Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build – 3rd Edition




Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build, in two volumes, is for everyone who wants to understand more about designing and building acoustic guitars using methods based on the acoustical and engineering sciences and contemporary small workshop practices.

For the first time, the sound output of a guitar is comprehensively related both theoretically and practically to the instrument’s woodwork, providing a logical and scientific method for designing guitars and real answers to questions that have challenged luthiers for centuries.  Instruments built using these techniques are measurably more powerful, in-tune, responsive and playable than just about anything for sale in a music store.  The differences are immediately audible.

Builders and experts alike will find these volumes invaluable. Building instructions and full sized plans are provided for four different types of guitar. But the real purpose of these volumes is to provide a design and build methodology that will allow the reader to construct just about any type of flat top guitar; the “perfect guitar” for yourself or your customer, using the same techniques that provide the quality and consistency required by pragmatic luthiers who make guitars for a living.


The FIRST book to seriously and scientifically address the acoustics, physics and mechanics of the acoustic guitar, relating the sounds we hear to the way a guitar vibrates and to its woodwork and structure. It provides a complete methodology from wood testing to sculpturing the sound output of your next guitar. Over 390 pages of text, diagrams, charts and full colour photographs.

BUILD Volume

Addresses the construction of FOUR different styles of guitar using the principles developed in the DESIGN volume. Detailed explanations of contemporary construction methods for traditional fan and X-braced guitars; contemporary lattice braced classical guitars and falcate braced steel string guitars. Over 450 pages of text, diagrams, charts and full colour photographs of the complete building process. Full sized plans are provided for all four guitar designs covered in the text.

Note for buyers outside Australia

Some destination countries impose various charges on import, not necessarily at the time of delivery, which are the responsibility of the purchaser. You are advised to check with the appropriate authorities prior to purchase. A signature will be required on receipt. Please be sure that the delivery address is “staffed” during normal commercial hours. Delivery to a commercial address is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment, frustration and additional expense.


This work presents the science, technology, and practical aspects of guitar design and construction. The authors intimately link the science of acoustics and modal vibrations to the woodwork in the guitar and its resulting sound. There is plenty of practical information for both the novice and the experienced builder of guitars.

Prof. Thomas Rossing – PhD; Visiting Professor of Music, Stanford University. Gold Medallist of the Acoustical Society of America and author of over 350 books and papers on acoustics and the physics of musical instruments, co-author with Neville Fletcher of “The Physics of Musical Instruments”.

In reading your book, I found it a wonderfully detailed account of guitar design, and very clearly written, for which I must congratulate you.

Dr. Neville Thiele – OAM, FIEAust, FAES; pre-eminent acoustic theoretician, responsible with R. H. Small for the development of the Thiele/Small parameters for loudspeaker design.

I have been the proud owner of several instruments crafted by Gerard Gilet, ranging from flamenco to single cone resophonic guitars. I have played Gerard’s guitars to my own (and possibly also the listeners’) satisfaction on three continents. And these guitars have also found their way onto my various albums – both solo and with Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet.

Recently, I made the exciting discovery of playing one of Trevor Gore’s guitars. As I write, I have at my side a thunderingly good classical guitar – a veritable V8 of an instrument – ready to be taken out on the track. And like all fine guitars this instrument has the special stamp of a thoroughbred, spirited yet refined.

I therefore warmly recommend the work of Gerard Gilet and Trevor Gore, not only to luthiers and guitar specialists, but to all musicians, craftsmen, scientists and readers of all persuasions.

Gareth Koch – B.Mus, PhD; ARIA Award Winner 2003; Lecturer in Classical Guitar, University of Tasmania; Solo recording artist, ABC Classics; Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet.

These guys are world leaders in guitar building.

Tommy Emmanuel – AM; multi-award winning guitarist

Additional information

Weight 3.8 kg
Dimensions 34 × 23 × 7 cm


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