It's all about the wood.
The feel, the tone, the smell and overall vibe of an acoustic instrument is what drives my work.
I choose only the finest tonewoods for my instruments. My goto woods are Mahogany, Macacauba, Brazilian Rosewood, Red spruce and Lutz spruce. I have many sets of these and other tonewoods available.
This Tenor Ukulele is available on Reverb.com
I use old-time finishing methods like shellac and varnish which enhance the natural beauty of the wood and are generally thinner than gloss lacquer. They also produce a more woody, broken-in feel compared to thicker factory finishes.
I make my instruments with full thickness mahogany necks. Carbon fiber reinforcing rods are an option along with an adjustable truss rod. All profiles available on custom orders.
I prefer to use animal glues which I believe affect the tone. Hot hide glue is used on all top bracing. Fish glue and Titebond is also used.
Wood bindings are installed on all my instruments.
Custom inlays are available.
Me the player:At 5 years old I was already in love with the acoustic guitar. My Mom saved for months to buy me a 3/4 Fender nylon string guitar and to pay for some lessons.
Fast forward a few years to my graduation from the Berklee College of Music.
I played guitar in Nashville for a spell and then moved to Maine to work the wood.
More Monkman Guitar Videos
Me the builder:I've always enjoyed working with wood. Creating a musical instrument out of raw wood is the most gratifiying experience I have ever had. Seeing and hearing people enjoy my instruments is what it's all about.
My building style mimics my musical style and taste.
The smooth tones that Tony Rice got out of his famous D-28.
The dry staccato sitka infused runs by Doc Watson.
The dramatic shimmering chords from Neil Young's 60's D-45.
Or sweet sounds from smaller mahogany guitars like Tim O'Brien's 00-18.
My inspirations are true to the history of the acoustic music that a lot of us love.
Acoustic music is more organic, more personal. The instrument or tool that is used should be an extension of the person using it.
The true purpose of playing is to convey an emotion. Good or bad, happy or sad. The wrong instrument can get in the way of this goal. The instrument should feel right, sound right, intonate well and make the user feel as comfortable as possible. This allows the player to get totally engrossed or lost in the emotion of the music.
My goal is to build these types of instruments. I want each one to be "the one" for my clients. I'm drawing from my 4 decades of guitar playing to build what I think are wooden gems. Each one is unique. Perfectly imperfect. Tonally inspiring. Built to last for a lifetime and then some.
I have many sets of Brazilian rosewood for building some special guitars and ukuleles. I will be posting pics of available sets soon. Below are three completed guitars with Braz back and sides.
Please feel free to contact me for any reason. More guitars & ukes are on the way.
If you're looking for something special or unique let me know. Custom work is always welcome.