On Instagram yet? It’s become a sanctuary for some of us: no political rants, no news to digest, nothing (at least in our feed) about Pokemon–just an endless stream of like-minded fretted instrument fanatics showcasing their wares.
And the guitar community on Instagram continues to grow by leaps and bounds (do a search for #luthier, #gearybusey or just #vintageguitar and you’ll get lost for hours). Builders, collectors, players and dealers all seem keen to share their latest guitar projects, point out repairs they’re attempting or just reveal off how little glue runout they have. We’ve been turned on to plenty of new (and old) builders thanks to the network and we post a fair amount of our own behind-the-scenes footage on the FJ’s page. With that in mind, here are five of our favorite Instagram accounts to follow. If we missed one of your favorite feeds, just let us know and maybe we’ll include them in August.
I’ve never actually seen a Jersey Girl guitar in person, but their Instagram feed almost has me booking a flight to Japan to check them out. On their website, they call their models “compositions,” which would be pretentious except for the fact that their woodworking and inlay work are beautiful and, well, these guitars do look like playable art. Heck, their electrics often come with matching pedals and straps, too. Their Instagram feed boasts plenty of shots of finished and in-process guitars and the occasional vegetable harvest from their garden.
Dave Strunk and Rich Eckhart both worked in the repair department at Martin in Nazareth, Pennsylvania for many years. Now on their own as Brothers Music Shop, they’re still doing stellar repair work but on a variety of models and makes. Their passion for old instruments comes through with every post, whether they’re working on a National, replacing frets on a P-bass or (of course) repairing an old dreadnought.
Portland, Oregon’s Saul Koll has always made incredible electric guitars. But, for the last year or two, he seems to have a new spring in his step. Every day, he seems to post shots of a new project, color scheme or pickup configuration. In short, he’s having fun. While there are plenty of builders on Instagram showing pics of their shiny, completed guitars, Koll’s feed focuses on the not-so-little details that really matter: the raw materials and woodworking craft that goes on under the finish. Total eye candy.
Yes, you can post a 60-second video on Instagram, but for most of us that’s not enough for a full song. So it’s no surprise that there are a myriad of players out there highlighting their best licks, solos and tapping techniques (and not much else). Todd Pritchard is a Philly-based player and instructor who seems to exploit this platform like few others: His playing is tasteful and his neo-soul arrangements are incredible. You’ll be listening to him on repeat again and again.
We are so fascinated by Anthony Paine of Harvester Guitars that we did an entire podcast interview with him (listen to it here). Needless to say, we’re huge fans of this Australian maker’s work, which seems to combine classic Fender shapes with the industrial beauty of aluminum-necked Travis Bean guitars and some modernist touches that only Paine could come up with. Apparently, we’re not the only ones who appreciates Harvesters, as Jeff Tweedy of Wilco recently ordered one and sung its praises.