Making Acoustic Steel-string Guitars
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Meet Michael Greenfield, a musician who began tuning, repairing, restoring, and making guitars in the 70s and since then has become a seasoned luthier of bespoke guitars. Having experience with vintage and antique guitar repair and restoration, he brings a unique insight to his craft, creating personalized musical instruments and functional works of art for artists, collectors and those who deserve the very best.
His workshop is based in Montreal, where we visited over a period of 5 months, filming as he and his apprentice, Julien, transformed slices of spruce, ebony, mahogany, and other tree species into glistening guitars. It was all of our collective vision to present the process in the most candid, down-to-earth fashion, so in this hour-long documentary you will see all the glue, smudges, shavings, dust, and callouses. His guitars feature Florentine cutaways with spalted beech rosettes, violin-style body purflings and simple decorative purflings along edges, Laskin style arm rests and rib rests, amongst other features.
This documentary follows several different steel-string guitars from beginning to finish. As Michael puts it, the guitar still thinks it’s a tree until it receives its first set of strings and that is when the instrument is born. After many months of work, the magical moment when we hear a guitar’s first notes is like hearing a child’s first words.