Guitar Making Tip No. 870 is about binding. There is something very pleasing about a simple binding scheme. Done well, a single species binding design can set off the body of an acoustic guitar really nicely. Here is how you do it.
Binding the Guitar for Beauty
In many cases, this does result in a beautiful project, but there is another way that works too.
Instead of going to the elaborate side of design, try going to the simple side. It’s more difficult to design something with less moving parts, but it’s also very rewarding to accomplish a win.
A simple design, well executed, can be a gorgeous marvel to behold. It can also be much better looking that an elaborate design. It really depends on what you do and how you do it. However, there is something really beautiful about a single contrasting species of binding strip around the outside of a guitar. Here is why…
Use a Simple Contrasting Binding Strip
A classic in guitar making is a dark body and a light binding strip. Another classic is a medium body and a dark binding strip. Personally, I favor the light strip because it gives a bright punch and trims out a dark or medium body color.
If you look around at guitars with binding, a single piece of lighter colored binding is a very common design. Most of the time it will be Maple on better guitars and white fiber or plastic on production guitars.
This simple method of trimming out the body still has a great look. It performs the job of hiding the joints, and still looks great even though it’s simple. This is where designing something with a classic look really sticks over time.
Elaborate Designs Fade Away
Time tends to favor simple things. As time passes, overly elaborate designs, ideas, and concepts tend to fall away. Simple designs have staying power. In the majority of cases, simple is really the best way.
If you know how to cook, then you know the most enjoyable dishes have very few ingredients. While dishes with more ingredients can taste good too, some of the very best are made with only a short list.
These stand the test of time, and are enjoyed by generation after generation. Overly elaborate or trendy things tend to fade away quickly. The same goes for how you make your guitars, and what you put on them in terms of inlay and binding work.
Guitar Making Tip No. 870 Wrap-Up
If you are new to guitar making, do not feel bad at all for doing a simple contrasting species of binding around the guitar. This is a classic design, and will be appreciated by anyone holding the guitar. Install it well, and you will love the look.
Don’t worry about going over the top with your designs in the beginning. In fact, over time you will discover that the truly timeless designs are almost always the most simple. Working with those classics, you can ensure your guitar will still be relevant many years in the future.
If you have any questions about Guitar Making Tip No. 870, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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Tip No. 870 is from my book, 1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners, which has a thousand more great tips to get your first few builds on the right track. There is no secret to guitar making, just a lot of small things that you need to get right. These tips will help you.