Every day, space exploration shows anew that there is still much to discover in our cosmos and that we are surrounded by far more unknown than familiar. Anyone who has ever looked at the infinite variety of stars through a telescope on a clear night will never forget the sight. It makes you realize how small and unimportant we are. To express my fascination for our universe, I give all my guitars names of cosmic objects.
Even in the physics of the guitar, there is still much to discover. Only by breaking new ground can new sound dimensions be opened up. Without missing the due reverence for the well-known guitar classics, I do not want to copy them, but consciously break new ground. There are endless possibilities to develop or optimize the technique in a new way, if one does not have to take history into consideration. But pursuing new approaches does not necessarily mean ignoring the experience of traditional craftsmanship. Mankind has built up a wealth of experience of immeasurable value here over centuries, which is unfortunately increasingly being lost in many places through the use of industrial manufacturing technologies.
Crafts and technologies
To achieve an overall optimum, I combine traditional craftsmanship techniques with modern technologies in my guitars. Since one person alone cannot possibly master all working techniques to absolute perfection, I work closely with specialists in the respective fields, such as goldsmiths, electroplaters and metalworkers.
In der Fertigung meiner Gitarren kombiniere ich Feingefühl mit Präzision. Wenn es um das Formen komplexer räumlicher Geometrien geht, ist das handwerkliche Schnitzen immer noch unschlagbar. Nur durch das Abtragen Span für Span spürt man den Faserverlauf des Holzes und kann eine Oberfläche liebevoll gestalten. Immer noch meine Lieblingsbeschäftigung. Wenn es aber um exakte Passungen, Ausfräsungen für Elektronik oder unsichtbare Bundschlitze geht, dann ist eine CNC-Fräse an Präzision nicht zu überbieten.
Wenn man stundenlang mit Herz und Leidenschaft an einer Gitarre arbeitet, dann fällt es schwer, das fertige Instrument künstlich mit Gebrauchsspuren zu versehen. Bei mir gibt es keine Aging-Bearbeitung. Wer sein Instrument viel spielt, erhält automatisch Gebrauchsspuren. Die sind dann aber ehrlich und authentisch und tun manchmal auch etwas weh.
The primary goals of my guitar making are superior manufacturing quality and unique sound with maximum environmental compatibility. I try as far as possible to use only natural materials such as wood, metal, bone, shells, leather, stones, glass and oil. Above all, it is important to me to avoid lacquers and plastics as far as possible. Those who value lacquer surfaces and plastic pickguards will find a wide range of products on the market. I would like to consciously offer alternatives, especially because this is also my personal attitude to life.
Another aspect of sustainability is the reduction of primary energy use. By using local woods, energy for transport is saved and at the same time the rainforests are conserved. Wherever possible, I only use woods that have been air-dried for many years. These are significantly freer from internal stresses and in addition, energy is again saved compared to chamber drying.
As far as available, I also use woods in recycling. A 50-year-old tabletop or staircase is well seasoned and ideal for guitar making. Here you can then also use tropical woods. Still better than if these would be disposed of thermally.
Copyright © 2022 Peter Bachmaier