LUTHIER IN NEW YORK CITY


June 2020


In an era where electronics are overwhelming our lives, it is reassuring to see that people are still making things with their hands.

In music, string instrument makers are called Luthier. Some are specialized in making violins, others make cellos, Ric McCurdy makes guitars.



In the middle of New York City, for about 30 years, Ric McCurdy has practiced and perfected the art of guitar making.

For those of us growing up on the music of Clapton, Hendrix, Knopfler, Garcia, Pass, Montgomery, Benson, King and so many others, wanting to play the same guitar than your idols was a big deal and therefore, a couple of guitar companies started to mass produce models because of the demand but even if, you were able to reproduce the sound, so would thousands of others.

Guitar players are no longer interested in reproducing sounds but rather are into creating their own.

Ordering a McCurdy guitar is not only owning an exclusive model, it is having it fitted to your expectations.

The softness of the neck, the height of the frets, the ergonomic of the case. Professional musicians have a special relationship with their instrument and comfort is one of the key factors in choosing a guitar then, there is the sound, the tone, how the strings suddenly vibrate.

When the comfort is coupled with the sound and driven by the talent of the player, what happens is nothing short of magical.


Ric McCurdy understands the expectations of his clients. He is an artisan. Artisans and artists share the same roots, anchored in passion and commitment. Needless to add, Ric is a guitar player himself. No one of his made to order guitars is sounding like the other. He has a special affection for jazz guitars, and jazz guitarists have recognized McCurdy’s

know-how. The late John Abercrombie was a fan, owning a few McCurdy guitars. Here seen with the Albion model perfect for his legato style playing. If you know Abercrombie’s music, you’d recognize his quest for unique sounds in some of the most beautiful contemporary jazz, using notes as much as silences. The list of artists who have played Ric's guitars is long, Abercrombie of course but also Joe Beck, Sheryl Bailey, Chris Bergson and many others.

The secret of a great guitar is in the details, no part can be overlooked.

It is not only about comfort and sound; the look is important too and Ric will personalize the guitar to your taste.

From an archtop to a solid body, McCurdy has a special guitar for you.


Ric is also a doctor. Diagnosing what may be wrong with your instrument whether visible or not, he will take the time to evaluate what needs to be done and do it. It does not have to be one of his guitars, Ric does not discriminate, he recognizes the beauty

made by others and if it needs to be fixed, he'll do it. Whether a rare Gibson archtop from the 1940s or a Les Paul Jr which as seen too many gigs, he is up to the challenge.

You may check his website, do not need to be a guitar player to appreciate his work:

www.mccurdyguitars.com

You can as well follow him on Instagram, @mccurdygtr

you will learn some of his processes on how he handles specific tasks or repairs, some of the tricks to remove excess glue or to blend colors or to shave a quarter millimeter off the fret without touching the fingerboard. From time to time, a client would come to pick up his or her instrument and try it in the workshop. Ric would shoot a video and post it for our listening pleasure. At other times, you will appreciate his unbelievable eye for unusual street art with posts from New York City murals.

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