Peter Banks: Original Guitarist of the Band Yes. Dead At 65

This seems to be the week we loose yet another of the greatest musicians of the 70s and 80s 

Peter Banks, original Yes guitarist, dead at 65 – USA TODAY

Rolling Peter Banks, original Yes guitarist, dead at 65 USA TODAY Original Yes guitarist Peter Banks died this past Thursday in his London home. The musician’s website listed his cause of death as heart failure, saying he was found after failin …

Tribute to Peter Banks -The Prog Collective – Social Circles (Faet. Annie Haslam, Peter Banks

This is Peter Banks (15 July, 1947 — 8 March, 2013) was an English guitarist. He was the original guitarist of the progressive rock band Yes. We are very saddened to learn that a great guitarists, Peter Banks, passed away. RIP Peter . This is a trib…


Hopefully our next post will be about the  World’s Finest Guitars and not another Obit

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Alvin Lee Is Going Home: ‘Ten Years After’ Guitarist Dies

Heard this very sad news today , We lost one of the World’s great guitarist this week . Alvin Lee

We will all miss you Alvin. Heaven must have needed a great lead guitarist in the Big Band in the Sky

Pictured is Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee playing his signature Gibson ES-335

Alvin Jammin' on his ES-335


.Alvin Lee Is Going Home: ‘Ten Years After’ Guitarist Dies – NPR (blog)

NPR (blog)Alvin Lee Is Going Home: ‘Ten Years After’ Guitarist DiesNPR (blog)The performance, an intense nod to vintage blues and ’50s rock and roll, featured the lightning-fast fretwork of Ten Years After frontman Alvin Lee. ‘The solo on the movie s …



With the exception of the Les Paul Standard, there are few other guitars in the Gibson catalog that can match the ES-335 for sheer star power. From Chuck Berry’s numerous performances to Alvin Lee’s incendiary performance at Woodstock to Police’s 2008 tour in NYC, the ES-335 has been the instrument of choice for any players seeking gorgeous, round, mellow tones, tempered with the edge and sustain of a full-blooded solid body electric like the Les Paul.

Gibson Es-335 Guitar Satin Cherry – Perfect | Guitar Wolf


This, then, was a new kind of guitar and Gibson made it first. The semi-hollowbody. This is the guitar that Chuck Berry played all his hits on. Alvin Lee was another proponent of the ES-335. And you may have heard of that chap Eric Clapton?

The State of the World’s Ebony and Other Wood Supplies



 Please take a few moments to watch this very important video

Taylor Guitars co-founder Bob Taylor talks about the world’s dwindling supply of ebony, the realities of ebony sourcing in Cameroon, and Taylor’s efforts to preserve a sustainable supply for the entire musical instrument community. With the co-purchase of Crelicam, an ebony mill in Cameroon in 2011, Taylor began to develop a fresh framework for sustainable sourcing, one that blends socially responsible forestry with job training that will help Cameroonian communities support themselves and improve their living standards.

For more information, please visit



Source: Taylor Guitars


Hello, and welcome to this addition of World’s Finest Guitars. We have a good one for you today . We’re going to feature the incredible work of Luthier Jay Lichty  of Lichty Guitars. and Ukuleles.  However, instead of looking at Jay’s guitars, we thought it would be fun to take a gander at some of Jay’s wonderful ukuleles.  For those who may be yelling  “UKULELES!” “WHO CARES ABOUT UKULELES?”   let me assure you that you will enjoy learning and looking at Jay’s fine craftsmanship.

Due to a resurgence of popularity of the neglected little instrument you’ve been hearing the good old uke for quite a while now on many of today’s recordings. Case in point, is Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo?ole’s Platinum selling hit “Over the Rainbow.”  Or how about Train’s mega hit “Hey Soul Sister“ The ukelele was the prominent instrument on that track.

Lichty- Flame Koa Tenor Ukulele

 First a little history.

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as an Hawaiian interpretation of the cavaquinho or braguinha and the rajao, small guitar-like instruments taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.[3] It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.Traditional tuning for the soprano ukulele was D6-tuning: A4 D4 F#4 B4, but standard tuning for concert and tenor ukuleles the C6-tuning instead: G4 C4 E4 A4. A good way to remember this is with the phrase “Goats Can Eat Anything”. The G string is tuned an octave higher than might be expected. This is known as reentrant tuning. Some prefer “Low G” tuning on the tenor, with the G in sequence an octave lower. The baritone is usually tuned to D3 G3 B3 E4, which is the same as the highest four strings of the standard 6-string guitar.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So let’s get into the great stuff.  Below is a video that shows off Jay’s work and his shop.

Let’s Visit Jay at His Shop

“Jay has been a musician all his life and a home builder for the better part of his professional career. When the economic downturn impacted the home construction industry and work became scarce.  Jay decided to try his hand at building a ukulele in his new-found free time, just for fun mind you.  One carefully handcrafted ukulele led to another. Within months of building that first instrument Jay had the good fortune of taking a guitar-building workshop with renowned custom guitar builder, Wayne Henderson.


 “I’m proud to say I taught Jay to build his first guitar. His guitars show great craftsmanship and sound really good.” – Wayne Henderson, master luthier, mentor and all around great guy.

There has been no looking back since that first guitar. As Jay strives to build the best handmade acoustic guitars and handmade ukuleles around.”

(Source: Lichty Guitars & Ukueles )



What amazes me is, that when I was a kid all the ukuleles I ever saw were nothing special.  In those days many ukuleles were just a basic small cheaply made bland sound box with 4 strings that Tiny Tim used to sing his mega hit “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” plus a lot of Hawaiian songs had a ukeleles in them. I never paid much attention to them.  Until now.

Let’s take a look at some of Jay’s work




Hand Painted

Wow, unbelievable workmanship. All the same attention to detail as his finest handcrafted guitars. The grains in the wood are really outstanding and the rosettes are exotic. How about the hand painted one?  Definitely not the bland box of past uke generations.

Well that’s about all the time we have for today. World’s Finest Guitars is happy that you decided to drop by today.  Please bookmark us at  and check back often.

To see more of Jays ukes go to

Please take some time to visit Jay Lichty’s guitar site at


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 Guitars, Guitars Everywhere. But Which One Should You Choose?


Hello everyone and welcome to World’s Finest Guitars. Today were going to  take a closer look at guitar types and models. Normally we pick one guitar line and take a brief look at the workmanship and features  but as one of our readers pointed out . “What about the people that are unfamiliar with the terms and models out there in the vast guitar-a- sphere”.  So for some of our readers this might be a step back, however if you truly love all guitars  you can still glean some very useful information. and if your new to the world of guitars  lets jump in and see what we can learn .

 Heres the short list of acoustic guitar types.

The Jumbo

Jumbo guitars are a larger bodied guitar, producing great sound in the lower ranges, as well as great sustain and volume.

Pictured is one of the most popular jumbo models it”s the Gibson J200.  Jumbo guitars have a big, loud sound, perfect for rhythm guitar. Jumbo’s are wider across than a dreadnought, measuring at least 17″, and usually just as deep.

The body of most acoustics are large and hollow; acting as a resonating chamber which amplifies the strings. Larger bodied guitars with bigger curves tend to have a deeper or heavier tone, while guitars with a smaller body tend to sound brighter. Acoustic guitars can have cutaways, similar to the cutaway on the Gibson Les Paul which allows easer access to the higher frets but this also changes the tone. Acoustic guitars have a weaker sustain than electric guitars but master-built classical or steel-string guitars often feature very good sustain and excellent overall performance. (source: WIKI Books)


The most popular body sold, the dreadnought is a large body guitar producing booming lower and mid-range tones, as well as great sustain and volume.  It’s a very popular for it’s full sound, especially among country and western performers, blue grass flat pickers, and me (ha ha)

Martin D-28


The Dreadnought  body size was originally developed by the Martin Guitar Company some time around 1916

000 Size

  This style tends to have a slimmer waist than the Dreadnought and a slightly smaller body. The result is a guitar that some find easier to handle, with a sound that emphasizes the mid and treble ranges.

The OOO  designation is used by C.F. Martin Co. . It’s a 12-fret flat-top guitar, that originally measured 15″ (W) x 4 1/16″ (D) x 20 7/16″ (L) when introduced in 1902.  In 1934, it changed to a 14-fret guitar whose dimensions were (and still are) 15″ (W) x 4 1/8″ (D) x 19 3/8″ (L).  The 000 designation is used by other luthiers as well, and now the term 000 is an industry standard.

Orchestra Model aka “OM

Originally developed by Martin by shortening the body of their 000 model. (The Martin OM later became the Martin 000, so today’s OM’s are based on the original.) This size instrument is much smaller than a dreadnought in both width and depth, usually measuring around 15? across and 4 1/8? deep.

The Martin OM was one of the first mass produced guitars with 14 frets above the body. Though originally designed for classical players, it quickly gained popularity among cowboy and bluegrass performers.

The Parlor Guitar

Parlor guitar has also come to denote a style of American guitar music from the 19th and early 20th centuries .Thease guitars could be found in many homes of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The parlour guitar is currently enjoying a renaissance amongst fingerpicking guitar players across the USA and Western Europe. There are a number of modern luthiers making parlour guitars in a wide variety of tonewoods. Their defining characteristics are a brightness of tone and an often surprising volume for such small guitars. Although they might be underpowered compared to larger guitars, modern amplification has made sound volume a non-issue.

The smallest widely manufactured body size for many years is the Parlor or O style. Very popular through the 18th and 19th century small instruments like these were usually played in peoples’ parlors, hence the name. Parlor guitars are wonderfully balanced, and very fun to play. parlor guitars work great for finger-style or classical music, The shorter scale length of these instruments can make many left hand stretches easier.  Larrivee’s P model, Martin’s O model, and Santa Cruz’s PJ guitar are all good examples of the parlor guitar body size. They don’t have a big sound, however they are comfortable, well balanced, and very fun to play. Parlor guitars work great for finger-style or classical music, The shorter scale length of these instruments can make many left hand stretches easier. Larrivee’s P model, Martin’s O model, and Santa Cruz’s PJ guitar are all good examples of the parlor guitar body size.

Backpacker or Travel

 Lastly today  is the Backpacker or Travel guitar These are small body guitars for smaller players or for packing and taking on the road. Some are scaled down versions of full-sized body shapes. Others are unique shapes.  and others have a semi detachable or fold down neck,  that makes them even more convenient for travel. The combination of lower prices, compact size and good sound, makes them a great guitar to have. Keep one handy, for your next hiking or camping trip. they’re perfect for around the campfire.


Well that’s it for today.  Please bookmark this site  and check back often for more great information on some of the World’s Finest Guitars .

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