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Guitar Making Students Strike a Chord with Their Creations

Students from the Newark College School of Musical Instrument Craft research sustainable materials for guitar making.

The students have been working on the Leonardo Guitar Research Project which looks into the use of non-tropical wood in guitar making. Exotic tropical woods are currently the most popular material for producing the instruments but with natural supplies becoming increasingly depleted, students are looking for alternatives.

For the last three years, the Leonardo Research Project has seen Newark College students travel to guitar making schools in Finland and Belgium to collaborate and share their findings. Their research will be published later this year.

Students have been producing pairs of guitars made to the same design with one in each pair being made of tropical woods and the other from non-tropical woods.

This month, guitar making students from the University of Hull visited Newark College where they played the instruments whilst blindfolded so they didn’t know which of the pair they were playing. They then had to make assessments of which one they preferred.

Adrian Lucas, Guitar Making Lecturer at Newark College, said:

“The Project has been great for our students on many levels; firstly, it has raised their awareness of the need to look at woods that are alternatives to the traditional ones and see how viable they are, and to think about sustainability issues.

“Secondly it has been great for them to connect with guitar making students from other parts of Europe and to get outside the 'Newark Bubble' and understand that they're part of a network of makers.”

Find out more about our School of Musical Instrument Craft which has a worldwide reputation of excellence.

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