Luthier Alan Simcoe | Alan Simcoe
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Author:Alan Simcoe


European Spruce 7 String

This 7-String Concert model is a Hauser design classical guitar with European Spruce top and Indian Rosewood sides and back. Spanish Cedar neck with Ebony fingerboard. The Bridge is Cocobolo with a mesquite burl rosette. Standard 650 mm string length with Schertler Tuners. This guitar is built in the Torres/Hauser tradition with a bracing pattern that features bright trebles and good basses with excellent sound flexibility. French Polish finish. Hand crafted by Alan Simcoe in April, 2016.   See photos and more in the Store >...

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Island School Batucada

Island School on Bainbridge Island asked me to come in during the month of March and show their students how to do Brazilian style Batucada drumming.  I worked with about 60 kids for three weeks, and they put on a big show for their parents as a final project. Photos: Rehearsing the kids at Island School with Mike Durzon. The big performance   [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="51523,51520,51519" orderby="rand"]...

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Cavaquinho, cavaco, Brazilian Cavaquinho, choro, choro music, Brazilian uke, Brazilian ukulele, steel string ukulele, Seattle luthier, Seattle guitar builder, custom guitars Seattle, Alan Simcoe, Simcoe guitars, simcoeguitars

Brazilian Cavaquinho

My cavaquinho features a more or less standard string length and a zero fret, which is common.  The zero fret gives the open strings the same metallic “ping” as the fretted notes. The top is European spruce, enhancing the instruments clarity and giving good separation between strings.  The back and sides on this particular instrument are black walnut which gives the voice a little “woodiness”, and buffers somewhat the brilliance of tone that the Cocobolo bridge imparts. The rosette is Tulip wood. The bindings are Cocobolo.   Cavaquinho Photo Gallery & Description   [caption id="attachment_51298" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Luthier Alan Simcoe and his wife Debby with her new Cavaquinho for her Choro music jams.[/caption]...

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cavaquinho, custom cavaquinho, handmade cavaquinho, ukulele, luthier, alan simcoe, seattle, custom classical guitars

Fretting the Cavaquinho

Fretting the Cavaquinho. Here is the Zero Fret traditional to the instrument. Nearly there! Similar in appearance to the ukulele, this four string mid-size cousin of the guitar was brought to the Pacific islands by Portuguese sailors. With steel strings, it should really sing.  📷  Thayer Ridgway   [caption id="attachment_51157" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Fretting the Cavaquinho. Here is the Zero Fret traditional to the instrument.[/caption]...

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cuban heels band, cuban heels music, latin jazz band seattle, live music, bainbridge isand, intentional table, luthier, alan simcoe

Cuban Heels Latin Jazz

The Cuban Heels played a fun performance last night at the @intentionaltable on Bainbridge Island for Art Walk. Ian Turner percussion, Steve Newton bass, Alan Simcoe guitar. 📷 Shannon Evans   My guitar is a 7-string concert model with a Western Red Cedar top, Big Leaf Maple sides and back, Cocobolo bridge, and Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard.   [caption id="attachment_51161" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cuban Heels perform awesome Latin jazz at the Intentional Table, Bainbridge Island, Washington.[/caption]...

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cavaquinho, custom cavaquinho, handmade cavaquinho, ukulele, luthier, alan simcoe, seattle

Cavaquinho Neck Gluing

Cavaquinho Update. I just finished gluing the neck. Notice the latest cutting edge rubber band technology. I don't actually drink Western Family bulk ground coffee. On Bainbridge Island we drink only the distillations of the finest free range shade grown Brazilian rain forest coffee beans; gathered by blow dart wielding indigenous cannibals, and roasted lovingly over a fire of choice European missionaries. The can was a gift.   [caption id="attachment_51174" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cavaquinho neck gluing is finished.[/caption]    ...

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Cavaquinho box Complete, handmade Cavaquinho, custom Cavaquinho box Complete, choro music, luthier, alan simcoe, seattle

Cavaquinho box Complete

Here is the Cavaquinho box completed (bottom) with the back ready to glue down (top). Getting close! As you can see, I'm not building inside a rigid form, but prefer a flexible mold able to accommodate variations in size and shape from model to model.   [caption id="attachment_51179" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cavaquinho box complete.[/caption]...

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cuban heels band, latin jazz band, live music, Bainbridge island, seattle, susanne maurice wine bar, luthier, alan simcoe

Cuban Heels Latin Jazz

The Cuban Heels latin jazz band played a fun gig this Friday night at the Susanne Maurice Wine Bar in Lynwood Center, Bainbridge Island. Ian Turner percussion, Steve Newton bass, Alan Simcoe Guitar. 📷 Thayer Ridgway.   [caption id="attachment_51182" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cuban Heels perform live latin jazz[/caption]...

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Cavaquinho, custom Cavaquinho, handmade Cavaquinho, ukulele, luthier, alan simcoe, seattle

Carving a Cavaquinho Neck

Carving a Cavaquinho neck. A Cavaquinho is a cousin of the Ukulele, used in Brazil, particularly in Choro music. Lke the Uke, it is a gift from the Portuguese about 500 years ago and developed indigenously from that time. Unlike the Uke, it is steel strung. The materials are Spanish Cedar with a stiffening spine of Padauk strips. We learned this advanced construction technique in middle school wood shop class as a means to customize our skateboards...

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