guitar maker ryan gibson

I am a guitar maker, musician and temporary lecturer of instrument making at Glasgow Clyde College.   My workshop is in Stirlingshire, central Scotland.  I’m originally from England and moved to Scotland in 2005.

After making different types of guitar I was drawn to the classical guitar.  Every area of classical guitar making appeals to me. The process itself as well as being perfectly aligned with the player’s goals. As a maker I am striving to make the most responsive guitar possible, I want it to react to the player and give them the ease to expressive the many tonal possibilities present in the guitar. I make classical guitars in the Torres style using time honoured techniques, glue and finishes.

Personally, I have recently begun to study classical guitar playing for my own personal enjoyment. It’s a new challenge as well as a way to further investigate the classical guitar from a players perspective.  The excellent musician and teacher Ian Watt has helped me through this new, exciting and steep learning curve!  

History

The guitar has always been a big part of my life. I began playing guitar at the age of 14. I chose to take my playing more seriously and studied at the Guitar Institute in London.  When I moved to Scotland shortly after my studies I continued to perform and began teaching guitar full time.

Contemporary solo acoustic fingerstyle music became a big part of my playing after watching a friend perform a Thomas Leeb song Akaskero.  This new type of playing led me to seek better acoustic guitars to meet my ever demanding needs. It was a chance meeting with someone at a folk session in a local pub who put the idea of guitar making in my head. He had made his own guitar on a short course at the Totnes School of Guitar Making.  After a bit of searching I found out that Anniesland College in the west end of Glasgow ran a two year course in stringed instrument making.

Under the excellent tutelage of William Kelday and Paul Hyland, I learned the traditional methods and craft of luthiery. The Incorporation of Wrights, Glasgow, at the annual Craftex show awarded me the overall prize for musical instruments.  I now find making guitars as joyful as making music.