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Allan Harrington

The Responsive Guitar, 2 volume collection





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A two volume collection by Ervin Somogyi.


  • 334 Pages
  • 34 chapters plus index, glossary, bibliography, introduction, endnote commentaries, and resources list
  • Cloth-bound hard cover with four-color dust jacket
  • 490 black-and-white photos and figures
  • 32 pages of color photographs

Ervin writes: This book is about the fine points of making a successful guitar. It is 350 pages long, spread out among 34 chapters on every segment and function of the guitar. It is about how, how much, and under what conditions the guitar makes sound. This includes materials analysis, theory of guitar acoustics and dynamics, a great deal of empirical information, an explanation of vibrating plate behaviors and the acoustic functions of the guitar's principal vibrational modes, comparative and technical data, and historical perspective.

There is nothing in the market or on bookshelves like this: this book is more or less a bible for guitar makers: it contains everything I've learned about making guitars over a forty-plus year career. For icing on the cake, there is a 32-color-page section showing some of the most innovative and noteworthy work being done today. There are close to 500 photographs and diagrams, and everything is described in plain, everyday language: there's not a single scientific formula anywhere.


  • 290 Pages
  • 32 chapters plus index, glossary, bibliography, introduction, endnote commentaries, and resources list
  • Cloth-bound hard cover with four-color dust jacket
  • 496 black-and-white photographs and figures

Ervin writes: This is a book about understanding and making the guitar as I know it, practice it, think about it, and appreciate it. It is a comprehensive method, covering material that other books stint on or skip over entirely, including comparative perspectives on other makers' methods. It emphasizes making the steel string guitar but also touches heavily on making the Spanish guitar.

This book is hard cover, 300 pages long, and contains almost 500 photographs and diagrams. The methods and procedures described in it are based in the principles outlined in the first volume.

Here is an excerpt from Brian Burns' review on The Responsive Guitar: "Making a guitar is a lot of work. Having one turn out to be a pretty good instrument is, for me, a disappointment. The difference between a pretty good instrument, and one that is really exciting to play is only a few percent. It requires that you take care of all the little things, from careful wood selection on through to your choice of finish. Ervin gives us the benefit of 40 years' experience of working hard to discover what all those little things are, and how to make them work for us."

Also see Ervin Somogyi's DVD, Voicing the Guitar (BM86)

SKU Product Name In Stock Each  
BM84 The Responsive Guitar, 2 volume collection Yes $286.20