Banjo and Mandolin Books

Siminoff's Luthiers GloassarySiminoff’s Luthiers Glossary by Roger H. Siminoff is a 206 page compendium of more than 850 words used in the craft of instrument construction. The book is profusely illustrated, features several tables and charts, and includes a full color section of wood sample images in their lacquered and natural states. A must have for every luthier’s workbench.

Cover comments by Lynn Dudenbostel. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE.

The Physics of Music - Lloyd LoarThe Physics of Music Transcribed and annotated by Roger H. Siminoff. This book is a verbatim reproduction of a student’s notebook from Professor Lloyd Loar’s last class at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in the summer of 1943. The numerous illustrations were scanned from the original book to maintain a close feeling to what Loar drew on the blackboard. Great background on musical acoustics, inferences to tuned air chambers, and comments on Loar’s preference of the violin over the mandolin (acoustically). 48 pages, spiral bound. Prologue by Roger H. Siminoff. Available only through us. ORDER HERE.

The Art of Tap Tuning The Art of Tap Tuning by Roger H. Siminoff is a 56-page richly detailed text on the process of adjusting the structural components of an acoustic string musical instrument to make it produce excellent tone. The text includes: a introduction to musical acoustics, a guide to using strobe tuners, the use of additional electronic equipment to improve sustain when tuning, structural changes you can make that affect tuning, tools to use, and much more. The accompanying 50-minute DVD includes numerous tests and demonstrations that let you both see and hear the tap tuning process and its results. Includes article by Lloyd A. Loar on soundboards and how they work. Foreword by Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitars. Click here for virtual content page. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE.

The Ultimate Bluegrass Mandolin Construction ManualThe Ultimate Bluegrass Mandolin Construction Manual is a compendium of 40 years of mandolin building and research by Roger Siminoff. This 160-page book features rich step-by-step assembly instructions, a complete set of the most highly detailed full-size drawings ever made available, more than 250 construction photos and illustrations, 4 pages of full-color photos of the color-finishing and grain-contrast process, luthier’s signature labels, a detailed guide on the art of tap-tuning, and much more. Foreword by John Monteleone. Click here for virtual content page. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE. Questions and Comments from readers about this book.

How to set up the Best Sounding Banjo How to set up the Best Sounding Banjo is a step-by-step guide to the structural tuning and proper set up of a banjo. Instructions include evaluations and settings for the neck, neck-to-rim fit, tone chamber, bridge, tailpiece, string-break angle, string selection, and more. All chapters culminate with the goals and objectives of “tuning” the banjo’s air chamber and head. A highlight of this book is a chapter by Earl Scruggs on how to set up a banjo for electric amplification. Click here for virtual content page. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE. Foreword by Peter Wernick.

The Luthier's Handbook The Luthier’s Handbook explores the secrets and science behind building acoustic string musical instruments that sound good. The text focuses on wood selection, bridge designs, air chambers, bracing and tone bar configurations, soundboard design, string selection, and the art of tap tuning. “The Luthier’s Handbook” features ideas on revolutionary deflection tuning techniques for the serious builder, as well as a free String Gauge Calculator for selecting optimal string gauges. Click here for virtual content page. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE.

Constructing a 5-String Banjo Constructing a 5-String Banjo treats the reader to the pleasure of building a bluegrass style 5-string banjo. This fully illustrated comprehensive guide includes wood selection, making the neck, steam bending the rim (or building one from solid wood), assembly, pearl inlays, fretting, hardware selection, and hand coloring. The text include color plates on shading the neck and resonator as well as a set of full-size fold out drawings. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE. Foreword by Earl Scruggs.

Constructing a Solid-body Guitar Constructing a Solid-body Guitar provides all the instruction and diagrams necessary to build a full-size solid-body electric guitar. This book is fully illustrated and includes chapters on wood selection, making the neck, shaping the body, preparing the fretboard, assembly, hand coloring, hardware selection, and installing the electronics. The text includes color plates on sunburst and curly maple finishing as well as a set of full-size fold out drawings. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE. Foreword by Chet Atkins.

Constructing a Bluegrass MandolinConstructing a Bluegrass Mandolin is the first comprehensive guide to the art of building a wood-bodied stringed musical instrument. First published in 1973, this fully illustrated text takes the reader from wood selection through all of the stages of construction including: making the neck, steam bending the sides (ribs), carving the soundboard and backboard, tuning the air chamber, assembly, and hand coloring. The text includes color photos on grain enhancement and a set of full-size fold out drawings. Available at most music and bookstores or you can ORDER HERE. Foreword by Bertha (Lloyd) Loar Westerberg.

Boating 101Boating 101 is a handbook for power and sail-boaters everywhere. It provides more than 100 tips on safety, maintenance, navigation, rules of the road, handling the VHF radio, docking, rafting-up, dingy handling, anchoring, heavy weather conditions, and much more. The text is heavily illustrated with photos and diagrams. For beginners or advanced “old salts.” Available at most book stores or you can ORDER HERE.

(For a complete list of Siminoff’s writings, see Siminoff Bibliography)