All my life I have wished for a flamenco like this.” Duncan Brown

I use a different type of bracing to achieve a flamenco sound. More attack is needed with a raspiness in the bass – but they must still be capable of singing sweetly.


The guitar is built face down on a solera.  The top can range from 3 mm in the upper bout to 1.9mm in the lower bout.

I first glue 3 braces 6 mm wide by 1.1 mm thick across the grain. Then I fit traditional fan braces over the top. I tune these until the board rings clearly. This system provides explosive power. I first saw something like this in a guitar of real power and earthiness by Jeronimo de la Peña.  The back and sides are joined with solid linings to reduce energy loss.  The bridge is about 16 grams to increase attack.


Tops are AA grade European spruce.  I listen to the tops before selecting – sound is far more important than looks.

Back and sides are traditionally Cypress but Yew, because of it’s stiffness, is an excellent wood.  It’s also prettier than Cypress.  Any dark hardwood – rosewood, walnut, cocobola can be used for a negra but it’s difficult to improve on the sound of Yew.


I make necks dead flat with a carbon fibre rod for stiffness.  Under tension they have a  .1 or .2 mm curve over the length of the fingerboard.  The bridge is about 6 mm thick and the head is 3 mm higher than the 12 fret so that the strings are close to the soundboard for golpe. The shape of the neck can be round, or flat, as you prefer.

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