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The Art Of Guitar Inlay Design
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The Art Of Guitar Inlay Design

Guitar players know about the art of music, but there is more to the art of the guitar and similar instruments than just the music a skilled musician can bring out. A skilled guitar maker knows that a well made guitar body is an art form by itself. Guitars, mandolins, violins and even the dulcimer have patterns carved into the wood. These patterns, called guitar inlays, add elegance to the guitar. They can also make the guitar attractive to look at. The instrument should always be pleasant to hear.

Anyone who has looked at a guitar, mandolin, banjo or dulcimer has probably seen the inlay. The inlay is a design that is incorporated into the instrument during its constructions. The inlays are often made by craftsman who do nothing except make the inlays. They enhance the experience of the owner. If the piece is made right, they enhance the experience of a listener. Inlay designs range from the complex to the detailed. They even add resale value to the instrument.

The guitar inlay artist may not have gotten his start by making inlays exclusively. There are times when an instrument maker makes a fatal mistake in the construction of the instrument. The artist knows that he can no longer use the inlay for its intended purpose. He decides to make it a decorative part of another instrument. There are some craftsmen who find that they like making the decorative ornamentation more than they like making the instrument. Other people develop a new respect for their craft.

A music aficionado of the intricate pattern may soon notice something about where the craftsman like to put the work. The inlays occasionally occur on the guitar itself. Guitar inlays are more likely to occur on the fretboard. This does not occur because of a lack of imagination, but because the fret boards and the bodies are made out of different materials. The materials used for the soundboard of the guitar are more dense. They are more likely to reduce the sound coming from the instrument. An improperly made guitar inlay placed on the body makes the instrument sound worse than it would sound if the inlay were not there. The overall goal of the true artist is beauty in all forms. The skilled craftsman does not want to ruin the music produced by the instrument.

The best guitar inlays enhance the sound of the instrument. Average guitar inlays do not have any effect on the sound at all. The user needs to decide which inlay he wants when he purchases an ornately carve guitar. The beginner's instrument purchased off of Ebay or at a big box store will not have these marking at all. The owner may decide to have these markings put there later. If he does decide to go for this level of artistry, he needs to find a craftsman who is skilled at making the inlays. The artist also needs to know the construction basics of the instrument he works on.


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