Lowden Guitars: What Does The Future Hold For Luthiers? 

In the 19th and 20th centuries, several guitar manufacturing companies were founded like C.F. Martin & Company (1833), Gibson (1902),  Fender (1946), and even though all of these companies were established privately, as a result of free competition, all of them grew to be major instrument manufacturing corporations that are still dominant these days. 

 

Lowden Guitars

However, due to its Irish origins, there is another guitar manufacturing company I would like to talk about, and this is the Lowden Guitars. It was founded in Northern Ireland by George Lowden luthier who has been making guitars professionally since 1974. He primarily focuses on crafting acoustic and classical guitars, though an electric model (GL-10) was made and introduced in 2018. Lowden instruments have become truly popular, due to its excellent quality, and it resulted in growing to a major instrument manufactory. Although, George Lowden still crafts guitars privately for individual requests as well.

George Lowden

 

Have You Ever Wondered How Your Guitar Was Born?

It is a working process that requires precision, discipline, and foremost, time. It starts with the selection of the wood which immediately defines the quality and the tone of its sound. 

Then it is followed by bookmatching, strutting, constructing its sides, crafting the neck and fingerboard, getting down the saddle and the bridge, and finally adding the tuning machines which are usually mounted on the back of the guitar’s head. The last step is, of course, getting the instrument strung and checked before leaving the factory for instrument dealers worldwide. 

One of the few positive effects Covid-19 has

I have never thought there would be any positive impact that could come from Covid-19, but here it is. According to this CNBC article, Fender guitar sales have grown 17% during the pandemic and reached approximately $700 million by the end of 2020. It is probably because more people have been looking for new activities and hobbies than in the recent years before.

That means coronavirus may be able to save certain instrument manufacturers like Fender or Gibson, which have been struggling financially for years.

Climate Change, a Challenge for Instrument Manufacturers too

Though apparently Covid-19 has been helping instrument manufacturing by creating more demands for guitars, there are still challenges and difficulties that Lowden must take into account. The biggest challenge is climate change and its impacts on the market. One of the major environment-damaging activities that humanity has been generating for decades, is deforestation. It is still at present partly due to demands of the market which involves the needs and demands for wooden instruments like guitars. This is a huge issue that is to be found all around the world, therefore regulations have been brought in recently, one of these efforts is The Paris Agreement.

Deforestation

 

Efforts to Make Instruments Eco-Friendly

A global change requires all nations to follow its lead to reform and transform the system in order to make it sustainable and eco-friendly. I am thrilled to say that even instrument manufacturers have already taken steps towards a greener future and made efforts to start manufacturing guitars from more sustainable resources. Lowden, Martin, and Gibson have already introduced a handful of new guitar models that were made from sustainable resources like reclaimed wood, and met the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council. Furthermore companies like California’s Blackbird Guitars initiated the production of guitars that were wood-free and were replaced by alternative man-made material.

Blackbird Guitars’ El Capitan – Ekoa

 

That is why I believe instrument manufacturing has a bright future ahead, which is full of potential as long as the companies follow the regulations and policies in order to meet the new standards and to craft instruments that are eco-friendly. By climate change, our civilisation has reached another milestone and it is crucial for us to go with the flow. As long as we think collectively, it is definitely a reachable goal. 

 

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Aron Debreceni
Aron is a journalist and a student of Utrecht University (NL). He has been doing his own singer-songwriter project 'Aron D' since 2016. Besides music, he is open to write articles about politics, education, health, history and travel.

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