What Does It Take To Build A Classical Guitar? Nick Hurt Of ‘In Tune’ Goes To Weatherford To Find Out

Nick Hurt, host of Marfa Public Radio’s In Tune, brought his listeners along on a journey across the state to Weatherford, Texas recently. The occasion? To find out how his friend makes classical guitars. And to play them.

Alton Chan (left) waited over six months to pick up his new guitar from luthier Aaron Ringo (right). (Nick Hurt / Marfa Public Radio)

It took Hurt’s friend, Aaron Ringo, six months to build his first guitar. Now, he’s a self-taught luthier and owner of Wood Ring Guitars in Weatherford.

Hurt talks with him about his love for making things with hand tools as a kid, and how he transitioned from playing music to making instruments in his adult life.

Hurt also interviews Alton Chan, a professional pianist and teacher who arrived at the shop to pick up a new guitar during his visit. He captures the first notes Chan plays on his new instrument, which happen to belong to a song composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.

“Guitar is really great because it’s intimate. It’s like singing,” Chan told Hurt.

In comparison, playing the piano seems like an artificial process to Chan — because of the mechanisms between the player and the sound. “With a guitar, it’s very direct,” he said. “Because the tone production is strictly on your fingers.”

Listen to the full audio from Hurt’s field segment, which originally aired on Marfa Public Radio on June 10th, above.

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