Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

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Charlie Schultz
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Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Charlie Schultz »

Hi all,
William has agreed to be interviewed here. I'll be sending him a list of questions- any questions you'd like me to ask him, please post 'em here.

Charlie

Douglas Ketellapper
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Douglas Ketellapper »

I'm interested in the Puerto Rican instruments he makes. Anything he'd like to share regarding the status of that project would be great. My wife is from Puerto Rico, and I'm really interested in the culture.

Also, I plan on making a cuatro, but with contemporary 6 string construction rather than the traditional method of using a large piece of wood and cutting out the body. I wonder what kind of adaptations to the 6 string construction he would make to get the best cuatro sound.

Thanks Charlie!

Mike Crabbe
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Mike Crabbe »

Looking forward to the interview!

We've all followed his book and it still seems to be the best one out there that I'm aware of, at least. But it's, what, 30 years old? It seems that some new ideas have developed since then (Taylor style butted neck joints, radius sanding dishes, silicone heat blankets for bending, etc.). I'd be curious to know what he thinks of techniques that have come up in the last couple of decades - which ones he like and dislikes? Maybe some he likes the idea but hasn't personally adopted or tried, etc.

Mike

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Mike Wilson
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Mike Wilson »

Charlie- I am looking forward to the William Cumpiano interview too!Douglas- I'm not sure where you are located but Chicago

Douglas- Side note: I'm not sure where you're located but there is an annual Cuatro Festival in Chicago ... just in case you're interested http://www.praachicago.org/site/epage/121460_1028.htm

Ron Belanger
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Ron Belanger »

Mike Crabbe wrote:Looking forward to the interview!

We've all followed his book and it still seems to be the best one out there that I'm aware of, at least. But it's, what, 30 years old? It seems that some new ideas have developed since then (Taylor style butted neck joints, radius sanding dishes, silicone heat blankets for bending, etc.). I'd be curious to know what he thinks of techniques that have come up in the last couple of decades - which ones he like and dislikes? Maybe some he likes the idea but hasn't personally adopted or tried, etc.

Mike
I am interested in this as well

Ron

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Murray MacLeod
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Murray MacLeod »

To be fair to William, it should be noted that over the years he has disavowed a few of the methods which he espoused when co-writing the book, so there wouldn't be a lot of mileage in rehashing subjects like neck joints, and in particular , tap tuning.

The pegged Gurian- style neck joint has been consigned to the dustbin of history, as has "quenching the fundamental"...

Gerry Gruber
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Gerry Gruber »

Not so much a question ... but as has been mentioned, many of us cut our teeth on his book. And so, if you could forward a big thank-you to him for his efforts in that respect, that would be most appreciated. I think the greatest strength of his book for me was how accessible he made the whole process. You didn't have to go out and buy a bunch of expensive and rare tools, or build complicated jigs, to get started. For first-time builders (and I was one of them), his book was the catalyst. And, I might add, it remains a standard feature in my workshop. I've added many "updates" and personal notes to the margins since. But, it remains my number one reference book.

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Andy Birko
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Andy Birko »

Lot's of people on the internet forums learned to build by reading his books and blog. What has he learned from the internet and how has it helped his building?
PMoMC

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Mark Day
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Mark Day »

Count me in with all those thanking him for his book. It was well worth his and Natelson's efforts. It really does seem to be considered the "bible" of guitar building, though I've been wishing for a new edition in color and either hard cover or spiral bound. :P
I have 3 questions:
1. Is he considering a revised edition, and if so, has he heard of David Van Edwards and his lute making courses? In terms of detail, the Van Edwards courses are on par with Guitarmaking Tradition and Technology. The Van Edwards courses are HTML based and work like an offline webpage with hyperlinks at the index page taking you to each lesson. There are of course live links too. The course comes on a CDROM with a full-sized plan in a box. It's a neat option for anyone looking to make a how-to book.
2. I would like to know what Jonathan Natelson is up to these days and if they are still in contact with each other. Natelson doesn't seem to have an online presence that I have found. Just wondering if he is still building.
3. But the most important question is, would William be interested in joining the MIMF?!

Gilbert Fredrickson
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

It would be nice to see more on neck to body joints and peg head to neck joints, in addition to laminated neck construction, early guitar building and an inquisition into Spanish Vihuela construction methods ...not that I might need this information for myself.

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Jim McConkey »

We seem to get regular questions about building cuatros and similar instruments, I understand William has a strong interest in these. Public information on these instruments is sorely lacking. Maybe he could share some of his parts suppliers and construction details. Has he ever thought about a construction book for similar folk instruments?
MIMForum Staff - Way North of Baltimore

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Mark Day
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Mark Day »

Gilbert Fredrikson wrote:
It would be nice to see more on neck to body joints and peg head to neck joints, in addition to laminated neck construction, early guitar building and an inquisition into Spanish Vihuela construction methods ...not that I might need this information for myself.
It would be great to see tutorials on alternate neck-to-body joints and especially V-joints. There is a real shortage of information on early instrument construction in general. William may not be interested in anything like this, or in revising his 30 year old book, but maybe he will put something together on the cuatro and other Puerto Rican instruments. Hopefully he will continue to produce more instructional material amongst all his other endeavors. Not only is he a master builder, but a good teacher. Those two don't always go hand in hand. Once again, thanks to all for the MIMF for helping fill in the gaps.

Steve Senseney
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Steve Senseney »

I have great respect for William Cumpiano. If I had not found his book (and the MIMF) I would not have built any guitars.

The concept of updating his book has been mentioned many times. The publishing industry has changed. Information is quickly available on the internet.

I understand that updating his book would be a lot of work, and I have no idea whether he has interest in doing this, or if there would be any financial gain for him.

Perhaps he could list a theoretical outline of the next edition if he would ever consider another edition.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

Mark Day wrote:Gilbert Fredrikson wrote: It would be great to see tutorials on alternate neck-to-body joints and especially V-joints.
Christopher Martyn has a very good picture essay on his neck to head V-joint on his finelystrung.com blog.

Douglas Ketellapper
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Re: Questions for a William Cumpiano interview

Post by Douglas Ketellapper »

Mike, thanks for the link to the Cuatro festival. I'm in Denver, and Chicago isn't a stretch for me to go visit for something like that. There's other things I'd like to do in Chicago, so it would be a good trip.

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