Designing Your Instrument


During the design process of an instrument with a client I have a set of points that I discuss in order to ascertain exactly what they want in an instrument.

What style of music is the instrument intended for?

While many instruments can cover a great number of musical styles, a great number of individual design elements can be used in a build that accent a guitar or bass towards its intended use.

What instrument types inspire them and why?

We all have our favourites. Some of their look and design elements can be introduced into your build.

What scale length works best and what effect will this have on the sound?

This has a huge bearing on sound and playability. Much of the sound characteristics of an instrument can be traced back to this area.

Body wood?

This also dictates much of the sonic blue print of the instrument. It can also heavily influence the weight of the instrument.

Decorative timber or veneer work on the top of the instrument body.

Many of my clients are attracted to the special timber or veneer work that I use in my builds. While not imparting a great deal to the overall sound of the instrument, will play the largest role on visual impact to the viewer.

Neck wood and shape.

Neck wood, fretboards and neck shape play their part in the way the instrument sounds and feels to play. Small variations in a neck profile can make an enormous difference to the way the player feels about their instrument.


Satin, Gloss, tinted, metallic, sunburst or even relic finishes are all possible with the nitro cellulose paint that I use.

Pickups and electronics.

Sonically much can be achieved with electronics. My many years of experience can help guide my clients through this maze of possibilities.