STRINGING IT TOGETHER
Summerside trio still building guitars - one year later
Harold Noye quietly picks the strings.
John Campbell starts strumming alongside as Wayne Gallant picks up a third guitar.
“One…two…three…” says Noye as the trio starts into a twangy tune.
More than a year since beginning their musical enterprise, the group is still playing on guitars they make themselves.
“We’ve moved into a new location. It’s given us some more space to work with,” explained Gallant, who now houses the trio’s project in his workshop.
They have also designed a tool that allows them to build a fret board themselves.
“Before, we had to order them in from the United States. It would cost us around $300 for three boards, but now we can buy one board of rough wood and make three fret boards out of it for around $20,” said Noye, who does the measurements and cutting for the frets.
Campbell nodded, adding, “It saves you money when you’re building the pieces of your guitar.”
Last year, they each had their own pieces of wood for making Martin and Waylynn guitars.
This time around they made three guitars from the same blocks of wood.
“They’re pretty much sister guitars,” said Gallant.
He added, “The pieces come from the same boards that started as a rough piece of wood and have now been turned into guitars.
“But every year it’s a little bit different. We get different tools and try new things as we go.”
Noye likes the fact that no matter how many guitars are made they same way, they’ll always sound different.
“You can follow the same pattern, use the same techniques and tools, but they will always sound different. And what’s neat is that you can play around with different parts of the instrument and try something new. It’s a great way to spend retirement.”
Campbell says their techniques have improved over the year.
“We’re always getting a little bit better as we go. A big part of building an instrument is you have to take your time and you have to have a passion for it.
“You can’t rush through building an instrument. We took about 100 hours to work as a team to build our guitars.” Noye agreed.
“In this case, measure three or four times and then cut once, don’t measure once and then try to fix your mistake. If you were to lay a piece of the board on a rough surface you could dent your board and there is no fixing that.”
Campbell added it’s incredible how much a person can learn by building something.
“If we knew what we know now, when we were 18, we would be masters by now.
“There’s something about being able to say that you’re playing an instrument you built yourself. It’s very satisfying.”
“You can follow the same pattern, use the same techniques and tools, but they will always sound different. And what’s neat is that you can play around with different parts of the instrument and try something new. It’s a great way to spend retirement.” Harold Noye
Summerside trio happy to still be building guitars — one year later
John Campbell, left, Wayne Gallant and Harold Noye take some time out of making guitars to plays ones they have made.