Wild card guitars


Wildcard's Alibi

Guitars were discovered in the 11th grade through the window of McCabe's Guitar Shop, across the street from the bus stop on the way home. I started drawing guitars in drafting class and later my sister's boyfriends began teaching me chords on my Mom's requinto.

I was a "genius" then too, and so I knew I could build these things, Just a matter of when, and then "when" -- as it will -- nearly passed. Since by then I'd known some real geniuses who could build guitars, I figured if I pretended to be them, I could build guitars too.

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Some instruments I have built for people include: 7-string guitars, 8-string guitars, fretless minstrel banjos, bass guitars, baritone guitars, electric oud, fanned frets, gourd-bodied guitar, courtin' dulcimer.

If you can't see this slide show on your iPad or iPhone, scroll down this page and there a different version awaits you.


All the major guys in the design part of the string instrument craft had been woodworkers first. The guys I admire the most have the confidence and skills to build whatever they choose and don't need to copy other people's ideas. I'm a weak man, I want it all.

I'm a "genius" but I am not a fool. I've had teachers both formal and informal. I've been lucky to know real geniuses and they've been generous with their help and advice. Just like the engineers who developed the VW bug, I experiment and refine my techniques and designs over time.

How we do this

First we talk about what you need, then we draw. You give me money and I buy stuff we need to build the guitar. We measure, tap, stroke, sniff, flex, and tweak until it's right. Your whole world changes and all evil is banished from the universe. World peace reigns.

I love hearing these things played. I love hearing other people telling me they love hearing these things played.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's guitar. Let me build you one your neighbor will covet.


Wildcard Guitar portfolio from Jan Dove on Vimeo.