Reader Guitar of the Month

Name: Cary Cummings

Location: Seattle, Washington
Guitar: Olde Skully

As we approach Halloween, the power of the skull only increases! A Seattle guitarist makes a guitar for his everyday macabre needs.

“It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.”
—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Greetings to all my fellow guitar brethren! My name is Cary and I’m a guitar addict. I was bitten and smitten with the “guitar bug” as a kid, and the fascination has remained constant, even getting stronger over time.

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Name: Bourbon Cowboy
Location: East Corinth, Vermont
Guitar: The Bourbocaster-211

Solid-layered camouflage wood, zebrawood neck and headstock, and top-shelf electronics make for a unique and eye-catching heavyweight contender.

I’m the Bourbon Cowboy, a singer/songwriter from East Corinth, Vermont, and proud owner/operator of the Bourbocaster-211, an S-style guitar that I designed and built over the spring/summer of 2021. The guitar body and neck were built by a luthier named Tom Boise from New Haven, Vermont, who hand-labeled this body “Serial #1” on the inside of the control cavity.

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Aksel McDermott wields the Akselerator on a gig. It goes up to 11!

A lucky 7-year-old builds the guitar of his dreams with his father during the pandemic … with knobs that go to 11!

Name: Scott and Aksel McDermott
Location: New York, New York
Guitar: The Akselerator

Back when things were locked down for Covid in 2020, my then 7-year-old son Aksel found an old Epiphone SG in the back of a closet that I’d bought 25 years ago but never learned to play. He took to it immediately. A weekly lesson soon started at the Williamsburg School of Music when things opened up a little and he was hooked. However, after sitting for so long, the SG needed to go in for a tune-up eventually. With nothing to play for a few days, we started talking about building a simple string between two nails on a board stretched over a Coke bottle contraption, as a fun little project. But it’s only rock ’n’ roll if it’s electric. Suddenly we were researching pickup-wiring schemes and the difference between a single-coil and a humbucker, etc. It quickly became clear: Why don’t we just build a real guitar?

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The emerging parts market in the ’80s, a luthier friend, and a cousin who studied acoustic engineering helped this bassist create a one-of-a-kind instrument.

Thank you for allowing us to share our bastardized beauties with you. I built this bass with the help of my friend Drew in 1980 or ’81. It was an instrument born out of necessity. Stock instruments of the time weren’t keeping up with the musical progressions that were happening in the ’70s and ’80s, so if you wanted to advance your art, you had to get creative. Fortunately, parts manufacturers and inventive minds were there to accommodate.
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