What students say...
When I asked some of my students to write a couple of sentences for my new web site
about what it was like to come and work with me, I certainly didn't expect the
over-the-top responses I got. It seems a bit embarrassing to print them here, but I've been
assured that they are sincere, so here they are...
Brian is the kind of teacher we all wish we
had in school. Passionate, methodical,
witty, inquisitive, patient and incredibly
knowledgeable. He not only helped me lay
a solid foundation for my guitar building,
but along the way prompted me to rethink
what is important in life. I guess that's
what a good teacher can do.
I came to him with a few dull tools and a
curiosity about how to build a guitar. I left
filled with a sharp sense of discovery and
a new passion to build the best sounding
What Brian has to teach about guitar
building you simply can't get from a book.
His unique combination of science,
craftsmanship, and passion make learning
from him an unforgettable experience.
Plus, he's a heck of a nice guy.
After reading practically every book
available, watching three sets of
guitarmaking videos, and talking to many
experienced luthiers, I still lacked the
confidence to move much past the initial
stages of building my first guitar. Having
spent some time with Brian at various
NCAL meetings, I knew that he had the
technical knowledge, experience, and
organized approach that would get me
through the basics, and establish a solid
base for all my future guitar building efforts.
I spent two full weeks with Brian, and his
wonderful wife Sylvia, working hands-on
in the workshop during the day, and
sometimes in the evening. Unlike many
introductory guitar schools, Brian focuses
on the fundamentals, and lets you learn and
absorb at your own pace. There's no
pressure to race through any part of the
process, and learning, rather than
completing, was always the goal. I came
away with a nearly complete guitar, an
incredible amount of guitar knowledge, and
the confidence to take on just about any
future lutherie project. Whether you
sign-up for two days or two weeks, I highly
recommend Brian, and know that you'll
leave refreshed, confident, and with much
greater knowledge than when you arrived.
I'm a very serious, but amateur,
guitar-builder, focusing on classical
guitars, and Brian Burns has been an
invaluable resource for me. His easy-going
style complements his passion for
precision and his scientific approach to
guitar building. Whenever I come to a
point in a project when I am asking myself
"what is the best way to do this?," Brian is
at the top of my list of experienced
builders to consult. He is always seeking
to refine his approach to guitar building,
and is always willing to openly share his
most current thinking on the subject. He
treats the student of guitar building with the
respect of a colleague, and the
encouragement characteristic of a master
At the curve in George's Lane sits an
unassuming wood building. Inside is
magic. First the smell of tone woods, then
the sight of tools, benches, and guitars in
various states of creation. Magic, indeed.
Brian Burns is a master craftsman
dedicated to creating the finest classical
and flamenco guitars possible, with
methods ranging from scientific tonewood
selection and refined plane sharpening to
innovative construction processes. And the
great news--he desires to share his
experience and knowledge with students.
As a teacher, Brian focuses on the student
at whatever skill level. He is sensitive to
the skill and experience of the novice
builder, not forcing his agenda on him.
Spend a day, a week, or a month (as I did)
with Brian, and your guitar building skills
Four years ago I was a fledgling amateur
luthier visiting friends in Fort Bragg. I
called you to see if you could spare a few
moments for me to drop in, and gain a
couple of insights into lutherie. You
graciously welcomed me into your
workshop and your home. Hours later I left
with a wealth of insight and enthusiasm
that remains with me today. The
opportunity to learn from you is one no
aspiring luthier should miss!
Brian, I want to look ahead toward 2006 to
plan at least one session of several days
duration with you.