Gypsy jazz guitars represent another glimpse into past and appeal to a certain genre of swing music players, inspired namely by Django Reinhart from France. This newest build we’ve been working on is for a local jazz hero. He wanted an acoustic instrument to jam with his friends with (including us) so he commissioned a Selmer/Macaferri styled gypsy jazz guitar from us. Its featuring our AAAA Sitka spruce top and a highly figured set of Myrtle wood back and sides, which apparently is indigenous only to the Pacific Northwest and Isreal.
Usually you see a Venetian cutaway on the Selmer/Macaferri instruments, but we decided to use our Florentine design instead, as well as our stock Tonedevil peg head design. The D-shape soundhole was a trick to get right and was made using a CNC router, as was the chanel for the rosette. The zipflex added a nice bling to the rosette as well, we are very much looking forward to seeing this one finished.
We have always added a fair amount of top radius to our harp guitars, but the gypsy jazz guitars have significantly more, so much that the side rim is trimmed narrower at the lower bouts to accommodate the extra curve. This should actually make it more comfortable to play, functioning similar to an arm bevel. The tailpiece will be a replica to house the strings and take most of the tension, so there is little to no torque tension pulling on the top, only downward pressure. That is why the bracing is a lot less than standard flat top instruments. The customer also asked for a natural oil finish which takes some extra time to cure, but will be more similar to the finish used on the original vintage gypsy jazz instruments.