Hart’s Guitars

Artisan classical guitars.

Single production nylon string guitars for the curator of the uncommon. Classical guitars under the hood, one-of-a-kind instruments on the outside. Each guitar is unique and has no equal anywhere in the world. Our goal for each instrument: When not being played it can be hanging as a featured piece of art in your home.



At the intersection of science and art.

Science rules the day, kicks art away.

Some traditions in lutherie squelch the artist within the luthier. There’s a pretty strict orthodoxy surrounding tonewood and aesthetics in the classical guitar world. With regards to tonewood, there’s a pretty clear story. With the popularity of guitars rising in the mid to late 1800s, musicians began to have regular performances scheduled in large venues where hundreds or sometimes thousands of people might attend. The single most important goal for a luthier’s reputation became making the loudest instruments they could and getting them into the hands of performing musicians, who needed to fill these bigger spaces with sound for the paying public. This was in a time before mics and PA systems and it meant that luthiers had to use spruce or western red cedar for the soundboard. Very understandably, the science of loudness began to dominate lutherie. But is it necessary in 2023?

Welcome back, art!

We now live in an age with quite innovative types of technology: pickups (even for classical guitars) to capture the vibrations and sound amplification technology enabling a guitar’s sound to be projected across stadiums and humungous outdoor festivals. The primary driver behind the need need to make the loudest instrument possible was neutered long ago. Different tone woods can now be explored. At Hart’s Guitars, art has a seat at the table once again.

Creating a new sound in the studio.

Hart’s Guitars is here for the musician seeking something different. Most people might not be aware that a mahogany top on a classical guitar produces a lovely, thick low-end mellow sound. The first five instruments made at Hart’s Guitars were all-mahogany. That’s how convinced we are that it’s a lovely sound.

Alaskan Yellow Cedar as a soundboard also produces tones that no kind of spruce ever will. If you want to capture a different sound in the studio (or your Garage Band setup), Hart’s Guitars can provide you with an instrument that will get you quickly on that path. Exploration and experimentation, it’s what we do.

Scientifically sound, artfully done.

I searched for years and years to find my dream classical guitar. I’ve always loved the feel and sound of nylon strings. But I was continuously disappointed with finding the same old worn out aesthetic in classical guitars. From twenty feet away, classical guitars all look the same to an untrained eye. So, I decided to begin making the guitars I could not find.

Hart’s Guitars was born in 2018. Our guitars are made using the very same traditional classical guitar lutherie methods of the very best. We just know that it’s OK to take a little leap of faith with other tone woods and aesthetics which ultimately produce incredibly unique guitars with a new kind of sound.


Guitars

Unique hand crafted classical guitars like you’ve never, ever seen before. If you seek an instrument like no other, you’re in the right place. For the curator of the uncommon.

Oh, the number of journals we’ve filled on this journey into lutherie!

Blog

I’m always in research mode and love to write about what I’m learning. Guitar design/build is fascinating and a lifelong pursuit. The blog is our place to science.


A classical guitar setup guide.

Classical guitar setup blog article.

This has been, by far, my most popular post. If you have a guitar that’s not fun to play, this setup guide will help you help yourself bring it back to life. Learn how to give your classical, nylon string crossover, or acoustic guitar the precise adjustments it needs regularly for maximum playability.


Featured guitar for July 2023

I make guitars, yes. Am I a professional musician? No. This is a hint of Lágrima by Francisco Tárrega.
I love this guitar.
Alskan yellow cedar top. Canary wood fretboard. Bird’s eye maple sides, maple back. Brazilian rosewood bridge/center stripe/headstock plate. This guitar has many species of wood in the rosette, binding and purfling. One of my luthier heroes is Francisco Gonzalez (España, 1820-1879). The giant rosette is a nod to this gentleman’s artistry as the guitar itself is made to spec of his 1869 model from plans I purchase from the Guild of American Luthiers.
The binding, rosette, and other adornments added a lot of time to making this guitar. Art has an equal seat at the table with science.
Brazilian rosewood center stripe and bridge. Bird’s-eye maple sides.
Canary wood fretboard. It’s lightweight, extremely hard, and changes color when seen from different angles and in different light.

$7150


Coming soon…..

Fluteholes

A page about bamboo flutes.

Over the years, I’ve had a fascination with bamboo flute making. I have an assortment of them around my home I pick up and play occasionally. Taking the time to breathe in a different way to make sound come out of a flute never disappoints, always removing a bit of stress.

This comic was drawn when I was a teacher. On recess one day, I was teaching two students about contour drawing. I drew the flute player. Student #2 drew the skeptic and student #3 doodled the mystic at the bottom.

At the time, I was doing a project with my group making bamboo flutes. I was also reading lots of Rumi.

I am the hole on the flute God’s breath flows through.

Rumi

The skeptic doesn’t want to hear all this mystical stuff about God. At the time of this drawing, I had dreads. The mystic at the bottom is one my student’s portrayal of me, trying to be a positive influence on the skeptic (who was not enjoying the activity).

So, stay tuned for this page about flute making. I grow my own bamboo and have great stockpile of pieces just waiting to sing.


Every artist was first an amateur.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of my early art pieces.


When I’m not making guitars, I like to paint.

Self-portrait.

About Me

Artist-luthier, woodworker, public school teacher dropout, trying to make a living through creativity.

Guild of American Luthiers.

Contact

hartsguitars@gmail.com