Now Playing: Coffee & Guitars with Andy Powers: Florentine Cutaway

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Date: 1502138641

Duration: 00:02:09

Hey there, today we’re talking about cutaways.

Now, I’ve got here a Grand Symphony guitar with a Florentine cutaway. Now, oftentimes people will ask, “What’s the difference? It’s a cutaway.” Yeah, you’re right, it’s a cutaway so that we can play on the high side of the fingerboard, down the dusty end up there and actually get our hands around the neck and play those notes.

But there really are two distinct styles of cutaway. The name Florentine, quick history lesson, that actually came from the Gibson Banjo Mandolin Guitar Company 100 years ago. When the mandolin was the popular instrument of the day, they started building these real fancy elaborate mandolins that had a big curly cue up here and importantly, they had this little scooped point out thing where you could – the player could get their hand way up on to the high part of a mandolin. They referred to that style of instrument as a Florentine mandolin and that name stuck signifying this pointy cutaway. So, that’s where that came from. That’s to compare to a Venetian cutaway where you’re bending the side of the guitar into a real abrupt curve that doesn’t actually come to a point there. So that’s where they come from.

The way that we build it is relatively complicated. It’s a pretty difficult thing to make because essentially you’re going to build a non-cutaway guitar and then literally use your tools to take a bite out of the guitar. We’ll sow away this portion, inlay a new section of side, we’ll bind it, we’ll put the purfling in, we’ll do all the kind of cleaning up and finishing details to give this real neat bit of workmanship right here.

We use them on our Grand Symphony guitars 500 Series and above and it’s a real accessible, comfortable thing to play

[Andy playing the guitar] 01:53 until end

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