I started playing guitar as a very young boy in rural New Hampshire in the 1960’s. It was at around that time that I also developed a keen interest in how guitars actually work, and it was not long after I received my first acoustic guitar from my parents at the age of five that I proceeded to dismantle it.
Starting in the 1980’s when I was a working musician and college student, I found my time increasingly taken up with repairing and reselling vintage guitars–a pastime that continued on and off for decades. I was also in the employ of the US Navy in the 80’s, during which time I worked in quality control and acquired a strict discipline for accuracy; meanwhile, I continued developing my skills in detailed woodcraft by building and selling numerous wooden ship models on commission for collectors.
It wasn’t until 2004, when I found myself living in Spain and gained the nickname “El Calvo”—meaning “bald guy”—from my neighbors, that my interest in building really took off. While pursuing Flamenco dance and music in Andalucia with my then-girlfriend, I met by chance the renowned luthier Jose Lopez Bellido in Granada. He was gracious enough to share his little shop—and his many years of knowledge—with me for a brief time.
So my foray into guitar making has been somewhat unorthodox — although you might say my many disparate yet interconnected pursuits led me on an inexorable path toward lutherie. Of course, lutherie being a marriage of craft and science, I am continually striving to improve, and as a member of both the Guild of American Luthiers and New England Luthiers, I have learned and shared much with other guitar makers over the years, and continue to do so.
As a musician’s craftsman, I understand the need and desire for quality work at reasonable prices. It is my goal to provide players of any level with a hand-made instrument built to fit their needs at a price they can afford. Toward that end, I offer customers a range of tone and top wood, hardware, and aesthetic options to create their ideal, one-of-a-kind instrument.
-Paul Hoogeveen, Luthier