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About Me

Hello! I am Wilson Burnham and welcome my blog!



I hand craft classical guitars in a small studio outside of Allen's Park, Colorado.

I use only hand tools and high quality woods to make my guitars. This allows me to make a guitar that has a true singing voice, one that is loud and has a large range of tonal colors and nuances.

As a classical guitar player myself, I know the joy of playing a truly wonderful guitar - one that sings, is responsive to your playing style, is easy to play with a voice that reaches the last row of seats in a recital or concert hall, and most of all, a guitar that you fall in love with so much you never want to stop playing it.

That is the kind of guitar that I make.


Please contact me at
highcountrylutherie@gmail.com
for details on how to acquire a handcrafted Burnham Classical Guitar!




I began studying the classical guitar in 1974 when I was 12 years old, my first teacher was Bob Backes, he had studied with Pepe Romero and Christopher Parkening. In 1980, when I was 18 years old, I auditioned for and was accepted into the August 1980 Christoper Parkening Master Class at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. It was an incredible experience to study with the master, who then, was only 33 years old! At the end of the class I was selected, along with five other students to perform in the student recital.


L-R: Christopher Parkening, Ed Weir, Wilson Burnham, Bozeman, MT 1980




I started making classical guitars because I could not afford to buy the guitar that I wanted!



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Off the Bench and For Sale: Miguel Rodriguez Style Guitar

This guitar has a Western Red Cedar top, Claro walnut back and sides, Royal ebony fretboard, Indian rosewood bridge and a 650mm string length.

This guitar has a beautiful voice and is loud! I was amazed at how loud it is as soon as I got the strings on and tuned to concert pitch. It is easy to play and I am blown away by the musical nuances that can be created with this guitar.

Please click on Guitars Currently Available or Studio Model to read more about this wonderful guitar!



1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Classical Guitar, Redwood/Indian Rosewood, For Sale

The partnership of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado was one of the most successful in guitar making history.

Roy Courtnall, Making Master Guitars, 1993

Please note that this guitar is currently for sale at Savage Classical Guitar. Please click here to see this guitar!

I made this guitar several years ago, but because of custom orders, I had to set it aside. I put strings on it two weeks ago and it is a most magnificent sounding guitar! It has good, clear separation string to string, wonderful sustain with evenness and balance throughout with a very lyrical voice. I originally made this guitar for myself, but someone with a good strong technique and a good understanding of musical interpretation should own this guitar and play it on a regular basis.



This guitar is a fairly close copy of a guitar made by Hernandez y Aguado in 1961. The body length is 480mm, most of the HyA guitars had a body length of 490mm; string length is 650mm, many were 655mm and longer; other than that I trie…

Basic Hand Tool Kit for Making a Classical Guitar, Revised

Ours is really a simple craft.

James Krenov, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, 1979


So, you want to build a guitar.

Since the original post, Basic Hand Tool Kit for Guitar Making, click here to see it, is the most popular post on this blog, I thought I would revisit it and adjust it to what I am using now to make a classical guitar.

The first thing I recommend doing is to buy or borrow copies of the following books:

Guitar Making: Tradition and Technology, by William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson
Making Master Guitars, by Roy Courtnall
The Guitar Maker's Workshop, by Rik Middleton

These are required reading before you begin making a guitar.

Also required reading are these books by Roy Underhill:

The Woodwright's Shop
The Woodwright's Companion
The Woodwright's Workbench
The Woodwright's Apprentice

Why these books by Mr. Underhill? You will learn valuable wood working techniques if you make any of his projects. The dovetail joints used to join a drawer together are far mor…