Kinloch Nelson demonstrates his wide-neck steel-string guitar.
by Teja Gerken
August 17, 2017
Fingerstyle guitarist Kinloch Nelson primarily plays steel-string guitars, but he prefers a neck as wide as that of a typical classical guitar. Years ago he began experimenting by putting steel strings on an old Takamine classical and eventually had Rochester, New York, luthier Bernie Lehmann build him a custom guitar. “This instrument is modeled after the classical guitar shape and idea; it’s a little bit larger all around,” Kinloch explains. The guitar’s neck measures 2 inches at the nut, and, like a classical guitar, it has a slotted headstock and joins the body at the 12th fret. It has a spruce top and Indian rosewood back and side, and, again like many classical guitars, it has an ebony fingerboard, but a rosewood bridge, which is pinless. As a special feature, the guitar has red LEDs as position markers on the side of the fingerboard, which help in poorly lit playing situations. The instrument also has a soundport in the upper bout.
In this video, shot at the 2016 Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration (SBAIC), Kinloch discusses the instrument and performs his composition “Canadian Sunset.”
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