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Meet the Maker: Monty Guitars

Meet the Maker- Monty Guitars
Monty Guitars has a cult-like status, guitar-maker Brian Monty builds instruments in the Village of Lougheed, Alberta, Canada

Monty Guitars builds guitars by hand, creating professional quality guitars that have built a reputation for being some of the best money can buy. Brian Monty is the luthier behind this Canadian company and he took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with us.

What got you into building instruments?

I have been playing guitar for fifty years. From the age of sixteen I played in a band and in my early twenties I had to drive an hour and a half to Montreal to get my guitars looked after. One day when I was in the shop I decided then and there that was what I wanted to do in life. In 1977 I lived in Calgary Alberta and had a little work space off of my kitchen. Anyway, I decided to approach a well-known music store and offer them my services. The owner said I could set up in the basement and I did. Business was brisk. In 1980, I started building guitars and have not stopped since.

Monty Bluesmaster
Monty Guitars Bluesmaster

Who/What are your biggest influences with instrument building?

I am self-taught. My biggest influence was my ear for tone and sound. Secondly, I always admired James D’Aquisto and his archtop guitars.

Monty Guitars Montrealer
Monty Guitars Montrealer

What is your favorite part of the process of instrument making?

Selecting the wood, feeling and listening to the guitar being crafted, and finally stringing it up and playing it.

Monty Guitars Blues Queen
Monty Guitars Blues Queen

How should potential new clients get prepared when buying a new instrument from you?

They should realize that these guitars all have their unique characteristics. They are lighter in weight and have a lot of sustain and overtones.

Brian Monty

How would you describe your style of instrument building?

Well, I do them the old-fashioned way: no computer-assisted machines, necks, and bodies all handcrafted. Everything apart from pickups etc is made by me and me alone, with no sub-contracting. I also do the finishing work in my paint room.

Monty Rockmaster II
Monty Guitars Rockmaster II

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made while learning your craft?

Not charging enough?

Monty Swingbilly
Monty Guitars Swingbilly

Why should musicians buy a luthier-made instrument?

I believe that they are closer to those made during the golden years of guitar-making. In the end, I think that you get more value out of a luthier-made instrument. Also, I have noticed that when one of my guitars comes up for resale [ which is not too often], they do not stay listed for long as they are bought up quite quickly. This tells me that my guitars are sought after.

Monty Delta
Monty Guitars Delta

Do you have a personal favorite style of instrument?

Not really. I like flat tops, hollow body electrics, solids, and arch-tops. The most interesting to build is an arch-top.

Erica Headstock
Erica Headstock

What do you feel when you have to hand the new guitar/bass over to its new owner? Do you ever want to keep them instead?

Hopefully, another happy satisfied client (which is 99.9 % of the time). There is always the odd exception and I usually just read them the riot act and that ends the matter.

My reputation is good because, in the forty-eight years that I have been doing this, I have never screwed anyone. People trust me. Means a lot.

I also told my wife that when I am on my deathbed to make sure that you buy up as many of my guitars as possible because they will be worth a small fortune (I hope).

Monty Guitars Erica
Monty Guitars Erica

What do you want your legacy to be?

I never thought much about a legacy. The only thing that I can say is that I will live on after my death through my guitars.

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