About JM

I have been making and playing lutes ever since I  made my first one and became bewitched first listening to Julian Breams 'Woods so Wild' album and Anthony Rooley on TV playing a 10crs lute on a programme about the heart. I made my first lute at school in Etwall Derbyshire, site of the Etwall Hall and the [still] 'lost' Etwall lute manuscript. With help from a former lute maker at West Dean my first lute was made as an A level project, awarded a B but improved my skills since then. After a degree in furniture design and a brief career in contemporary design I started making lutes again and have been making full time since 2005.

A decade later the student lutes range has proved popular and is somewhat flattering to see other lute makers making a simplified Hans Frei model too. I chose this model as the archetypal student lute, with it's original rose for an affordable price, inspired by the early music shop philosophy of making instruments affordable. As a result of the student lute range I hope more will be encouraged to stick with the instrument as therefore helping, with the lute societies across the world, to encourage playing the music to a wider audience.

The affordable price is partially due to less expensive woods and a simpler design but mostly due to working at a lower rate of pay so the instrument is not made in haste, as it would have to be in a factory. The savings made can be spent on facsimiles/lute society editions/lute tutor books or to pay for lute lessons from a lute/guitar teacher.

Most customers prefer to customise their instruments to make them unique, as would have been done, choosing from the decorative extras and other adjustments such a string spacing, creating a lute to fit you rather than a pre-determined model. New and rare student instruments have been created to encourage using the lute in new areas of music. Most recently is the Electric 19th century mandora here, the affordable folding theorbo(2012) here , the electric lute for a rock guitarist (2010)here, the children's lute (2011) here,, and for 2019 the student 6crs Early Romantic Guitar (2019) here.

The electric lute and and student mandora/gallichon (2014) have all the good qualities of traditional lute construction including the octave stringing but tuned like the guitar, or the same intervals. Earlier models such as the Wandervogels and bohemian lute guitars tend to be much heavier to handle thus the earlier mandora/gallichon is lighter to hold but is easier for a guitarist to play. Also for guitar players who like the lute look and the unique sound but prefer to play from staff notation transcriptions then a 7crs mandora/gallichon is another good choice, you can hear it being played here

If you can't afford to buy one then hire one at £35 per month, especially useful if your a guitarist who wants to try/experiment with a new sound for a track, or two!