The Fine Craft of Guitar

We talk with one of America’s greatest guitar makers ever, Wayne Henderson, about the beauty of wood and music.

Helen White and Wayne Henderson

From a little workshop in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wayne Henderson makes what may be the most beautiful and beautifully-voiced guitars in the world.

Guitars that will make you weep and laugh and sing – and listen. Guitars of rosewood and spruce and mahogany and walnut, made with a craftsmanship so fine that the greatest guitarists in the world line up for years to have one: Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, many more. It is an American sound.

We speak with America’s guitar-maker – the Stradivarius of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wayne Henderson.

-Tom Ashbrook


Wayne Henderson, craftsman and musician renowned for his“pinch picking” guitar style and the guitars, mandolins and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, Virginia. He has toured widely in Asia, Africa and the Middle East under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute and the Office of Arts America. He has presented his Appalachian guitar style on several tours entitled “Masters of the Steel String Guitar.”

Helen White, old-time fiddler and folk singer who has been playing with Wayne Henderson for about fifteen years. She is the founder and executive director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAM) which introduces mountain children to their musical heritage.

**To help support JAM and Appalachian music, click here.

Here are some pictures of Wayne and his studio (courtesy of Harrol Blevins):


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