Handmade Guitars by Bob Gramann
Design Statement
100 tail
My design goals are sound, ease of playing, and simplicity.  I have played acoustic guitar for over 50 years, professionally for over 20.  I build guitars that I want to play. 


I try to optimize the sound of every guitar that I build. Wood selection and thickness, bracing patterns, bracing thickness and shape, and attention to joinery are just some of the factors involved in making this happen.  Unlike factory construction where brace sizes are standardized and cut by machine, I can discard brace wood that I think is unsuitable and carve each brace to optimum dimensions for that piece of wood. I can select each top for the particular model of instrument that I am building, saving the stiffest tops for the largest guitars.  I aim for a balanced tone with a strong bass, but a bass that doesn't overwhelm the rest of audio spectrum from the guitar.  I aim for rich overtones.  I want the guitar to have an interesting sound.  Every sound critical joint is made with hot hide glue.  As thin as a glue joint is, any flexibility there can allow some damping of sound.  Hide glue is not flexible like PVA glues (which I use in some joints where just a bit of flexibility is helpful). 

Ease of Playing

I like the neck to be quick and easy to finger.  Personally, I prefer a modified V neck profile, but I can make other shapes on request.  Getting the neck geometry just right allows for low action.  My guitars are loud enough that the player doesn't have to play hard to be heard above the group.  For someone who needs to play hard, I can adjust the action upward a bit to eliminate fret noises that accompany low action.  The tops on my guitars are extremely compliant.  That provides responsiveness and volume, but it also provides an ease of playing that can be felt in both hands.  And, these guitars are as light as they can be for the woods used in construction.


Let the sound speak for the guitar.  I try to design so that your visual impression of the guitar doesn't distract you from the music.  (Bling adds to expense and does nothing for sound.  If you want a lot of inlay, I can do it, but it adds significantly to the price of the instrument.)  

Bob Gramann
122 Laurel Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

(540) 898-0611