Rocker now an in-demand classical luthier

Posted on: August 17, 2009

In Sunday’s (8/16) Sacramento Bee, Edward Ortiz writes, “Classical guitar builder Waylin Carpenter gets a telltale glint in his eye when he talks about guitars. The instrument looms large in the life of this 52-year-old rock ‘n’ roll guitarist turned self-taught classical guitar builder, or luthier. Often, a rock guitarist evolves into a builder of custom electric guitars. … But despite his ability to tool around with electric guitars, Carpenter chose the difficult and solitary world of classical guitar building. … Carpenter just finished his ninth instrument—a seven-string guitar commissioned by the Davis-based guitarist Matthew Grasso, a classical music and Indian music specialist. Carpenter is a former classical guitar student of Grasso’s. … It takes Carpenter roughly 150 hours to build a seven-string guitar. The most difficult part of the process is bending and gluing the side and back panels. And much care is needed when deciding on the kinds of wood to use for the front sound board, a veritable speaker. Carpenter’s first guitars were built with lighter woods for the back and a heavier wood for the sound board.”

Posted August 17, 2009