Friday, June 9th, 2023

Lichty Guitars – Jay Lichty, Luthier


Lichty Guitars – Jay Lichty, Luthier

Jay Lichty - Luthier

The connection between the wood and the luthier is a vital and necessary part of the creation of a beautiful custom built musical instrument and Jay Lichty of Lichty Guitars and ukuleles is an excellent example of this connection.

Lichty Guitars – Tryon, NC

There is a special kind of magic that happens when you combine a fine woodworker, with a passion for music and the dream of building custom guitars and ukuleles. Careful hand selection of each piece of wood, from domestic and exotic tonewoods to premium bracing materials, to taking great care in the hand shaping and fitting of each piece is all part of the Lichty magic.

As Jay puts it,

I love wood and the adventure in finding the very best selection for each guitar. Each piece is hand selected for its esthetic beauty, strength, integrity and tonal quality.”

When you add to it a high level of craftsmanship with the greatest attention to every detail the result is nothing short of magical. This magic transforms what was once only a few pieces of wood into a unique, beautifully hand crafted acoustic guitar, custom built with the performer’s input included in the process. This is the magic of Lichty Guitars and ukuleles.

It’s a Personal Matter

Lichty - Acoustic GuitarHand Shaping Wood - Lichtey

As a guitarist, I find the tie-in between the luthier and the performer to be special and most significant.

.Going to a retail store and buying a factory built guitar is a gratifying experience but the level of satisfaction is far greater when purchasing a hand built custom made musical instrument. You can deepen that experience further with Lichty Guitars by being personally involved in the decisions about wood selection, size and other design characteristics for your next guitar or ukulele. Whether you are performing in a large venue or playing in your living room, that custom process results in an instrument that fits you and your needs in every way. The fact that you have played an active and important role in the design of your new acoustic guitar or ukulele, in a special cooperative dance with the person actually building your  instrument, is icing on the cake each time you play, that’s when it all comes home, that’s when it all really matters.

…a performer too!

Adding to his skill as a luthier, Jay is also passionate about music and about being a musician who plays many instruments, among them the acoustic guitar. This combination of being a multi-instrumentalist and being a luthier too, adds an additional dimension reflected in the level of care and attention Jay exercises when selecting the highest quality materials and when testing them from the perspectives of tonal quality and craftsmanship. Having excelled in both skill sets, performance and luthiery, Lichty is committed to building instruments worthy of the finest musicians. In this way, the look, the feel, the playability and the sound quality of a Lichty guitar is greatly enhanced by this combination of abilities. Here’s what Jay had to say about that.

“That commitment and passion translates into musician–friendly playability, action and tone.”

Eye Candy for the Acoustic Guitarist

The following video demonstrates some of the diverse choices available to you when selecting the options for your Lichty acoustic guitar. From custom rosettes and inlays to your preferred choice of woods the Lichty process results in a one-of-a-kind handmade acoustic guitar. This video is without a doubt eye candy for the acoustic guitarist!

Making guitars comes from the desire to create something out of wood that represents sheer beauty and Jay Lichty comes from that special place, in heart and in soul, making Lichty Guitars one of the important places to go when searching for your next acoustic guitar or ukulele.

Building a Guitar - ChiselBuilding an Acoustic Guitar

The next featured video is an excellent presentation reflecting the process of building a Lichty guitar through the photography of Corrie Woods and accompanied by Jay on one of his custom handmade acoustic guitars. Please note that the guitar featured in this film was custom designed and built for Mike Gossin (Gloriana). Also, the film is a collaborative effort between Jay Lichty, Mike Gossin and renowned artist Clark Hipolito and it is hosted on YouTube.

Giving Back

The production of a custom handmade acoustic guitar begins and ends with the heart and soul of the luthier which is embodied within it. The character and quality of luthier built instruments is one thing and what extends beyond that, as in the case of Jay Lichty and Lichty Guitars, is giving back and paying it forward. As they say, “…a man’s character is demonstrated by his actions and by what he gives back to the community in which he lives.”

Custom Acoustic GuitarJay and his company have aligned with LEAF, an organization out of Black Mountain North Carolina USA. LEAF is a non-profit organization established to build community and enrich lives through the Arts, both locally and globally through festivals, community events, and arts in education programs.

Jay is involved in helping the LEAF Organization do what they do. Each year Lichty Guitars donates a beautifully handcrafted guitar as part of an annual LEAF fundraising effort. 100% of the proceeds from the raffle go to LEAF in support of their community efforts.

The photo shown here is the 2011 custom built Lichty acoustic guitar with a retail value of $3600. It is made with Chechen back and sides, an Engelmann spruce top, ebony fretboard, bridge and head plate, Chechen and pearl rosette, ivroid binding, a K&K pickup and Grover tuners. If you are interested in participating and having a chance to win a handmade Lichty acoustic guitar, tickets for each year’s raffle are available through this link –  LEAF Raffle.

Lake Eden Arts FestivalAn example of the types of community events sponsored and held by the LEAF Organization is the Lake Eden Arts Festival which is held twice a year in Black Mountain NC. It is only one of many events and programs supported by LEAF.

Corrie Woods produced this short video of the activities of the 2010 Lake Eden Arts Festival. She is an excellent photographer and more of her work can be seen on the Lichty website.

The Lake Eden Arts Festival is an annual event held in May and October. This year’s upcoming festival is on October 20 – 23, 2011 so there is plenty of time to buy a raffle ticket and to make plans to participate in this year’s Lake Eden Arts Festival.

I’d like to take a moment to extend a warm and personal thank you to both Jay and Corrie for helping to make this article possible and for creating heirloom quality handcrafted guitars and ukuleles with such heart and soul.

Contact Information

Logo - Lichty Guitars

For more information about Jay and Lichty Guitars, as well as a beautiful collection of photography of both the acoustic guitars and ukuleles built by him, please visit their official website.

Lichty Guitars

Lichty Guitars E-Mail: info@lichtyguitars.com
Phone: 828-817-1460 (Jay welcomes your calls)

See currently available handmade guitars for sale

For more information about the LEAF Organization please feel free to follow the links below.

EventLake Eden Arts Festival
Downloadable Festival BrochurePDF Brochure

When: October 20th-23rd 2011
Where: at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC.
Media Contact: Jennifer Pickering, jennifer@theLEAF.org
Press Links: theLEAF.org then click on MEDIA & PRESS
Tickets | Info: theLEAF.org • 828/ 68-MUSIC (686-8742)


All photography was taken by Corrie Woods and used within this article under written permission. It is unlawful to copy these photographs without her expressed written permission.

All videos are used under the embed policies for non-commercial and educational use by YouTube.

The LEAF graphic is the property of the LEAF Organization.

Lichty Guitars – Jay Lichty, Luthier

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