Photo credit: Maegen Wells

As a working musician, I have always been aware of the difference that details, even small ones, can make in the feel, sound, and function of an instrument. These differences can be as basic as a the weight, the points of body contact, or the neck shape – they can also be more subtle, and even the small differences can affect how an instrument inspires the player.

In the best cases, all the aspects of an instrument can work together in a way that lets the player think and move freely, and play without effort. This line of instruments represents my constant efforts towards that goal.

It is important to me to consider each instrument as a whole entity, and not a collection of parts. Considering each element in relation to the others allows the best control over the response and 'vibe' of the final instrument.

The various models represent different design priorities, both tonal and physical. Every effort is made to match designs, body woods, fingerboards, strings, and electronics towards the specific goal – towards a unity of purpose.

Instrument building is an ever-evolving discipline, and the possibilities are constantly redefined by new materials and technologies, and new demands from progressive musicians. These new methods and new needs will always drive instrument builders in new directions, and this exploration is the greatest joy of my craft.

From 2000-2015, I worked with Joe Veillette at Veillette Guitars, building a very wide range of instruments and constantly exploring new concepts and approaches. During that time, the shop produced nearly 1000 instruments, and I had the good fortune to experience the custom-build process from start to finish with over 500 clients. This experience was invaluable in understanding not only the build process, but also the importance of building and maintaining the essential client-builder relationship, which can endure long after the instrument is completed. I began building instruments under my own name in 2004, and I’m glad to say that many of my clients have become good friends.

Alongside my instrument making, I operate the family business, the Beacon Banjo Company, producing and marketing the Keith Banjo Tuners. Invented by my father Bill in the early ‘60s, these tuners have allowed generations of adventurous banjo players and guitarists to expand their musical horizons. I am proud to follow in my father’s footsteps and continue making these wonderful tuners available.

I'd also like to thank all the many fine builders who have inspired, helped and encouraged me along the way. I feel privileged to be part of this marvelous community of creative people.

Thanks for visiting!