Red Bulletin

Wood Whisperer

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When he’s not surfing his home break at Scarborough, Marc Maingard crafts some pretty special guitars. He lets us in on some trade secrets.

“Matt,” Marc Maingard instructs his assistant as he shaves tiny slivers offa classical guitar with a thumb planer, “take it down by a ball hair.” The strange instructions are being carried out in a workshop near Scarborough, a recluse’s seaside hamlet about an hour from Cape Town and an unlikely HQ for one of the world’s most respected luthiers.

One might assume Maingard must have moved out here for the humidity, a necessary requirement for optimal guitar making. But the man described by Stephen Stills (the meat in the Crosby and Nash sandwich) as, “the best guitar maker in the world”, has another explanation.

“I’ve got to live on a break,” he says. My whole life has focused around being a surfer. My yoga, the way I eat, the way I live. If you weren’t here I’d be in the water.”

The hippy vibe is evident, but ask him about his work and Maingard reveals a Goethe-quoting flip side centred around the commitment and determination that’s played a part in him creating some of the finest guitars on the planet with a list of satisfied customers including Jimmy Dludlu, Syd Kitchen, Jonathan Crossley and, oddly, Steven Seagal.

For the full story pick up the May Red Bulletin Magazine.


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