Well its been awhile since I have posted as things have been moving slowly here due to Coronavirus-19 lock down. The is post slower than normal and wood suppliers closing down during the lock down phase of this dreaded virus has lead to delays in the work. Anyway, I hope all are OK ? Have just been messing around with some tunes and writing some songs which I never seem to get around to finishing ! Click on the Instagram or Facebook icons for more info or to listen to some recent tune. The guitars are on this website and facebook page.
This track was recorded at Solberg Studios with my own purpose built country style guitar featured below. This has the Seymour Duncan 4-2 Nashville pickups which give a very distinct sound.
So will things be getting be back to normal soon ….hopefully… we will be able to start up as normal soon and get some guitar necks finished for the new model bodies. Have posted a wee country tune here that I started writing the other day Just a bit of fun really 🙂 but like every thing else hope it develops into some thing. I think a trip back to Sweden is on the cards shortly and some more studio workto get the next album out on Spotify.
So I am thinking of posting some lock down walks from around the East Nuek where I live, especially on the coastal path. This has been my daily exercise route for the passed 4 months…See ya soon. Stay safe !
Just been waiting for the paint on the guitars to cure …that 4 weeks minimum for Nitro. So soon I can start the sanding and then lacquer them. Been a bit slow recently with all that is happening but hope you all are good !
This what it looked like earlier now scraped and cleaned.
The paint is Nitro cellulose and it will get a few licks of the same nitro lacquer. Will be back soon ..hopefully
Check out my other media channels for sound bites of my guitars, guitar photos and music recordings on You Tube
New guitar build for 2021. This build is based on Gibson Les Paul/Fender telecaster guitar forms and embellished with Gretsch style hardware. I have tried to blend the styles a bit. It has a Baby bliss tail piece, so it is not stringed through the body but through the tail piece and it has ‘sweet 14’s’ pickups from https://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk Custom made by Jamie Campbell @the_creamery. The volume and tone pots are CTS and the knobs are custom made to look more like the Gretsch style and knurled round the sides. I have made the scratch plate myself from Aluminium and this will have a small ‘Solberg’ logo in black. It will be highly polished before finished with an acrylic lacquer to protect it.
The guitar has a specially treated inlay cut into the body made from Maple. This was achieved using 2-3mm single cutter routers. The inlay (Maple) is injected with a green coloured acrylic polymer at high temperature and pressure. Where there are open pores, the polymer will penetrate the Maple it giving colour but also hardening it. That does make it more difficult to work with but you get a very individualistic effect to add to your work. I think its great and well worth the time.
The body is made from American ash and this time I have used water based wood stains and lacquer from Tone Tech and Crimson guitars instead of the usual nitrocellulose organic-solvent based paints. Just testing different ways of making some new instruments. I found that you can be a bit more creative with water based products and if it goes wrong 🙂 you can use that as a base to test new somethings out. Have tried to do a bit of a sunburst here and then sand back to the wood around the edges to give it a bit of a retro feel. Also by the mixing primary colours in different proportions you can create your own shades and further dilution with water gives you bespoke colourings.
Obviously when using water based products in this way you have to be aware of the fact that no matter what you sand the wood to prior to staining, you will have to sand again due to swelling of the cellulose fibres. So what I do do to try and eliminate this after staining is to spray with pure water first and then sand back with 120 grit paper. After doing this I then apply the stain and sand with 400 grit paper when dry. However do not use wet paper when sanding after application of the stain, its water based and you will effect the shading. The water based lacquer can be applied simply with a brush at 2 hour intervals, I found 8 coats was fine, rubbed back after each application. Again do not rub back with water as this can reactivate the lacquer. The lacquer take about 2 weeks to fully cure and then I use 0000 grade steel wool followed by Mirka Abranet sanding discs at 600, 800, 1000. After that I use Mirka Microstar 1500 and the 2500 (8u) as a final sanding. The last part of this process is to buff the lacquer in three stages.
Thinking of using water based paint only in the future, its quicker, you can make your own custom colours and more environmentally there more friendly than the organic solvent based paints. But expect as usual it is a matter of taste.
Well the first new model for 2021 is well on its way now. It is still in progress and I need finish soldering the electrics in and finishing and staining the neck and head. It will be interesting to see and hear the final product.
So ! not posted in a while as I have been working on some new guitar bodies and testing water based stains and lacquers. Will post on this subject when I have the desired result. But I thought as nature is testing us all at the moment a wee video with the four seasons may be a reminder of how beautiful nature can is when its not attacking us.
This track was recorded some time ago so I have just remastered it . Its not the best if honest but you have to start somewhere and this was the first jazz tune I had ever wrote, you can probably hear that . In any case, I decided to learn more jazz guitar so signed up with Jens Larsen, a jazz guitar teacher at the music conservatory at the university, Den Haag, Holland. Oh boy am I learning. If your a guitarist you can check out Jens You tube channel, he publishes weekly and has lots of videos on how to learn Jazz. It is difficult and having to learn a completely different style tests your concentration but its fun.
This track was recorded with the first ever guitar I built. It was made as a simple guitar just testing new tools woods and some suppliers too. I used the Solberg Sonic guitar as this guitar has Sonic 64’s pickups known for there sweet sound (see pics below). Its funny but many seem to think that only semi acoustic guitars should be used for jazz but I think you hear it here that this is not the case. Indeed I have heard many good and credible jazz guitarist use Fender telecasters. Its all about what tone you dial up on the guitar and amplifier. Any way hope all are well and I will be back with more guitar stuff next week when I hope the new guitar will have been sanded buffed and pickups etc screwed in place.
Well its been clean up day and checking that the specifications are correct on this guitar and as required for the model. Had a few inquiries about this guitar but unfortunately it has an owner now 🙂 Just set pickup pole heights on the skinny mid pickups and a general clean to make sure no edges anywhere. Its a chunky guitar not to everyone’s liking. The neck is a nice maple flame with an Ebony fretboard and boat form profile on the neck
There are some tunes on my Instagram page with sound bites from some of the guitars. There is a facebook page and you tube channel too. I will be making more videos soon too.
The pickups are custom made so called ‘Skinny Scooped Mids’ lots of base and treble but the mid frequencies’ are scooped out so to say. The Tremolo is a Maverik trem, which is the only tremolo for telecaster style bridge pickups. I do not think you retain the telecaster style if you put on a Stratocaster type of tremolo. It just looks odd to me but at the end of the day its about what you like so…..
The body is ash with a 5 mm thick spalted beech top. This is hardened to stop the wood moving. Spalted beech has a tendency to do that and crack if it is not stabilized properly first. The top is then treated with Nitro lacquer and polished. I have only painted the sides, black, and it has black and white pearl bindings front and back. The capacitor in the electric circuit is a 0.02 uF cap and all pots are CTS. If you have any questions mail me at
Well it is still snowing here in Fife like most of the east coast of Scotland. It’s not being call the Beast from the east this time. Think our met office friends have not been that imaginative this year with regards to names. Unlike in 2018 when Anticyclone Hartmut (The Beast), a storm that lasted 24 Feb 2018 – 4 Mar brought a cold wave to Great Britain and Ireland. Anticyclone Hartmut also brought widespread unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall to large areas. So I guess this year is not that bad then ?? Anyway below are some photos from yesterday from Cellardyke 2 mins from where I live. You can see the snow coming in from over the north sea soon to make land and there is one of the Isle of May.
As its too cold to work on the guitars in the workshop and I am waiting for paint, which is taking ages due to the weather. I have spent a few days working with new video software (Filmora X) and a song I wrote awhile back which is a slow blues. Tried to capture a laidback sleepy feel to this blues which is about a man of colour who is driving north to Maine from the south to escape memories of his home and father who was not the best role model. Its the first song I wrote and played all instruments and recorded it here too. So the video is kind of the final bit to add. Although its not the best I think as a first attempt is pretty good ??? I used the Solberg Sonic guitar on this track with my custom built Blackberry 30W tube amp from Beteramps. A good combination for clean and sweet sounds.
Anyway here is the first video I have made, it has is clichés etc but its not bad for a first attempt. Will have to dive into the software a bit and see just what can be done as it looks pretty complicated
Well today saw even more snow fall here in the East Neuk of Fife and of course that means everything on the transport network stops. So I have been doing some exercises in Jazz standards tosay, specifically a tune called ‘The A train’. I have tested different phrasing to the AABA standard Jazz chord sequence but also tested different guitars to see which one I could get a of my guitars I could get an acceptable Jazz tone from. I have made one recording on a Semi Acoustic guitar which I guess you could say is the standard Jazz guitar played by the Jazz greats such as Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery etc. The other two videos are on guitars made here in my workshops. The first video features the Solberg Sonic which has Sonic 60’s pickups which I generally find to have a sweet tone. Here I just play the melody to the tune i.e. standard phrasing. The second video is on my 1984 Hohner professional SE35 with Humbuckers from ‘The Creamery’ Manchester, these pickups are very clean. The last video features my Walnut Telecaster. The pickups in this one are Fender custom shop Texas specials usually associated with a more country style guitar sound. However this guitar does not have a normal tone pot, it is basically a frequency cut. The effect of this is that it removes all frequencies, no mix or blend ! The result is a guitar that is great for recording and use with effect pedals. Question is do there perform better for a Jazz ?
This is the Solberg Sonic. Just playing the standard melody line for ‘The A train’
Solo over the AABA chord progression using the Hohner SE35.
This is the walnut Telecaster where I have change the solo lines to fit more with the chord changes in the tune.
So the question is which one has the better Jazz sound given the choice of guitar /pickups ? It is of course generally excepted that you a have to play Jazz on semi acoustics but I beg to differ. What do you think ?