The Latest from Taran Guitars

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Closing the Order book

Posted : 15/11/2017

Closing the Order book.  Something I never thought I’d do to be honest!I’ve had a a waiting list of 19 to 24 months now for the last 4 years now which has been fantastic. A huge thank you to everyone I’ve worked with during this time, and to those who...

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left-handed-oreval-for-sale

Oreval SOLD

Posted : 28/07/2017

 This guitar is now sold and heading to its new home in Japan. I'm selling an Oreval just now, but an Oreval with a difference! This guitar was built last year as a hybrid model that isn't left or right handed but can be either simply by changing the...

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taran-guitars-talks-at-the-bowhouse-about-building-instruments-in-fife

Taran Guitars talks at the Bowhouse about building instruments in Fife

Posted : 19/07/2017

I've been asked to do a talk on building instruments and the processes involved at the new Bowhouse in St Monans this weekend as part of their first food market weekend! The talk will start at 12:30 and there will be lots to see and try through out the...

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lecky

Lecky!

Posted : 27/05/2017

Basically I'm building an Electric and loving it! The body is cambered and it has a Swiss Bearclaw Top/Cap. It also sports the new Headstock Shape which will be offered on all guitars from now on. I've built Strats before but this is my first 'hollow'...

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orevals

Orevals

Posted : 27/05/2017

A new model for Taran Guitars. Very pleased to say that the Oreval is available to order now. I've been developing this new model for 2 years now. It is a take on the Tirga Beag, deeper and wider with the same scale. I make 4 of these guitars a year and...

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project-pinless-bridge

Project Pinless Bridge

Posted : 27/05/2017

One of my Clients asked if I would build using a pinless bridge. Of Course! A great project and challenge in hand carving. Here are the development bridges and the final one picture last. This will go on an African Blackwood/Italian Taran that is French...

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what-a-night-for-kris-drever-at-the-folk-awards

What a night for Kris Drever at the folk awards!

Posted : 06/04/2017

Customer and long time friend Kris Drever won Folk singer of the year and Best original track last night at the BBC2 folk award in the Albert Hall last night. Totally deserved! So pleased for him and everyone else there who won!  Kris had a studio next...

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taran-guitars-100th-instrument-is-available-now

Taran Guitars 100th instrument is Now Sold

Posted : 29/03/2017

I’m very proud to present my 100th Instrument! A real mile stone for me and not far away from my 100th Guitar either… This is the classic 'Taran'. A smaller than Om guitar, perfect for evenings by the fire although equally at home on stage or in the recording...

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Instrument Repairs

Posted : 22/03/2017

Due to my lengthening order book I'm having to stop offering my repair service on instruments for the time being. Sad news for me really as its great to meet so many players and get them back on the road. Naturally I'll be doing any service work on Taran...

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dougie-macleans-tenor-guitar

Dougie MacLeans Tenor Guitar

Posted : 22/10/2016

Earlier this year Dougie Maclean visited the workshop to have some work done on his Cocobol/Adi MKII Tirga beag and we also finalise his order for a new Tenor Guitar that we'd been talking about.  At the beginning of October just before he jetted off...

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binaural-recordings-with-matheu-and-paul

Binaural Recordings with Matheu and Paul

Posted : 26/09/2016

An amazing day last weekend with Matheu Watson and Paul McConville, 2 wonderful clients I have had the pleasure of working with for over 7 years now. There's a couple of instruments between them... Left to right: African Blackwood Tirga Beag Fan fretIndian...

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bridge-carving

Bridge Carving

Posted : 08/09/2016

Theres been a lot of bridge carving of late. This one is for one of the all new Oreval models that are in the spray booth awaiting polishing.  The process of carving the bridge is an interesting one and there has been some major developments over the...

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mr-mcclennans-guitar

Mr McClennan's guitar

Posted : 08/09/2016

I finished Jamie McClennan's Tirga Beag last week.  We went for Indian Rosewood Double Sides with German Spruce which helped us achieve the requirements for him. He was looking for a guitar with real depth and warmth but with clarity and good separation...

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A beautiful solo show from Karine Polwart

Posted : 23/08/2016

On returning from the Outer Hebrides this week I was gutted not to see this! Hearing from people who where lucky enough to be there, it was beautiful! Wind Resistance Review Karine Plays a Rosewood Taran Mhor

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meeting-mr-simpson

Meeting Mr Simpson

Posted : 08/07/2016

The evening before I started my guitar building career in Edinburgh nearly 12 years ago I went to see a performance by a man who's music has been with me for as long as I can remember.  Sat in the pleasance folk club listening to Martin Simpson that night...

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Springwell Demos

Posted : 02/07/2016

I had the pleasure of Kevin Macleods' company a few week ago. He visited the workshop to try some of the new Springwell Mandolins that between us we have been developing over the last 2 years. Here's video of him playing 3 Mandolin with differing back...

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springwells-away

Springwells Away

Posted : 17/06/2016

I've been working on these Mandolins for a while now and I'm pleased that they are now at home with their various owners all over the world. Its been a great project, thank you to all who ordered mandolins in this run. There has been a lot of development...

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luthiers-go-shopping

Luthiers Go Shopping

Posted : 09/06/2016

Just spent the last few days driving around visiting various great folk gathering wood. I do this a few times a year but this trip has been great fun! Stopped in at Stefan Sobells to select a load of sets of Malaysian Blackwood courtesy of  Stephen Keys. Good...

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tirga-beag-with-many-differences

A Tirga Beag, but its his Tirga Beag...

Posted : 24/05/2016

This uniquely tailored Tirga Beag has just left the workshop. An absolute pleasure to work on this with a Client I have known for 4 or 5 years now. From repairs to full rebuilds on instruments that he has played since he was a kid in the 60s we have build...

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Dougie's Taran

Posted : 08/05/2016

Dougie MacLean dropped in last week for a coffee and a blether. I'm pleased to say that Dougie now plays a Tirga Beag. He also finalised his order for a Tenor Guitar. Wonderful to be working with such a brilliant musican and all round great man! And he...

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kris-drever

Kris Drever

Posted : 07/10/2013

Kris Drever drop in by last week to collect his Indian Rosewood Ulladale. I even got a tune with Eamonn Coyne and Kris, not that I was playing I'm much better at listening...  Cheers Kris, I hope you enjoy it. Very best,   Rory

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keith-robson

Keith Robson

Posted : 23/02/2013

I'm very pleased to announce that all of my bespoke guitars will now come an option of Handmade Tuners by non other than Keith Robson. Keith makes all of his tuners by hand down in England and they are some of the finest tuners in the world. Available...

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The Springwell Mandolin

Posted : 23/02/2013

This is a project that I've been working on for a while. I have a very good friend named Kevin Macleod who lives in Edinburgh. He and I have been discussing mandolins for some years with a view to make one. This collaboration has been a wonderful process...

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the-wood-shop-gigs

The Wood Shop Gigs

Posted : 23/02/2013

One of the elements of designing the new workshop was to enable us (my wife and I) to put on small performances in the workshop. We are very proud to announce the first 2 date for The Wood Shop Gigs! The first is on the 17th of April 2015. We have the...

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Workshop expansion Complete

Posted : 23/02/2013

It has been a lot of work but I'm pleased to say that Taran Guitars is now open again. The new workshop is finished and work has begun again on guitars.

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Workshop expansion

Posted : 23/02/2013

Work started on the new workshop about 8 months ago now and it is nearly there now. I've had the opportunity to extend into the old dairy next door to the existing workshop. This is a wonderful spaces and will allow me to have a show room attached to...

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Karines New Guitar

Posted : 23/02/2013

Karine Polwart came round last week to pick up her new guitar. She Played a Taran Mhor a while ago and decided she had too have one. For information about Karines beautiful music and Tour dates Click here. (opens new browser window) Karine asked me to...

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The Malaysian Blackwood Tirga Beag

Posted : 23/02/2013

I've been working on this guitar for a while now. Every year I do a number of test models to see if any ideas work. This guitar is a standard Tirga Beag with Double Sides. The Sides are Laminated Malaysian Blackwood and Scottish Sycamore. This creates...

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an-evening-of-fine-folk-and-tunes

An evening of Fine folk and Tunes

Posted : 23/02/2013

Ronald Jappy dropped in by with Mhairi Mackinnon for a tune. Well to try some guitars, but I got to listen to some great music for the evening. Here they are, Mhairi described the Tirga Beag that Ron is playing as 'a wonderful cushion of sound that surrounded...

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A Taran Beag Cutaway

Posted : 23/02/2013

This is one of the guitars to leave the workshop recently. It's an Indian - German Taran Beag. I like to keep things clean and simple to the eye so kept the binding to a minimum and mitred the cutaway edges to keep the grain of the side continuous. A...

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An Interveiw for the Acoustic Soundboard Forum

Posted : 23/02/2013

I was lucky enough to asked to be interveiwed for the Acoustic Soundboard forum which is a new forum which has been set up in place of the old Acoustic forum. Great to have a chat with them and if you would like to read the article please clicking here....

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a-fine-visit

A fine visit

Posted : 23/02/2013

James Yorkston dropped in to get some work on his guitars done to other day and had a wee shot on a new Taran Mhor that I've just finished. I think he liked it! Check out James' music here. (opens new browser window)

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Malaysian Blackwood Tirga Beag

Posted : 23/02/2013

Amongst all the other builds this year I've been working on a new guitar. This one is a Double sided Tigra Beag in Malaysian blackwood, the inner sides are Fife Sycamore, it has a Mosaic Rosette and Laskin Bevel. If you would like to find out more about...

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new-website

New Website

Posted : 23/02/2013

Its been a long time coming but I'm pleased to say that my new website is nearly ready to go live. MTC Dundee have done a brilliant job, thank you all

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Taran Guitars in Guitar and Bass Mag GEAR OF THE YEAR. On sale now!

Posted : 23/02/2013

Amazing to be asked to be in this Edition of Guitar and Bass, Mark Alexander did a fantastic job of highlighting what I do. Many thanks to Mark and the editors of the Magazine! The Magazine is Available Here. (opens new browser window)

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Cocobolo Tigra Beag MKII

Posted : 24/02/2012

This is a standard Tirga beag for Matheu Watson with a few new details. With all of the playing that Matheu does we wanted to put a bevel arm rest on and after much thought we decided that the Laskin style bevel was the best way to go and after contacting...

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Happy New Year!

Posted : 24/02/2012

Aye 2011 was a big year here, and I have to say this holiday was a great time to relax and catch up with some fine folk. But now onto 2012! Some great builds coming up including an octave mandolin and at least 2 new guitar models that I've been wanting...

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On the Bench and in the Booth

Posted : 24/02/2012

Well the booth is full of Tirga Beags and the bench is full of them too! Heres a African Blackwood and Italian on the left and a Indian Sitka on the right. I'm really pleased with the new booth, its working a treat. These will be finished and strung up...

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Taran Guitars on Facebook!

Posted : 24/02/2011

I have set up a wee page on Facebook, if you would like to join me there that would be fantastic!  You can join me by clicking here. (opens new browser window).

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A grand solution!

Posted : 24/02/2011

Tim Jones brought his 1976 Sobell Mandolin to me to have a pick-up fitted. He has been playing using an LR Baggs system which was mounted to the top of the sound board. He wanted it inside with an end jack somewhere. The most parctical and safe way is...

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Some kind words from Martin Simpson

Posted : 24/02/2011

I've had a guitar out on tour over the last year. It has been travelling between members of the Acoustic Guitars Forum as I'm always keen to hear people’s thoughts on my guitars. I asked Martin if would like to cast an experts opinion over the Tour Tirga...

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Workshop Finished! Amazing!

Posted : 24/02/2011

As alot of you know I moved to the East Neuk of Fife a few months ago to set up a new workshop. Here are some pictures of the new space. I will get a map up on the contacts page as soon as I can.

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Archtop Bouzouki

Posted : 24/02/2011

Here is the finished Archtop Bouzouki with its brass tail piece and Ebony bridge. The back and sides are Indian Rosewood with rippled Mahogany Binding and a Swiss Spruce top.

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Work Begins

Posted : 24/02/2011

In the country now so maybe something a wee bit more industrial then a ginder for this stone!! Braw!! So pleased to moving and so greatful for all the help that people are giving me!

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Taran Guitars moving to the East Neuk of Fife

Posted : 24/02/2011

Taran Guitars will be based in the East Neuk of Fife as from the beginning of September. I mentioned earlier in the year that I was going to be moving workshops however I didn't think that I would be moving out of Edinburgh. I've been offered a workshop...

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French Polishing

Posted : 24/02/2011

I have always liked finishing the inside of my guitars. I did this by French Polishing the inside of my guitars and then Lacquer the outside. This approach was good but time consuming so I started spraying the inside with Lacquer which was quick but hard...

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Archtop Bouzouki

Posted : 24/02/2011

I was approached last year by Will Lamb who asked me to build him an Archtop Bouzouki. Will is an Edinburgh based Bouzouki Player who has played all over the world so for him to come to me with this brief was both flattering and a wonderful opportunity...

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On The Bench

Posted : 24/02/2011

The Brazilian Taran Mhor is coming alone nicely. Here she is with her Rippled Scottish Sycamore Linings and Rip Stops. I've started a new Tirga Beag in Cocobolo however to top on this one is going to be very different! Watch this space.

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New Meilein Bridge

Posted : 24/02/2011

I've just finished an Indian Rosewood and Italian Spruce Meilein Parlour for a Client in Edinburgh. Here are some pictures of the bridge going on. There are a few subtle change that I've been making to my bridges over the last few years, the first notable...

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Matheu Watson's New Fan Fret Dana

Posted : 24/02/2011

Here are some pictures of Matheu's Dana Fan Fret. He was in town yesterday and I managed to prize it out of his hands to get a few photos. I'm building a page on the website specifically for this Model it will include information about Matheu and his...

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Acoustic Guitar Show London September 2011

Posted : 24/02/2011

I will be exhibiting at this years Acoustic Guitar Show in London. The Show is being run by the Acoustic Magazine and they are planning great things. I'm going to have a number of instruments on dislay including this Reclaimed Brazilian Rosewood Taran...

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The First Course

Posted : 24/02/2011

I had the first repair course last weekend and it was a great success. We went over the details of guitars and repairs then the techniques involve and then got on with the job. Mark left with a re-fretted taylor with a new nut and saddle that played brilliantly,...

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Learn how to repair / Set-up Your own Guitar

Posted : 24/02/2011

Have you ever wanted to learn how to repair your own Guitar? I get alot of questions about set-ups and repairs which I'm always happy to answer but I thought there might be few people out there who might like to learn the basics for themselves. I'm going...

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Matheu Watson's New Fan Fret Dana

Posted : 24/02/2011

Matheu and I have been working closely on the development of his Signature Model. While Matheu and I where please with the last guitar we felt that there where a few things that we wanted to change. The main features are a NOVAX inspired Fan Fret system,...

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Happy New Year 2011!

Posted : 24/02/2011

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2011 is a wonderful year for us all. 2010 was a great year for Taran Guitars, lots of interesting work both in repairs and builds. I finished the year by sending two guitars off the the Gloss Boss (Dave Wilson)....

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November Snow

Posted : 23/02/2010

Scotland is seeing some of the worst snow in 40 years and its only just turned December. Here's a picture of Edinburghs' Arthur's Seat and Crags with a Foot of fresh snow, I've got a feeling the snowboard will be coming out soon! I'm still working although...

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Na Trad 2010

Posted : 23/02/2010

I was lucky enough to be invited to this years MG Alba Scots Trads Music awards. A great evening and a lot great music and banter. Matheu Watson won 'Up and Coming Artist of the year' congratulations manny, you've worked so hard for this and really desevre...

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Tour

Posted : 23/02/2010

The Tour Tirga Beag has started its rounds, I've set up a tour page and will be up dating as we go. Here are some pictures of her. This is my Tirga Beag MK2 in Indian Rosewood from Sefan Sobell and Italian Spruce, the neck is Old Growth Brazilian Mahogany...

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Matheu Watson's Dana Model on YouTube

Posted : 23/02/2010

Matheu picked up his New Dana model a few months back. He was in the workshop a few ago and we recorded these, see what you think. A little about the Dana. It's larger than my Tirga Beag model although not as deep as my Tirga Mhor. The bracing and voicing...

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Matheu Watson's Debut Album

Posted : 23/02/2010

Matheu has now finished his first Album and it is absolutely brilliant! Matheu recorded the album in Bernaray on the West Coast of Scotland. The Album has a collaboration of various musicains including Martin Simpson, Kris Drever, James Linsay and Ali...

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The New Taran Mhor

Posted : 23/02/2010

Here are a few pictures of the new Taran Mhor in Madagascar Rosewood. This guitar has made me very happy it is incredibly balanced with the most wonderful tone and is loud and very playable, everything really.

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Matheu Watson's New Guitar

Posted : 23/02/2010

Matheu and I have been working on a new guitar and have decided to build a Signature Model for him. This new guitar is based on his current MKII Tirga Beag. It is larger and deeper in the lower bout with its own fret makers designed for use in Drop D...

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Ulladale Review

Posted : 23/02/2010

I've just recieved a few words from Jerry who picked up his New Ulladale in December, here is what he thinks. The Ulladale is endlessly satisfying to play. It has notable balance between bass, mid, and treble, and a rich but lively sound with beautiful...

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Celtic Connections 2010

Posted : 23/02/2010

Celtic Connections helped lift the moody sky's of the coldest January on record, (You where right Stefan about the rowan berry's.) and Taran Guitars was part of it. Matheu Watson played his new Tirga Beag in several performances with Salsa Cetica and...

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Repair Work

Posted : 23/02/2010

As you may know I do repairs and set-ups as well as build guitars. I enjoy repairs, especially if there difficult! It gives me the chance to see not only how other instruments are made but also helps me to redesign areas of guitar construction that are...

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The New Taran Mhor

Posted : 23/02/2010

I'm sending off my new Taran Mhor to Dave Wilson tomorrow. Here are a few picture of her. The Back and sides are Madagascar Rosewood, with Swiss Alpine Spruce soundboard and a Brazilian Mahogany Neck and Brazilian rosewood bindings reclaimed from Billiard...

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Happy New Year

Posted : 23/02/2010

Happy New Year everyone! I'd like to thank everyone who supported Taran Guitars last year. 2009 was a great year for me, I met a lot of wonderful people at shows and gigs and have had lot of visitors to the workshop. Again Special thanks to all who have...

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Ullapool Guitar Festival 09

Posted : 23/02/2009

It was wonderful to be part of the annual Ullapool Guitar Festival this year. It was the first time that I have been and I hopefully will be going again. The weekend comprised of workshops for visiting players, wonderful music from the likes of Gary Potter,...

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Indian Meilein

Posted : 23/02/2009

Here's a few pictures of a new Meilein Parlor guitar in Indian Rosewood and European Spruce. You'll notice that this one has 13 frets to the body, a wee change but it makes a big difference when accessing the higher frets and doesn't lose that 12th fret...

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Bits you don't see!

Posted : 23/02/2009

I few month back I took some pictures of the inside of a Tirga Beag and thought I post them up on my news bit for your interest. You can see larger images by clicking here. (opens new browser window).

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On The Bench

Posted : 23/02/2009

I thought that I would show you whats on the bench at the moment. I'm working on 3 guitars and a Uke which I have been asked to make for the Ullapool Guitar festival. The Guitar on the left is my new Taran Mhor. I've redesigned the shape and made some...

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Ulladale Sound Hole

Posted : 23/02/2009

I've just started working on a new Ulladale. I thought I'd show some pictures of the Sound Hole Rosette in the making. I'm a big fan of the bound sound hole, very simple and elegant. Here I'm using Ebony and single Herringbone purfling to make up this...

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The Tirga Beag Family

Posted : 23/02/2009

Here's wee picture of the three Tirga Beags that I've been working on. The youngest (left of pic) is waiting her bridge and tuners, a lovely looking guitar, Madagascar Rosewood and Indian Rosewood bindings. Nice and simple, just the way I like it. The...

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Some words from Karine Polwart and Matheu Watson

Posted : 23/02/2009

Here's a few words from Karine Polwart and Matheu Watson on the foot stompin' website. Thank you both. click here to read. (opens new browser window).

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Reclaimed Brazilian Mahogany

Posted : 23/02/2009

I was lucky enough to find some reclaimed Brazilian Mahogany a while ago. This wood is third hand, it was used in a school and then in a museum and now it will be turned into necks for my guitars. This a an Indian Rosewood Meilein Parlor and will have...

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Matheu Watson

Posted : 23/02/2009

I was visited a few week ago by Matheu Watson to discuss an on coming project and to my delight he was kind enough to do some videos playing my new Tirga Beag for you all. Here's one of them, pleased check the rest out on you tube. clicking here (opens...

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Reclaimed Sitka Spruce Mandolin

Posted : 23/02/2009

I started my new Mandolin last week. The Sound board is almost complete but here's a picture of the carving process. (yes it takes a long time.) I'll have more to report soon.

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Reclaimed Sitka Spruce

Posted : 23/02/2009

I was raking through the bits of wood that I've picked up over the years this Saturday and found an old drawing board. On closer inspection I saw that is was Sitka Spruce, lovely tight grain and perfectly quartered, ideal for braces with a couple of boards...

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ulladale-review

Ulladale Review

Posted : 23/02/2009

I've just received another review from a client who bought an Indian Ulladale last year. I'm touched by his remarks. Thank you Robin. See what you think.clicking here to read. (opens new browser window).

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New Tirga Beags

Posted : 23/02/2009

I'm Just putting the finishing touches to 2 new Madagascar Rosewood and European Spruce Tirga Beags. I've made a few changes to these two; The first, a new headstock design. I've pulled the shoulders back for comfort and I've curved the top. It just looks...

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Guitars Available in London and Edinburgh

Posted : 23/02/2009

I now have guitars available in Ivor Mairants in London and also in Mev Taylors in Edinburgh. If you are in the area, please drop in and have a play. Click Here for Website Links. Ivor Mairants Music Centre clicking here Mev Taylors clicking here

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tirga-beag

Tirga Beag

Posted : 23/02/2009

I got my new Tirga Beag (large OM) back from Dave Wilson a few weeks ago all shinny and ready for its bridge. I've put a split saddle bridge on this one. The split saddle is something that I've been wanting to try for a while now. I like the concept of...

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Beliziean Rosewood

Posted : 23/02/2009

I was joined by Stefan Sobell a few weeks ago to look at some boards of reclaimed Honduras Rosewood that where brought to Edinburgh in 1979 from Belize. I bought 5 boards of rosewood and 2 boards of Belizean Mahogany which I may consider using for necks....

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A fantastic testimonial for Taran Guitars by Paul Martin

Posted : 23/02/2009

"Taran Guitars like their maker Rory Dowling are a phenomenon in the acoustic world. Not content with the traditional tone production of the well known makers or the exotic tone woods sought by many smaller luthiers, Dowling seeks to question and redefine...

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Success at the Cheltenham Acoustic Guitar Show '08

Posted : 23/02/2009

The Cheltenham Acoustic Guitars show went very well, I had a great response to my guitars and very good feedback. I met a lot of wonderful people including Stuart Ryan who is an incredible guitarist (below is a picture of him playing a Meilein Parlor). You...

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Taran Beag Review

Posted : 23/02/2009

I always welcome feedback about Taran Guitars, so it is always great to read positive reviews posted online by my customers. Harmony Central, (The No.1 Online community for Musicians) allows users to review guitars and post their feedback, just like Oliver...

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