Jeremy is a fingerstyle guitarist, originally from Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Largely self-taught, he began playing electric guitar as a teenager, but transitioned to playing predominantly acoustic music within a few years, having been influenced by the likes of John Renbourn, Martin Simpson and John Martyn. Jeremy is a meticulous musician and craftsman, and plays a guitar he designed and made himself at The Totnes School of Guitar Making, after moving to Plymouth. It is an instrument specifically made for his style of fingerpicking, providing clarity and accentuating the higher strings. He also spent six months living in Andalusia learning the rudiments of flamenco guitar, imparting a rhythmic lyricism to his playing.
The most magical and wondrous part of guitar making for me is the infinite variables in the design and construction that shape the final sound it produces. The type of wood used, the depth of the body, shape, the size of the soundhole, the profile and layout of the internal bracing and many other factors combine to produce a unique instrument. This can even be traced back to the conditions the tree grew in during its lifetime - trees grown in colder or more exposed conditions grow more slowly, producing narrow growth rings and denser wood which changes the flexibility and resonance of the resulting timber.
The exact design of the instrument is my own. It is loosely based on a small bodied parlour guitar that I found in a book and scaled up slightly to the size of my choosing. The back, sides and neck are made from walnut and the soundboard is of the finest European spruce I could get hold of. The bridge, fretboard and headstock veneer are of Indian rosewood.
Throughout the process I shaped the guitar to have particular characteristics. Firstly, the wide string spacing suits my style of fingerpicking and affords better distinction between notes. I have positioned the spruce braces that give the soundboard its shape to be slightly closer together under the treble side (the higher pitched strings) to tighten and give more rigidity to that area of the soundboard than is standard. This slightly accentuates the higher strings over the bass notes. Whilst all these features tailor the guitar to excel at a particular style of playing and performance, they are detrimental to others. That however is exactly what I wanted, an instrument specifically designed for purpose.