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Category Archives: Gypsy Guitars

The second of a pair I will bring to Django in June this year.    Similar in construction to the May 2017 guitar, some cosmetic differences.   Very similar in sound and playability.  Lutz spruce, walnut back, sides and neck.   French polish finish, Miller tuners and tailpiece.


Okay all you try before you buy types, I just finished this one to bring to Django in June. Selmer style, five brace, 670mm scale. Lutz spruce top, solid walnut back and sides, butternut neck, Ebano fingerboard and bridge, nickel silver frets, titanium truss rod, aged Miller tailpiece, Golden Age vintage brass tuners and French polish finish. Very light, 3.5 pounds. Dry tone, yet complex and very loud. See you at Django in June!



I was caught up on orders in February and the weather being dreary, decided to play around with some pearl and abalone:


Based on the same body shape as my Corazón, the body is about a half inch wider and longer than standard Selmer.   Top is European spruce from Romania with five brace pattern.   Back and sides are curly French walnut.   Neck is black walnut, fingerboard and bridge are Ebano.   Tailpiece is custom CB and enclosed tuners by Rainer Mueller. Polished high gloss finish.

Just completed a new petite bouche Zazou.   Torrefied spruce top, birdseye maple back and sides.   Butternut and walnut neck, Ebano fingerboard, nickel silver frets, Miller enclosed tuners and tailpiece.

A new Zazou for Samuel Farthing.   Sam spec’d the round soundhole and rosette attributed to Roger Chaput’s Selmer #575 (1942), the color and the aged hardware.   Sam is such a great player and his smile says it all!  Iphone video of Sam and Matt playing Webster


The guitar is Selmer size with a torrefied sitka spruce top, five brace late Selmer style.   California hedge row Claro Walnut back and sides, Pennsylvania Black Walnut neck.   Ebano fingerboard and bridge.   The rosette is mother of pearl and ebony.   670mm scale with nickel silver frets.   Miller enclosed tuners and Miller tailpiece, both aged a little in vinegar fume.   The coloring is sprayed tinted shellac.  Finish is 100% French polish with traditional shellac.



Last one for 2016, commissioned by Ken Bussey, a professional player with The Derailleurs and music teacher in the Frederick, Maryland.   Ken gave me a free hand and I took the opportunity to try something I’ve been wanting to do for some time, the same Joseph DiMauro body profile I use on the Corazon with a small oval sound hole.   Ken was excited about this and here’s how it turned out.  (Photos by Kelton Bumgarner)


Ken sent me an email a couple weeks after picking the guitar up:

“This guitar kicks ass!! Its taking my playing to a whole new level.  I’m serious man my old guitar was holding me back,  this has made such a difference in my right hand technique , I can drive way more now and I’m getting instant results.  Really cool man thanks again”

The DiMauro profile is 12mm wider than a Selmer profile with a higher waist.  Lots more top in the active tone generating area south of the sound hole.   Torrefied Sitka spruce top, Claro walnut back and sides, black walnut neck, Ebano fingerboard and bridge (DiMauro style without mustaches.   Finish is French polish.   The Ischill pickup is routed internally to a jack in the tail.   Sound is huge, clear and articulate.

Just delivered a new guitar in collaboration to Bo Ong in Alexandria, VA.   Bo had a clear vision of what he wanted right from the beginning,  colors, hardware, finish and style.   Top is torrefied Sitka spruce, back, sides and neck are mahogany.   Ebano fingerboard & bridge, white bindings,  chrome plated Miller tuners and tailpiece, mother of pearl key in the rosette and polished short oil varnish complete the theme.   Sound wise, it exemplifies the Derecho design, very responsive, loud and clear.



A new Zazou for Russ Hanchin of Richmond, VA.    Torrified Sitka spruce top, birdseye maple back and sides, butternut neck, 660mm scale with Ebano fingerboard and Miller tuners and tailpiece.    Russ and I played together the night before on the deck of the  Lotus Kitchen in the background, what a pleasure!

Russ, Zazou.jpg

Here is Russ’ comment from his Facebook page the day after he picked up:

“I am totally stoked (and honored) to have received my new gypsy guitar made by Maryland luthier, Craig Bumgarner. This ‘petite bouche’ (small mouth) Craig calls his ‘Zazou’ model – styled after the great Henri Selmer guitars of the 1940’s. Craig has such a talent for building resonant, wonderfully-voiced gypsy guitars! Thank you Craig, for your craft, eyes, ears and heart. This is definitely a franchise instrument for me! Excited to let it loose on the next Django Tango gig!”



A new Zazou with Carpathian spruce top from Romania and curly French walnut back and sides.   Black walnut neck, Rocklite Ebano fingerboard, Evo-Gold frets.   For those who went to Django in June 2016, this was the guitar I brought along as an example of a playable guitar, “in the white”, no finish.  This commission is now complete with  a high gloss finish and delivered.

The new owner says it better than I:

“I was able to spend some time with the new guitar last night; it’s a very fine guitar!  Beautiful woods, workmanship, and finish.  Great playability (I couldn’t imagine a more comfortable neck); great volume, and tone (such a nice low end, and wonderful bass to treble balance).  Thanks for the wonderful instrument.”

Have been wanting to try a torrefied top and had the opportunity this spring.   It seems to have come out as advertised, new wood that is aged by a heating process to perform and look like old wood.   The top was noticeably harder with brighter tap tones than I’m used to in new wood.  It built up very light, very responsive and very very loud.  The highs are excruciatingly.  Not a warm tone, but for projection, there is nothing like it.  It also has the color of aged spruce, no tinting required.  Will certainly be using it again.

Petite bouche, late Selmer style five brace pattern, East Indian rosewood back and sides, walnut neck, Ebano fingerboard, 43×98 nickel silver frets, 670mm scale.  Ebano bridge and mustachios.   Finished with satin water based urethane for a very thin tough finish.   Miller enclosed tuners and tailpiece, aged.