Firstly this is always what I wanted to do. The previous efforts of what was StickDulcimer.com was a perfect starting point but over the last 3 years I have worked hard on getting the prototype designed for the River Guitar "Model 1" (name pending, see more below the video). I’ve been playing these instruments for a long time and many years ago realized more people need to be playing these fun funky instruments than they currently are!

I wanted to make something in line with instruments I’m used to playing but with a slight twist. I’m aware some people have been playing for a while, and may want to switch things up, or strip away those creative boundaries... this model is perfect for that.
And others may be just now embarking on achieving that life goal of being able to play an instrument... this is a great one to start with.

Inglewood is a place for players of all walks, whether you’re a newbie, novice, noodler or pro, we’re here to support you with great instruments and helpful resources.

It’s all about the fun and making music.

The Story Of the "River Guitar 'Model 1,' In Images

It all starts with a sketch (Jan/Feb '21)

I'd always planned to make my own instrument. The Strumsticks and Merlins are great and fun, but as a 30+ year guitarist I knew there was something that didn't exist yet which I - and hopefully others - would love even more. So when I found out Seagull was going to be out of Merlin stock for a long (loooong) time, it seemed the time to start getting my ideas on paper.

The First Physical Rendering (Mar/April '21)

As I am not (currently) a luthier by trade (though I play one one TV, LOL), I sought the assistance of a Nashville-based instrument making company. They were able to take the drawings I'd made and digitize them so we could see what they'd really look like. These early models are sporting the "back of napkin" double-capital-"I" logo that would soon be replaced with the more cultured and iconic looking curly version.

Things Are Starting To Happen!  (April-July '21)

And then came actual wood and v0.1 prototypes.  The idea was made physical, and I could touch it and see where it was too small, too sharp, and also just right. But those were the boxy, easy first steps.

 A Sneak Peek Into The Design

In the back half of 2021 we were able to cut into real wood, not just MDF, so that the feel and weight would be realistic, and I could get a better sense of the scale of things. All through the process I've wrestled with big and small design considerations:

  • Should there be inlays?
  • Does a fretboard make sense?
  • How large should the soundhole be?
  • Which woods are going to be the best? (still TBD on that one)
  • Is the scale length right?

And in February of 2022, a year later, I learned how to fret and glue these early prototypes. Some are "wall art" in the background of my videos, and a few might make it to the website as factory seconds (because, hey, I'm still learning how to do this ;-)

But there were complexities to instrument making that I simply couldn't cover, so in late 2022 I took the "Model 1" prototype to Nick Stratton, and he finished them out to a level I could never have dreamed!  We're cutting new woods and honing the shaping of the neck.

Then I got a day job, cause it turns out kids like to eat.  And this passion sat on the backburner for a while.

But here we are in mid-2024 and the time has come.  Nick is building out the first production models, and the Waitlist is growing rapidly (100's per week)!

I anticipate when you first hold an Inglewood Instruments dulcimer guitar it will be a markedly different experience. They are heirloom pieces, and I think you'll appreciate the process and attention to detail I've deeply enjoyed taking on this (admittedly slightly little crazy) project.

More progress shots and updates to come, so keep following along, and don't forget to Join the Pre-Order Waitlist so you can be first in line as these begin to be available for purchase in mid-2024!