Healdsburg Guitar Festival 2013 - Custom Guitar Heaven

The recently concluded Healdsburg Guitar Festival showcased a host of impressive custom guitars from respected luthiers around the world.

Healdsburg Guitar Festival

The festival which began in 1995, allowed face-to-face interaction between professional luthiers and their prospective buyers. It was also a venue for hosted workshops in both performing and guitar building. Now it has grown to be an event where some of the best small scale luthiers gather to showcase their custom creations.

The 2013 Healdsburg Guitar Festival took place at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa, in Santa Rosa, California. Aside from the workshop and display areas, there are also a number of "quiet rooms" available in the venue for trying out the instruments on display.

Solomon Decodence

A wide range of musicianship workshops were provided by the event, from selecting and evaluating guitars to basic songwriting and there were also workshops that help various guitar techniques like fingerstyle, flat picking, open tuning, celtic style and many more. Builder workshops were also provided at the event which include a course on bevels, sideports and inlays, as well as a lecture on the use of vintage guitars in modern lutherie.

Various demo performers and concerts was also staged, showing some of the custom guitars in action. However, the focal point of the festival is still the ability to see, try and buy the various creations of the luthiers that signed up. Here is a short video clip of the event from Home Brewed Music:

This year's event pulled in a long list of modern day guitar builders, which resulted in a display line that showcases a little bit of everything from traditional to the most unique looking guitars. Thankfully some of the more exceptional instruments that were on display was photographed and the images are now making their rounds all over the net and via social media.

One of the instruments that caught my attention is the Decodence from Solomon Guitars, its traditional shape is contrasted by its unique soundhole and colorful pickguard and headstock graphic.

The intricately inlaid instruments from William Laskin Guitars were also eye catching. Tim Reede was also present along with a long list of equally impressive guitar builders. Although I haven't seen an image of his work yet, I am confident that Ervin Somogyi's table would have caught a lot of attention, just like how it did when Todd Hallawell played it on stage at the 2009 Healdsburg Guitar Festival:

I am writing about the festival in hopes of giving these deserving and hard working luthiers more coverage. Their unique and personalized designs provide a welcome and refreshing break from the conventional styles found on mass-produced instruments. For more information about the festival, visit Healdsburg Guitar Festival

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