Masterclass of lutherie for acoustic guitar, with Ken Parker - 1st lesson

27/09/2019 at 10:00 in Sala Masterclass 1

Collective theoretical lesson for guitar makers, guitar players (amateur and professional), guitar fans.


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Master luthier KEN PARKER (USA)

Though most players know Ken Parker because of the innovative guitar he and Larry Fishman designed and introduced under the Parker Guitars brand in 1993—the Fly—he has been obsessed with archtops for decades. Given the Fly’s striking ergonomics, composite-covered body, carbon-fiber fretboard, and proprietary, multifunction tremolo—all of which made it one of the most unique and successful new solidbody designs of the last 20 years—it should come as no surprise that Parker’s obsession is now advancing the art and science of archtop guitars. But that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he does it all because he’s striving to inject the playing experience with real joy: “To me, if a guitar isn’t fun to play—if it doesn’t put a grin on your face and beckon you from the corner of the room—what is it for?”


Tradition Evolves


1st Day - Friday 27th, from 10:00am to 1:00pm

I will explain my life's journey in instrument making, invention, innovative design, and tool making. I’ll share some lessons learned and discoveries made that have been most important to me, and show how it has all come together in the acoustic arch top guitars that I’m building now. I will cover all aspects of tool geometry and cutting tool design, a crucial building block for the luthier, looking at tools and methods that work especially well. We will see how our traditional tools can be improved by applying this understanding. I will demonstrate some hot rod hand tools useful to luthiers, and show the real world benefits of understanding tool design. We will discuss the job of the contemporary luthier, the evolution of instrument performance driven by the needs of contemporary musicians, and how our useful innovations can empower the musicians who use our instruments as tools for their expression and craft.


2nd Day - Sunday 29th, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Students will be encouraged to bring their work problems to be examined and (ideally) solved, or mysteries to be explored. These may be tools that don't work well, materials that pose unusual challenges, or a process that seems too difficult, time consuming, or unpredictable. I will discuss how modern composite materials can best be applied to guitars, explaining their special properties, benefits, and limitations. We’ll look at how composites can support and blend with wood to solve some fundamental problems in guitar making. Also we will study some traditional techniques used to build ancient instruments,and to recall what may have been "lost" traditional methods that have relevance today.



Organization: Armadillo Club e Cremona Fiere