Guitar Making
                                                    Becker & Cumpiano

This fellow on the left is none other than living legend Yomo Toro, perhaps Puerto Rico's greatest living senior

Cuatro player. Yomo is trying out one of the first produced.

I was commissioned by the owner of the six string above to make this 12 string cutaway. He enjoyed the wedge shaped soundbox and the“Maserati” look of his six string and wanted a twelve string to match. 

It’s made with the same Beeswing Mohogany and employs the same soundhole insert design. William and I find the soundhole ring-insert design  offers some advantages as well as creating a different look to the face of the guitar.
This cypress and cedar classical I made was patterned after a Spanish flamenco guitar of mine  that was much admired by my dear friend and bossanova student Richard Norris M.D. He commissioned me to build him one like it. The lacquer was tinted to match the color as well.
This cedar/mohogany wedge steel string I made features a slim neck and exceptional holding comfort due to a reduced sound box size under your arm--while keeping full sound box air capacity by the expanded lower side.  The “wedge shape” construction was invented by William. The design provides relief from a painful condition known as “dreadnaught shoulder” suffered by long time players of large bodied guitars.

Here is a Sitka/Koa Acoustic Bass Guitar That Bill and I collaborated on. Bill had a large soundbox hanging around for some time before the two of us agreed to complete it’s construction as an acoustic bass.  It's a super full-size jumbo guitar with a long scale (34"). This refined instrument features abalone sound hole inlays, multi-color marquetry purflings and beautiful, Hawaiian koa back and sides. Having started out as an orphan of sorts it is now adored and cared for by a very good composer/musician. The audio clip below features  a dear friend and wonderful bass musician Juan Vazquez playing the instrument.

Shown here are two  models of Puerto Rican cuatros William and I designed for small production. I made these in batches of eight.  On the left is the Maestro Ladi model and the cuatro with the slotted headstock and wider body is one of the Ambassador Series. All the shells and necks are made of Spanish Cedar and the soundboards spruce or redcedar.

Jeff Lopez, composer, bassist and owner of a Becker & Cumpiano cuatro,  writes: 

Hi Harry,

I received the cuatro.  It plays wonderfully and looks beautiful. I was very fortunate to meet

you and Bill and find out about your great instruments. I am looking forward to many years

of great music with this new instrument. I just wanted to let you hear the  cuatro. I recorded

it on a Latin-Jazz composition that I wrote and recorded. I hope you enjoy.

The cuatro can be heard on the recording of my composition called Guagua:  Click Here 

I love the cuatro, thanks for your wonderful craft. It is a real beauty, to the eyes and the ears.

                                                          Previous                      Next