of whether you are amateur or professional, a guitar tailored to your level and style of playing will stimulate you and increase the quality of your performance.
I use traditional means such as tapping on wood and listening, but also more modern means such as frequency measurements via the PC. These measurements can give you a more accurate insight in certain properties of the wood and instrument. But in the end it’s just a tool and intuition and experience remain the basis for building instruments with a soul.
(c)2009-2015 Dirk Janssen Specialist in handcrafted concert guitars and lutes